If you’ve never read a Madeline Hunter book then you are missing out. Her stories are delicious and this one is no exception. Gareth and Eva delicious and one of the best couples I’ve read in a while.
The gift was a long length of ribbon. She recognized it from Mrs. Fleming’s shop. An elegant strip of satin, its deep lavender color spoke of spring.
The gesture touched her. “Thank you. It is beautiful.”
“It will look pretty with that muslin you bought. The purple will bring out the primrose in the fabric, and also the blue in your eyes when you wear it.”
She carefully wound the ribbon around her hand. “The muslin is not for me. I am making a new dress for my sister.”
“Ah. Of course, you are. Well, you can use some of it for the dress, but promise me you will keep enough to wear in your hair.”
He left her speechless for a long count, while she gazed down at the ribbon. “You are too kind. I am ashamed that I misjudged you initially. You are not dangerous, as you appear to be.”
“Call me Gareth, please. In turn, I would like to address you in private as Eva, if you will permit it.”
“Gareth,” she said lowly, trying out the informality. “Yes, Eva will do when no one is about.”
“I am honored. Now, since we are friends, I am obligated to say something. I must warn that your judgment is actually very sound, Eva. I am indeed dangerous. Especially to lovely, mature women like yourself.”
Astonished, she looked up at him. A mistake, that. The gaze that met hers belonged to the dangerous man he warned of. She stared, captivated by that face. His vague smile stirred her.
Was he going to kiss her? Was he that bold? It appeared so. The very notion had her pulse quickening.
What to do? She must not allow it, yet—she could not bring herself to move away, or utter some arch reply. She just waited, and the waiting itself affected the air and the garden and the space between them. She experienced a most shocking excitement.
It seemed a long time they stood there, gazes locked, until the waiting turned almost painful. An outrageous idea entered her mind— to stretch up and kiss him first.
Gareth Fitzallen is celebrated for four things: his handsome face, his notable charm, his aristocratic connections, and an ability to give the kind of pleasure that has women begging for more. Normally he bestows his talents on experienced, worldly women. But when he heads to Langdon’s End to restore a property he inherited—and to investigate a massive art theft—he lays plans to seduce a most unlikely lady.
Eva Russell lives a spinster’s life of precarious finances and limited dreams while clinging to her family’s old gentry status. She supports herself by copying paintings while she plots to marry her lovely sister to a well-established man. Everyone warns her of Gareth’s reputation, and advises her to lock her sister away. Only it is not her sister Gareth desires. One look, and she knows he is trouble. One kiss, however, proves she is no match for this master of seduction.
Posted by arrangement with Berkley Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Madeline Hunter, 2015.