Wild, Wicked and Wanton Series Book Three
by Natasha Blackthorne
Erotica Romance ~ Georgian Historical Set in USA ~ Novel Length 100,000+ words ~ Nineteen year-old, Idealistic & Headstrong Heroine Meets Tortured, Wealthy Hero
In the wake of a devastating epidemic, sheltered Emily Eliot finds herself alone, making her own decisions for the first time. When desperation leads her to sell her virtue, she walks straight into trouble.
Enter one gorgeous, golden-haired gentleman bent on protecting her.
Alexander Dalton came to the Blue Duck Tavern seeking to lose himself in sexual pleasure. But when he saw the delicate and vulnerable young woman, he couldn’t turn away.
Emily is alarmed by her own intense responses as this charismatic and carnal man introduces her to erotic pleasure. Having lived as a virtual prisoner of her grandmother’s suffocating manipulation, Emily bridles under Alex’s possessive, protectiveness. And Alex’s charming smile hides a dark secret that could destroy their chance at happiness.
Will their passion burn them up or bring them together?
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Excerpt from A Measured Risk
©Copyright Natasha Blackthorne 2012, 2013
For Adults 18+ Only
As if reading her thoughts, he tossed some money down on the table.
She glanced up.
He smiled a lazy smile that set her body tingling. “Lead me upstairs.”
His words crashed over her like a tidal wave of icy water. Her hands shook and sweat poured out all over her.
Oh, God. The moment was upon her. Oh, God. She wasn’t ready.
This was how it happened? Just like that—so bluntly? Without any coaxing or wooing? Her heart dropped back down to where it belonged and pounded against her ribcage as if it wanted to jump clear from her body.
She’d never be ready.
She reached for her wineglass.
He touched her hand, feathering his fingers over hers.
Her hand shook on the glass and the wine sloshed. A vision splashed across her mind. The dance of firelight upon the walls, fine linen sheets sliding like silk against her bare body, strong hands reaching for her, touching her, pulling her close to his naked, utterly masculine body, his whispers in her ear…
Her insides went all fluttery and she inhaled deeply. When she’d come here tonight, she hadn’t thought much about being bedded by a man beyond the money. She especially hadn’t anticipated that there would be any pleasure associated with it. But here with this man, she could feel how it would be.
She hadn’t expected to be able to choose a man—certainly never a handsome and charming one. But he was her choice.
Suddenly, she felt lighter than she had in all the days since she’d first decided to sell herself. She did a have a modicum of power in this situation.
He dropped his hand from hers.
She immediately brought the glass to her lips and gulped half of the remaining contents. It burnt all the way down, and gave her something to center her attention on besides his effect upon her senses.
His commanding tone sent her nerves bristling. So did the way he tapped the stack of bills. She took a closer look. Twenty dollars lay on the table. Enough money to pay her rent, yes, but still…
She took another deep breath, set the glass down and flicked her gaze back to his. “Can’t you ask any better than that?”
His deep, rich laugh sent another thrill through her, right down to her very toes. “I see—expensive and hard to acquire.”
Retrieving the money, he pulled aside his coat to stash the bills in his waistcoat, his body rippling against the close-fitting, striped satin.
She couldn’t tear her eyes away from the sight.
How would it feel to be held against that trim, hard waist?
His hand froze halfway into his pocket. Looking up from his abdomen, she met his eyes. His expression was a shade speculative and maybe a bit amused. Dear heavens, he’d caught her ogling his midsection. Her face flamed and she glanced away quickly.
Had she just ruined her chance with him? Was he totally put off now? Oh, what a stupid, green girl she’d proved herself to be. She wanted nothing more desperately than to hide her feelings. She’d show him that his rejection didn’t matter.
“You might still stand a chance with her,” she said, nodding at the curvy redhead, who sat with several mariners, giggling.
“She’ll be around. I’d rather talk to you.” He tapped her gloved hand with a natural authority that rankled her. Grandmother had never ceased in her complaints about how arrogant gentlemen were.
She jerked her hand away. “Just like a man—so smugly sure of your appeal.”
“And just how much do you know of men?”
“Oh, I’ve had many—all quite handsome and wealthy,” she rejoined, in what she hoped was a casual tone.
He narrowed his eyes speculatively. “How old are you?”
He laughed. This time it was a soft, sensual sound that sent delicious shivers down her spine. “More like fifteen, possibly sixteen, but a very immature sixteen.”
A small, satisfied smile spread over his lips and she regretted her outburst. In fact, she itched to wipe the smugness off his face. She took a deep breath and continued far more sedately. “The women in my family age very slowly. My grandmother looks about fifty.”
“Tell me something—why aren’t you with her now?”
She stared at him blankly, her heart pounding in short jags of rapid beats.
Grandmother was dead.
For ever and ever.
She didn’t want to talk about it.
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