Mariah’s breath seemed to catch a little every time she looked directly at him, which of course she had been trying to avoid. But how could she not?

He’d told them he had become known as “The Lion of Lampur” in India and he quite looked the part. He was a giant of a man –nearly a head taller than William and so broad-shouldered that his coat of claret superfine strained to fit him properly. The tawny shade of his hair nearly matched the color of his striking eyes. Mariah imagined that his lazy-lidded gaze could sharpen into a predatory stare upon an instant’s provocation.

His face showed the patrician lines of his Austrian-English parentage, with well-defined cheekbones, a straight, narrow nose and a sculptural curve to his upper lip that she found fascinating. His skin, while obviously fair, seemed kissed by just enough sun to render it golden, too –as if he himself had been touched by the riches of the exotic land he had so recently quit. He exuded an air of raw animal power that certainly matched his nickname. There must be a story about how he had earned that, but he had not told it.