Title: Loving Leslie
Bad Boys Book Five
Author: Christine Young
Genre: Historical romance
Book Heat Level:
Leslie Stewart is used to having his life well ordered until he meets Lacie McTavish who has known since the tender age of fifteen this is the man of her dreams.
He's a bad bad boy...
Leslie Stewart, Duke of Southcliff is stoic, set in his ways, a spy who is used to having his life well ordered. He expects life to continue on in this perfectly conventional fashion. He assumes his bad boy status while keeping mamas and debutantes at arm's length. An heir is needed but Leslie has every intention of finding a woman who doesn't covet his wealth and tittle. He is irresistibly drawn to the headstrong young lady who becomes more beautiful as she develops into a woman.
...but she is loving him.
When Leslie kisses Lacie MacTavish, she knows even at the tender age of fifteen this is the man of her dreams. Forced to wait until she comes of age, Lacie withdraws into herself. Now she is eighteen and Leslie has returned from a mission for the British Government ready to claim her as his bride. She refuses him and he must find a way to seduce her and in the process create a burning passion within her, which she cannot deny.
A storm was coming. Maybe more than one if he had to guess. Sunshine would disappear and be replaced with snow or rain. Looked like snow to him.
Pushing his hat back, he spotted a rider due east of the house. It was Lacie, racing the wind as well as the darkness. He watched her as she neared the house and veered toward the stables. She would take care of her horse first then leave for the house. In the stables where he kissed her for the first time, he would confront her. Perhaps this scrape of hers was really nothing and could easily be dealt with.
The gallop looked reckless, but he knew her expertise when it came to riding. Still he worried a hole in the ground, a small animal, anything could spook a horse and throw its rider. For the duration, he held his breath, his heart beat doubling in time as his breath held steady in the back of his throat.
Once she was safely inside the stables, he walked Garth toward the barn, handing the reins to the stable boy then proceeding to the stall where Lacie was brushing down her horse. Her dark hair had come lose from all its pins and was in glorious disarray framing her delicate features.
He crossed his arms, leaning against the stall door, much like he did the day he first kissed her. Watching her was like seeing heaven, and he’d been away for so long all he wanted was to pull her into his arms, feel her soft warmth against him, filling his soul with heat and fire. He realized he missed her. Her face was flushed from the ride. He was sure her skin would have a sheen of moisture covering it, much like he imagined when they finally made love.
Tonight he hoped if everything went as planned, she would be in his arms and sweetly beneath him. Perhaps a start on an heir, he needed to stop tongues from waging and his mother from nagging.
Her start of surprise made him grin and raise one eyebrow.
“It’s you.” She sounded panic struck, one hand just above her heart as she gasped for air. She closed her eyes for a second, her breasts heaving.
“Welcome home would be nice.” He stepped forward only to see her back away from him, terror on her face.
He stopped midstride but had no words, unsure of how to proceed. He couldn’t fathom why she was afraid of him, why her eyes were wide with terror.
She swallowed, wiping her hands on her riding habit. “I’m sorry. You did surprise me. Welcome home, Leslie.” Then she turned her attention back to her horse just as if her husband wasn’t standing two feet away from her. Picking up a blanket she started to cover the animal.
“A hug would have been nice, too, as well as I missed you my dear husband. Perhaps even I’m glad to see you or a kiss on the cheek. At the moment you look as if you detest me, or are terrified of me. I don’t know which scenario is worse.” He wanted more than a kiss on the cheek, but he knew by the sheer terror he saw in her dark blue eyes flecked with tiny particles of green even that intimate gesture wasn’t going to happen any time soon.
What to do?
“You’ve been gone so long. I nearly forgot what you look like,” she spoke softly, unable to look at him, continuing to administer all her affections on her mare. She stopped to stare at him, her eyes still wide but this time more uncertain than terrified.
This was not like Lacie. So foreign, he didn’t understand. Couldn’t comprehend what was happening here. For the longest time, he stood unmoving, watching the jerk of her muscles as she worked.
She turned back to her horse as if she was hiding from him. He knew he wasn’t going to pull her into his arms then kiss her as he did that day so long ago. Now, it seemed, he needed to tread lightly until he could figure out what was going on with her. That scrape must have been devilishly more than a minor incident. He needed for her to tell him what it entailed.
“What do you want, Leslie.”
She didn’t look at him. No, she sounded as if she wanted him to go away. Her voice was cold, icy.
“You know what I want.” He didn’t move toward her, just settled for watching her for the time being.
KEYWORDS: Historical, Romance, Scottish, Highlands, Bad Boys, Regency
He's a bad bad boy...but she is loving him. When Leslie kisses Lacie MacTavish, she knows even at the tender age of fifteen this is the man of her dreams. Forced to wait until she comes of age, Lacie withdraws into herself. Now she is eighteen and Leslie has returned from a mission for the British Government ready to claim her as his bride.