But three years later, tired of her scoundrel of a husband headlining the gossip rags, Lady Isobel Vance decides enough is enough. She is no longer a fragile kitten, but as the anonymous author of a women’s sexual advice column, she’s now a roaring tigress...and she can use her claws.
Isobel decides to go to him in London, channeling her powers of seduction to make him beg to take her back. But she didn’t expect her marauding marquess to be equally hard to resist. Now the game is on to see who will give in to the other first, with both sides determined like hell to win.
Bloody hell. Not a wife. His wife.
God, how his sister would have cackled to see the great
Winter Vance leg-shackled.
I shall never marry! His twelve-year-old self had puffed his chest. Girls are annoying, just like bratty little sisters.
Prue had paid his male posturing no mind. Then I shall curse you, my favorite brother, to marry the most beautiful angel in the world!
And here he was.
Married to exactly that.
Winter forced himself to focus on the task at hand. He couldn’t go to his private estate, Rothingham Gable, for obvious reasons. For one, that particular abode was not prepared for a Lady Roth, given the week-long house party that had just been hosted there.
He had not even been in residence. Rutland and Petersham and the rest of their fast set had run the show, desperate for some wild country fun to offset the terminal boredom of the season. While he missed them from time to time, those days of endless dissipation were over. They had been for since Prue’s death. Not that anyone actually knew…or had noticed. People believed what they wanted to believe.
Winter slanted his new wife a glance. Her attention was
caught outside the small window, her face held in pensive thought. Her profile
was exquisite, perfect in its symmetry from the classic line of her forehead to
her delicate nose and pink rosebud pout. Isobel was young, fresh out of the
schoolroom, but he couldn’t deny her exceptional beauty…or his irritating and
inconvenient attraction to her.
Christ, he wanted to debauch that mouth right there on the balcony—take it from virginal pink to passionate red. The urge had taken him by surprise. The honeysuckle scent of her satiny skin had been an aphrodisiac. When he’d grazed the corner of her mouth and seen her undisguised longing, the bolt of lust tunneling through him had nearly brought him to his knees.
Just like it threatened to do now.
Ripping his gaze from her tempting lips, he let it drift down the elegant line of her throat. He imagined tasting the skin there, nuzzling her fluttering pulse beneath his lips, and inhaling more of her sweet, flowery smell. Winter bit back a groan. He would no doubt sample both later…when he’d be expected to do his marital duty. Hell. He’d have to hold himself in check. Make it perfunctory. And most of all, quick. The act was a necessary obligation, nothing more, because he had an inkling that this woman could be the end of him.
“Did you enjoy seeing your sister?” he asked, his voice rough edged. They’d called in at Beswick Park after leaving Lady Hammerton’s. Her rousing entertainments had gone well into the dawn hours.
His wife startled, attention flying to him. “Yes, of course, my lord. Thank you for arranging the visit.”
“Call me Winter,” he said.
She flushed. “Winter.”
His wife turned the full force of those ice-blue eyes on him, and for a moment, it felt like his skin had been seared by lightning. But that gaze also shone with no small degree of infatuation. It didn’t take much to interpret the shy glances and the soft blushes whenever she thought he wasn’t looking.
This was why it could never work.