This very handsome earl…Is the one man she cannot fall for…
War widow Lily Walsh has left her aristocratic family behind, but she can’t deny her younger sister’s request to come to London to meet her fiancé. Though not a love match, Lord Sherborne is kind,
amusing and ideal for her sister on paper. But as Lily gets to know him, she’s finding him alarmingly attractive! And the forbidden look in the earl’s eye shows the feeling is mutual…
This scene takes place after Lily convinces Marcus, Lord Sherbourne to agree to release her sister from their engagement so she can marry her childhood sweetheart. He agrees, but he has some conditions that Lily is only too happy to fulfill… Three midsummer kisses. This is kiss number one.
Her lips opened under his, soft and pillowy and fitting to his as if they’d practised this a dozen times.
To be fair, he’d fantasized about kissing her often enough recently. Practically every time he’d come within two yards of her or had to hand her up into a carriage or take a cup of tea from her or in that treacherous time in his bed between waking and sleep… That had been the worst. But those dreams had been nothing more than a soldier’s drill and now finally he was going into battle. But war was hell and this…this was pure heaven.
She tasted of peaches and blackberries plucked from hedges by the stream. And he was ravenous.
He broke free for a moment, his mouth against her cheek as he struggled to find his balance, his control. Slow, don’t hurry, don’t scare her. Slow…
She made a sound, between a mewl and a moan, and an answering groan rose up in him like the cries of souls trapped in purgatory. To hell with slow.
He raised her on to the table, his fingers pressing into the soft skin at her waist. Her eyes were half-closed, slumberous and distant, the grey misty and blurred. He couldn’t seem to look away.
His hands weren’t frozen though—they slipped from her waist to her hips, his fingers pressing into the lush curves as he moved closer, his thighs pressing against her knees and suddenly…oh, miracle…they parted, slipping him between them until her skirts held him at bay. Her hands moved up his chest, leaving shimmering trails of jealous need in their paths until her fingers left linen behind and found flesh.
She stopped, catching her lower lip between her teeth.
He stopped as well. The sensation of her fingers resting so lightly on the taut muscles of his neck, just brushing the hair at his nape… She was branding him, his skin absorbing her mark for ever. She licked her lip and continued, her fingers slowly threading into his hair, retreating, then deeper. His scalp tingled and vicious streaks of heat coursed down his back. With each stroke she pulled him deeper into a warm ocean and it was frightening and wonderful.
Her lashes rose and she smiled up at him, pulling him under completely. He groaned and leaned down to press his mouth against her neck, the peach-soft lobe of her ear, his teeth scraping the skin below it.
‘Yes.’ She breathed the word, a shudder rising through her, her hands pulling him closer. When her mouth returned to his, he gave up whatever resolution he’d formed that morning of a slow, clever seduction, spaced out and rationed. He sank into her, gathered her hard against him, her skirts running up to bunch between them, and kissed her again.
Her mouth was silky warmth, those little moans demolishing him. Her tongue played with his, her lips brushing up against his when he pulled away, parting when he sank back in. She opened with a totality that was exhilarating and horrible because he knew it might be up to him to stop and he wanted everything.
When he finally brought himself to a halt he was one big, pulsing mass. He was hard against her skirts, his heart thudding like a great gong.
Being right had never scared him so much in his life.
‘Lily.’ He breathed her name against the warm perfume of her neck. ‘Lily…’He closed his teeth hard on the need to say her name again and again and again.
It could not have been more than five minutes, perhaps ten, but he was a damned wreck.
He moved away, looking back from a safe distance. He’d tumbled her hair. It lay in a soft mass of waves over her shoulder. Her mouth was parted and reddened and her eyes…
Another step back put more distance between them and the need to do something very, very foolish. Thirty-five was far too old to be impulsive.
He held up a finger, reminding them both.
Lara Temple writes strong and sensual Regency romances about complex individuals who give no quarter but do so with plenty of passion. She lives with her husband, two children, and one very fluffy dog and they are all very understanding about her taking over the kitchen table so she can look out over the garden as she writes and dreams up her Happy Ever Afters.
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