Lady Olivia Sherbourne isn't shy about speaking her mind, except when it comes to James Averill. For ten long years he has been her brother's best friend and her heart's only desire. But when Olivia hears James will soon set sail for an expedition to Egypt, she knows the time has come to make her move. It's now or never . . .
James has always found Olivia bewitchingly attractive, but what kind of gentleman takes up with his best friend's sister? Not that he's thinking particularly gentlemanly thoughts when she appears on his exploratory trip-three hundred miles from home!-and incites a tavern fight. No matter what the devil she's doing there, it's his duty to see her safely back to her family. But how safe will she be when every starlit night brings wicked temptation . . . ?
She was vaguely aware that she was begging but didn’t care. “Or I shall kiss you.”
He swallowed and opened his mouth, probably to object. She had to do something fast, so she reached up and tugged at the white ribbon in her hair, pulling it inch by inch until it was free. Then she dropped it onto James’s lap. While he stared down at the length of silk, she removed a few pins, letting her curls bounce down her back.
“Jesus, Olivia.” With that, James took her face between his palms and hauled her toward him. Their desire exploded in a kiss that was fierce, hungry, raw. His tongue, hot and insistent, thrust into her mouth, as though he were claiming her for his own. He speared his fingers through her hair and grabbed a fistful like he was afraid she might pull away and end the kiss.
Not likely. She’d been waiting years for James to unleash the full force of his passion. She’d known it was there, simmering just beneath the surface, like lava waiting to erupt. And now it had. Every time her tongue tangled with his, he moaned. He breathed heavily, like he was starving for air— and for her. Never had she seen him so stripped of control, and it thrilled her.
“Olivia,” he gasped. “I want you so badly that I forget who I am and what is right.”
“I know who you are,” she murmured. “And this feels very right to me.”
About the Author
Anne Barton began swiping romance novels off her mom's bookshelf as a teenager, so when she had the chance to spend a semester in London-home to her favorite heroes-she packed her bags and promptly fell in love with the city, its history, and its pubs. She dreamed of writing romance, but somehow ended up a software analyst instead.
Fortunately, a few years and a few careers later, Anne found her way back to writing the stories she loves and in 2011 won the Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart® for Regency Historical Romance. She lives in Maryland with her husband (who, sadly, is not a peer of the realm-but a great guy nonetheless) and her three children, who try valiantly not to roll their eyes whenever she quotes Jane Austen. Her weaknesses include reality TV, cute-but-impractical shoes, and caffeinated beverages of all kinds.