4.5 of 5 Stars from Night Owl Reviews! "Smartly written with a real feel for the era and all the proprieties that went with it…I enjoyed this story thoroughly and will go back to it again. This is my first book by this author and I will now be investigating her backlist." ~ Chris at Night Owl Reviews
4.5 Hoots From Nocturne Romance Reads! "Hot, wickedly sexy, and a whole lot of spice in the bedroom; with very explicit and detailed scenes that left me completely satisfied and signing up for couples waltz lessons!" Rayna of Nocturne Romance Reads
Heat Level EROTIC, 18 and over only please.
Blurb: A painful personal experience makes Lord Lockhart believe that a gentleman doesn’t inflict his passionate desires on a wife. The marriage bed is for begetting heirs, not animal lust. No matter how much he desires his wife. But under Lady Lockhart’s shyness is a determination to tempt her handsome husband, to satisfy them both and spend every night together in her bed.
Innocent waltzing lessons in their chambers soon become indecent, and may lead the newlyweds to overcome their preconceptions and learn to be lovers, as well as man and wife.
Here's a two short excerpts to tempt you:
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All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
“Colin, are you angry with me?”
They were standing in the sitting room that connected their bedchambers. He was having a difficult time ignoring the ache in his groin. But he had already bothered Sara this week. Last night, in fact. To do so again, so soon, would be piggish. A gentleman shouldn’t treat his wife like some whore waiting on his needs.
Ladies had delicate natures. Sexuality and arousal could prove too unsettling to their nerves. Medical science was starting to discover this but he knew it from a very personal experience.
“Colin?” Her voice held that gentle insistence that was like leading strings on his heart.
And her large gray eyes were luminous with what he suspected were soon-to-be-shed tears. He was in no mood to comfort her. If he got anywhere near her, he’d be on her and shortly thereafter, in her, balls deep and thrusting.
“It’s late. Go to bed, Sara,” he said, covering his angst with a bored tone.
“It is the gown, isn’t it?” Her voice quavered.
He struggled for the right words. “I just think red is a little bold.”
Her lower lip trembled. That velvety pink lower lip. “I am sorry to have offended you, Colin.”
Inwardly he sighed. “You did not offend me. I am just thinking of your good name.”
What a miserable lie to cover his jealousness. And shameful to mislead her when he longed to draw her into his arms and tell her how utterly lovely she looked in the gown. But he didn’t want to encourage her to display herself like this.
“Come here,” he said, holding his arms out. She came to him, her eyes large and glossy with unshed tears.
He took her hands and gave her a quick, chaste kiss. “It’s no matter now. Forget it.”
“Now to bed,” he said firmly.
He watched her depart, his eyes trained on the way the shimmering red silk clung to her tight little bottom.
She slipped into her chamber, the soft click of the door speaking more profoundly than any satisfying slam.
He knew a sense of both relief and loss. Sweating and shaking, he sank into his chair and hooked a finger into his cravat, loosening it.
Dear God, he was not cut out for marriage. Shy, sweet Sara. He mustn’t frighten her with his animal lust.
Nine months of marriage had proven to be blue balls hell. There were other women with greater fortunes he might have married. His father had been pushing the daughter of an obscenely wealthy Italian merchant. A charming brunette with dark, flashing eyes and lush breasts.
So why had Colin picked Sara? Honestly? Because of the way her eyes lit up with genuine pleasure and her face blushed at his least attention. In a town of bored, spoiled coquettes, her open adoration had been terribly flattering. And she was sincere and intelligent. The type of woman he could imagine mothering his children. He quickly became infatuated with her delicate features, her quiet warmth.
And naturally he had assumed he would keep mistresses as all men of his station did. But a funny thing happened. By the time they married, she had worked her way under his skin. So deeply that he couldn’t even stomach the thought of chasing pretty opera dancers with his friends the night before the wedding.
Since then, his sexual outlet had been limited to the marriage bed, where he must always hold himself in check and hurry so as to inconvenience his wife as little as possible.
With a long, ragged sigh, he resigned himself to spend tonight as he seemed to spend most nights lately.
Getting a little foxed, palming off and then getting seriously soused. He sat down in the chair, took the decanter from the side table and poured himself a glass of brandy.
The longer they were married, the more he wanted her.
Yes, he loved her.
Who wouldn’t love Sara once they came to know her?
Which was why he’d wanted to dance with her in public. To show the world how much he cared for and respected her. That their match was more than mere convenience. That he admired her for more than her clay mine and her trust fund. She might be a commoner but she was his lady.
Three brandies into his binge, he decided the matter was more urgent than he’d first given it credit. He needed to show that she was indisputably his. How were the men of Mayfair to know this if he and Sara spent all of their time in society separated? He in the card room, she hiding in corners. It could make her the target of rakes and would-be-lotharios. Not that he distrusted his wife’s virtue. But just the thought of another man making her indecent proposals turned his stomach.
He left the sitting room, determined to do something about it.
Alarm accelerated her heartbeat and she glanced up at him. "What are you doing?"
"Trust me." He moved behind her and took both her hands. She felt him tugging and pulling.
Then he faced her. "Now we try again."
She pulled at her hands. She couldn’t move them. He had bound them together. "Colin?"
He came back to face her and clasped the sides of her waist, holding her firmly. "I will not let you fall. Do you trust me?"
"I suppose," she replied. But she worried about his state of mind. He did seem a little foxed.
He began to move, slowly. She stared down at her feet.
"Stop counting the steps." He pointed at his face. "Look me in the eyes. Feel this in your stomach, not your head. Trust me."
Her feet wouldn’t obey.
"In my eyes," he said.
She took a deep breath and tried to concentrate on this mysterious thing he seemed to think she would see in his eyes. He smiled at her and then she did feel something in her belly. A gushy sensation that did nothing to steady her balance. She returned his smile. He was certainly more handsome than her dancing master had been. More graceful as well. They finished the dance with a few trips and stops. Then mercifully, it was over.
They rested a moment.
"I think I have it, will you untie me now?"
"Oh no, my Lady Lockhart. That was just practice. If you trip this time, you shall owe me two waltzes at that ball."
It was an unfair edict. She felt helpless as a marionette in his arms. She didn’t know how she was expected to keep her balance.
After a time, his steady blue gaze transfixed her. She forgot about her feet and just followed him. He was right, there was something in the stomach. A feeling of connection between what she saw in his eyes and how her feet seemed to move in tune with his as if by magic. He twirled her faster and faster until she was laughing and trying to catch her breath. He slowed down and bent his mouth to her ear.
"This is waltzing. And you dance beautifully when you forget yourself." His husky voice sent shivers though her and her nipples drew tight.
His lips touched hers. His tongue caressed her lower lip in feathery strokes. Her lips parted of their own volition and his tongue swept into her mouth. Hot, wet and wine tinged.
Dear sweet heaven.
He had never kissed her like this. She wanted to embrace him but he didn’t seem in a hurry to release her from her bonds. Maybe she should ask. But then, Priscilla said men didn’t like to be directed in the bedchamber.