A portrait artist gets to know her subject very well in the latest installment of the Infamous Lords series.
Simon Marlton, Viscount Adler, is on the hunt for the mysterious home invader who stole his treasured signet ring—and a kiss. When the clues lead him to his neighbor Emma Trafford, a struggling artist, he hires her to paint his portrait under an assumed name, hoping to draw out a confession without calling attention to himself. What he doesn’t know is that it was Emma’s imaginative 12-year-old sister, Lily, who stole the ring, believing it was evidence of a salacious crime, while Emma kissed him to distract his attention. Though Emma recognizes her patron’s scarred yet handsome face, she can’t tell him where the ring is—not if she wants to stay out of jail. But the kiss left a lasting impression on them both, and if she’s not careful, she’ll soon be painting her subject in the nude. It's a fun setup. As they sit face to face, they learn about each other one scintillating detail at a time, leaving the rest to the imagination. The complete picture might ruin them both: Simon’s conquests are easy fodder for the scandal sheets, while Emma bears the stigma of a broken engagement. But what some call scandalous and sinful, others call art.
Stroke by stroke, the artist shows the viscount what made the Mona Lisa smile—and the moment when all their secrets come into full view is well worth the wait.