After seven failed seasons, Valerie Hempstead decides to take her fate into her own hands, and a tour of the continent is just the thing. Accompanied by a female cousin, and the girl’s childhood companions–all of whom live fast and for the moment, Valerie is about to discover more about life than she anticipated.
Travis Elijah Colin Wade, the son of no one in particular, has just been handed a vast amount of money and a large country estate and, of all things, a bloody title. However, he’s not at all pleased about leaving his care-free bachelor days behind. Determined to spend some of his money and relax before assuming his duties for Queen and country, Travis goes abroad. Little does he know that he is about to be utterly swept away by the seduction of innocent surrender.
Twenty minutes later when she’d finished dallying with her glass, she looked up at him and frowned.
Unable to help himself, he smiled at her. “I’d get you more, but I think you’ll have to wait until they fetch another bottle. Everyone in the room has indulged tonight.”
Her smile was charmingly lopsided. “I do hope they hurry. I haven’t felt this way since drinking French champagne with my cousin and her friends.”
Travis’s head tipped back to rest upon the back of the couch. “I think, Miss Hempstead, you will find this drink altogether different than mere champagne.”
Valerie adjusted her seat so that she was facing him and rested the side of her head next to his on the cushioned couch back. “You think?”
He turned his head to face her; they were practically nose to nose. “M-hm. The absinthe is already warming up to me, and I’m sure I drink far more than you do on a regular basis.”
“Oh, come now, Mr. Wade. You don’t think I’ve had my share of drunken frolics?”
“No, not you, little Valerina,” Travis chuckled. “I’ll wager you haven’t.”
“Little me? I’ll have you know I was taller than almost every marriageable man last season.” She frowned. “And the year before that, too,” she murmured mostly to herself. “So you can’t call me little.”
“You are shorter than I am,” he pointed out without moving a muscle.
She thought for a moment. “Not by very much.”
“Sure you are. Let’s measure.” Feeling less than secure about standing, Travis removed himself from the couch and, although slightly dizzy, offered his hand to help Valerie up.
When she stood he closed the distance between them with a half stride and lifted his hand to the top of her head. “See, you’re—oops, steady girl.” He caught her upper arms when she fell against him. Her hands seized his waist for support. Travis felt pure electricity run through his body coming from every place she touched him.
“I’m so sorry. I—” She fumbled for words but stayed where she’d fallen as if trying to remember how to right herself.
She looked up into his eyes and time froze for Travis. Her sweet breath swept past his chin and his gaze fell to her lips. Their impromptu embrace, no matter how clumsy it was, felt so right, so perfect, so—familiar. His head needed only to dip down to press his lips to hers. When she didn’t remove herself from his arms, and he’d given her ample time to do so, he took a breath, lowered his face and kissed her.
About the author
Born and reared in Southern California, Genella deGrey longed to be your typical blonde, tanned, surfer girl but failed miserably. Unable to sit idle without falling asleep, she embarked upon several artistic endeavors. Makeup and set dressing for the entertainment industry, Resort Enhancement for The Walt Disney Company and writing sexy historical romance top the list of her favorite activities.
Genella has a keen interest in the spirit world. She loves wandering around in graveyards, traveling to battle fields and other haunted destinations, the older the better. New Orleans is one of her favorite places to encounter the supernatural, as is Tombstone, AZ.
Amazon.com’s Genella de Grey page