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THE TROUBLE WITH HONOR
by Julia London

Genre: Regency Period, England, Historical Romance

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“The bet is now one hundred pounds, Miss Cabot. Will your papa put that amount in your reticule?” George asked, and the men around him laughed appreciatively.

“My goodness, Mr. Easton, that’s a personal ques­tion, isn’t it? Perhaps I should inquire if you will have one hundred pounds in your pocket if I should win?”

Cheeky thing. There was quite a lot of murmuring around them, and George could only imagine the delight her remark had brought the gentlemen in this room. He tossed in a handful of banknotes and winked at her. “Indeed I will.”

She matched his bet with a piece of paper someone had handed her, signing her name to the one hundred pounds owed.

George laid out his cards. He had a sequence of three, the ten being the highest. The only hand that could beat his was a tricon, or three of a kind, and indeed, Miss Cabot gasped with surprise. “My, that’s impressive!” she said.

“I’ve been playing these games quite a long time.”

“Yes, of course you have.” She lifted her gaze and smiled at him, and the moment she did, George knew he’d been beaten. Her smile was too saucy, too trium­phant.

As she laid out her hand, gasps went up all around them, followed by applause. Miss Cabot had beaten him with a tricon, three tens. George stared at her cards, then slowly lifted his gaze to hers.

“May I?” she asked, and proceeded to use both hands to drag coins and notes from the center of the table. She took it all, every last coin, stuffing it into her dainty little reticule. She thanked George and Rutherford for allowing her to experience the gaming hell, politely ex­cused herself, slipped back into her cloak and gloves and returned to her little flock of birds.

George watched her go, his fingers drumming on the table. He was an experienced gambler, and he’d just been taken by a debutante.

That was when the trouble with Honor Cabot began.