A BREACH OF PROMISE
When Charm and Persuasion Fail…Only Seduction Remains...
On the night of her betrothal, Lydia Trent receives just a taste of what ecstasy will be at the hands of her fiancé…and then he leaves her wanting. After waiting six years, and tired of being neglected by her exceedingly reluctant husband-to-be, Lydia decides to break it off.
When Marcus, Lord Russell, receives Lydia’s letter requesting a release from their contract, he is stunned by her audacity. Confident he’ll have her eating out of his hand with his usual wit and charm, he’s determined to repair the damage. However, the headstrong woman she’s blossomed into is equally determined to thwart his every effort to win her back.
Marcus discovers, in spite of her conviction to end the union, Lydia is more responsive to his touch than he ever imagined. He just needs to get her alone to unleash the promised passion he sees within his wanton virgin. Marcus will use any tool in his arsenal to exploit her weakness—his kisses, his hands, his mouth…her own body. In short, he’ll just have to ruin her!
Bugger it all! This was not going at all according to his plan. The blasted woman was bound to defy and repulse him at every turn! He raked a long, lust-filled gaze over her and felt his frustration growing in more ways than one until a disconcerting thought jolted through him. “There is someone else!”
“There is no one,” Lydia answered. “Though I may be a fool for having waited for you, I am not a faithless fool.”
“Why else would you break with me?” Marcus persisted, more convinced the longer he considered her. What man would not give his eyeteeth to have such a woman? “I demand to know who it is.” So I can hunt him down and throttle him.
Her chuckle began as a low sound in her throat and grew to a hearty eruption of wry mirth. “Is it truly beyond your comprehension that I might wish to salvage such a pitiful thing as my self-respect? Your vanity is a truly wondrous thing, Lord Russell.”
“You make unfair accusations, Lydia.”
“On the contrary,” she replied. “I think I have your full measure simply by observation. Actions, or perhaps I should say inactions, speak much louder than words.”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“Just that you are not to be trusted.”
Marcus gave an inward groan. Why was she making this so bloody difficult? She was right of course, but it would be a cold day in hell before he’d grovel. He opted for a new tack. “Lydia, will you at least agree to a détente?”
“What do you mean?”
“A truce of sorts.”
“I know what détente means! I just fail to see how it applies.”
“I’m asking for a relaxation of hostilities.”
“You believe I bear you hostility?”
Marcus’ answering rumble only emphasized his point. “You positively bristle with it, my dear.”
She gave an indignant sniff. When she tried to avert her face, he captured it in his hands, forcing her to meet his gaze. “Lydia, there are many things you don’t understand.” Like his guilt—something he could hardly reconcile even with himself. “Can we not let bygones be bygones?” he asked. “Simply let go of the past and deal with the here and now?”
“There is no point. I already know we will never suit.”
Marcus scowled. Regardless of what she might think, he had never really been averse to her. Indeed, he recalled with fond amusement the memory of her tippling champagne from the tree swing, if perhaps a bit less fondly the clumsy events that followed.
He was suddenly struck with another disconcerting notion—could it be that Lydia held that night in quite a different light? Did she anticipate dissatisfaction in their marriage bed? If that was her concern, he was determined to lay that vagary to rest.
“On the contrary, my pet. There is one area at least where I’m certain we would suit very well.”
Her eyes flashed. “You actually think I’m still attracted to you?”
“You dare deny it?” He flashed a smile meant to disarm if not to altogether devastate.
“It matters little whether I am or not. Animal lust is a most feeble foundation for marriage.”
“Animal lust?” He laughed outright. “Mayhap my appeal is stronger than I thought?”
Lydia’s eyes flashed. “You twist my meaning!”
Marcus stroked a finger down the column of her neck and noted her heaving breasts with satisfaction. “I think not. Nevertheless, attraction, magnetism, lust, whatever you choose to call it, is a stronger basis than most marriages seem to be founded upon. Why do you suppose so many men take mistresses? And why so few offspring are produced in aristocratic marriages? Never underestimate sexual desire, Lydia. It is a powerful and often overwhelming force.”
