Blog Tour – The Earl She Should Never Desire by Lara Temple

The Earl She Should Never Desire

The Earl Cover

The Earl She Should Never Desire
This very handsome earl…Is the one man she cannot fall for…
War widow Lily Walsh has left her aristocratic family behind, but she can’t deny her younger sister’s request to come to London to meet her fiancé. Though not a love match, Lord Sherborne is kind, amusing and ideal for her sister on paper. But as Lily gets to know him, she’s finding him alarmingly attractive! And the forbidden look in the earl’s eye shows the feeling is mutual…

Purchase Links:
Bools 2 Read ~ Amazon US

The Earl Author Photo

Author Bio:
Lara Temple writes strong and sensual Regency romances about complex individuals who give no quarter but do so with plenty of passion. She lives with her husband, two children, and one very fluffy dog and they are all very understanding about her taking over the kitchen table so she can look out over the garden as she writes and dreams up her Happy Ever Afters.

Social Media links:
Amazon author page US ~ Amazon author page UK ~ Goodreads ~ Facebook Author Page ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Website

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EXCERPT :

The engagement between Lord Sherbourne, London’s most eligible bachelor, and Anne Devenish, London’s most beautiful and well-mannered young lady, is the envy of the ton. All might have been well but for Lily, Anne’s less than perfect widowed sister. Since her arrival in London, Marcus and Anne’s perfect engagement-of-convenience has been unravelling. In this scene Marcus and Lily find themselves forced to dance together. It is not a good moment for either of them…

One of them had to say something.

Marcus hoped Lily would, because his mind was a blasted blank. At least he was trying to keep it blank. He’d been raw all day after that strange episode in his study. He’d tried to tell himself it was pure nerves, a natural resistance to his sensible decision to marry. A reaction to Dom’s words which he knew were aligned with at least one of his conflicting inner voices. He’d known these months leading up to the fait accompli of marriage would be challenging. He hadn’t figured on them being purgatorial.

And he certainly hadn’t considered…

He didn’t want to consider.

This strange curiosity about Lily Walsh was just that. She was a curious little thing. If he could put things in their right place, she could eventually become a good friend.

The fist tightened around his chest again as it had when he’d realised he had to dance with her.

A good friend.

What a liar he’d become.

One didn’t have hallucinations that one’s imaginary daughter far too closely resembled a good friend. One didn’t have one’s whole body lurch into alertness because of a good friend’s laugh. One didn’t rush into a bustling bakery to procure a loaf of bread because a good friend had a smile that always seemed to drag his to the surface. And one certainly didn’t lose his grip on his temper’s reins because a good friend wanted to leave London, possibly because said good friend had someone waiting for them in Birmingham.

A shaft of fear shot through him as sharp as any he’d felt when his life was in the balance.

Even during the war, he’d been able to plan ahead, envisage threats, prepare for them. That was why he’d survived and thrived. He’d been afraid but prepared.

Now he was afraid and damnably unprepared.

He tried to push it away, but the realisation was white-hot and burned through his defences.

He’d made a horrible mistake.

It was a terrifyingly depressing realisation and the worst possible place to realise it—in the very middle of the battlefield.

He wanted to push Lily away and walk out of this ballroom-turned-purgatory so he could rebuild his defences and get perspective on his new worst enemy.

No, he wanted to pull her closer, lean in to catch the scent that had been teasing him since he’d been fool enough to stop and follow her in Cheapside. Orange blossoms. Damn her.

What was wrong with him? He’d found the perfect bride. Why on earth was his idiot mind and body fixating on the sister?

This was not supposed to happen.

It wouldn’t happen.

His mother had warned him he ought to be watchful of the Sherbourne rebellious streak. He’d thought he’d long outgrown it, but apparently it was alive and well and convincing his weakening mind and body that Lily Walsh was just what it fancied right now.

Well, there would be none of that.

‘What will it be—the weather or gossip?’ he demanded, a little too loudly.

Her lashes flickered up, her eyes silvery with tiny gold reflections from the chandelier above them. A hundred little pinpricks danced along his nape.

‘I beg your pardon?’ Her voice was misty and the pinpricks showered down his spine. He clung to the saddle and soldiered on.

‘And so you should beg my pardon for snubbing my perfectly respectable conversational opening. You ought at least to have tried the winning combination of simpering and saying, Whichever you prefer, Lord Sherbourne. That should do for the next few turns.’

Her distant expression faded as she burst into laughter. He wished he hadn’t goaded it out of her. The flames he’d been beating back roared up from the chasm. The last time she’d laughed like that it had only been the hairs on his nape that rose to attention. This time his body didn’t give a damn about decency and propriety and honour. Every cell turned its whole and avid attention on Lily like his dog did when Marcus took an India rubber ball out of the drawer. He could see it in Ombra’s eyes—the whole world narrowed into one object: ball. Want. Now. Mine.

His body was no better. Right now that was the sum total of its comprehension: Lily. Want. Now. Mine.

God, he was in trouble.

He’d never dreamed a waltz could be so hellish.

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