A new, deliciously wicked Regency romance is out this week from Scarlett Scott—featuring an exiled prince living in England as a mercenary and the widowed sister of the Duke he is hired to protect—and I have a little sneak peek for you.
“Sir,” she hissed, making no attempt to hide her displeasure at discovering him there, intruding upon her solitude in the private drawing room. “What are you doing here? Do you never sleep?”
He didn’t answer her questions, merely strode deeper into the room, allowing the door to fall closed behind him “If I were a villain intent upon doing you harm, I could very easily have done so, given how distracted you were by your sketch. You need to take better care with yourself, Marchioness.”
She rose to her feet in a swirl of pale linen. “Who is to say you aren’t a villain?”
She had a point there. “But not a villain who intends to harm you, my lady.”
No, indeed. Harming her was the furthest intention from his mind. Everything he wished to do to her involved a great deal of pleasure. Unfortunately, those things were all doomed to remain lodged inside his head rather than ever coming to fruition.
She bent down to retrieve the implement she had dropped before straightening and flashing him a cool smile. “As you can see, I am not an intruder, and nor is one skulking about in the corners. The only intruder is standing before me. Shall I fetch a fire iron?”
Was she taunting him? He could scarcely credit it.
Theo drew so near that the faintest hint of her scent teased him. “Not unless you wish to repeat what happened the last time you attempted to brain me, Marchioness.”
Her nostrils flared, her chin going up to a defiant angle that made him long to kiss her until all that ice melted to molten flame. “You wouldn’t dare.”
“Perhaps you’d be surprised by what I’d dare,” he told her, holding her stare.
Blue, lush blue. He could lose himself in those eyes with perilous ease. But he was no longer the careless young prince who had flirted and seduced so many eager ladies at court. He hadn’t had a lover since coming to England, and he had no intention of taking one now. Not that the icy widow before him would deign to welcome him into her bed.
“I suspect you’re a man of many hidden surprises,” she said softly, some of the chill in her voice unexpectedly thawing.
More than she could ever imagine, he thought wryly.
But aloud, he offered simply, “Not more than any other man.”
Her lips pursed, her eyes narrowing as she considered him with an intensity that made him instinctively want to look away. “I think you are bamming me, sir.”
Bamming her? His English was very good, but that was an unfamiliar term, one that evoked incredibly wicked thoughts. He didn’t reckon it meant what a certain part of his anatomy hoped it did.
He suppressed the desire threatening to rise. “You seem the sort of lady who believes whatever she wishes, regardless of what she is told. Believe as you like, Marchioness.”
“I shall, and I don’t require your approval to do so,” she said tartly.