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Entered into a wager that he can wed within a week, Captain Alex Bancroft pursues the first pretty woman he meets: Miss Emma Washer. Their courtship proceeds at a furious pace, including a dalliance that might ruin them both. Before it can, Alex proposes and is stunned when Emma agrees to marry him. Alex desperately tries to keep word of the wager from his new wife, not knowing Emma has secrets of her own to keep.
As passion erupts between the newly wed pair, the circumstances of Emma’s past threaten to tear them asunder. Alex’s regiment is directed to sail to a place Emma dares not go.
She refuses to accompany him, leaving Alex with a devastating choice: leave England to fulfil duty to Queen and country or stay and revel in his newfound love for his wife?
Read an Excerpt
“Mrs. Dowland, might we save the rest of the tour for another time? My wife and I are rather fatigued and wish to retire until dinner.”
“Of course, Captain. The master bedroom is just here.” She opened the door behind them onto a large bedchamber, the main component being a massive four-poster oak bed jutting majestically into the center of the room. The covers and bedcurtains were again in masculine colors of maroon and blue, and the walls papered in a dark floral paisley that Emma loved on sight. “I see Buckleigh and James have put your things there.” She motioned to their trunks. “I’ll make sure you are undisturbed until the dinner gong sounds. Do you prefer to dine at seven or eight o’clock?”
“Eight,” Alex replied quickly. “Thank you, Mrs. Dowland. You’ve been a great help. That will be all for now.”
“Very good, Captain.” With one last nod and a hint of a smile, Mrs. Dowland left, pulling the door closed.
“At last. I thought she’d never leave.” Alex turned to Emma, pulled her close, and sank his mouth down on hers.
When they finally came up for air, Emma’s head was whirling. “I thought you said we needed to rest.”
“I said we needed to retire.” He’d already begun pulling at his cravat, his gaze darkening when it fell on her. “Are you tired, my love?” Unbuttoning his jacket in record speed, Alex stripped it from his body and tossed it over his shoulder. “Do you need rest…or something else, perhaps?”
“B…but it’s still daylight.” She’d always assumed for some reason that marital relations were relegated to the hours of darkness, perhaps because they were too intimate to be done in the light of day. Maybe she’d been wrong about that.
About the Author:
She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets--including Olive, an almost silent cat, Earl Grey, a very curious bunny, and a Shar-pei mix named Frenchie.
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