Title: Larena’s Fascination
Twelve Dancing Princesses Book Ten
Author: Christine Young
Genre: Historical Romance/Regency
Book Heat Level: 4
Buy at: Amazon
Free spirited Larena Graham must learn to trust Gavin Broom, the handsome Scotsman, to protect her and keep her from harm.
BLURB: Larena's Fascination
Whispers of Fascination
Fiery, free spirited Larena Graham never wanted to marry a duke. She is thrilled to be in love with the fourth son of an aristocrat, Gavin Broon. But when it seems Gavin ignores her, she set her sights on politics and bettering human life. Unsuspecting intrigue and a plot against her, she continues her dangerous plans despite Gavin's wishes.
Whispers of Trust
Gavin has every intention of properly courting the beautiful Larena until he must leave the city in order to put his affairs in order. Returning to London, he finds the woman he means to make his own is embroiled in political protests that could lead to a prison ship. Larena must learn to trust the handsome Scotsman whose most pressing mission is to protect her and keep her from harm.
EXCERPT: Larena's Fascination
Strange noises emanated from the adjoining room, grunts mostly and muffled yells. She straightened on her bed, pensive and so very curious. She tried to concentrate and hear the words. Tempted to check on Gavin, she stood but thought better of intruding on his privacy. Still intrigued as the noise continued and trying to ignore it, she found herself at the window looking out on the blackness of the night.
A loud crash caused her to jump. Unable to stay away, she strode to the door between their rooms and cautiously opened it. She inhaled a startled gasp. Gavin faced her, his chest bare and covered in a sheen of moisture that seemed to glow when the candlelight flickered across him.
“I didn’t mean to wake you.” He let his hands fall to his sides, his bared feet braced apart. Suddenly as if realizing he was practically naked, she searched the room in an attempt to keep from staring at his imposing frame.
“You didn’t.” Mesmerized by him, by his body in a trance she stepped to him, touched her hand upon his chest and heard the quick inhalation of air, felt the beating of his heart.
He set his hand upon hers. “Larena,” he spoke her name slowly, his eyes gazing into hers.
She yearned to see into his mind, read his thoughts, “You’re so different from me.” With the slightest twist of her fingers she touched his nipple and delighted in the feel of him. She regarded him closely, smiling into his eyes.
He didn’t laugh as she thought he would. His voice so sincere and strangely deep, he said, “I’m glad of that.”
Unable to help herself, she brought her other hand and set it on his other nipple. “I like the way you feel. What were you doing that caused all that noise? What crashed to the floor?”
“Trying to get rid of pent up emotions, but I don’t think it’s going to help after this.” He spoke slowly then, “The basin, as you can see it’s shattered. I’ll pick up the pieces in the morning.”
“Pent up emotions?” She didn’t understand what he tried to do, why he was grunting and yelling albeit quietly.
“My body wanted to do something my mind didn’t.” He ran his fingers through the length of her hair, bringing a strand to his face, touching his lips to it. “Silken fire, so soft I want to wrap it around me.”
“You speak in riddles.” She moved her hands lower, tracing the hair on his chest to just above the fastening of his pants then back, marveling in the play of his muscles where her fingers travelled. Intrigued by the obvious change in his breathing and fascinated she could do this to him.
“And, Larena, you really need to stop.”
“Not unless you make me.” She continued running her hands along his chest and upward to sweep them across his shoulders.
“It’s best for you if I tell you no.” He held her hands in his in front of him, placing light kisses on her knuckles. “You should go to your bed now before we both regret this night.”
“I’m not sleepy. Indeed, my heart races and it seems I’ve grown hotter by the second. Don’t want to spend the night alone. Want to be in your arms.” She remembered when he barely touched her breast and the way her body quickly responded, and she marveled that perhaps she had the same effect on him.
“Come,” he drew her to the door. “What you’re innocently creating here is best left for the marriage bed. I’ll walk you to your chamber.”
“I want to stay with you.” She realized she didn’t care what others thought but rather she wanted to live in the moment. Only two of her sisters and cousins combined had waited for marriage to find out what happened to a woman in bed with a man. She didn’t even know if she loved Gavin or wanted to marry him. She liked him though and who better to teach her?
“No. Not tonight,” he told her, drawing her toward her room. Inside, he pulled her close and lightly pressed his lips to hers then let her go as if the touch burned him. “Your bed.” He pointed in that direction then watched as she sat forlornly on the bed.
She watched the door close behind him then found herself at the window again. Shadows played across the street, and moonlight brightened the darkness. Below her a shadowed form strode quickly from the townhouse and a few minutes later she saw Gavin gallop down the street.