It can’t be love if it’s Strictly Seduction…
As an innocent girl, Madeline Sedgewick learned that nothing comes without a price—even desire. Five years later, now widowed and deeply in debt, she’s certain that the stranger who bought her last husband’s notes of credit will demand swift, steep repayment. But she never imagines her creditor will be Brock Taylor, her baseborn former stable-hand turned newly wealthy entrepreneur—the man who stole her virginity and her heart. She’s even more stunned when he says that he’ll forgive her debts only if she becomes his wife.
Brock’s memories of their parting are no less bitter than Maddie’s, and his plans for their future are hardly a rekindling of their blissful first love. But seeing Maddie again—just as spirited, strong, and beautiful as ever—reawakens a desire he thought long dead. When she refuses his proposal, they strike a dangerous wager, with Brock’s self-made fortune and Maddie’s treasured independence at stake. It’s a wager only one of them can win—as long as they resist the other’s passionate seduction…and falling in love again.
When Maddie pushed the door open, she found Brock in the foyer inches away. Waiting. His expression said little, but he looked both lost and determined—unlike the businessman who had first stepped into her parlor roughly two months ago. Tonight was personal, his solemn expression told her. Did he, too, feel emotions that confused him? How could she resist if he touched her with desperate affection on his face?
Slowly, Brock tread a silent path to her and cradled her cheek with his warm palm, brushing her mouth with his thumb, Maddie resisted the urge to nuzzle into his touch.
“It seems like a year since I last touched you.” His eyes held an aching expression that reached inside her and pulled the jumble of her feelings to the fore.
She stepped closer. “It does.”
His green eyes were soft, searching. Maddie felt as if she were falling deep into his gaze. The air hung thick with unspoken sentiment. Something inside of her—a part that had long wanted to be loved—responded to the silent whisper between them.
Lord, she felt dangerously close to falling in love with him all over again.
“You look troubled. Whatever it is, forget it tonight.”
The offer tempted her. She could lose herself in the magic of his touch and cease worrying about her vulnerable heart until tomorrow. She knew, however, that a night in his arms would only increase her tumult—and her need.
Maddie tried to pull away from him. He placed his free hand on her other cheek and fused her stare to his. Maddie feared he could see straight into her soul. His stare asked for her nearness, soothed her confusion, made her want to melt into him and forget the world.
With eyes so gentle, he was impossible to resist.
Her surrender must have shown on her face, for he leaned toward her, into her, and placed a soft kiss on her mouth. They exchanged a brush of lips, a rush of breath. He feathered his fingers into her hair, and she leaned into his touch, silently asking for more.
He covered her mouth with his again. Still, she felt no demand, only a honey‐sweet call that enveloped her senses.
Maddie tangled her fingers in his hair and drew him closer. Her senses reeled. Her mind emptied of everything but his heat, his touch, his taste. As he pressed soft kisses on her lips, she swayed closer, fully against him.
The moment felt perfect, their mute communication more expressive than a thousand words.
Slanting his lips across her, he kissed her once more, feasting on the inside of her mouth. Heat crept up her chest. Need rose steadily in her belly. He felt necessary to her, as if some too-trusting part of her never wanted to let him go.
Brock’s hands moved to her buttons at the back of her dress and eased them from their fastenings, one by one. As he slid the dress from her shoulders, his mouth was there, warming, reassuring. Maddie melted into the seductive stroke of his lips. Brock made her feel worshipped and wanted, heaven knew. He made her feel so desirable. With him, she was never cold or unresponsive. Maddie found that knowledge as heady as his touch.
When her dress hung about her waist, she reached out with damp palms to remove his cravat and coat. His mouth returned to hers, as if thanking her. He lingered over her lips, sampling her as if he had all the time in the world—as if nothing would ever come between them.
Tears stung Maddie’s eyes as she removed his coat and shirt. He divested her of her petticoats and corset in gentle strokes, touching each inch of skin he exposed along the way.
As she gazed at the bare, hard flesh of his arms and torso, her mind felt slow and heavy. Her chemise clung to her skin, pressing back against her swelling, sensitive breasts. When his fingers traced a slow path down a taut mound, Maddie felt as if he reached inside her, driving her arousal higher.
“When you look at me like that, I want to drown in you for hours,” he murmured.
“A story of a second chance at love. Of falling in love all over again and forgiving past and present mistakes. It kept me glued to the pages as I usually expect by this wonderful author.”
– Under The Covers Book Blog