The war years are behind them.
The future is before them.
And one by one, the widows of Lyttlefield Park are getting restless . . .
Lady Charlotte Cavendish is still the spirited girl who tried to elope in the name of love. That dream was thwarted by her father who trapped her into a loveless, passionless marriage. But now widowed, Charlotte is free to reenter the giddy world of the ton—and pursue her desires. For hardly your typical widow, she remains innocent to the pleasures of the flesh. Yet her life is finally her own, and she intends to keep it that way . . .
Nash, the twelfth Earl of Wrotham, is beguiled by Charlotte at first sight—and the feeling is mutual. When he receives her intriguing invitation to a house party, the marriage-minded lord plans to further their acquaintance. But even he cannot sway her aversion to matrimony, and only with great restraint does he resist her most tempting offer. For unbeknownst to Charlotte, the misadventures of the past are revisiting them both, and bedding her could cost him everything—or give him everything he ever wanted . . .
A shadow crossed her face and Charlotte opened her eyes to find they had entered a dim stairwell, with a flight of dusty stairs leading to the attics; her mouth dried as though she’d eaten sand.
Before her eyes could adjust, he wrapped his arms around her, squeezing her against his granite-hard chest. When his hot mouth found hers, she gasped—she should have known he would try something like this.
He darted his tongue through her open lips and she squealed, then quieted. The last thing she wanted was for someone to find them so engaged. His hands cradled her head as he explored every inch of her mouth with a gentle thoroughness she had not known for years. Had anyone ever kissed her thus? With an intensity designed to kindle flames in her soul? Perhaps Edward, but that had been so long ago, she’d forgotten how good it felt, except…
That blasted cologne of his!
That thought broke the spell and she pushed Mr. Garrett away from her.
He panted as if he had run a race. “Devil take it, are you trying to get us thrown out, Charlotte?”
“Me?” Her voice rose and she stopped and lowered it. “You’re the one trying to ruin my reputation, and do not call me Charlotte; I haven’t given you permission.”
“After that little interlude, I don’t need permission,” he grinned at her in the faulty light. “You can’t deny you enjoyed it.”
“I can and do deny it.” She pressed her hand to her chest, where her heart still hammered. She hadn’t enjoyed it. Not really. But it had been exciting. More exciting than anything in her life for the past six years. Pray God he couldn’t see her face. It must be the color of ripe cherries.
“Methinks ‘the lady doth protest too much.’ May I call upon you tomorrow?” He grabbed her hand and placed his lips on the palm. The kiss burned even through the glove.
“I don’t think that would be wise for either of us.” She must hold on to what little sanity was left to her.
His eyes darkened and he ran his finger over her swollen lips. “Allow me to be the judge of what is wise, my dear. Come, I will escort you to Lady John before we are lost entirely.” He took her hand, stuck his head around the doorframe, then pulled her quickly into the room.
Blinking in the suddenly bright lights, she stumbled after him as he made his way toward her cousin.
Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical romance in all time periods because, she says, “passion is timeless.” She has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager. A romantic herself, Jenna has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise. She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She’s a theatre director when she’s not writing and lives in Gloucester, Virginia with her family, including two very vocal cats.
Jenna is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America as well as an active member of Chesapeake Romance Writers, her local chapter of RWA. She has three series currently available: The House of Pleasure, set in Georgian England, Handful of Hearts, set in Regency England, and Time Enough to Love, set in medieval England and France. This March Kensington Publishing will release the first book The Widows’ Club series, To Woo A Wicked Widow in both print and ebook. She currently writes to support her chocolate habit.
Find Jenna Jaxon online:
Musings from Michigan