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Category: Teatime Tattler Page 1 of 114

Abducted Bride Seeks New Bridegroom

Miss A.F. had an unsuccessful Season. No surprise, you say, dear reader. Who would want to offer for a woman who jilted her groom at the altar, rode off with a troop of horsemen, and disappeared from sight for three years? Abducted by fairies, say the credulous. Ran off with the gypsies, say others. Fairies or gypsies, the lady’s reputation is non-existent, and one can only marvel at her gall in thinking to appear in Society.

Unsuccessfully, as we say. But the lady is made of strong stuff! She has managed to enveigle her way into one of Lady Osborne’s house parties! Can the noted matchmaker find a husband for such an unlikely candidate? She has a wager with her cousin that she can.

This time, dear reader, we believe she has bitten off more than she can chew!

In other news, the ever proper Earl of H. is attending the same house party. Will he find a bride among Lady Osbourne’s collection of misfits, hoydens, and bluestockings? One thing is certain. Miss A. F. need not apply!

The Wedding Wager

The Boast—pride goeth before the fall…

After facilitating the match of the season, Lady Pandora “Pansy” Osbourne, has boasted that she is the best matchmaker The Ton has ever seen. Always willing to bring her cousin down a peg or two, her cousin, Lady Octavia Sewell insists that was no feat of matchmaking at all, as the couple involved were clearly destined for one another despite Pansy’s meddling. A bitter argument ensues and a dreadful challenge is issued. Pansy must do more than say it… she must prove it.

The terms of the wager are set!

Pansy must produce no less than one match per month between people who have been notoriously unmarriageable—spinsters, bluestockings, rakes and fortune hunters, oh my! But there’s more riding on this than simply her pride! If Pansy loses, she will have to give up her most prized possession—a tiara that belonged to their grandmother will be forfeited into Octavia’s grasping hands.

Published 27 September

Find your buy link at https://books2read.com/b/mdDpyX

The Husband Gamble

When the pawn becomes Queen, she and the opposing King will both win the game of love

Amaryllis Fernhill fled her wedding to her uncle’s thrice-widowed crony, ruining herself in the eyes of ton. Three years on, she needs a husband to unlock her inheritance—preferably one who wants little to do with the society that has rejected her. Can a countess famous for making unlikely matches make one for her?

The Earl of Hythe needs a countess who will add luster to his family name and support his career as a diplomat and politician in London and the capitals of Europe. But he also wants a wife, a partner, a friend. No one he meets seeks to know the man behind the title. Can the matchmaking countess succeed in finding a perfect lady with a caring heart?

Rilla and Hythe write one another off as all wrong, but when they are drawn together at the countess’s house party, they discover how right such a match could be.

Gasp! A Lady has Visited her ‘friend’ in the Middle of the Night?

Dear Gentle Reader,

It has been brought to my attention that a certain widow—who, shall not be named at this time but is the daughter of a viscount and has a rather large dog who answers to the name Silvanus— was seen in the country, on her way to pay a second visit in one day to a certain illegitimate son of a baron. Alone and at night!

What is most alarming about this tidbit is not only is she not yet out of mourning, but she has a tendre for said illegitimate son of a baron! And I have it on good authority that Mrs. K was seen gallivanting across the countryside in a lilac riding habit. 

Let me remind you, dearest reader, that this is the very same lady who disgraced her family when she ran off with the son of the head stable master on her sister’s wedding day two years ago. The same sister who was abandoned at the altar, that is. But I suppose I can not judge too harshly, for a notorious rake came to her rescue, and the now Mrs. R is happily married and living in the country with her handsome husband and darling daughter. But I digress…

It has also come to my attention that Mrs. K is not truly Mrs. K for… gather a little closer… It would seem her late husband was quite the swindler and debaucher. It was not enough for him to be married, but to have paramours—yes, plural—waiting in the shadows is beyond understanding. 

Oh, such scandalous behavior!

Far be it from me to judge, but it would seem the lady in question is not quite through with causing scandal for her family. Has she no propriety or care for her family? Only time will tell if the ton forgives her for her transgressions.

Excerpt:

Who in the bloody hell would be calling on such a dreary evening? 

Rubbing his tired eyes, he stood and stretched. He hoped it was just the wind, but instinct told him it was not. Nothing currently in his life was as simple as that. Grabbing the polished candlestick, he walked from the warm sanctity of his study toward the front hall. 

The pounding on the door was getting more persistent, vibrating through the otherwise quiet house. 

