by Amber Daulton
Jaye Ramsey decides to prove to her eccentric grandmother that time travel only exists in movies by vacationing in Bolivia with her friends. After she wakes up in Hawksatter, England, 1735—the same town her grandmother supposedly vanished from as a young woman—Jaye finds refuge at a hunting lodge, but the strapping, reclusive baron who takes her in reminds her all too well she was a lone woman at his mercy.
Accused of murdering his newly wedded wife a decade earlier, Lord Lucas Kenway closed the family farm and shut out the world. He never expected the little spitfire he claims responsibility for would turn his quiet life upside down. Pushed together by fate and his meddling servants, Lucas wants Jaye on his own terms and refuses to surrender his hardened heart.
Then a mysterious wise man offers Jaye a way home.
Should she return to the future and the only life she’s ever known, or stay in an uncertain past as a stranger in a new world?
“You asked me earlier if I just wanted your body and I should’ve denied it. I appreciate your bluestocking ideals and your ability to hold an intelligent conversation. Those qualities are what men of standard should look for in a mistress.”
A frown crossed her face and Lucas held up his hand before she interrupted him. “If a man is smart, he’ll seek out a confident woman who can hold her own in any given situation and marry her if he’s lucky. If marriage is not permissible, he’ll visit her afterhours and support her if he has the means.” His father took mistresses no matter how much it pained his mother and Lucas had vowed never to hurt his wife the same way—but he didn’t have a wife to betray. “I’ll be loyal to you for as long as we are together. I hope we’ll part ways amicably and rendezvous again in the future―at least until you marry a man worthy of your esteem―but you have no reason to deny me since your purity is not intact.”
“You crude, insufferable prick. I should take this candle and shove it up your ass.”
His brow arched to his hairline. “I’m the crude one?” He laughed coldly. “That’s one thing I admire about you, Jaye. You’re not afraid to use foul language around me, but you watch yourself around others. You feel comfortable around me, yet I’m always on edge in your presence. Do you know fire rages in my groin every time I look at you?” He stepped closer to her and Jaye backed up against the door. Fear flashed in her eyes, followed by another spurt of anger, and Lucas retreated to give her breathing room. “Women of substance are hard to come by. Do you understand why I fancy you?”
“Yeah, I do, and it’s not romantic in the least.” Jaye clasped her hand over her chest as though her heart thumped too hard. “I’m not in the market for a spouse or a real relationship—I doubt you’re the right man for me anyway—but I accept your proposition as long as you keep the affair quiet as promised. That’s what I planned to tell you tonight.” She tunneled her hand through her hair. “This is ridiculous. Making love or dating someone shouldn’t feel like a contract.”
Annoyance flared in his veins. She doesn’t want to marry me? He should’ve felt relieved but she’d bruised his ego.
Lucas stroked his fingers down her cheekbone and blew warm air in her ear. “I promise.” He reached behind her, opened the door and waited for her to decide.
Her throat convulsed in a small bob and she backed up to enter the room. Lucas followed her and closed the door behind him. The heat in her gaze nearly melted him into a puddle at her feet. She placed her candle on the nightstand, he left his on a white-wood vanity, and the orange flames penetrated the shadows in the room.
Lucas closed the space between them. She stared up at him with trust in her eyes but she trembled as he clasped her waist. The silk bunched under his palms, heat radiated around her as though a fire burned inside her, and he parted the lapels of her robe to push the silk off her shoulders. Air lodged in his throat. Light gleamed off her nude body and highlighted her supple curves and dips. He cupped the creamy underside of her left breast as Jaye nuzzled his chest with her nose.
“Lie down, little jaybird,” he murmured as need pounded through him. He barely held himself together, but then Jaye pulled from his embrace, climbed on the bed and propped herself up on a mound of pillows by the headboard. Her hair fanned out like silk strands, her full breasts jutted out as though to tease him and the dark hair at the apex of her legs curled in little twists.
He stripped away his clothes and crawled into bed with her. The scent of lilac clung to Jaye’s skin as though they lay in a bed of flowers. The goodness in her soul called to him, cocooned him in warmth, but his past year of celibacy rushed through him like a red-hot poker. Lucas readied her with his fingers, drew sweet gasps from her throat, and a mixture of innocence and carnal knowledge beamed up at him through her jade-green eyes. Just one look from her, sultry or otherwise, knocked the air from his lungs. He flattened his hands beside her head, eased himself between her legs and pushed his shaft inside her.
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About the Author
Amber Daulton is the author of the romantic-suspense series Arresting Onyx and several standalone novellas. Her books are published through The Wild Rose Press, Books to Go Now, and Daulton Publishing, and are available in ebook, print on demand, audio, and foreign language formats.
She lives in North Carolina with her husband and demanding cats.
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