What woman in her right mind would say no to marrying the dashing Duke of Sedgemoor? Miss Penelope Thorne, that's who. She's known Camden Rothermere since they were children-and she also knows she'd bring nothing but scandal to his name.
Cam can hardly believe Penelope turned down his proposal. But if she wants to run off to the Continent and set the rumor mill ablaze, he can't stop her. Then her brother's dying request sends him to bring home the one woman he thought he'd finally gotten over.
The only way they'll both get back to London without their reputations in tatters is to pretend they're married during the journey. That means kissing like they mean it and even sharing a bed-until it becomes hard to tell where the game ends and true desire begins . . .
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A silence descended. At first, it was heavy with suppressed passion, but gradually it became something softer and kinder. As his voice was softer and kinder when he spoke. “Pen, why are you so determined to go into exile? What are you running away from?”
She’d spent the last nine years fleeing this man she loved but who could never love her. Despite excitement and adventure, despite playing a sophisticate in a sophisticated world, she hadn’t run toward anything. What a lowering admission.
“I enjoy my life.” Apart from a constant ache that no spectacular scenery or charming admirers or glamorous intrigues banished.
“You’d enjoy London.”
“I doubt it. People at home are more conservative than here. English society won’t accept me with open arms.”
Pen couldn’t help herself. She laughed. It was either laugh or cry. If she cried, he might guess how it would crush her to leave him. “No, Cam. I’m not throwing myself into your arms under any circumstances.”
He didn’t laugh. He looked disturbed and angry. That dangerous hum in the air returned. Fatalistically she recognized that it had never gone away. “Pen, I’m trying my best to remember that I’m an honorable man.”
She sobered, telling herself that she couldn’t allow him to compromise his principles. But how easy it would be to ignore what was right when for the sake of a little sin, he could be hers. However briefly. Physically if not emotionally. She could cross a mere foot of space and kiss him. If she knew anything about men— and at twenty eight, she should—the slightest encouragement would shatter his restraint.
“Unfortunately,” she whispered before she could stop herself.
The hum rose to overwhelm every other sound.
ANNA CAMPBELL has written eight multi award-winning historical romances for Grand Central Publishing and Avon HarperCollins and her work is published in sixteen languages. Anna is currently engaged in writing the "Sons of Sin" series, which started in 2012 with SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED. Look out for WHAT A DUKE DARES in August 2014. Anna lives on the beautiful east coast of Australia where she writes full-time.
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