He hoped it wasn’t Lord Botte. He wouldn’t be surprised if it were—the man had an uncanny knack for saying one thing and then doing another. Rather than let Weston conduct his investigation as he saw fit, Botte was constantly underfoot. No matter how much proof Weston had presented of his young bride’s infidelities, Botte wanted more. Sadly, his lordship could not accept the fact that his wife was cuckolding him.

Weston would deliver his report and then would not put any further time into the matter. He had wrapped up that case. In fact, he hoped it would be his last. 

Rap… rap… rap. 

Milton had reached the door at the same time. He shook his head at Milton. “I will handle this, Milton.” If it was Lord Botte, he did not want any of the staff to deal with the belligerent man.

“As you wish, sir.” Milton walked into the shadows, shaking his head all the while. Weston did not stand on protocol in his own home. If he wanted to answer the door, he would. 

He reached for the cool handle and eased the door open. Whiffs of lavender, vanilla, and wet dog invaded his senses. 

Wet dog? 

Before he could register what was happening, a petite, blonde-haired figure draped in black pushed past the door and stormed into the house, followed close behind by the largest dog he’d ever set eyes on. 

Without explanation as to why she was on his doorstep, Philippa chattered, “I thought… you meant for us to fr…freeze out there.” She rubbed her arms with quick movements and stepped farther into the hall. The dog shook its body from head to tail, spraying everything with the none-too-pleasant smell of wet fur.

Weston stood dumbfounded. Wasn’t Philippa just here this afternoon? He was still holding the door open, trying to comprehend why she had come again, and at this hour. Glancing outside, he noticed no horse, no carriage, and no chaperone. Damn. One day, her impulsive nature would land her in irreparable trouble, more so than she currently was in.

“What are you doing here?” he sputtered, trying to hide the disapproval and shock from his voice. He shut the door as one last blast of cool wind whipped through the hall. Closing his eyes, he sucked in his breath. Give me patience. Releasing the knob, he turned to face Philippa. 

Smoothing back errant golden locks, she avoided his gaze.

“Do you know what time it is?”

It was late by country standards, and the object of his latest investigation stood in his hallway, yet he still had to determine how to deal with the news he received earlier in the day. 

“I have not a clue.” She turned her crystal blue eyes on him. “It took forever to reach Knights Hall.”

Her answer was not reassuring. He waited for her to elaborate, but no further explanation came. “How did you get here?”

“I walked.” She said those two words like they were commonplace. Perhaps in the middle of the day with a chaperone they were, but at this time of evening, and in the rain, they were inconceivable when spoken by a lady of her station.

“You walked here?”

“Yes.”

“You walked here in the dark… in the rain… unchaperoned?”

“It wasn’t dark or raining when I left. And as for unchaperoned,” she began as she stroked the dog’s gigantic head, “Silvanus was with me. He protected me.” She turned her attention to the large wet dog. “Isn’t that right?” she said in a jovial voice. “You’re the best dog ever.” Silvanus’ tail wagged wildly at the sound of her high-pitched praise.

Weston did not doubt the dog’s ability to scare off any would-be attacker, but he was still no substitute for a proper chaperone. 

“Why didn’t you ride? Or better still, why didn’t you stay at home and send word?” As the words were coming out of his mouth, he could see her face reddening with agitation. He didn’t care. Her carefree spirit had been endearing when she was a child, but now she was headed for Bedlam with this sort of activity. 

If Lord Germayne knew what his daughter was about, he would lock her in her room until she came to her senses. Weston’s blood boiled with the thought of what trouble she could have found herself in, or worse. “I cannot believe you thought it was a good idea to venture out…”

Interrupting his tirade with a stomp of her foot on the marble floor, she yelled, “If you would just be quiet for all of two seconds, perhaps I might explain what I’m doing here.” 

Dancing Around the Truth

Mrs. Philippa Keates thought she’d found her happily ever after when she eloped, but two years later, she’s named a widow. The horror of her husband’s death, and then the shock of discovering that Alfred was a dissolute gambler, has forced Philippa into a life of seclusion. But when she is paid a visit by a woman claiming to be her late husband’s wife and demanding recompense, Philippa knows she must emerge from mourning and discover the whole truth about Alfred. The one person who can assist her is her childhood friend, Benjamin Weston, for whom she once held a tendre until she realized he didn’t feel the same.

