Julian and Clara’s story is officially live!
His dark reputation precedes him, but she thinks he’s the perfect candidate for a marriage of convenience. And while she has no intention of remaining his wife, he isn’t planning on letting her go.
Are you in the mood for a notorious earl who meets his match in a feisty American heiress and loses his heart along the way? Read it free in Kindle Unlimited, or get your e-book or paperback right here.
Now, how about another snippet for the road?
Suddenly, the brougham felt very small. His cologne teased her senses. Her gaze settled on his muscled thigh, brushing against her skirts. A reckless urge to touch him struck her. He was her husband. She could press her palm to him, absorb his heat through the fabric of his trousers. Such a foreign notion, the liberty to do as she wished. But no, she would not touch him. She had no desire to touch him. It must be the newness of her status that prompted her wayward compulsions.
Clara turned to the window. The gathering of well-wishers still stood in a half-circle, watching their departure with grim expressions. She waved one last time as the brougham lurched into motion. It was done. She’d gained her freedom.
“‘O mistress mine where are you roaming’?”
The soft, low words skittered over her skin, leaving a trail of goose bumps in their wake. She looked away from the family and friends growing smaller and farther away with each clop of the horses’ hooves. The earl watched her, his eyes probing, his expression unreadable as he removed his gloves. She hadn’t expected him to recite Shakespeare, but then he seemed to have an innate skill for surprising her.
She wouldn’t speak the next line to him. O stay and hear, your true love’s coming. Clara swallowed, collecting her jumbled emotions, tamping down the unwanted warmth that threatened to steal over her. “Soon enough, I’ll be roaming to Virginia.”
“Newly wed and already prepared to flee, little dove? I can’t be as bad as all that, can I?” He took her hand in his, bringing it to his lips for a kiss that was hot as a brand, even through her glove.
She would have tugged her hand from his grasp but he held fast. “Your reputation precedes you, my lord.”
He grinned, his touch sliding to her wrist. He caught her glove with his teeth, and removed it in one fluid motion. “Call me Julian. I’m your husband now, after all.”
Julian. It suited him. A strong name, equal parts bold and leonine. Becoming more familiar with him than necessary would not be wise. She’d already allowed him far too many liberties.
“Not truly,” she insisted. He must not be allowed to forget the nature of their union. “Ours is a temporary joining, my lord.”
“It needn’t be.” His bare fingers tangled with hers. “You could remain my countess, little dove.”
The contact and the solemnity with which he undermined all her intentions jolted her. “I have no wish to be your countess.”
But her breathless tone belied her words. Even she had to admit to herself that she was not entirely immune to him, for here she sat, watching as he took the tip of her index finger and gave her a wicked little nip. And the thoughts swirling through her mind had nothing to do with boarding a vessel bound for her homeland and everything to do with the debauched things he would do to her body if she but allowed him.
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Till next time, don’t behave.