“You will never persuade me that it’s a sound basis for marriage.” Lydia’s pink tongue flicked over her lips, clearly betraying her confident words.
“Is that a challenge, Lydia? Shall I prove it to you?”
“There is absolutely nothing to be gained by the effort.” Her convulsive swallow once more gave her away. She added with greater force, “Like a mountain, Marcus, I shall not be moved.”
Marcus relished the sudden apprehension in her wide eyes when his gaze slid down to her mouth and held there. “Fair enough, my pet. If the mountain will not come to Mohammed, let Mohammed go to the mountain.”
Lydia was transfixed, powerless under his intense stare, as if he’d put her under some wicked spell. Though she tried, she couldn’t bring herself to pull away. His eyes—dilated pools of blackness—held her, spreading heat from her core to every tingling inch of her. Her pulse thrummed with the sheer awareness of his physicality.
She closed her eyes against the sensations but they only intensified, his sweet tangy scent thickening the air and causing her breath to come in short, quick rasps, his warm breath fanning her skin. His gaze fixed upon her mouth and his hand brushed over her cheek to cup her jaw. Ignoring her inner protest, her body acted on its own volition, upturning her face and softly parting her lips. Her whole body quivered in anticipation of this kiss.
Her breathing hitched when his lips met hers, at first brushing over them in a warm caress, then sliding, nipping, melding until he took utter possession. Her feeble attempt at protest gave him added purchase to take her lower lip between his teeth and gently tug on the soft flesh. His tongue followed, deliciously teasing, tasting her lips before sliding into her mouth.
She had been kissed once before but nothing like this. His hot, wet tongue tangling with hers made her stomach flip and her passage clench, pooling with warmth and dizzying desire. He deepened the kiss, his hands working into her hair, pulling it down, scattering pins. “Don’t fight me, Lydia. I can show you paradise if you’ll only let me.” When Marcus murmured those seductive words against her skin, she yielded with a muted whimper.
The kiss was uninvited, unexpected, and shocking…and Lydia found herself clinging to it for dear life.
Lydia tore away with a stifled cry, confounded how he managed to exert such a terrifying magnetic force on her with seemingly no exertion at all. Outrage mixed with self-recrimination, she gathered up her skirts and fled, nearly running smack into Mariah upon her reentry through the terrace doors.
“I was coming to find you,” Mariah said. “Lud, Lyddie!” She gaped at her cousin’s rumpled and bewildered appearance. “You look positively debauched! You mustn’t let anyone else see you like this.”
Mariah pulled her into the empty music room, where Lydia caught sight of herself in the gilt mirror poised over the mantel and gasped in horror. Her color was high, her eyes shone feverishly bright, and clumps of her hair hung in disarray.
“Did that vile scoundrel accost you?” Mariah asked.
Heat infused Lydia’s already flushed cheeks. “Sadly, no. Although I would like nothing more than to accuse Marcus of importuning me, the fact is I made not the slighted protest.”
“What did he do to you?” Mariah asked in an excited whisper.
Lydia’s lips quivered in outrage. “The worst thing imaginable. He has kissed me senseless.”
“Reckless hearts, battling wits, and plenty of steam in a wonderfully well drawn Georgian setting.”- NYT Bestselling author Grace Burrowes
**TRS CAPA Nominee 2012
*TBR PILE Book of the month September 2012!
*LASR Erotic Reviews 5 STAR/BOM Nominee
*The Romance Studio 5 Sweetheart Nominee
“Victoria Vane ignites the Georgian era with her delightful characters and deliciously wicked sensuality. “
~ Allison Chase, author of Recklessly Yours
|Contact: Victoria.email@example.com Author Blog: VICTORIA VANE’S TILITTATING TIDBITS|