Benjamin Weston, the illegitimate son of the late Baron Albryght, has made a name for himself conducting investigations for those willing to pay a high price for discretion. When Philippa arrives on his doorstep, begging for his assistance, Weston fears most of all that she will discover the truth. He insists that his investigations will be done on his terms, vowing to himself that he will continue to keep his distance from Philippa. But as he unravels her mystery, secrets of his own begin to come to light, and soon it becomes clear that there is more at stake than just Philippa’s reputation.

*Reissued in a new series with a beautiful new cover!

https://books.apple.com/us/book/id6442839573

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dancing-around-the-truth-1

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dancing-around-the-truth-alanna-lucas/1122403321

Alanna Lucas, author bio

Bestselling, award-winning author, Alanna Lucas pens Regency-set historicals filled with romance, adventure, and of course, happily ever afters. When she is not daydreaming of her next travel destination, Alanna can be found researching, spending time with family, tending to her garden, or going for long walks. She makes her home in California with her husband and children, and too many books to count.

Just for the record, you can never have too many handbags or books. And travel is a must. 

www.alannalucas.com

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAlannaLucas

https://twitter.com/alannalucas27 

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/alanna-lucas

A note from a Disgruntled Reader who says, “Publish This If You Dare!”

Dear Mr. Clemens,

Until last week, you enjoyed my greatest confidence that the Teatime Tattler reported London’s juiciest gossip. But now I must pose this question: whyever was your coverage of the Duke’s ball so woefully incomplete?

Becoming WantonI have never before risked such correspondence, but I cannot resist, for I wish to know, sir. Do you abuse your discretion as publisher to protect certain lords in Parliament? Or were your usual sources so captivated by the obvious they overlooked the most delicious gossip? To be fair, most guests at the ball were not afforded my view…

Oh, I do not disagree that Lady Clara’s scandal was noteworthy. An earl’s sister and a Scottish industrialist? Yes, of course I gasped along with everyone else when that commoner brute swept her into his muscled arms after she swooned! And again when, carrying her to the terrace, he shouldered the very host of the ball out of the way! The Duke!

Any informed reader cannot, however, be surprised. This is the lady who withdrew from her coming-out season and rejected favorable courtships. Why, any close Mayfair neighbor can attest to the wicked music her fingers regularly elicit from her piano. Chopin’s most fervent pieces!

The other honorable guests at the ball were agape at the Scotsman and Lady Clara, but I cannot purge a different passionate image from my memory. I shall share it with you, sir, on the chance that its omission from the Tattler was not occasioned by favoritism. 

At first I cursed being of such delicate stature and politeness that I did not forcefully maneuver to the front of the crowd. I now suspect a divine hand placed me, permitting me to witness…

No, before sharing that, first I must ask you—were you as gullible as I? Did you, too, believe the Marquess of Candleton was the proper statesman his activities in the House of Lords suggest? Were you taken in by the Marchioness’s modest gowns and impeccable manners all these years? Do not feel foolish, for I also had the wool pulled over my eyes. No more.

What was Lady Candleton’s expression full of as she observed the scene with Lady Clara? Not disapproval, as one might have assumed, nor gentle concern. No, she watched raptly and with envy—the kind with knowledge behind it. Her virtuous airs dupe me no longer. 

If that wasn’t shocking enough, do be certain to sit before you read on. Lord Candleton, Britain’s champion and architect of reform, was not watching the scene everyone else was, oh no. He had eyes only for…his wife! 

Suspend your disbelief; cast aside your assumptions about this lord and lady. Had you seen the fierce look of unfulfilled desire in Lord Candleton’s eyes this Society Matron did, you would have no doubt. Mark my words, something is raging within the Marquess and Marchioness, something we would all agree has no place in a respectable marriage!

***

About Becoming Wanton by Rebecca Aubrey: 

This couple’s dilemma? They’re both married…to each other.

Lord William Dalfour, Marquess of Candleton, is in a terrible fix. Oh, he knows what’s expected of him. By day, he’s to face Britain’s challenges as a notable member of the House of Lords. Night means siring heirs in the dark with his marchioness, but only with the utmost decorum. His animalistic urges…well, those are to be unleashed in the Thames Fencing Club. Or with a mistress—if he had one.

One does not engage in wantonness with one’s wife and mother of one’s children. Oh, no. One does not become enchanted by one’s wife!

A respected society hostess and devoted parent, Lady Beatrice should be fulfilled by domestic bliss and having her husband’s ear on parliamentary business. Behind closed doors, however, she dares to come into her own, asking for more and testing the limits of William’s insistence on propriety—and his self-control.

