Joanna Shupe returns with another unforgettable novel set in the glittering world of New York City’s Gilded Age…
They call her Lady Unlucky…
With three dead fiancées, Lady Eva Hyde has positively no luck when it comes to love. She sets sail for New York City, determined that nothing will deter her dream of becoming an architect, certainly not an unexpected passionate shipboard encounter with a mysterious stranger. But Eva’s misfortune strikes once more when she discovers the stranger who swept her off her feet is none other than her new employer.
Or is it Lady Irresistible?
Phillip Mansfield reluctantly agrees to let the fiery Lady Eva oversee his luxury hotel project while vowing to keep their relationship strictly professional. Yet Eva is more capable—and more alluring—than Phillip first thought, and he cannot keep from drawing up a plan of his own to seduce her.
When a series of onsite “accidents” makes it clear someone wants Lady Unlucky to earn her nickname, Phillip discovers he’s willing to do anything to protect her—even if it requires A SCANDALOUS DEAL.
Releasing April 24, 2018.
As they rode the tiny metal elevator up to the roof, she nearly bounced on her toes with excitement. “I cannot imagine what else there is to see. I’m already thoroughly astounded.”
“Patience, my lady.”
Eva cocked her head, her brows lowered. “How do you know so much about this building? Are you an investor?”
“No, Vanderbilt owns it. I am merely a fan of buildings, as are you.”
“But why? Did you want to be an architect?”
He thought about it. “My father built half of Lower Manhattan before he died. I suppose constructing new properties is in my blood.”
The elevator stopped and he threw open the metal gate. She passed through first. “Yet you focus mostly on hotels.”
“I do. I like the idea of setting the standard for luxury travel, which is a business ready to explode. More Americans now travel because of the trains and I want to build a string of high-end hotels across the country.”
They went along a covered Grecian-style promenade that overlooked an open space. “What will be down there?” she asked.
“A large restaurant. On this level will be a space for smaller performances. Here we are.”
They turned the corner to reveal the roof garden and its charming Chinese pagoda. Eva stopped dead in her tracks, her head tilted up at the incredibly tall tower. Her mouth fell slightly ajar. “It’s…”
“Do you recognize it?” He knew damn well she did, so he let her say it.
“The Giralda Tower in Sevilla, Spain,” she breathed. “I cannot believe it. It’s stunning.”
“You’ve seen the original, then?”
She nodded, still fixed on the tower looming over them. “Yes, many years ago my father took me. There’s nothing more magnificent on earth than the Cathedral of Seville. What is that at the top there, that copper figure? I’ve seen it from a distance but had no idea what it could be.”
“Diana, the Roman goddess of the hunt. Quite nude, too. The conservatives are making a hue and a cry over it.”
“Oh, they mustn’t take it down. How do we—?” Her head swiveled as she tried to find a better angle to see the statue.
“Come along.” He held out his hand, curious if she would take it. Without blinking, she slipped her hand into his large grip. He smothered a smile and led her to where he’d been told the stairs could be located. The tower would inaccessible to the public once the Garden officially opened so he was glad they were able to enter it now.
They rode another elevator and then climbed a spiral staircase up the center, a slight breeze blowing in from huge open windows cut into the brick on all sides. The sun had set, leaving twinkling lights to illuminate the city around them. They went up and up, higher and higher, to just below the tall spire. Both of them were breathing heavily by the time they reached the observation point, a narrow stone platform not deep enough for two.
Eva strode out onto the platform and gripped the balustrade. “Phillip…my goodness. It’s the entire city.”
He remained inside the tower itself, content to merely watch her. The backdrop of the island, miles of flickering light and dark sky, stood behind her, mesmerizing him.
Or perhaps it was merely her, this unusual woman he found so compelling.
“Come see,” she said, beckoning with her hand. “This must be the tallest point in Manhattan.”
“Second tallest, actually. And I’m fine where I am.” Watching you.
She turned, one brow arched. “Why, Phillip Mansfield. Are you afraid of heights?”
“Not afraid of heights, per se. Just afraid of falling.”
“What if I promise to hold your hand?” She strolled toward him, clearly enjoying this bit of superiority over him. “I won’t let you fall.” Strong fingers threaded his own, her face now close enough that he could bend and kiss her without much effort.
So that’s exactly what he did.
© Joanna Shupe