The Bounce in the Captain's Boots (Ladies Most Unlikely, 3) by Jayne Fresina
When Emma Chance met her best friend's elder brother, she knew instantly that he needed somebody to put the bounce back in his boots.
But it couldn't be her, of course. She wouldn't know where to start.
Against the odds, Emma Chance survived a childhood of cruelty and neglect. She's never had time for fairytales or Prince Charming and, as a young woman with a logical mind, her preference is for tidy facts over messy feelings. But with one glance from his dark eyes, Captain Guy Hathaway causes poor Emma a bundle of the latter and turns her cautious world on its head.
To him she is nothing more than his little sister's shy, awkward friend, and she wouldn't know what to do with herself, in any case, if he ever looked at her as anything more than that.
But there's something about Captain Hathaway...
* * * *
The charismatic captain has a reputation for trouble. Brawls, duels and dangerous women litter his past. With a mischievous sense of humor, a hot temper and a reckless impulse to leap in with both feet, he has always sailed along at a steady clip, determined never to be anchored too long in one place and never risking his heart. But lately he's felt a strange emptiness, a yearning for something he cannot identify. It began a few years ago, about the time he escorted his younger sister and two of her friends to a ball. Did he lose something there, or did he find it?
Until he gets to the bottom of this mystery, he knows he won't be whole again.
In the meantime, while he seeks out the source of this discontent, he can make himself useful, initiate some changes in his life and do a few good deeds for once. Why not? For instance—timid, plain little Miss Chance, his sister's droopy best friend, could surely benefit from a helping hand.
The first time he met her she was a mess of nerves, covered in a red rash and itching as if riddled with fleas. But he can't help feeling there is more to the strange creature than meets the eye.
Yes, indeed, there is something about Emma Chance...
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