No matter the pain his rejection inflicts, William’s highest duty is to keep Bea wholesome. Isn’t it? To protect her, even from himself? From herself. But what if honoring his wife means succumbing to their mutual craving? Worshiping her, body and soul…

Don’t miss Trade of a Lifetime, Book One in the Trade Wind Series, about Lady Clara and James Robertson. 

Becoming Wanton on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B4LZNWK5

About Rebecca Aubrey:

Romantic by birth. Author by choice.

Rebecca AubreyRebecca writes about strong women, the men they find compelling, and the passion that ensues. Oh, and their clothes come off—whether corsets or clergy collars, gowns or gun holsters, breeches or business suits.

Count on intense emotional and physical attraction, and meticulously-researched settings. Between daydreams, Rebecca has detailed plans for her next book, bake, and cocktail—and a vague notion of what’s for dinner. Rebecca is also a lawyer and proud graduate of Smith College.

Visit her website and sign up for her newsletters at www.rebeccaaubrey.com.

He jilted her! How can she receive him?

Sticky post

(Overheard at Lady P’s Brighton Ball last night! Sent by one of our discreet correspondents!)

My dear Lady P., I heard the most ridiculous news a few hours ago. About one of those Irish girls that Lady W. chaperones here this Season. 

I know, I heard, Lady L! The second of the triplets married in haste yesterday. To that dashing Marquess, too. What brass! I do sigh in exasperation. What else can you tell me to make my daughter’s chances this Season wan so disastrously?

Well, come closer. Ahem! At the wedding?

Yes…

Who should appear but the very fellow, Lord G, who jilted the third Devereaux girl two years ago!

No! Outrageous. Why, I would never let such a creature darken my doorstep? Why would Lady W. allow him inside?

He helped the Marquess save his intended, the second sister!

The second sister had a…problem?

Indeed. I have it on good authority she was carried away and the Marquess and Lord G., along with that dashing Colonel of the Royal Buffs, rescued her.

Dear me! And so now Lord Grey…I mean Lord G. is admitted to the presence of his former intended.

Just so. And I understand that she gave him a very cool reception.

As she should. Smart girl. 

Clever Lord G., eh?

pastedGraphic.pngA nibble of my newest cherry? YES! LADY, NO MORE (Encounter of hero and heroine in a bookshop)

https://amzn.to/3x9SZlX

Excerpt, LADY, NO MORE, all rights reserved. Copyright 2022, Cerise DeLand.

She had penned a note to Hadley yesterday and asked him to meet her here today. He had promised to be her adviser on men she found interesting and she had found one. In truth, she sent over the request to him to meet her not so much because she needed his insight into Lord Parnham but because she’d spent the whole of yesterday pining for Hadley’s poetry. Or lack thereof.

Foolish. Certainly. But there it was.

A need to talk with him, if for no other ridiculous, ironic reason than to hear his opinion of another man.

Leaving Fifi to sit on the bench outside under shade of a tree, Laurel entered the shop and paused to inhale the refreshing scent of paper and ink, leather bindings and the dust of decades upon the numerous shelves. The shop was tidy, two windows open to the breezes off the coast gave it the sweet smell of stories awaiting the uplifting of hundreds of minds. She herself had signed up for the subscription service the owner also operated from his shop, but when she had a few spare pence, she wished to own many of the fantasies that others created.

Today however she was attempting to fashion a story of her own. One, perhaps with Lord Parnham. To that end, Hadley had agreed to offer his insights. If he knew the man. If he would give a good report of him, if Parnham deserved it. If she could trust what Hadley had to say of the earl.

“Good afternoon, Lady Laurel.” Hadley doffed his hat and bowed before her. He too had the elegant silhouette of a man of the town. In emerald green frock coat and yellow damask waistcoat, he had a stock that might have held up the Parthenon as well as his chin, had he needed that, of course, which he did not. His buff breeches showed off to her attentive gaze, the line of his muscular thighs and shapely calves. They did nothing for her decision to regard him coolly, or at the most, as an old friend.

The two of them stood between a row of bookcases toward the rear of the shop. In the dim light so far from the entrance, she noted that Hadley appeared tired. His eyes rimmed in dark circles, at first she wondered if he’d been drinking.

“Are you well?” she asked, alarmed.

“Quite. Why do you ask?”

Curt, was he? “You don’t look it.”

“Why would you care?”

She rolled a shoulder. “Because…I don’t like to see anyone ailing.”

