Darling Duke is almost here! I can’t wait for you to read Spencer and Bo’s story! This story is emotional, steamy, and not without its lighthearted moments, and I hope you’ll fall in love with it. Here’s one more sneak peek to tide you over until release day…
The landing took her by surprise, hard and bone-jarring. Her teeth gnashed together, her rump taking the brunt of her fall. Pain, sharp and angry, split through her from her bottom upward. She gasped for air, stars swirling in her vision.
Perhaps she had hit her head as well. That was the reason why, in this moment of anguish as she lay on the hard, cool ground, unable to catch her breath, she heard the voice of the Duke of Bainbridge, accompanied by hooves pounding on the earth.
Or she had gone to her reward, which was clearly not heaven as one would have hoped. She’d landed in one of Dante’s circles of hell, where she was to be tortured by a contemptuous duke for all eternity. Was it the second circle or was it the eighth? Each seemed likely. She coughed out a groan as her lungs seemed to work at last, once more taking in air.
Hands touched her shoulders. A dark shadow fell over her. A voice again. His. And that familiar, decadent scent of pine and musk and soap.
“Lady Boadicea, speak to me.”
She blinked, and he was there, his handsome face hovering over hers. His jaw was rigid, his expression severe. Unless she was addled, she detected concern in his emerald eyes and the frown lines bracketing his sullen mouth. Was it just a puzzling side effect of the fall she’d taken, or was he even more lovely to behold out of doors than he was within them?
If she hadn’t gotten there already, the second circle, she decided, was where she was bound. How could she be capable of feeling such wicked warmth deep inside her at his proximity even when she could scarcely breathe? Why did she feel so drawn to a man who was as cold as ice?
He isn’t always cold, a depraved voice inside her reminded. No, he was not. And that most decidedly was the trouble, wasn’t it?
“Lady Boadicea.” He gave her a shake. “Are you hurt?”
Of course she was hurt. Every bone in her body seemed to ache. Her breath was coming in fast, uneven gulps. She didn’t think she could manage a coherent word. She stared at him, mute, wondering at the misfortune that should have led him of all people upon her in this moment of supreme ignominy.
His grip on her upper arms tightened, and she realized belatedly that he was on his knees before her. If she hadn’t just suffered the horse fall of the century, she would have taken great pleasure in the sight, which seemed to have become a habit of sorts for him. Yes indeed, some perverse part of her rather rallied to the notion of the Duke of Bainbridge as her loyal vassal, even shaken and sore as she was.
The duke, however, was not struck by the same sense of whimsy clouding her fogged mind. His frown was severe enough for a funeral. “Damn it, say something. What in the hell were you doing, riding Damask Rose hell for leather on your own? She’s a hellion. You could have been killed, you bloody fool.”
Want more? One-click here! And until next time–as always–don’t behave!