Frances Thorne learned at an early age to rely on herself. Yet, losing her job and her home and watching her father carted off to debtor’s prison all in one day, is too much for her to bear alone. When a generous offer of assistance falls into her lap, she ignores her better instincts and decides to take a chance. The last thing she needs is for the infuriating Lord Lucan Montwood to stand in her way.
The end of the bachelors’ wager is near, and Lucan Montwood can taste victory. Yet, on the precipice of finally gaining freedom from his debts, he’s incensed to learn that the beautiful Frances Thorne has fallen into an insidious trap in the guise of a new position. Lucan can’t deny the way her lips call to him and knows he must risk his own future to ensure her safety.
Convincing her to trust him is the hard part and resisting her is next to impossible. But falling in love with her? That’s far too simple.
“You are putting your faith in the wrong man.” Something akin to irritation flashed in his gaze, like a warning shot. He took another step. “Perhaps those spectacles require new lenses. They certainly aren’t aiding your sight.”
“I wear these spectacles for reading, I’ll have you know. Otherwise, my vision is fine,” she countered, ignoring the heady static charge in the air between them. “I prefer to wear them instead of risking their misplacement.”
“You wear them like a shield of armor.”
The man irked her to no end. “Preposterous. I’ve no need for a shield of any sort. I cannot help it if you are intimidated by my spectacles and by my ability to see right through you.”
He stepped even closer. An unknown force, hot and barely leashed, crackled in the ever-shrinking space. She watched as he slid the blank parchment toward him before withdrawing the quill from the stand. Ignoring her, he dipped the end into the ink and wrote something on the page.
Undeterred, she continued her harangue. “Though you may doubt it, I can spot those snakes—as you like to refer to members of your own sex—quite easily. I can come to an understanding of a man’s character within moments of introduction. I am even able to anticipate”—Lucan handed the parchment to her. She accepted it and absently scanned the page—“his actions.”
Suddenly, she stopped and read it again. “As soon as you’ve finished reading this, I am going to kiss you.”
While she was still blinking at the words, Lucan claimed her mouth. The parchment crinkled. She heard an indrawn breath but wasn’t sure if it was hers or his. All she knew was that the first press of his lips sent a ripple through her—her body clenching on a sigh of rapture as if she’d been waiting a lifetime for this.
Her eyes closed.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
USA Today bestselling author VIVIENNE LORRET loves romance novels, her pink laptop, her husband, and her two sons (not necessarily in that order … but there are days). Transforming copious amounts of tea into words, she is proud to be an Avon Impulse author of works including: Tempting Mr. Weatherstone, The Wallflower Wedding series, and the Rakes of Fallow Hall series.