Irresistible (The Phoenix Club #6) - Darcy Burke

Irresistible

The Phoenix Club

Book Six

Darcy Burke

Irresistible

Copyright © 2022 Darcy Burke

All rights reserved.

ISBN: 9781637260845

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Book design: © Darcy Burke.

Book Cover Design: © Erin Dameron-Hill at EDHProfessionals.

Editing: Lindsey Faber.

All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the author.

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Contents

Irresistible

Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Epilogue

Author’s Note

Also by Darcy Burke

About the Author

Irresistible

Society’s most exclusive invitation...

* * *

Welcome to the Phoenix Club, where London’s most audacious, disreputable, and intriguing ladies and gentlemen find scandal, redemption, and second chances.

* * *

Jessamine Goodfellow has spent six Seasons avoiding the parson’s trap, and spinsterhood is finally within her grasp. A brilliant scholar, she longs for adventure and new experiences, things her family frowns upon. Presented with the opportunity to use her puzzle-solving talent on a secret mission for the Foreign Office, Jess eagerly accepts. Even when it means posing as the wife of a scorchingly attractive Scotsman whom she must also covertly investigate as a possible double agent.

* * *

Lord Dougal MacNair, the new Viscount Fallin, has always completed his assignments for the Foreign Office alone. Now he’s saddled with an overly enthusiastic amateur partner. She possesses a remarkable intellect, but something about her isn’t quite right, and after two failed missions, Dougal is certain someone is working against him. Battling their secret suspicions, Dougal and Jess dive deep into their cover as a married couple, which arouses temptations they find irresistible.

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Prologue

Edinburgh, Scotland, August 1815

* * *

The low ceiling and dark beams of the Oak and Thistle ought to have felt claustrophobic, but to Dougal MacNair, the space was a warm hug, holding him close after too much time away. Glancing across the small, worn table at his cousin, Robert Clark, who was just three years younger than Dougal’s twenty-eight, he felt a surge of affection. He was only sorry it had taken the sudden death of his brother to bring him home.

“Ye’re going to be the earl, then?” Robbie asked.

“Eventually.” Dougal still couldn’t quite believe it. He’d created a life for himself—one that he liked very much—that didn’t include being an earl or even living in Scotland. Now he had to change everything. On top of losing Alistair, it was too much to contemplate. And so he preferred to avoid thinking about it too deeply. At least, not yet. The time would come, very soon, probably, when he’d have to face it. For now, he just wanted to be with his family, both here in Edinburgh and just north near Stirling, where his father’s seat, Stagfield, was located.

A tall Black man brought tankards of ale and deposited them on the table. “If we weren’t busy, I’d plant myself right next to ye and hear what ye have to say.”

Dougal looked up at his Uncle Rob and nodded. “I know. Just as I know Robbie will tell you everything.” Well, almost everything. As cousins, they shared certain secrets.

Uncle Rob grunted. “Aye, he will. I’m glad ye made it to town.” Town being the Old Town of Edinburgh, where Rob’s tavern was tucked into a basement along the Lawn Market. Rob owned the building and leased out several floors. He and his family lodged on the second floor. The New Town, where Dougal’s father owned a new, fashionable house in Charlotte Square, was not at all what Uncle Rob