He might be a gentleman by title, but he was a rogue at heart...
Beatrix Lamont is in hiding. Sequestered at Lady Southridge's country estate, she assumes the identity of a lady's companion: never once expecting her past would catch up with her.
It does, however, in the vexing and seducting form of Lord Neville.
Determined and far too charming for his own good--after all who simply demands a woman marry him?
Not a gentleman.
Lucky for Lord Neville, being a gentleman has never been an option, especially when it comes to Beatrix, the woman would try the patient of a saint, and every encounter with her leaves his body yearning for more.
Caught between wanting her for himself and needing to protect her from dangers that lurk in the shadows of both their pasts, he must eventually make a choice.
Become the gentleman he's never been--or play the seducer she brings out in him, and hope in the end she'll forgive him for using her to catch a killer.
Beatrix swallowed her cursed pride and glanced up, compelled by her curiosity to be brave. “Why did you leave so abruptly?”
“For being so expertly compromised—“
“Oh bother.” Beatrix rolled her eyes and stepped away, irritated, and gave her back to the lord. “It was a kiss—“
“Perhaps for you…” Lord Neville’s hand grasped hers and halted her recession.
Just as she remembered, his hand was warm, enveloping hers completely. A shiver of delighted expectation ripped through her as she slowly turned to face him. Blinking, she waited as his gaze roamed her features and settled on her lips.
“As I was saying… for being so expertly compromised…” Amusement danced in his expression. “…you’re truly innocent. I do believe I will have to remedy that,” he whispered as he leaned in and brushed a whisper of a kiss across her jaw.
It was as if a thousand butterflies took wing in her belly as she caught the masculine scent of his skin so close to hers. She should reprimand him for taking such liberties…
But she rather liked that he was.
He withdrew and studied her, as if asking if he should continue. Reaching up, Beatrix stroked his jaw, memorizing the texture of his slight stubble as it tugged at the fabric of her glove.
Without hesitation, he pulled her in, meeting her mouth in a kiss that was as intense as it was powerful. Strong arms enveloped her, drawing her into the lee of his commanding presence. His kiss demanded she return the passion, and, without a thought, she kissed him back, instinctively. His flavor was familiar and igniting, comforting and compelling all at once. The soft scent of the orange grove swirled around her, adding to the magic of the moment. His teeth tugged at her lower lip as he pressed against her, reminding her of the power in his arms. Reaching up, she allowed her fingers the delight of exploring the planes and ridges of his shoulders, adding to the attraction already smoldering within.
His fingers traced up her arms, teasing the ribbon at her neckline then lacing behind her head as if removing himself from a sweet temptation. His kiss gentled as he continued to playfully nip at her lips. Beatrix held him close, losing herself in the moment, committing every nuance to memory as she traced his lower lip with her tongue as he lingered.
“Come away with me,” he whispered against her mouth.
“No,” she replied, nipping his lip impishly. Surely he hadn’t asked in earnest.
He pulled her in tighter with a slightly irritated growl before he lowered his head to trail kisses down her neck. “Yes.”
“No… you’re mad.” Beatrix spoke far too breathlessly to be taken seriously.
His tongue tickled her neck as he whispered, “I prefer persuasive.”
“I’d say incessant,” she shot back as she leaned away to meet his gaze.
He grinned then reached up to tug on a curl that had fallen near her face. “Incessantly persuasive.”