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Series: First Comes Love # 1 Genre: Historical Romance Publisher: St. Martin's Press Publication Date: May 28, 2019
One fiercely independent widow.
One honest proposal.
One unconventional game of love.
When Adeline, Dowager Countess of Wake, learns of her husband's sudden death, she realizes she's free. At last, she can do, go, and be as she pleases. Finally, she can have the life she has always dreamed of. She doesn't need, or want, to remarry. Especially not the supremely dashing Earl of Lyonwood, who makes Adeline yearn for his desire . . .
Lord Lyonwood, son of a philandering marquis, will not be like his father. He wants to run his estates and watch them flourish - and find a wife who brings love to his life. When he meets spirited and self-reliant Adeline in a case of near-scandalous mistaken identity, Lyon feels he's met his match. But Adeline isn't interested in a marriage proposal. She will only accept becoming his lover - and Lyon finds it hard to refuse. Unless the fire of his passion can melt Adeline's resolve . . .
“You’re much younger than I assumed the owner of this establishment would be,” Lyon confessed. “And as beautiful as you are in your crimson and gold, and in any other circumstances, or another location, I would be happy to pay whatever fee you charge to fulfill my needs. However, this is a respectable neighborhood and I cannot and will not sit by and allow a madam to move in and set up her business here.”
A trio of thumps resounded in Adeline’s chest and then a few more. The pendulum on the clock must have ticked a half dozen times. Her brain seemed to freeze before the air swooshed out of her lungs. Shock roared through her. Her whole body stiffened before she felt her eyes narrow in outrage.
“Just where do you think you are, sir?”
“A house of pleasure, Madam.”
Outrage quickly morphed to fury which flowed hot and fast, consuming her. Oh yes, she knew about such disgraceful, secret places. She’d overheard her late husband and his small group of gentlemen friends talk about visiting them. And this man thought her house was one of them
Adeline was skilled at holding in her emotions but this stranger had gone too far. With only one step she stood toe-to-toe with him. Lifting her face, she rose up on the ball of her feet and edged her nose closer to his. “You think this is one of the many private underground brothels hidden from all but Society’s most elite gentlemen?”
“Isn’t it?” he asked huskily.
There was no time to consider what her next move should be. Stiffening her spine and taking a step back, she proclaimed, “I am the Dowager Countess of Wake and you have trespassed too far. How dare you burst into my house and speak to me the way you have. You, sir, are an abomination to the term gentleman.”
She fought to regain every ounce of her normal calm, her abiding restraint, her guiding sense of decorum in any unpleasant circumstance. But then she accidentally looked at his mouth, felt that long suppressed surge of yearning. Adeline didn’t want this unusual mix of longing and angry dizziness to control her. She hated the truth of how womanly and desirable it made her feel to see hunger for her in his eyes. Hated the truth of how she was presented.
And then, in a moment of insanity, she thought of the very real possibility of those full lips on hers stirring with passion, and reason was gone.
Unable to do anything else before she lost herself completely, she drew back her hand and struck him soundly across the face. It was that, or kiss him.
Perhaps she chose the wrong one.
About Amelia Grey
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Amelia Grey read her first romance book when she was thirteen. She’s been a devoted reader of love stories ever since.
Amelia has been happily married to her high school sweetheart for over thirty-five years and she lives on the beautiful gulf coast of Northwest Florida.
She is a two-time winner of the prestigious Booksellers Best Award, and she has also won the Aspen Gold, and the Golden Quill awards. Writing as Gloria Dale Skinner, she won the coveted Romantic Times Award for Love and Laughter and the Maggie Award. Amelia’s books have been published in Europe, Indonesia, Turkey, Russia, and Japan. Several of her books have been featured in Doubleday and Rhapsody Book Clubs.