Boroughs Publishing Group (May 21, 2013)
Long ago, Hugh Trevalyn invented a fiancée to fend off marriage-minded females. Now he must procure the perfect girl to play the part.
Who better than Amelia Grant, his oldest and dearest friend? She alone might understand—and forgive—his moment of madness upon beholding the beautiful Lucy Meriwether, a moment that resulted in Hugh’s first real proposal of marriage and Lucy’s vow to meet his ex-fiancée in the flesh.
However, as the proposed conversation snowballs into an elaborate charade involving Hugh’s rakish cousin, scandal, and inappropriate kisses, as Hugh risks Amelia’s friendship to win Lucy’s hand, a wise reader has to wonder: What exactly are the rules of engagement? And, after the battle, whose heart will be won?
(Hugh Trevalyn has just proposed to the beautiful Lucy Meriwether. But now she has decided she must meet his former fiancée…)
“If you love me, you will want to put my mind at ease. You must arrange a meeting.”
“Why, it is quite impossible,” he said, fervently hoping, but not expecting, that she would take him at his word.
“All things are possible when a man desires to make them so,” she whispered, her hands curling around his back and coming to rest lightly on his buttocks. Any exasperation he’d felt now evaporated in a dreamy haze of imagining all the ways he would make love to her if he only had the chance. “Do you desire to make this possible?” she went on in a husky voice. “Do you desire me?”
“God, yes,” he said on a groan.
“Then promise me,” she whispered throatily. “Promise me this, and I promise I will give you whatever you want of me.”
“I promise,” he said, and set about caressing every inch of skin he came across and pressing himself against her so she could feel the effect she was having on him.
Lucy giggled as he stopped to nuzzle at her throat once more. “What is her name?”
The twin scents of rose and female drifted into his nostrils. “Her name? Who? Whose name?”
He would have this girl. Perhaps even tonight. She was his. All he had to do was give her a name. “Amelia,” he said. After all, what difference did it make—wait, had he made a promise?
No matter. Back he went to kissing the sweet, fragrant crevice between her breasts.
“Amelia,” Lucy repeated. “I’m going to meet Amelia.”
“Yes, my darling,” he said. “Whatever you say.”
She was his, tonight and every night after.
“My dearest Mr. Trevalyn, you can have no idea how relieved I am by your promises.” Lucy stepped back, clapped her hands and, unless the darkness was causing him to see things, actually bounced up and down on the spot. “How enjoyable this is going to be. I am going to meet Amelia. Oh, we must return to our party. I must tell Miss Percy all about it.”
“What? No, you must not tell your chaperone.”
“Not Miss Pratt-Stanley, silly,” she gurgled. “My dearest friend in all the world, Miss Percy. She would never divulge one of my confidences.”
“I must forbid—”
But Lucy had already turned and disappeared into the darkness.
Hugh called her name in a furious whisper but she seemed to be gone. Back to bloody Miss Percy, no doubt.
What had he just done?
Had he really made a promise to let her meet His Betrothed? Had he really been so driven by his own lust that he’d lost his senses?
These were questions he would have the leisure to contemplate in the darkness, on his own, seeing that he would have to spend the next few minutes furiously thinking about anything other than the effects his unfulfilled desire was having on the tightness of his breeches. Multiplication tables, perhaps, or the unfortunately horse-like face of his least favorite aunt…
…or a non-existent woman whom he had promised to introduce to the lady he was hoping would relieve his trouser-borne anguish.
“Bugger me,” he said to no one in particular.