To protect her family's famous chain of gambling houses, Matilda Chapman needs an heir. Finding a suitable man to impregnate her is a complication, however, since she's determined never to marry. How can she trust a man to father her child and then walk away? After all, she can barely keep the suitors she's never taken to her bed at bay.Enter Desmond Faircloth, a recently-elected member of Parliament who can't afford a hint of scandal if he wants to keep his seat. But Des needs to fulfill a promise to his constituents, and the infamous woman known to London's fast set as Empress Maud is his last resort. The price she exacts in exchange for her help is outrageous, but as long as their liaison remains a secret, his reputation—and his career—will be safe.Matilda has no concerns about mixing business with pleasure; after all, her business is pleasure. But when their practical arrangement leads to impractical feelings, Matilda and Des must decide whether to gamble their futures on their hearts.