Victoria, Countess of Pembroke, knew her marriage wasn’t a love match, but she certainly hadn’t expected to be wedded, bedded and abandoned in the countryside. When her husband suddenly returns bent on seduction, she’s suspicious of his motives even though she finds it difficult indeed to resist his knowing hands and hot kisses.
Pembroke can’t afford to allow Victoria to discover the real reason for his reappearance in her life. To get what he wants, he’ll do anything, even if it means bedding the wife he never wanted.
But what begins as a tedious task turns into a raging passion neither of them can deny. As the truth unravels at last, they must choose between forgetting the past and allowing it to consume them.
I’ve told you before that I never wanted to hurt you, Victoria.” He put down his spoon. “My battle is with my father, not you, and I will forever regret that you were caught up in the crossfire.”
The acknowledgment seemed genuine. But she didn’t know if it was enough. “Thank you,” she offered simply. “I am gratified you have realized that much, at least.”
“You are most welcome.” He studied her intently. “Now, I find I’ve tired of the soup course. Have you?”
Her turtle soup had long gone cold. She nodded, watching warily as he rose from the table and stalked toward her. He stopped when he was at her side, leaning his hip negligently against the table. He reached out, framing her face with his large hands.
“We both know I never wanted to be a husband when I married you,” he said at last, his tone grave.
His acknowledgment had an air of deep candor to it, far more than his effortless flirtation and charming grins did. She searched his bright gaze, wondering if she could trust him. Wondering if she should. It occurred to her that what had happened in the past did not hold as much power over her life as what could happen in the future.
“And what of now?” she asked. “What do you want now?” It was the question that seemed to matter the most.
His gaze grew shuttered. “I have a duty to do by you.”
She frowned, trying to understand him. His hands were still a warm, tempting touch on her face. “Duty is not a want.”
“Sometimes it becomes a want,” he murmured, lowering his mouth to crush hers.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Scarlett Scott has loved romance novels ever since she was eleven and swiped her older sister’s books to read by flashlight in her closet. Her mother caught her, but she remained undeterred in her pursuit of happily ever afters. An award-winning author, she writes steamy historical and sexy contemporary romance. She lives in PA with her hero and their adorable dog who thinks he is a person in training.
Buy link: http://www.ellorascave.com/her-errant-earl.html
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