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Greater Love Hath No Man

Greater Love Hath No Man




James Trevalyan came from a long line of men who served the British Crown with their gift of a voice with compelling power, and kept that tradition going while he loved and lived with Jeremy Waters. When Jeremy died in his arms, James resolved to live without love. His family keeps him connected to life -- Jamie, his son from his brief marriage to an American, and Pamela, his beloved little sister, caught in a loveless marriage to a cold, cruel man.<br><br>Then Tanner comes into his life, a clever and handsome agent who joins him in an ongoing undercover mission. How long will it take James to realize he and Tanner are meant for each other? And can Tanner survive the assignment that’s thrown him in with mobsters who want him dead simply because he knows too much?


The envelope was lying on the floor inside the front door of my London town house. It was lavender, and sprinkled lavishly with mimosa, a scent I remembered from my younger years. The word “urgent” was scrawled upon it, underscored five times.

I smiled fondly. Barbara always tended toward the melodramatic. Although why my ex-wife would be writing…

My heart clenched. Jamie, our son. I could tell the letter had been there for some time. My lover and I had been away for the past two weeks, first to attend a wedding, and then to just spend some time together. Not a honeymoon, for we couldn’t marry, but a pleasurable twelve days with no calls made upon our time.

Dammit, I should have been home.

But surely, if anything had happened to Jamie, Barbara would have telephoned?

I started to slide a thumbnail under the flap but only succeeded in mangling the envelope. With what had she sealed the bloody thing?

“James? Give it here.” Strong hands…deadly hands—hands that could be surprisingly gentle when exploring my body—took it from me, tapped it on a palm, tore the end and tipped it over, then placed the letter into my hand.

“Thank you, sweetheart.” Barbara’s lines in the lavender ink she favoured were crossed in a tight scrawl, quite unlike her usual flawless penmanship. Hastily I scanned the page, searching for the disaster that had necessitated this missive.

“Is everything all right?”

My son was alive and well. I blew out a relieved breath and smiled at my lover. “Yes. Although Barbara is quite annoyed that I wasn’t available to prevent Jamie from rushing off to Las Vegas to get married.”

“Beg pardon?”

“He’s married.”

“So soon? Well, I’ll be buggered!”

“That can be arranged.” I grinned at him, almost giddy with relief, and began rereading Barbara’s words, aloud this time, and more slowly. When I finished, I looked up into my lover’s eyes. He ran his fingers through my hair and pressed a kiss to my temple.

So much time had passed, so much had happened…

I leaned against him and stared off into space, remembering. 1

Father had always vowed I’d rue the day I married an American.

I met Barbara Kendall in 1948, during the height of the London Season, and I was so captivated by her dark hair and violet eyes that I spent the ensuing weeks endeavouring to persuade her to marry me.

When I finally succeeded, we eloped to Gretna Green, which she found exceptionally romantic, and then I brought her home to meet the family.

Pamela, my younger sister, was entranced. She no doubt saw our situation as the epitome of romance. I knew, although I was fairly certain that neither of our parents did, that she had a weakness for novels such as Don Q’s Love Story, which she’d found up in the attic at the bottom of an old trunk, or Lady Genevieve’s Gallant Heart, which she’d managed to take from the lending library without Mother’s knowledge.

However, Mother’s lips were in a tight line, and Father, it was apparent, was unimpressed. He seized my arm and drew me to the side. “You realise, don’t you, that her family most likely bought their silver.”

As opposed to having their silverware passed down through generations? I freed my arm and returned to my wife.

“But I love her, sir,” I asserted with all the passion in my eighteen-year-old heart. I held Barbara’s hand tightly in mine.

“Harrumph, young man! What does love have to do with it?” He glared fiercely at Barbara. “Youare dazzled by the notion of becoming the next Lady Pennington, and you, James, are…” He bit back his words, although his gaze flickering to my groin clearly stated he thought my cock was doing my thinking for me. “Did you…talkthis young lady into marrying you?”

“No, sir!” I could feel my eyes widen in horror. I’d been warned never to—”Mother, please! Speak to Father!”

“I agree with him, James. I think you are making the biggest mistake of your life. Of both your lives.”


“I can’t imagine what your chaperone was thinking, young lady, unless her intent was to secure you an advantageous marriage.”

“Mrs Parks was an excellent chaperone!”

“So excellent that her charge eloped to Gretna Green.”

“This is the twentieth century, not the nineteenth!”

“Marriage is still the best option for a woman, and who better to wed than the heir to a revered title.”

“Father!” I was appalled he could say something like that.

“You are both too young to know your own minds.” He glowered at us.

“We’re not too young, Lord Pennington!” Barbara stated fearlessly, and my heart swelled with pride. “I love him, too.”

“What do you intend to live on? For, I assure you, Iwill not support this idiocy!”

I swallowed. I hadn’t thought much beyond the sweet pleasure of having Barbara in my bed every night. “Uncle Chas left me some money in trust.”

“I am at a loss as to what your mother’s great-uncle was about doing something like that. Blithering idiot! The man should have included a stipulation that you could not touch it until you were twenty-five at the least!” He glared at Mother. “Although thirty-five would have been more the thing.”

“We will not go into that again, Oliver.” That was the closest I had ever seen them coming to a row.