“I see,” he said and fingered the brim of his half stove pipe hat in his hand. He lifted his ivory walking stick and thrust it down at the wooden floor. The punctuation made her jump. “You didn’t like my poetry.”

She would give him his due. “But I did.”

He recoiled, then he peered at her.

“I always did, Hadley. Thank you. I…have not laughed much lately.”

“So I saw.” He mellowed but the hurt in his gaze gutted her. “You wanted to meet?”

“I did.”

“You’ve found a man you like?”

My. He was a wasp with his stinger out this morning.

Was this a good thing? “I have,” she told him.

He huffed. “Parnham, I suppose?”

She wrinkled her nose at him. “Do be quiet. Yes, yes. Him.”

He leaned closer and in a stage whisper said, “I don’t like him.”

She inched near and lowered her voice. “Very well. Why not?”

“He’s too good looking.”

She pressed her lips together, her smile hard to contain. “And?”

“He dances well.”

Indeed. “Good rhythm.”

Hadley narrowed his beautiful green eyes to beady slits. “Graceful.”

Hmmm. “And?”

“There has to be more?”

Oh, she rather liked this contretemps. With the roll of a shoulder, she threw him a wide-eyed look. “Naturally. What of his temperament?”

“Sweet.”

“His reputation as a manager of his estates?”

“Dear god.” With a whack, he drove his walking stick into the floorboards. “I have no idea.”

“Ask around, will you?” Oh, she liked that idea!

“No!”

She stomped one impatient foot. “What do you know?”

“He likes you.”

Smart man. “How?”

“What do you mean ‘how’?”

“As a friend? A prospective—?”

“Yes. As a prospective.”

Delightful. “And you know this because you…?”

“Heard it from his lips. Is that good enough for you?”

“The best. Thank you.” She mellowed toward him. Despite his peevish temper—and a hint of jealousy, too, yes?—Hadley had told her the truth. “I’m very grateful to you.”

“Fine.” He jammed his hat on his head.

“Leaving?”

“Of course. Unless you wish to interrogate me about some other man.”

She licked her lips. That brought her to the point, didn’t it? The one that niggled her until wee hours in her bed each night. “I do.”

“There is someone else? Wonderful! Who?”

Oh, he was furious. Could this really be…jealousy? Oh, delights! “You.”

She could have pushed over the bookcase on him and it would not have fazed him as much.

It took him a bit, but he managed to form a word. “What?”

“You. I wish to ask a question about you.”

“Why?” He squinted.

Distrusting soul, wasn’t he?

“I am not one of your swains.”

“Used to be.”

His expression collapsed. To sorrow. “What do you want to know?”

“Why did you not marry the woman to whom your father betrothed you?”

“That is a very long story.” He glanced away, then around at the hundreds of books surrounding him. “Too complicated to tell here.”

“Why not tell me the short version?”

His cheeks went red with anger. “Because she loved another man.”

Had one of the bookcases fallen on her? “That…that’s…”

“Not what the ton says? No, it isn’t.”

Author Cerise DeLand

Sassy ladies and smart men make irresistible romance! That, plus a good dose of historical accuracy, are my hallmarks. Hope you will read all my Regency and Victorian romances!

www.cerisedeland.com

https://amzn.to/3x9SZlX

 

Has a Young Lady Committed a Most Imprudent Act?

Scandal Brewing in Gloucester?

Miss W–, the only daughter of Baron D–, used to be such a sweet young girl. You never saw her acting the hoyden or causing her father the least amount of embarrassment. Why, after she returned from finishing school, she all but vanished from the Burwick social scene, apparently preferring demure domestic activities and the quiet milieu of the family’s country manor. In fact, you rarely saw Miss W—except on her charitable rounds among the estate tenants who, one and all, have nothing but good to say about the girl.

So it is with great dismay we report that Miss W—has been observed entertaining a male visitor in secret!

This clandestine rendezvous occurred at night under her father’s very nose. The Vulgar Visitor actually climbed the wall of the tower at W—Manor.!  There is some speculation he must have used a rope, like a common criminal or seaman.

One has to ask, Where was Miss W—‘s companion when all this transpired?

We are immensely disappointed in our beloved country miss. It is to be hoped that her father uses a firm hand in dealing with this situation. Especially as we have heard rumors of an advantageous marriage under discussion by the baron and Someone with a good deal of influence at the Prince Regent’s court. It would be a shame if Miss W—were to ruin her chances with this personage.

pastedGraphic.png

THE CAPTAIN’S LAST QUEST

A Novella by Donna Maloy

In the Dragonblade Publishing anthology, TALES OF TIMELESS ROMANCE

He can scale his captive lady’s tower to rescue her—

but can he convince her to love him?

