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The pad of his thumb found her lips, half parted, warm and soft. She didn’t answer. Instead she leaned toward him, and he was ready for the gentle meeting of their mouths. Her satin clad hands came up to cup his face, and she opened her mouth to him. He wanted to pull her closer, wrap her in his arms, draw her down on the settee, but he’d wrinkle her gown, ruin her careful coiffure. The hell with it—he slanted his mouth over hers, and she made a soft sound as he deepened the kiss, touched his tongue to hers. Was it objection? Desire? How could he know if he could not read it in her eyes? She tasted sweet, and he closed his eyes, pretended it was only darkness, not blindness, that all he had to do was open them again to see her. He concentrated on the softness of her skin, the heat of her body under the silk gown, and the maddening, delicious taste of her mouth. His hand moved upward from her waist, bumped the bottom of her breast, moved to cup the soft weight. She did not pull away. A small sound caught his attention before it caught hers—a throat being cleared, a footstep on the polished wood of the floor. He dropped his hand. Delphine jumped back with a gasp. “Nick! I was just—” she stopped. “We’ll be well beyond fashionably late if we don’t leave now,” Nicholas said, and Stephen heard the disapproval in his tone, knew he was probably glaring holes in Stephen. He didn’t care. He heard Delphine arranging her shawl, listened to the sound of her rapid breathing. How far would it have gone if Nicholas hadn’t arrived? He licked his lips, tasted her.
Length: 368 pages
Publisher: Zebra; Reprint edition (August 26, 2014)
On the night before the final battle against Napoleon, Lady Delphine St. James finds herself dancing with the one man she has always wanted, Major Lord Stephen Ives. He makes it clear he has no time for a lady he sees as flirtatious and silly, but as the call to arms sounds, she bids him farewell with a kiss that stirs them both. When he returns gravely injured, she is intent on caring for him, even if his surly behavior tests her patience.
After the battle, Stephen is not only wounded and blind, but falsely accused of cowardice and theft. The only light in his dark world is Delphine, the one woman he never imagined he could desire. But she deserves more than he can give her.
As their feelings deepen and hidden enemies conspire to force them to part forever, can their love survive the cruelest test of all?
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