A lady’s mission of revenge…
Lady Hannah Steers has three reasons to loathe and despise Ross Jameson. He’s a scandalous libertine, he stole her home, and he was responsible for the death of her brother!
Determined to expose Ross for the rogue he is, Hannah dons a disguise and infiltrates his home as his new housekeeper. Unfortunately, this scoundrel proves himself to be the epitome of temptation and, instead of building a case against him, Hannah finds herself in a position she never expected…falling head over heels in love with him!
‘Your tea, sir,’ she said snippily, but before she could walk away he rolled over and grabbed her arm.
‘Why don’t you like me, Prim?’ he slurred as he rose to a sitting position.
The dim candlelight made his bare skin glow golden and emphasised the powerful corded muscles in his arms and across his broad shoulders.
‘It is not my place to either like or dislike you, sir,’ she replied carefully, while trying to extricate her wrist from his firm hold and not look at his distracting body. Up close, she could see the dark stubble on his chin.
She should have found it unappealing—further evidence of his dissipation—but bizarrely it suited him. Hannah started to feel a little warm and off-kilter when she should have been outraged.
He laughed with drunken derision and leaned a little closer towards her, as if about to impart some great secret. ‘Come now, Prim, we both know that you are lying—although I have to say you are quite dreadful at it. If you did not dislike me so intently then you would be much…friendlier.’
His dark gaze held hers. There was no mistaking his meaning, especially when his thumb began to caress the sensitive skin on the underside of her trapped wrist—something that made the nerve-endings in her arm tingle with awareness. She forced her mind to be angry. The wretch was flirting with her. Shamelessly. Even drunk he was trying to manipulate her own body into betraying her.
‘If that is all, sir, then I should like to retire. It is very late and I must get up early in the morning to at- tend to my duties.’
Unfortunately her request fell on deaf ears, although why she had expected anything else she did not know. The gentle rhythm of his thumb circling that small patch of her skin was having an odd effect on her. It had been so long since anybody had intentionally touched her that she was keenly aware of every movement. She could feel her heart fluttering, and her flesh begin to tingle in a most unwelcome way.
The knowing stare he gave her through half-hooded eyes did make her feel a tad nervous. It was as if he was fully aware of the effect his ministrations were having on her.
‘Come now, Prim. As your employer I am more than happy to allow you to sleep in, should you need to. I do believe that you might have other duties to attend to tonight that are far more pressing.’
Hannah could not quite believe her ears, even though her pulse quickened at the suggestion. Had he really just made completely improper and outrageous advances towards her?
She stiffened her spine in outrage and roughly snatched her wrist away. ‘How dare you? You are drunk, sir. This is not the way a gentleman behaves towards a member of his household.’
She swiftly spun round and marched to the door in righteous indignation. She did not care if her words did threaten to compromise her employment here. In fact she did not care if he dismissed her on the spot—she would not allow him to treat her as if she were some lightskirt. Even if society believed that about her she would never demean herself by allowing another man to treat her that way.
As soon as she got to the door he was behind her. ‘Not so fast, Prim,’ he whispered, close to the back of her head, planting his arms upon the wood on either side of her, preventing her from leaving.
Despite the drink he was unbelievably swift and light on his feet. She had not even heard him rise from the bed, let alone dash across the floor of his bedchamber. That made her feel even more nervous and exposed. Even in the state he was in he was a force to be reckoned with.
She turned in the confines of his arms and folded her own arms across her chest in defiance. It would not do to let him see that she was rattled. ‘What do you in- tend to do, sir? Keep me here against my will? Force yourself upon me?’
Her chin lifted as she stared up at him. Goodness, he was tall—and imposing at such close quarters. Her eyes barely came level with his chin. And he smelled so…masculine.
A low, intimate chuckle emanated from somewhere deep in his chest and resonated through her body. ‘Dear Prim, I can assure you that I have never, ever had to force myself upon a woman. They all come quite willingly, in my experience—
About the Author
When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down.
Fortunately, Harlequin decided to publish them. Her first Regency Romance, That Despicable Rogue, is published in May 2016. It still takes her forever to fall asleep.