* 25 Five Star Reviews
* Special Content Alert: Voyuerism
* RWA Molly Contest Finalist – Erotica category
Desperate to win Morgan’s love, Olivia Breedlove embarks on a reckless folly of cat and mouse. Morgan stays one step ahead of the woman he's loved for years, more so when he discovers the road Olivia travels is strewn with duplicity and murder.
A decade ago, Morgan was a heartbeat away from taking Olivia’s virginity. Her father, Thaddeus, intervened and threatened to meet him over pistols if he ever looked at his daughter again.
Thaddeus is dead now, and Morgan will not ignore the ravenous hunger he’s harbored for the woman. One way or the other, he will quench this burning desire and make Olivia his forever.
Excerpt: Here Morgan informs Olivia he's made arrangements for her to engage in voyeurism at Madame Rosseau's brothel.
Morgan peered between the branches of a hickory. Dressed in a fashionable lavender gown and displaying an ample amount of cleavage, Olivia sat on a bench reading near her mother’s prized roses. He closed his eyes against the beauty that brought men up short, him among them. A familiar piquant mixture of jasmine and white tea blossoms wafted around him, more potent than poisonous vapors infused by a viper’s fangs. Unbeknown to the confounded woman, her secret weapon brought him to his knees after one teensy whiff.
An overt clearing of his throat prompted her to place the book in her lap, fold her slender hands and look up at him. "Morgan, I assume you’ve brought me good news."
He had a powerful urge to slap that smug look from her face. "Indeed, I have fulfilled my obligation, met with Madame Rousseau."
Her eyes grew wide. "And?"
"Everything is arranged. I insist on accompanying you the first time."
"The first time?" She blinked and came to her feet while placing the book on the bench. "Does that mean you’ve scheduled more than one appointment?"
With acid amusement he said, "One can hardly choose a husband after one showing. I assumed—"
She stepped toward him with a devastating smile. "I knew I could count on you, knew you’d understand."
Loath to admit it, he did empathize. Placed in her situation, he’d insist on doing the same, but it irked him beyond imagination that in two days those angelic eyes would feast upon strangers fornicating. Among other things.
He bowed slightly, straightened and waited for her to speak again.
"I’m forever in your debt, eternally grateful."
His breathing had returned to normal and he managed to respond. "Yes, well, think nothing of it. How do you plan to disguise yourself?"
"Oh," she said. "That’s the corker! Cain suggested I attire myself in men’s clothing and I couldn’t agree more. My best chance of not being recognized is to wear men’s clothing." Acknowledging the little choking noise from his throat, she looked at him sharply. "Are you all right, Morgan? What’s the matter, don’t you think it’s a splendid idea?"
How could he tell her it had nothing to do with what she would wear, but rather the impending image of her peering through that little peephole? He rocked back on his heels and said, "Leave it to our little ingenious Cain."
"What day will you arrive to escort me?"
"Friday evening, say, nine o’clock?"
An instant blush found her cheeks, and he had the strange feeling she had conjured an erotic image in her mind. "Will you be staying with me the entire time or . . . ?"
"No," he said with a knife-edged finality. "I’ll escort you to Madame Rousseau’s suite and she’ll manage the rest."
"You told her to expect a woman?"
He ground the words out. "Yes, she will expect a woman of the gentry who desires to observe an amorous liaison."
Her tone grateful she asked, "What did it cost, Morgan? You need only tell me what you paid and I’ll reimburse you on Friday."
He dismissed her question with a wave of his hand. He didn’t want her damn money. If she ever found out it fattened his pocketbook, there’d be hell to pay.
"Oh no you don’t, dear friend. I can’t possibly allow you to pay for my shameless inquisitiveness."
Dear friend? Wielding a dull knife to cut out his heart to serve it à la friteuse would have sufficed. "Is that what you call it? Your inquisitiveness? I thought it fell more along the lines of depravity."
Green eyes narrowed. "You don’t approve after all?"
With another wave of his hand, he forged ahead. "Forget it, it doesn’t matter whether I approve or not. I gave my word to Cain I’d see it through to the end whether or not you’re shocked out of your pristine bloomers."
Her delicate chin tilted up. "I assure you, I’ve seen it all."
"Is that so? Where?"
"Books. You do remember my father has an extensive library, including a vast collection of nude pictorials . . . French and Italian."
With a sick knot in his stomach, he met her gaze, "One hundred dollars."
"One hundred dollars to observe."
"That’s exorbitant! What does it actually cost to—?"
"Less than it costs to engage in voyeurism, and that should be of little significance since you don’t plan to offer yourself up as a fille de joie. Or do you?"
"Of course not!" she replied indignantly and in the next breath said, "What did you call them?"
"Yes, I know that, but did you use a French term?"
He could have kicked himself for overlooking her uncanny perception, and why did he get the feeling pistons and pulleys worked overtime in that pretty little head as she scrutinized him? "About the money . . . ."
"I’ll have it on Friday."
Her eyes warned him another question from that kissable mouth struggled for release. "What? You’ll burst if you don’t spit it out."
"Will they . . . will the people in the room know I’m, well, you know, watching?"
"Do you want them to?"
She clutched her throat. "Most certainly not, but I can’t help but wonder if that is an option."
"It is, but that will cost another fifty dollars." He studied her with marked intent. "Should I arrange that too?"
"No, no, thank you. I’d prefer—"
"To spy on people while they’re rutting."
A little gasp spewed from her throat, but like the Olivia he knew, she recovered quickly. With a bold step forward, she threw her arms about his neck and kissed him, without warning, without pretense. His head swam. Christ, those sweet, sensual lips melded into his passionately, as if they had done this a thousand times in the past, but in reality, it had only been once—a lifetime ago. She clung to him and pressed her firm, ripe body against him. His fingers splayed and tangled in her wild mane as he drew her deeper into the kiss.
On and on it went, her sweet breath mingling with his, their tongues entwined. Amid the little soft moans from the back of her throat, his resolve disintegrated, his kiss reaching a demanding plateau. Still she did nothing to stop him.
Overcome by an irresistible urge to feel her beneath him, he backed her toward the bench, intent on taking her here, now, on that hard, cold surface or the ground, he didn’t care which. The rigid length of his cock pulsated between them. More than anything in the world, he wanted to shove it into her . . . into every orifice imaginable.
The soft echo of a woman’s voice filtered through the labyrinth of trellises and twisted vines. "Liv, darling, where are you?"
Olivia jerked from his arms and staggered back, her voice hoarse. "Oh, forgive me, I shouldn’t have . . . ."
"Here, Lark, near the roses." She buffed her lips with her fingers and then straightened her dress. "You must leave quickly," she said, pointing toward a narrow path. "Please, Morgan, Lark will suspect something if she sees you."
Caught up in the moment, he took her chin in his hand with only a vague awareness of the robin’s twill overhead, the rustle of nearby branches, and the scattered gravel crunching beneath someone’s feet. "The next time you start something with me, be prepared to finish it."