Not every lady plays by the rules.Lady Lavinia Vaile knows what happens to a woman who puts her faith in society. For her, it was a disastrous marriage to a depraved man-one she threatened to shoot when she left him. Now Lavinia lives outside of society’s strict conventions, hosting private gambling parties. It’s only when her husband is shot dead that Lavinia finds herself in terrible danger…A former judge in India’s high court, Maximilian Harrison will do anything he can to help Lavinia. In the darkest of times, he held on to thoughts of her and the love they once shared. Now he risks his own position in society―along with his ambitions―in order to clear her name. Yet as desire reignites between them, Lavinia remains caught up in secrets and shame. Her only salvation is to do the unthinkable…and trust in both Maximilian and love.
Max sounded urgent. He crouched and reached out. His touch was gentle and his hands were warm. Skin against skin. He must have removed his gloves. His palm’s heat warmed her chilled cheek.
He was real. This warm, vital man caressing her face was the reason she had survived the dark days of her marriage. Whenever the night had seemed frightening or endlessly lonely, she had lulled herself to sleep by silently repeating his name. She’d used him like a blanket, curling his image close and tucking herself into remnants of remembered love.
The memory caused another searing pain, and she pulled her legs into her chest.
“Hush, love, hush,” he whispered.
His breath tickled her face, contrasting the cool breeze blowing across the water.
Strange. Breathing was so much easier with him close. But everything was wrong. She was angry at him. Why?
Because he left me to find his fortune. Because he left me alone and vulnerable to men like Vaile. She waited for her anger to pulse to life. Instead her heart said, he is here now.
She made no move to push him back and may have even leaned toward him.
His lips touched—softly—against her forehead. He spoke, but she could not understand his words. He was saying something about protection and safety…
What an inviting thought.
How long had it been since love surrounded her? Since she had been warmed by place and family and home? After she had left Vaile, every letter she’d sent home had been returned to her as if home had never existed, as if she had never existed. But she’d been loved once, hadn’t she? Max was living proof.
She raised her eyes to his. Past and present, fantasy and reality, they all swirled together.
She parted her lips as he spoke the affectionate name she had not heard for an eternity. He brushed his mouth against hers. His kiss’s warmth was soothing and tender.
Need uncoiled in her belly, and her knotted shoulders miraculously loosened. She floated—soft and sentient.
Yes. Please. More.
Wendy LaCapra has been reading romance since she sneaked into the adult section at the library and discovered Victoria Holt & Jane Aiken Hodge. From that point on, she dreamed of creating fictional worlds with as much richness, intrigue and passion as she found within those books. Her stories have placed in several contests, including the 2012 Golden Heart®. She lives in NYC with her husband and loves to hear from readers.
Check out what's up for grabs.
- 1 eBook copy of The Secrets of a Scoundrel by Gaelen Foley & Watch the Wall My Darling by Jane Aiken Hodge
- 11 eBook from one of the authors from www.PastThrills.com
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