Priscilla Pembroke is the perfect spy—female, forty, and practically invisible. No one would ever suspect a proper American lady of carrying seditious documents that could well become a prelude to war with England. But when her ship is cannonballed to splinters—and she is unable to swim—both her mission to end slavery and her life are about to come to a tragic end.
At twenty-five, Camran Slayter is set to become captain of a Royal Navy ship. The scars on his body offer a tour of his hard life, but the sea allows him to escape his troubled past. When he rescues the tantalizing woman from drowning, he never suspected it would put his entire naval career in peril. The American agent proves more trouble than she is worth…until he starts to fall for her. That’s when it becomes really dangerous.
Priscilla is involved in a deadly chess game, one which makes her a traitor on two continents. But when she is captured and interrogated by the ruggedly handsome Scotsman, and he strips her of her secrets one by one, she realizes that the most dangerous threat of all is yet to come…
Reviews for Knave vs. Spy
“You want a great read? Pick up a book by Michelle Marcos. Readers know that every word on any page will bring excitement and reading pleasure from start to finish.”
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—LISA KLEYPAS, New York Times bestselling author
Captain Slayter stood in the open doorway, his form filling the space. His face was cast in shadow, but there was no mistaking the giant Scotsman for anyone else. He yanked off his bicorne and ducked through the doorway that was a foot too short for him. Then he shut the door and locked it behind him.
She raised her hands defensively. “I know what you must be think—”
“Take off yer clothes.”
His command was like a bucket of cold water poured over her head. “I beg your pardon?”
“That’ll come next. First, do as I say.”
A hand flew to the front of her dress. “This is an outrage!”
He reached across his waist and gripped the hilt of his sword. He unsheathed the weapon and aimed the glistening point at her heart. “I will no’ say it again. Take off yer dress or I’ll cut it off of ye.”
Her face blanched. As a spy, she’d steeled herself against the possibility of capture and torture. But now that the moment was upon her, courage bled from her. If only she had brought the dagger!
She searched Captain Slayter’s face for a hint of compassion. The muted light hid the depths of his eyes from her view, but his jaw was set like iron.
With trembling fingers, she unbuttoned the bodice of her dress. The plain brown frock was supposed to make her inconspicuous. But to the Scotsman in the Royal Navy uniform, she was the sole object of his interest.
The fabric slid past her shoulders, making her feel exceedingly vulnerable. The chill in the room penetrated her shift, and she shivered in both fear and cold.
“The corset too,” he ordered, taking the dress from her cold fingers.
Although her mind was as sharp as it was the days when she excelled at mathematics, history, Greek and Latin, her body was not the same as that tender young woman’s. She was a woman of forty. And her body showed the weight of every one of those years.
“Then I’ll do it for ye.”
She took a step backward, shaking her head. Swallowing hard, she unlaced the one remaining article that disguised her age. “Won’t you at least tell me why?”
He didn’t answer. In fact, if it wasn’t for the steady rise and fall of his chest, she’d have assumed he was made of stone. She wanted to be angry at him for subjecting her to this. She wanted to despise him. But she felt only shame. Once this virile young man saw her in her nakedness, her pride would be broken like a twig underfoot. It shouldn’t matter what this man thought of her. But it mattered.
She wriggled out of her corset, grateful for the subdued light in the cell. Her shift was too transparent for her liking, and she couldn’t help wondering what was visible to his eyes. If only she could banish these foolish female thoughts!
Her chest caved as she slowly faced the high stacks of folded canvas. In the flash of a moment she envisioned twenty terrible scenarios.
Metal screeched against metal as he returned his sword to its scabbard. He came up behind her, the heat from his body enveloping her. His large hands circled her wrists and lifted them high in the air, wrenching a startled gasp from her. He flattened her hands against the stacked canvas.
The lethal whisper slithered over her ears. “Do no’ move.”
Never in her life had she felt so powerless, so defenseless. No amount of clever lies could rescue her from whatever he planned to do to her.
Roughly, he raked his hands down her arms, then up her sides. He patted down her hips and then up her legs. His hands circled her waist and stroked her breasts. His callused hands, as rough as a coal-heaver’s, snagged on the flimsy lace at her chest.
He spun her around. Flinty green eyes bore into hers, daring her to protest as he slid his hand between her thighs.
“Where are the rest of the messages.”
It was futile to play the innocent. “There aren’t any m-more,” she stammered, as his hand daringly cupped her sex through the fabric.
His hot breath fell on her face. “What else are ye transporting?”
His massive hands massaged her buttocks, forcing her sex to grind against his thighs. It had been some time since a man touched her in so intimate a fashion. She might have taken more pleasure in this situation if she hadn’t been quite so afraid.
“Nothing. I swear. One letter…in the petticoat.”
He released her, but moved not one inch. “Now. I want the truth. Who are ye?”
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