“Are you jealous?” He’d meant to provoke her the way she was provoking him, but the question came out wrong. It came out like he wanted her to say—
“Yes.” Her gaze didn’t waver from his. “I’ve no right to be. You don’t belong to me.”
No, he didn’t. But he wanted to. If only for a short time.
There was just the two of them. He wanted her. Desperately. He was growing more and more certain she wanted him too. And there was a bed right behind her.
Oh, this was not right or honorable or acceptable. Nevertheless, he said, “I do right now.”
The air around them crackled with electricity as if a hundred lighting strikes had touched down in the room. There was searing heat and a constant thrum of energy, of desire.
He surrendered to all of it and took her in his arms, his lips descending madly on hers. She clasped her hands around his neck and stood on her toes to meet him. Her mouth met his eagerly, and the ensuing kiss became the very best moment of his life.
We first met our hero, Graham Kinsley, in the final book of The Untouchables series. Graham was the secretary of the Earl of St. Ives and he handled all of the betting on the races featured in the last few books of the series. Graham has now, very unexpectedly, inherited a title, Duke of Halstead – and that is all there is – a title. The estate is totally insolvent with the last Duke having been swindled out of a huge sum of money. The only way to begin to salvage anything is to either marry an heiress or sell Brixton Park. There is no contest with that – his great-great-grandfather designed and built Brixton Park and Graham just can’t let it go.
Arabella Stoke’s family is in the same situation as Graham. Her father was swindled by the same man and their family situation is now dire. They have sold off almost everything they own and Arabella is remaking her ballgowns in order to hide their penury. The family’s only salvation is for Arabella to marry someone who has a LOT of money.
So, of course, fate will intervene and have those two impoverished people meet and fall in love. Each of them hopes the other has money. What a rude awakening it was. Their road to a HEA isn’t an easy one and there are no fairy godmothers to show up and save them.
I liked Graham in the previous book he was in, but I didn’t really understand him in this book. He has a number of highly titled friends who are accustomed to running large estates, managing investments, etc. but when he inherits a destitute estate – through absolutely no fault of his own – he won’t ask these very good friends for advice or money. I can see not wanting to borrow money from them – but not seeking advice just didn’t make sense.
I’m so glad that there wasn’t a lot of angst in the book as page after page of angst just makes me insane. There was a bit of introspection and darkness, but not a lot.
It was an enjoyable read and I hope you’ll give it a try.