Samantha Hastings lived a quiet, peaceful life on her family’s country estate. With no man to order her around and no stifling society rules to follow, she considered herself blessed. However, when her brother’s ship sinks during a short trip to France, Samantha receives a request from her sister-in-law to return to town and manage the late Earl’s finances. Suddenly thrust into society, Samantha faces an unfamiliar world and a pair of very familiar green eyes.
Lord Benjamin Westwood never intended on following through with his rash promise to his best friend. Now, with Edward’s death, Benjamin becomes the unwilling guardian to Edward’s bratty little sister, who has grown up considerably since the last time they met. His intention to marry her off to the first available suitor is thwarted when he finds himself falling for Samantha’s unique demeanor. He lights upon the perfect plan; a marriage of convenience, giving him the opportunity to romance Samantha without distraction.
However, when they discover Edward’s disappearance was due to foul play, Benjamin’s prefect plan begins to quickly unravel. Now, Samantha is in more danger than either of them realized and Benjamin is running out of time
She glanced back at Benjamin, who was staring at her intensely, his green eyes burning. She shivered again, even though the fire continued to warm her skin. “He does not really trust you, does he?”
Benjamin’s eyes continued their passionate glare. “He has his reasons.”
Sam decided her best defense would be to try and distract Benjamin until she found the opportunity to replace the brick. While her intentions had been innocent, she was unsure if he would appreciate her snooping through his private memories.
“Are they well founded?” she inquired, in what she hoped was a convincing tone.
Benjamin smirked, his mouth pulling up at one corner. “Miss Hastings, I am not as easily sidetracked as your brother.”
Sam raised her eyebrows innocently. “My Lord?”
“I am curious to learn what did make that sound.” His stare deepened as he leaned closer. “I see nothing broken.”
So much for distractions, she gulped. Sam stared down at the floor, unwilling to meet his prying gaze, her toe dug into the carpet. “I dropped something.”
“Indeed,” whispered Benjamin, moving again until he was inches from her face. His hot breath tickled her lips. “What did you drop?”
Sam raised her eyes to his face as color rouged her cheeks. “A brick.”
“A brick,” repeated Benjamin skeptically. He stepped back and studied her for a moment. Then understanding flitted across his face. “Ahh, I see.”
“I am very sorry,” Sam began, her voice wavering. “I was just curious and it slipped out of my hand as I was removing it. I should not have invaded your privacy.”
“Stop,” Benjamin placed his finger against Sam’s babbling lips. An electric spark traveled through her body like lightning.
Sam looked up at him with wide eyes. She nudged the brick forward from its hiding place under the hem of her nightgown. “I did not get a chance to see anything hidden in the cubby,” she whispered.
Benjamin leaned over and reached for the brick. His fingers lingered a moment on her foot, tracing light lines across the surface. Another spark shot through Sam’s body. “There is nothing else in the space,” he replied tersely. “Do you understand?”
“Yes,” answered Sam in a meek voice as she watched him shove the brick back into the side of the fireplace.
Once it was flush against the hearth, Benjamin turned toward Sam. “Have you been awake long?”
“I never went to sleep,” replied Sam.
“A shame to waste such a nice bed,” answered Benjamin, struggling to appear playful.
“I was worried.”
Benjamin considered her answer. “There is no need to worry about me.”
Sam laughed. The hollow sound barely reached her ears. “Benjamin, someone tried to massacre our family tonight.”
Fire burned once again in his liquid emerald pools. “It appears as though I have underestimated your inquisitiveness. Perhaps we can put it to better use.”
Sam opened her mouth to speak, but Benjamin held up his hand. Sam bit her tongue and waited with uncertainty. She watched quietly as Benjamin strolled languidly over to the open chamber door and closed it with a light click.
“Edward would not approve,” clucked Sam. Apparently Benjamin determined the best way to avoid Sam’s questions was to divert her attention.
“I have no doubt there are a myriad of things I have done which Edward would not approve,” grinned Benjamin wickedly.
He crossed the room in two long strides. The heat radiating off of his skin made the fire behind her feel like a cool breeze. He lifted his hand, running it lightly over the tendrils escaping from her braid. A tremble danced over her skin. He was clearly intent on distracting her from her current line of thought.
Benjamin captured her mouth in a soft feathery kiss. Her mind went blissfully blank. Slowly his lips traveled down her neck, nibbling lightly until a moan escaped from Sam’s mouth. His sinful grin flashed in the moonlight. “What a delightful sound. I wonder how many times I can make you moan before the sun rises.”
Sam’s mouth fell open with a pop. “Benjamin,” she spluttered, but the rest of the sentence was muffled as Benjamin resumed his sensual assault on her mouth.
The fire, which originally coursed through her body from Benjamin’s earlier caress, burned over every inch of her skin. She felt as though she would shatter into a million pieces. Wrapping her arms securely around his neck, she moaned again against his lips.
Benjamin deepened the kiss, his tongue pushing into her mouth. He pressed against her body, allowing her to feel the muscles beneath his clothing. She pulled him closer, wanting to ignite the same passionate moan from his mouth. Biting on his lower lip, Sam slid one hand into Benjamin’s hair. She nestled against him, until her body molded into his body. Her hands wandered under his shirt, skimming across his smooth skin and brushing down his stomach.
A sharp intake of breath caught her attention. Pulling away with a sigh, Benjamin shook his head. “Slow down Samantha.”
He took several steps away, standing in the beam of moonlight still shining through the open drapes.
“Why?” she pouted, feeling rejected by the distance he now placed between them.
Benjamin pursed his lips, as if searching for the right explanation.
“For a self-proclaimed rake, you are behaving exactly like a gentleman,” accused Sam, still annoyed by his sudden detachment.
Benjamin snorted. “I believe that particular moniker was given to me by someone else.”
Sam glared at him, still stinging. “Apparently I was wrong in my earlier assessment.”
“Samantha, I have been trying my damnedest to be a gentleman, but you seem intent on making that particular endeavor extremely difficult.”
ENTER TO WIN AN eCOPY OF A PERFECT PLAN. THE GIVEAWAY IS OPEN FOR SEVEN DAYS AND THE WINNER WILL BE NOTIFIED SHORTLY AFTER THE CLOSING DATE.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Author Alyssa Drake has been creating stories since she could read, preferring to construct her own bedtime tales instead of reading the titles in her bookshelves. Enraptured with all types of writing, Alyssa has tried her hand at short stories, collaborations and poetry. However, her first love has always been books. She thoroughly enjoys strong heroines and often laughs aloud when visualizing conversations between her characters.
She believes everyone is motivated by love of someone or something. One of her favorite diversions is fabricating stories about strangers surrounding her on public transportation. Alyssa can often be found madly scribbling notes on a train or daydreaming out the window as the scenery whips past.