If people only see what they expect to see … then why doesn’t she?
When her friend Lady Samantha spies a rather handsome groom from Lady Julia’s second story bedchamber window, Julia Harrington agrees the man is far too handsome to be a groom. “He could be a gentleman,” she tells Sam, thinking the servant could be taught how to bow and dance and dress like a gentleman. Doubting her friend can accomplish such a task, Samantha dares Julia to do just that – and in time for her mother's ball – in just three weeks!
Alistair Comber, the second son of the Earl of Aimsley, was fighting Napoleon's forces on the Continent until his blown. Having assured one of his dying soldiers he would see to the man’s widow and children, Alistair returns to England intending to keep the promise. When his father refuses to honor the obligation, however, Alistair is forced to sell his commission to raise the funds. Angered that Alistair would do such a thing, the earl disowns his son. An expert on horses and needing employment and a place to live, Alistair takes a position as a groom at Harrington House.
When Lady Julia tells him of her plans to make him into a gentleman for her mother's ball, Alistair agrees to the scheme. After all, how hard can it be when he’s already a gentleman? Hard hard, indeed!
Julia lifted her skirts a bit and stepped onto the mounting block, making her nearly as tall as Alistair and another foot closer. “I am not a quitter,” she said suddenly, the words a complete surprise to Alistair.
“I did not accuse yo ...” Alistair’s words were cut off as Lady Julia leaned over and captured his lips with hers, captured his head with her hands as she splayed her fingers through his hair.
Alistair was forced to move closer, close enough that he felt her bosom press against his chest and her thighs brush against his. But he was far more aware of her lips as they pressed against his, imitating exactly what his lips had done to hers only a few hours earlier.
It took a moment before he could return the kiss, a moment he reveled in being kissed, reveled in how her fingers felt as they raked through his hair and down to his neck, for this was the first time a woman had initiated a kiss with him, the first time a woman stood so tall he wasn’t forced to lean down to meet her lips, the first time he actually cared for the woman with whom he was sharing such an intimate, passionate kiss.
When her lips seemed to part, he took the opportunity to slip his tongue in between, just enough so it made contact with her teeth. Although he felt a slight start in her body, she didn’t pull away. Instead her tongue touched his, invited his to delve deeper into her mouth, to touch her and taste her while her tongue seemed to do the same in him. He felt more than heard her quiet moans, he hoped of appreciation or perhaps pleasure.
Moving his hands to her back, he pulled her harder to the front of his body, savoring the feel of her soft curves pressed against the hard planes of his body. God, if only they could be on his bed, with its soft mattress and softer pillows, where he could remove her gown and her chemise and her corset so his lips and his tongue could taste every inch of her body. He would use his teeth to untie her garters and his nose to lower her stockings as he used his lips to kiss the tender flesh on the inside of her knees and down her calves to the tips of her toes. And when she begged him to take her, he would lower himself between her spread legs and use his tongue to tease her swollen womanhood to full ripeness. His lips would send her over the edge, supping and suckling her until she would cry out his name and beg for him to come inside her fully. Even now, he knew he could – his manhood was so engorged, he feared he might experience an orgasm before he even had her on a bed. He had to stop this, had to pull away or Lady Julia would be ruined.
Even before he could end the kiss, though, Julia’s lips spoke something against his.
Alistair pulled his lips away, keeping his forehead pressed against the top of hers. “What is it?” he managed to get out in a voice that managed to sound more steady than he felt.
“Was I ..?” She paused a moment, as if she had to catch her breath. “Doing it right?” she wondered, her eyes finally opening to meet his.
About the Author
A self-described nerd and lover of science, Linda Rae spent many years as a published technical writer specializing in 3D graphics workstations, software and 3D animation (her movie credits include SHREK and SHREK 2). An interest in genealogy led to years of research on the Regency era and a desire to write fiction based in that time.
Now running the front office of a busy print shop, she’s developed an appreciation for pretty papers and spends time using them in her scrapbooks. She can frequently be found at the local cinema enjoying the latest movie. During the winter, she enjoys junior hockey and the San Jose Sharks, and an indeterminate number of tropical fish live with her year-round. She makes her home in Cody, Wyoming. Read more about her books on her website:
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