She will do anything for him…except surrender.
Vivien Manning, the notorious Mistress Matchmaker, is tired. Tired of the parties, tired of the lovers, tired of being her. So she decides to leave London behind once and for all and start a whole new life.
But before she goes, she must tie up some loose ends, so she makes a list which includes one man she’s never been fully able to let go:
Benedict was broken when Vivien broke off their affairs years ago. So when she comes back into his life… and his bed, he isn’t certain of anything except the power of their desire.
But as Vivien moves ever closer to disappearing forever, both of them begin to question if the past can be overcome and if love might be the one loose end that cannot be neatly tied up.
Vivien returned the laughter even as she marveled at Lysandra’s transformation over the past two years. She had gone from shy and frightened to a composed and confident young woman. Love had done that for her.
“I do not mean to look odd, that is certain,” Vivien said. “I was just pondering how happy I am for both you and Mariah, but also how your matches have lessened my requests from gentlemen to find new mistresses.”
Lysandra shook her head. “Oh dear. I suppose many fear you will curse them with wives, not lovers. Heaven forbid.”
Vivien shrugged. “It matters little. I did the service for one gentleman years ago and it somehow became a business of sorts. It was never something I asked to do. I shall not miss it.”
She blinked as she looked around her once again. There were things she would miss when she was gone, though.
“This is a lovely party,” Lysandra said, seemingly oblivious to Vivien’s thoughts. “You were so kind to host it for us.”
“Both of you have friends in our sphere,” Vivien explained. “I realized I had been remiss in not celebrating your happiness with our friends. And I am happy to see such a good turn out when-”
She broke off and felt the blood drain from her face. Across the room, the crowd had parted slightly and she thought she had seen…
But no. It wasn’t possible. Benedict Greystone had not been on the guest list tonight. She always checked those things carefully so she would never be taken off guard by his presence in her ballroom or anyone else’s.
“Vivien?” Lysandra asked. “What were saying?”
Vivien shook her head and opened her mouth to continue with her line of thought, but before she could the crowd shifted a second time and her first thought was confirmed.
Benedict. In her home. Not ten feet away from her.
“I-Why is Benedict Greystone here?” she whispered, unable to keep a slight crack from her voice.
Lysandra followed her line of sight and looked at him, then slowly turned her gaze back to Vivien. “I-er-we invited him.”
Vivien blinked and tore her stare away from him to put it on her friend. “You did? But I did not see him on the guest list.”
Lysandra shrugged, but her discomfort was evident.
“He is a friend of Andrew’s, you know, from school. We saw him at the park yesterday afternoon and somehow the topic turned to this event. He seemed very interested in the subject, so we invited him.”
Vivien said nothing. She tried not to look at him, but it was an impossible battle. She shot a side glance in his direction and her stomach fluttered. Dear God, but he was handsome. With dark hair, stormy grey eyes and broad shoulders, he always seemed to have stepped from the pages of a novel. A very naughty novel, when she considered all of his attributes when he was naked.