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       The breath caught in Kate’s throat. She knew who he was. She should have known the minute she set eyes on him.

      Kit took the pistol from its holster, turning it in his hand so that he was holding the barrel as he offered her the handle. She inhaled a deep steadying breath, staring at it for a moment before she accepted it from him.

      He opened his coat, exposing his chest.

      ‘Close your eyes if it makes it easier.’ He guided the muzzle to press it against his heart. ‘One squeeze of the trigger and it is done.’

      She stared at his heart with determination in her eyes but he could feel how much the pistol’s muzzle trembled against his chest.

      The moment stretched between them.

      ‘Do it, Kate,’ he urged.


      Kit Northcote (Captain North) and his fate have been present in the background throughout the Gentlemen of Disrepute mini-series. If you are wondering what has happened to this particular disreputable gentleman in the years he has been missing, THE LOST GENTLEMAN will give you the answer.

      Kit is undoubtedly flawed, but I hope you will agree that he is a worthy hero, nonetheless, and that he deserves Kate Medhurst as his heroine.

      Kate is not your average Regency woman! In writing a romance about pirates set in an era when women were seen as the weaker sex I had a lot of fun turning certain preconceptions on their head.

      I sincerely hope you enjoy reading Kate and Kit’s story as much as I enjoyed writing it!

      The Lost Gentleman

      Margaret McPhee



      MARGARET MCPHEE loves to use her imagination—an essential requirement for a scientist. However, when she realised that her imagination was inspired more by the historical romances she loves to read rather than by her experiments, she decided to put the stories down on paper. She has since left her scientific life behind and enjoys cycling in the Scottish countryside, tea and cakes.

      For Nicola Cornick,

      whose wonderful Regency romances inspired me to write, and whose company is as wonderful as her books.

      With grateful thanks.




       Title Page

       About the Author


       Chapter Five

       Chapter Six

       Chapter Seven

       Chapter Eight

       Chapter Nine

       Chapter Ten

       Chapter Eleven

       Chapter Twelve

       Chapter Thirteen

       Chapter Fourteen

       Chapter Fifteen



       Chapter One

      May 1812—Caribbean Sea

      The sea was a clear green-turquoise silk, rippling and sparkling with crystal-flecked waves. The sky overhead was vast and expansive; the type of sky that only this part of the world held, a vivid never-ending blue, cloudless. It was only ten in the morning, but the sun had already unfurled its bright strength, bleaching the oak of the small American pirate schooner Coyote’s wooden deck pale and baking it.

      Kate Medhurst could feel its warmth beneath the bare soles of her feet and was grateful for the shade of the dark awning that stretched over this section of the quarterdeck—that and the cooling sea breeze. It sent the dark silk ribbons of her straw bonnet flicking and dancing against her neck and the muslin of her black skirts hugging her legs, but Kate noticed neither. Her attention was fixed solely on one thing—the ship coming into view in the distance.

      There was the sound of a raven’s caw, a slightly sinister call, out of place here in the middle of the ocean.

      ‘A raven on the mizzen mast. A portent that our luck is about to change,’ one of the men murmured from the deck before her. Kate knew the superstitions the same as every man on the ship. But unlike them she did not touch her forehead, making the sign to ward off evil. She did not believe in such omens, but superstition was a very real thing to most of those who spent their lives on the waves, so she did not mock them.

      ‘For the better,’ she said, ‘if what is coming our way is anything to go by.’ Through the spyglass she held to her eye she followed the course of the large black-hulled merchant schooner, struggling against the wind.

      She snapped the spyglass shut and turned to Tobias, standing by her side. He was a tall man, over six foot in height, with a skin lined and weathered to a nut brown and hair that hung, from beneath his tricorne, in long matted braids interwoven with beads and feathers. His nose was flat from it having been broken in too many drunken fights in the past. With his looks and his faded, frogged frock-coat, Tobias was the very image of what one expected a pirate captain to be, with a temperament to match.

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