THE DUKE'S DESIRE
Simon Hawkins, duke of Trent, is no stranger to scandal. Rumors and innuendo have darkened the House of Trent for decades, and it has fallen to Simon to restore his tattered family name. He lives by a strict code of honor, but when he is called home to investigate his mother's disappearance, the distinguished duke will tangle with temptation. For there waits the only woman he has ever loved--and the last woman he should desire...
Sarah Osborne has spent her life dreaming of Simon's touch. But dukes do not long for lady's maids--or so Sarah believes, until a stolen kiss sparks a passion that could be her ultimate undoing. As the couple begins a forbidden romance, a cunning enemy plots to destroy the duke and everything he loves. Now, caught in a blackmailer's web, Simon faces an agonizing choice: sacrifice his family's future or break Sarah's heart.
Luke's mother has been missing for months, and while his honorable older brother Simon, Duke of Trent, leads the official investigation from London, Luke sets out on a somewhat seedier path. Sources have told him his mother was last seen with a scoundrel named Roger Morton, but their association isn't clear. Was she kidnapped or did she go willingly?
While searching for Morton, Luke meets Emma Anderson, a secretive beauty with her own reasons for hunting Morton. At first Luke laughs at the idea of allowing a woman to join him in his search, but soon Emma's insights into Morton—like the woman herself—prove impossible to resist.
Undercover agent Sam Hawkins has devoted his life to protecting king and country. So when he receives orders to assassinate a ruthless traitor, he doesn't question his mission. But Sam didn't know his deed had a witness—the beautiful and mysterious betrayer's wife. Now he has no choice but to take her as his prisoner—one he can neither trust…nor resist.
Élise, Lady Dunthorpe, will do anything to escape her powerful captor—including seducing him senseless. She didn't know of her miserable husband's crimes, but she has secrets of her own—secrets that threaten everything she holds dear. With his piercing dark eyes and gentle touch, Sam inflames Élise's deepest desires, but how could she ever trust a man who won't let her go? Caught between the crown he's sworn to serve and the woman he's come to love, Sam will risk his heart—and his very life—to keep her safe.
All of a sudden, Sam hauled her into his lap and wrapped his arms around her. “Shh, Élise. It’s going to be all right. I’m not going to allow anything to happen to you.”
“How . . . how can . . . you promise that?” she gasped out. She couldn’t get enough air. Her chest was constricting, closing in on itself. She couldn’t take a deep breath, couldn’t breathe at all. . .
“I promise it,” he murmured. “I promise.”
His big, blunt fingers pressed through the fabric of her dress and into the tight muscles of her back. He gathered her closer to him, and she curled up against the hardness of his chest. Safety. His touch brought her such comfort. Such . . . peace. Slowly, her breaths began to calm, and warmth traveled through her, bringing with it a deep longing, a craving she’d never experienced in her life.
A craving for more. For more Sam.
He gazed at her, his expression tender even as his eyes glittered. And she saw it there in his eyes. Desire climbing until it equaled her own. Ever so slowly, his fingers dragged up her back. Then his hand moved around until he cupped her cheek and tilted her face toward his. He moved closer, inexorably closer, until she could feel his strength and his heat, palpable forces in the tiny space between their lips.
Then he closed the distance. His lips touched hers, the tiniest, most erotic brush.
Her own reaction shocked her. She should have gone stiff, pulled away, slapped him. But she did none of that. Instead she melted against him. His lips firmed, moving gently, transferring calmness and strength into her. They glided over her mouth in a gentle caress, exploring, tasting, soothing. He tasted smooth and warm and sweet. How could such a man, such a large masculine man, taste sweet? But he did. He was delicious. She gripped his coat in her hands and pulled herself even closer to him. She wanted to sink into him.
He’d kidnapped her and held her against her will, yes. But despite the violence in him, there was something about this man that was pure goodness. There was something about him that she trusted completely. She had never trusted a man in her life. It seemed insane that she should trust this one.
But she did.
She kissed him harder, pushing her body to him, opening to him, allowing the heat of his breath to wash over her and through her, allowing his tongue to touch the inside of her lip. He nibbled at her mouth, from the edge to the center. Their noses brushed as they adjusted the angles of their heads so they could kiss more, taste more, closer and deeper.
The simmer in her core rose to an inferno that spread through her limbs. She was on fire, her body aching, burning . . . for what exactly, she didn’t know. But she did know one thing . . . Her body wanted Samson Hawkins. She wanted him.
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