An act of heroism had left Morgan St. James burned, scarred for life, but Julia’s bold gaze lit other fires he had long suppressed. And now this glorious stranger was his bride. But when he tried to claim his husbandly rights, she demanded three months grace—three months to know a stranger’s mind, to touch a stranger’s soul, to go where no woman had ever gone before. Into his heart…
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"Why did you come here?" he asked.
Gathering her courage, she ventured hesitantly, "If you're not too busy, I thought we might do something today. Together. As man and wife."
He released a bored sigh. "What did you have in mind, a waltz? Ordinarily I'd indulge your whim, but as you can see, the orchestra has temporarily abandoned its post."
"I've missed you."
The statement hung in the air between them. Morgan studied her face for a long moment. "There is a term in fencing for toying with one's opponent."
"Are we opponents?"
"Are you toying?"
"I'm not sure what I'm doing."
"Forgive me if I find that difficult to believe. I've never met a more purposeful woman in my life."
A small smile touched her lips. "Is that good or bad?"
"What do you want, Julia?"
She couldn't remember him ever using her name before. The sound of it rolling off his tongue sent an unexpected rush of pleasure racing through her. Idly wondering if his reaction would be the same if she spoke his name, she said, "I thought it might be nice if we spent a little time together, Morgan."
She saw something flash in his eyes, but the emotion, whatever it was, vanished too quickly for her to properly define. "Ah. So that's it." A small, cynical smile curved his lips. His gaze moved over her body with scorching intensity, as though he were able to see right through to her drawers. He straightened and glanced around the empty room, then back at her. "Interesting timing."
Heat flooded her cheeks. "I didn't mean—"
"Certainly not. Must you always be so base?"
"You're the one who came to me."
"With the simple proposition that we attend Lord Attmark's boating party this afternoon," she said, seizing upon the sudden inspiration. "That's all I had in mind."
"Lord Attmark's boating party?"
"I thought it would be quite diverting."
"Floating along a river that smells like rancid sewage in this sweltering heat. That's what you came to see me about."
A knowing smile curved his lips. "Liar."
"I don't know what—"
"Liar," he repeated softy.
Victoria Lynne is the author of five historical romance novels. She’s received two RITA Award nominations, and has consistently earned Romantic Times’ “Top Pick” award. Called “A Fabulous Storyteller!” by Rendezvous Magazine, her work consistently draws rave reviews and continues to attract new readers. Her books have been translated into German, Italian, and Spanish, and are currently available online through Kindle and Nook.
Ms. Lynne lives in Vermont with her husband and two children. When she’s not plotting her next novel, she loves to get away from her keyboard to ski and hike.
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