When her beloved father mysteriously disappears, Portia Hadley is determined to discover why...even if it means charging straight into the arms of the Earl of Branford. Known as the "Black Cat" when he was a spy for England, Branford is no stranger to secret missions or mysterious ladies. Branford senses that Portia is not as innocent as her jade-green eyes suggest and a game of cat and mouse begins. Little does Portia know that Branford has his own secret agenda -- one that could ignite a sparking passion...and a deadly danger.
Andrea DaRif started creating books at the age of five, or so she is told. Her mother has the proof -- a neatly penciled story, the pages lavishly illustrated with crayon-drawings of horses and bound with staples -- to back up the claim. She has since moved on from Westerns to writing about Regency England, a time and place that has captured her imagination ever since opening the covers of Pride and Prejudice. In addition to the drawing rooms and countryside depicted by Jane Austen, she has drawn inspiration from the work of other classic authors of the period, including Ann Radcliffe and, of course, the Brontës. Writing as Andrea Pickens, she has received a Career Achievement Award from the Romantic Times in Regency Romance, and was a RITA finalist in 2003. The author of The Tiger's Mistress, available from Pocket Books, she is a graduate of Yale University, with a B.A. in art and an M.F.A. in graphic design. She and her husband live in Connecticut, where she is working on getting her golf handicap down to a respectable number when she is not riveted to her keyboard. Please visit her website at www.andreadarif.com.