And now she's willing to risk almost anything-her reputation, even her virtue-to find out. But what he proposes startles her.
When the shy, studious and socially awkward young widow approached him, Ruel instantly sensed she would be the sweetest, most submissive experience of a lifetime-if only he can gain her total and complete trust. He makes her a non-negotiable offer. His help in return for her submission and obedience.
But Lady Cranfield grew up neglected by her ducal parents, raised by servants and then later ignored by her handsome, charming husband. She's learnt to protect her heart at all costs and she trusts no one but herself.
How can the jaded Earl of Ruel break through her self-protective defenses and show her how to love when he has spent his lifetime avoiding that tender trap?
Amazon | Goodreads
Having been emotionally neglected by her ducal parents, raised by servants and kept in social isolation away from her peers, she has always been able to keep people at an emotional distance. In fact, she controls interactions with others in that way to protect herself. But here, she’s discovering that it is not so easy to control her own response to Ruel.
Quote two comes right after the Earl of Ruel has realized that the shy, widowed Lady Cranfield will not be the easy conquest that he initially expected her to be. His first inclination is to simply walk away. He’s beginning to see that it won’t be easy.
She cringed. Was that quavering, pleading voice really hers?
An infinitesimal pause. “Now, why on earth would I do such a thing?” His voice was as smooth as velvet.
“To please your vanity,” she replied, trying to regain her wits.
“Here.” He placed her hand to his chest. The contours of his muscles were hard, powerfully developed.
Even more so than she’d expected. His body heat radiated through the satin and, beneath her hand, his heart beat was rapid and strong.
“Is that vanity?” He put a finger under her chin, giving her no choice but to face him. “Is it?” He gentled his grip.
The warmth in his voice settled over her like luscious hot chocolate. Melting her insides to quivering burgoo, rendering her speechless, unable to move.
“My dear, lovely Lady Cranfield, I am going kiss you again.”
Then he touched his mouth to hers, more firmly this time. Delicious, steady pressure. Her lips trembled and she clutched his lapels. He lifted his head. At the loss, a throaty, pleading moan sounded in her ears. Had it really come from her?
Clearly, now was the time for her to reassert some control over her reactions. To put him at a more comfortable distance.
“Kiss me back.” At the commanding edge in his voice, hot, sweet honey pooled in her belly.
What had she wanted to ask him? Focus? Dear God, what rubbish. She could scarcely remember her own name, much less anything else. What madness had made her think she could maintain control over him?
He traced her mouth with his tongue. Deliberately; lingeringly. This time she couldn’t hold back a moan. She had grown to dislike it when William kissed her opened mouthed. It had always seemed such an overheated, messy thing. But where was her coldness now? She was burning to know what it would feel like to know
Ruel’s full kiss. She had to know—just once—or she would surely die.
Just once. Certainly once wouldn’t hurt.
Tentatively, tremulously, she opened her mouth.
He touched the silver locket that lay against her collarbone. Silver was far too cold a metal for her. With her ebony hair and skin like warm honey—and, damn, that lush, burgundy wine mouth—she was as stunningly sultry as the deepest, darkest tropical summer’s night. “He gave you this?”Quote three shows the moments after the Earl of Ruel has made his non-negotiable offer to Anne: Four weeks of her complete submission in return for his help in overcoming her lingering fear of horses and carriages. It is an invitation to an affaire that Anne finds equally compelling yet emotionally frightening. She finds great security in the belief that she is so self-protected that no one else can see into her internal world and her inner feelings.
“Yes, it was a birthday present.”
Then he let his gaze roam over her large, lush breasts, softly curved hips. And the image of her proper woman’s arse, broad and round, was likely burned forever into his mind. He lifted the locket in his fingers, considering the delicate chain and dainty pendant. A Persephone-like trinket made a poor adornment on the neck of an Aphrodite. He tightened his hand on the locket.
The slightest pressure would break the fragile links—
Catching himself, he loosened his hand and focused on what was glaringly apparent. William Bourchier had never seen his own wife.
Yet she wore this unflattering pendant even after his death. It spoke, more than words, of her need to belong to someone.
He should walk away. Leave right this moment. The last thing he wanted was to be needed—by anyone. But her large, dark blue eyes, with their long, lush lashes, clung to his. She looked so…lost.
“Do you understand me?” His velvet-smooth voice seemed more dangerous than his coolness had been.
“Yes,” she breathed, dropping the necklace.
“I don’t think you do, Nan.” He curled his hand around her neck. “For the next four weeks, there will be no
part of you held back from me. No part of you will belong to anyone else—not even your late husband.”
“William has no part of me.”
“That’s not true Anne. You must learn to be more honest with yourself—and especially with me. I won’t tolerate you hiding yourself.” He released her neck and took her arms in his hands. There was something primal, fierce in his gaze. It made her throat dry. He slid down to encircle her wrists. A shiver raced through her, equal parts apprehension and excitement. His grip locked tight and she swallowed hard. “He still owns those parts of you that dared hope for fulfilment. He lingers in the bitterness of your disappointment and the self-punishment of your guilt.”
Her heart began to pound, rapidly, in a sheer panic of self-protection. He saw too much. He was dangerous to her. Suddenly, she wanted nothing more than to get away from him. Now. Before it was too late. She struggled against his hold.
He held her still, pulling her arms behind her. Like her dream-lover, restraining her. She found herself melting again and thrills pulsed through her. His large, long fingered hands constraining her were the most arousing thing she had ever known in waking hours.
“Do you see, Nan? I’ve got you.”
A sense of comfort, security like she’d never known spread through her, like butter on warm toast.
He maintained his grasp with one hand and touched her cheek. She didn’t—couldn’t—stop him as he tilted her face up and back. She was forced to look at him. His eyes were like flames. He would burn her.
Consume her—but God help her, she wanted to be burnt, consumed.
“I will fulfill you, Nan and then his ghost—and all the doubt and guilt associated with it—will be put to rest for you.”
She wanted that. How desperately she wanted that! It seemed too much to hope for.
He brought his mouth down on hers, open, hot and hungry. Devouring her. She moaned and thought no more of William. Or of fear, or anything else.
Find Natasha Online!
Still a couple days left to enter the AFTH2013 Grand Prize Drawing!!---->
Check out Natasha's post and leave her some comment love!