Miss Letitia Waire is determined to escape her greedy, domineering father and the lecherous old earl he’s betrothed her to. But her father has confined Letty to a tower bedroom and hired seven hulking bodyguards to thwart any attempt to evade the marriage. Letty knows better than to hope for love—a fairytale myth—but she’d settle for almost anyone other than the brutal Viscount Rosingham. No man who would beat his horse would ever touch her. That said, she did need a man. Preferably one with enough money or high title to win her father’s consent.

Captain Nicholas Monton is a returning naval war hero and the “almost” heir to the Duke of Landsdowne. His dying brother urges him to marry and prepare for life as the new marquess. But the simpering, capricious debutantes of London do not fire Nick’s soul. He will not settle for less than a gentle, loyal and amiable wife—and love. When a friend tells him of Letty’s plight, he is moved and agrees to a contrived meeting. Enraged by the bruises he sees and the rough way she is treated by her bodyguards, Nick is ready to avenge Letty when the lady surprises him by exacting her own revenge.

Nick crosses “gentle” off his list. Fascinated, he begins his campaign to win the trust of a strong woman who has never known kindness. But Letty, cautiously beginning to care for the handsome captain, feels abandoned when he leaves for his brother’s funeral. And with Nick gone, the angry viscount seizes his chance to abduct her.

Though Nick is now titled and the Duke’s heir, that’s all meaningless unless he can rescue Letty before their chance at happiness is destroyed.

***

The story of The Captain’s Last Quest was inspired by the true-life courtship of Princess Charlotte (England’s original “People’s Princess) and Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, a royal fairy-tale romance that really happened in the Regency era.

***

TALES OF TIMELESS ROMANCE

From the publisher: Enjoy the very best of Historical Romance with this limited edition, NEW MATERIAL collection. These are never before published romantic tales based on mythical and legendary love stories, all of them with a happily ever after sure to satisfy. But what makes this collection so special? Each author was a finalist in Dragonblade Publishing’s annual The Write Stuff contest. This collection is a curated bundle of their very finest, so if you’re looking for new stories to fall in love with – and new authors to adore – then pick up this collection or read for FREE in KINDLE UNLIMITED.  

BUY LINK: https://amzn.to/3y6VYff

So Arthur Was Born by Fil Reid
To Kiss an Outlaw by Cara Hogarth
The Heart of Sherwood by Gemma Sydney
The Captain’s Last Quest by Donna Maloy
The Art of Love by Stephanie Patterson
A Poetic Season by Peri Maxwell

***

EXCERPT: The Captain’s Last Quest

“Come here,” he whispered. “There is something wrong with your face.”

She forced herself to walk closer. 

“What’s wrong with me?” 

He reached through the slit and softly touched her cheek. She flinched and looked away.

“Two things. You haven’t been cherished as you should be. No man has ever been allowed to look inside and see your strength, your intelligence, your astonishing beauty. We can fix that.”

He said astonishing beauty. Mine.

Heart skipping madly, she lifted her eyes to his.

“And the second thing?”

“You haven’t been kissed until you can hardly stand up. But we can fix that, too.”

She must have leaned closer. She must have closed her eyes. But all she knew was the pressure of soft lips, caressing hers. Oh. My. Heaven.

He gently licked her lips. When she opened her mouth in surprise, his tongue entered and tangled with hers. 

Birds might have been singing arias nearby. The ground might have disappeared beneath her feet. None of it mattered. There was only this kiss. Her first.

The Captain put his hand behind Letty’s head and drew her closer. His mouth moved over her jaw and down her neck with soft, nibbling kisses that made the rest of her ache. Her breasts felt oddly warm and heavy as though he were touching her there. If they married, she could ask him to kiss her there, too.

She pressed closer, daring herself to touch him. Her hand reached out to cup his cheek.

“Oh, hell. I didn’t hear the damned bird call,” the captain muttered against her ear.

Letty suddenly found herself standing alone in front of an empty window. Two men were shouting below and Captain Monton was gone.

***

THE AUTHOR

Award-winning author Donna Maloy has always daydreamed about living in some other time, some other place. A long time ago, library cards were her ticket to all those strange, inviting other worlds— as long as she had transportation to the library. Now e-readers let her instantaneously fill her hunger for exciting adventures and emotional love stories.

Donna writes adventurous books with unique characters learning about life, love, treachery and loyalty.

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