BOOK BLURB: Nothing Gets Between a Lady and Her Vengence…
In a daring rescue, beautiful and wily secret operative Cora deBeau is reunited with her childhood friend Guy Trevelyan, who wants so much more from her now than friendship …
He’ll Stoke the Fire Until They Both Go Up In Flames…
But Cora’s mission against the French has become personal, and even the fire between her and Guy won’t deter her. When it comes to getting sweet, cruel revenge, nothing will stand in a lady’s way…
EXCERPT: (Setup: The year is 1804, England. Miss Cora deBeau and Guy Trevelyan, Earl of Helsford, just finished a Tai Chi session in a meadow near the woods. Up to this point, Cora has resisted touching Guy because of the atrocities she endured while in a French dungeon. This scene is a major turning point in their relationship.)
“Guy grasped her hand and led her to a large, fallen tree. Atop the lichen-crusted trunk sat her red leather slippers. “Do you wear these so you can find them in the woods?”
She sat next to them, slanting him a cross look. “Noooo. I wear them because they make me happy.” As you do. At that moment, she wished she had worn a pretty dress rather than her pai jamahs.
He knelt beside her and patted his knee, a request for her foot.
“I’m not so fragile, Guy. I can manage my own shoes.”
“I know. Now give me your foot.”
Reminiscent of his demand in the library, she knew he wouldn’t budge until she complied. “Stubborn man.” She extended her leg and couldn’t help but smile when he dusted dirt and debris from her bare soles like a father would a recalcitrant child.
“We make a good pair.”
Did they? She had always felt a connection to him. Something deeper than a mere friendship, something that had unfolded petal by fragile petal over the years.
A realization made all the more acute when her young girl’s admiration had transformed into a woman’s awakening. Her discernment of his masculine charms had gradually surfaced. She had noticedsmall things, like the magnificent length of his ebony eyelashes, the adorable dimple in his right cheek, and the fine hairs that peppered the backs of his hands.
She had felt awkward and guilty, especially once her focus shifted to admiring the breadth of his shoulders, the musculature of his thighs, and the beauty of his angular face. This was Guy, for goodness sake—practically her brother. Her thoughts had seemed immoral, wrong somehow, or at least that’s how she had felt at the time.
Her preoccupation with her friend grew to a degree that had kept her insides in a quivering knot any time he drew near, and her normally easy quips would lodge in her throat with just one of his teasing winks.
When she began imagining all her days spent in his company and her lifelong quest to avenge her parents’ murders began to fade, she started avoiding his company and eventually set off for France. She had hoped distance and the distraction of her mission would rid her of the unbearable longing he had stirred in her young heart.
She hoped in vain.
She stared down at his bent head. Sunlight sheened off his black hair, creating an illusion of moonlight dancing over dark waters. Long waves cradled his massive shoulders while he guided her foot into an awaiting red slipper. Without thought, she combed her fingers through his thick strands, taming their wild disarray, and wishing—no, longing—for the courage to bury her nose amidst all that luxury.
He stilled, as if fearing any movement would make her stop. He worried for naught. She loved feeling the silky texture of his midnight locks against her skin. Had dreamt of running her fingers through their length for days. Years.
He sat back on his heels and met her gaze, his internal struggle obvious. He, no doubt, wanted to give her some time to absorb the intimacy they had shared, but the demands of his body were at war with his strong mind. A situation she knew all too well.
In a near whisper, she said, “Turn around, if you please.”
His gaze sharpened, fired hot like a glowing cauldron. But he said nothing, simply maneuvered his body around until he faced the opposite direction, spine erect, senses alert.
She glanced down at the leather thong still wrapped around her middle finger. Its worn appearance was a testament to the many hours spent taming his gorgeous mane. She clamped the tie between her teeth while her hands smoothed over his hair.
He tilted his head back, his eyes closed.“Nonsense. Men don’t have beautiful hair.”
Leaning forward, she swept the tail she had created over her face, inhaling the faint scent of sandalwood mixed with the fresh country air. “You do.”
FEATURED AUTHOR: Tracy Devlyn
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