Read If I Fall Online

Authors: Kate Noble

Tags: #Fiction, #Romance, #Historical, #General

If I Fall

PRAISE FOR

Follow My Lead

“If Austen were alive and writing novels today, the result might be something exactly like
Follow My Lead
, a wickedly witty and superbly satisfying romance.”


Chicago Tribune

“Believable and captivating … an outstanding and memorable tale.”


Publishers Weekly
(starred review)

The Summer of You

“How many romances really, and I mean
really
, stir the heart? This one did.”


All About Romance

“Vivid and touching … Something new, something real, something genuine, something special and alive. It is worth savoring and appreciating.”


Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

“Will touch your heart and wring your emotions until you find yourself laughing and weeping simultaneously.”


TwoLips Reviews

“Sharp, clever, and adorable … Those who are big fans of Julia Quinn, Laura Kinsale, and Tessa Dare will want to pick this one up.”


Babbling About Books, and More

“A work that will touch your heart [and] make you laugh.”


Night Owl Reviews

“An absolutely beautiful love story and historical romance at its finest … You do not want to miss this one!”


The Romance Dish

“A delightfully charming romance … Adorable and clever.”


Romance Novel News

“Utterly romantic.”


Smexybooks

Revealed

“Not just a simple romance novel, it is a damn good one.”


The Book Smugglers

“Noble crafts an exciting, witty, and highly entertaining tale about an unlikely duo caught in a killer’s web.”


RT Book Reviews

“Full of action and adventure …
Revealed
has it all … Ms. Noble has real talent.”


Romance Junkies

“Fresh and lively and utterly delightful.
Revealed
will enchant lovers of the Regency novel, but I highly recommend it even for those who usually avoid this genre. Somehow, I think you’ll be hooked by this story as securely as I was.”


Fallen Angel Reviews

“[A] terrific tale of ‘love and war’ that contrasts … Regency High Society with the dangerous world of espionage.”


Midwest Book Review

Compromised

“Noble’s clever and graceful debut Regency romance is simply sublime.”

—Booklist


Compromised
is a delectable and delightful debut! Every word sparkles like a diamond of the first water. I can’t wait for Kate Noble’s next treasure of a book!”

—Teresa Medeiros,
New York Times
bestselling author

“Kate Noble’s writing is smart and sparkling … Wonderfully entertaining, delightfully effervescent romance.”

—Amanda Quick,
New York Times
bestselling author

“An amusing historical romance … A lighthearted late-Regency romp.”


Midwest Book Review

“Ms. Noble is a talent to watch. I look forward to her next book.”


Romance Reviews Today

Berkley Sensation titles by Kate Noble

COMPROMISED
REVEALED
THE SUMMER OF YOU
FOLLOW MY LEAD
IF I FALL

If I Fall

K
ATE
N
OBLE

THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada
(a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) • Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL,
England • Penguin Group Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin
Books Ltd.) • Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia
(a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.) • Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community
Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110 017, India • Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive,
Rosedale, Auckland 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.) • Penguin Books
(South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa

Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

IF I FALL

A Berkley Sensation Book / published by arrangement with the author

PUBLISHING HISTORY
Berkley Sensation mass-market / April 2012

Copyright © 2012 by Kate Noble.
Excerpt from the next historical romance by Kate Noble copyright © 2012 by Kate Noble.
Cover design by George Long. Cover art by Aleta Rafton.
Interior text design by Kristin del Rosario.

All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

ISBN: 978-1-101-56146-1

BERKLEY SENSATION
®
Berkley Sensation Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
BERKLEY SENSATION® is a registered trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
The “B” design is a trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

10    9    8    7    6    5    4    3    2    1

If you purchased this book without a cover, you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher, and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”

ALWAYS LEARNING

PEARSON

To my brother-in-law Andy, who has instilled
in my nieces and nephew the importance of
intermittent swashbuckling.

And to my writing friends, my partners in
caffeinated desperation, who frequently kept me
from throwing my laptop across the coffee shop.

Table of Contents

Prologue

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Six

Seven

Eight

Nine

Ten

Eleven

Twelve

Thirteen

Fourteen

Fifteen

Sixteen

Seventeen

Eighteen

Nineteen

Twenty

Twenty-one

Twenty-two

Twenty-three

Twenty-four

Twenty-five

Twenty-six

Twenty-seven

Twenty-eight

Twenty-nine

Epilogue

Historical Romance

Prologue

January 1823

S
HE
liked the ring on her hand. She liked the emerald glitter; she liked the weight of the gold band. She liked the way it felt there, solid and right, and the fact that her sisters and all her friends admired it with enthusiastic jealousy. But more than the ring, Sarah Forrester liked the man who gave it to her, and what he had said when he did.

“This belonged to my mother,” he’d rasped, looking up at her lovingly from his kneeling state—or at least she assumed it was lovingly, her vision was a bit watery at the time. “She wore it every day of her marriage. Over thirty years.” He smiled, with a charm that was rakish and kind all at once, and lowered his voice to a conspiratorial whisper. “Do you think we can match that?”

And now, as all of their family and friends, acquaintances, and people she didn’t even know but her parents wished to gloat to were gathered in the house in London, dressed in their finest silks and satins, cooing over her ring, Sarah Forrester only wanted one thing to make the night perfect: the man of her dreams standing by her side.

Amid all the music and dancing, she spotted him. He
looked bemusedly harried, as if he, too, was a little overwhelmed by the whole thing. Jason. Her heart did that strange, happy flip she was slowly becoming accustomed to every time she saw him. His red hair made him easy to spot, as did the crowd of people that naturally gravitated to her future bridegroom. His easy, befuddled charm endeared him easily to all around him. And to those who it did not, his dukedom surely did the trick. A fact he knew, but rarely capitalized on. Really, most of the time Jason was … just Jason. Teasing and kind, occasionally melancholy but he came out of it quick enough. Whenever she came over and smiled at him, he would smile back. He was, admittedly, a little bragish, but held in check by those whom he loved.

A number that now included Sarah, she thought with a thrill.

“Oh, let us see it again!” Amanda cried, her round face lit up with glee. Sarah’s youngest sister may not have grown into her full, remarkable height yet, nor had she lost all of her youthful plumpness, but she was already getting eyes from several young gentlemen. At fifteen, she was on the border of acceptability to be out in society, and since it was her sister’s engagement ball, Amanda had wheedled and argued with their parents that
surely
there was no harm in letting her attend.

“Mandy…”

One desperate look from her burgeoning-on-adulthood sister had Sarah correcting herself. “I mean,
Amanda
. You are being ridiculous,” Sarah replied through a smile. “You’ve already seen it a thousand times!”

“But Miss Brooks hasn’t, and neither has Miss Croft, have you?” Amanda turned to the two young ladies beside her. They were marginally older than Amanda, but eager to follow the enthusiastic girl in her demands, and shook their heads vigorously.

Sarah sighed, and proffered her left hand. The emerald was oohed and aahed over; Miss Brooks even gave a dutiful squeal. Strange. Utterly strange, the way this ring affected everyone around her. Including herself.

Because of its size. Because of its sparkle.

Because of what it meant.

She looked up again, sought out the red hair in the menagerie of the guffawing gentlemen across the room, only to find it missing. She scanned, searched … there he was, by the terrace doors. He looked to be making an escape, but before he could, he was looking over the crowd, scanning, searching … and found her eyes.

He waved a hand in front of his face.
I’m hot!
his gesture said.

She rolled her eyes and repeated the gesture.
Goodness, me, too!

Come on, then
. He nodded toward the terrace door with a mischievous smile.

Lord did she want out of this pack of young girls and into his arms, but…

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