Book #3 THE DEVIL YOU KNOW
Who can find a virtuous woman…
Beautiful, respectable, and dutiful, Lady Diana Palmerston-Wriothesley has long resigned herself to her twelve-year loveless and childless marriage to a feckless husband…until his gambling pushes them to the brink of financial ruin.
Sometimes the devil is in disguise…as a gentleman…
Viscount Ludovic, “The Devil DeVere”, is a man accustomed to taking what he wants according to his whim and heedless of the cost…until he encounters a woman who won’t be had at any price.
When dealing with the devil, it’s easy to be burned…
When Diana discovers a secret that shatters the carefully built façade concealing her private pain, she seeks aid and comfort from the most unlikely place…the devil’s arms. But will a single night of heavenly passion damn them both forever?
Feeling stifled, Diana flung open the French doors and stepped onto the balcony into the moonlight. She stood there in the deep silence of the night, lost in her reflections and illicit visions that kept returning to DeVere. When the damp chill forced her back inside, Diana explored her room, still restless and seeking escape from her disquieting ruminations. She discovered a leather-bound volume of John Donne and opened it at random to The Dream, an unfamiliar work, but one whose theme she hoped might induce sleep. By the end of the first stanza, however, Diana realized her error. The erotic message of the poem was clear.
Unbidden, her mind conjured Donne’s lovers. The man asleep and dreaming of his love only to be awakened by the object of his passion took the form of DeVere. She cast the book aside with a listless sigh before her mind’s eye could invoke what she knew would be the intimately familiar features of his lover.
He was sprawled on his back, arms outstretched in the confident repose of a king or some other invincible being. A sheet draped up over a thigh and half his torso left the other half of him bare to her ravenous gaze. She devoured the vision of lean and sculpted muscled that closely resembled a god manifested in all his masculine splendor.
“‘Enter these arms, for since thou thought’st it best, Not to dream all my dream, let’s act the rest.’ You are called forth from my dream,” he whispered. “I knew you would come.”
She stepped back with a gasp. “But how could you know that?”
“Because this is ineludible, you and I. You can’t escape it.” He reached out a hand, his voice husky with desire. “Come to me now, my magnificent Huntress.”
The words were an irresistible magnetic lure that drew her to him. She licked her lips, the wicked promise of unknown delights filling her with a sharp-edge hunger. Untying the sash at her waist, the silk wrapper slithered from her shoulders to pool softly at her feet.
His pupils flared beneath his sleep-heavy lids as she stood before him, unabashed in her nakedness. She let him look his fill, his lazy inspection sending mixed anticipation and trepidation washing over her in tiny waves. He peeled back the sheet and sat up, her gaze riveting at once to the blatant proof of his arousal.
He drew her into his arms and the game began, a hungry breath- stealing match of capture and release that heated her blood and sent blazing jolts to her belly. Their mouths meeting and melding, his tongue darting over her lips, his teeth grazing them lightly, pulling on the lower, urging her to open. Their tongues met in a simulated lovers’ dance that became an explosion of sublime sensation, sending a hot pool of moisture between her thighs.
He cupped her breast, teasing her nipple with his thumb. His mouth broke away from hers to ply hot open kisses to her throat that left her gasping. Of their own volition, her hands engaged in a tactile exploration of his body, reveling in the erotic abrasiveness of his coarse hair against her own smooth skin. She roamed his hard chest, the rigid plain of his stomach, the powerful thigh muscles that now encased her hips, pulling her closer, tighter, and anchoring her against him until she could feel the hot pulse of his jutting manhood against her most private place.
He took her hand in his, guiding her to his rigid staff and enclosing her fingers about it. It was thick and hard and hot and pulsing. “I make no secret of how much I want you,” he said low and hoarse. “Tell me you do too, Diana. Say you want to take me into your body.”
“But I’m here,” she whispered. “Is that not proof enough?”
“No.” He released her hand but his probing gaze kept her captive. Though I would worship you with my body, only you are in control of your pleasure. You must tell me you want this.”
She licked her lips, her breathing coming in ragged puffs.
“You have only to say yes, Diana, and I will lay paradise at your feet.”
At last a raspy reply sounded from her throat. “Yes.” He caught the whispered exhalation with his mouth. His hands slid down her back to palm and squeeze her buttocks. He lowered his head to her breast, kissing, gently biting, his tongue rasping her nipple, sending racking rivulet of pleasure to her womb. Her arousal escalating to a blinding need to feel the hot hard length of him in her passage, she writhed and ground against him with a fierce cry.
Diana awoke with a sob, her body fevered, her sheets discarded, and her nightrail tangled about her waist. She lay in this heightened state of arousal, panting, disoriented, and aching to her very core, until at last she sought her own release.
**LR CAFE NOMINEE BEST HISTORICAL ROMANCE 2012**
“I’ve come to count on Victoria Vane to deliver delightful, erotic romantic escapes. But this book signals a new turn in the Devil DeVere series, and it has now become an addiction for me… Suffice it to say, this is a sensational, sultry read with a complicated plot that will tantalize and seduce any readers of the Devil DeVereseries. While it might be an entertaining read for newcomers, the rewards to starting this series from the very beginning are too many to mention—and the enticements of the next new release will surely have you coming back for more!”
“I’ve been hooked from the beginning, like with no other series I’ve ever read. It’s filled with mystery, mischief, adventure, romance and oh yes, sex that will leave you gasping for breath as you soak up each page of this sensual, romantic experience.”
5 HEARTS Reading Romances: “If you still hadn’t fallen in love with DeVere, now you’ll surrender yourself. I’m getting addicted to Victoria’s writing, it’s like a drug.”