The Bad Luck Bride by Janna MacGregor—On Sale May 2
HERO: A man of honor, Alexander Hallworth, Marquess of Pembrooke, will not rest until he exacts revenge on the man who destroyed his family. Just one more piece must fall into place for him to succeed—he needs to convince his enemy’s fiancée, the tragically beautiful Lady Claire Cavensham, to marry him instead.
HEROINE: Lady Claire’s curse has always left her one misstep away from social ruin. Her past three engagements have gone awry, and now her fourth is headed in the same direction. . .
“I hung your witching ball in your window.” He pointed to a miniature bowed window above her bed, where the glass sphere rested against the center of the windowpane. He brought her hand to his lips. “I want you to feel comfortable here.”
How could he turn something so silly into something so sweet and lovely? “You did that yourself?”
“Alex, the staff–” She cleared the frog bouncing in her throat and slipped her fingers from his.
With a quick tug, Alex pulled her onto his lap and into his arms. He traced his finger along her lips before tilting her chin upward. He leaned down and kissed her slowly.
Claire could taste his whisky, smooth and smoky, with a touch of the forbidden. As she sank into his kiss, all her thoughts focused on his lips on hers. Their kiss along with his heat stripped any hope she had of hiding his effect on her. Good God, she was undisciplined to allow his touch without thought to where the actions would lead. When she’d left London, she’d forgotten to bring any good sense with her.
He lifted his mouth from hers and kissed her cheek before he pulled her close to him. He took a deep breath.
He slowly ran his lips along the outline of her jaw. “Claire, I don’ t want to talk about the staff at this moment.”
Whatever this was between them was happening too quickly. “You don’t believe me, but I don’t have much experience.” She hesitated, her defenses stripped away. I’m not certain what you want, let alone what I want.”
“Maybe together we can find answers.” Alex pressed a kiss into her palm. “We won’t do anything you don’t want.” His gray eyes had turned the color of dark smoke. “We’ll just get comfortable with one another. Hmm?”
He picked her up in his arms as if she weighed nothing and placed her on her bed.
Claire’s heart raced as his knee came to rest beside her hip. He pulled his shirt over his head. Nothing would give her greater pleasure than to be held and comforted in his arms. She wanted to feel his hands touching and caressing every part of her. For years, she’d yearned for this night, but not like this-not if he had doubts. She closed her eyes to concentrate on the right words to stop this from continuing.
When she opened her eyes, her breath caught at the sight of his chest, chiseled with muscle, fully defined from his shoulders to his waist. Her gaze traced the subtle patterns
until a small line of hair beckoned her to follow its path below the fall of his breeches. The urge to explore took hold. She raised her hand tentatively, then pulled back.
Alex grasped her fingers, then brought them to his lips. “Touch me.” His warm breath still carried the scent of whisky as it caressed her fingers. “Touch anywhere you like.”
Claire spread her fingers across his chest. His skin was hot, and the sinewy muscles flexed under the light touch of her exploration. He must enjoy physical labor and the outdoors. Something else she had to learn about him. She took her time and clasped his shoulders with both hands.
He encaged her body with his, resting his weight on his forearms. With deliberate ease, he lowered his mouth to hers and lightly brushed his lips against hers.
Desire pooled in her belly as she concentrated on his full lower lip.
He teased her lips by tracing his tongue over the seam of her mouth before he coaxed her to open. With little resistance, she let him take control. His tongue danced with hers, slow and languid.
Claire attempted to return the kiss and twined her fingers into his soft hair. The movement of his mouth against hers was like a waltz. He stopped and looked at her. Unable
to read his face, she felt adrift. She had no idea what to do. “What do you want from me?”
His gaze grew tender. “I want you to feel tonight. Just feel me. I want to touch and taste every inch of you.” With a natural athletic grace, he shifted to her side. His hand stroked her breast through her silk robe.
The hot caress of his fingers caused her to move closer to his side, her earlier concerns forgotten as she melted under his touch. Her nipples came to hard peaks. Instinctively, she arched up into his hand, desperate to relieve the heaviness in her breasts.
Alex sighed. “You’ re a perfect dream.”
Before she could utter a peep of protest, Alex untied her dressing gown. As he pushed the fabric down the length of her body, his hands stroked her bare skin. Frantically, she tried to hide her body by turning away.
Alex stopped her retreat. He leaned down and brought his cheek to hers as he whispered, “I don’t mean to frighten you. I want to see you.”
The roughness of his evening beard against her skin reminded her of a cat’s tongue. He was the most masculine creature she’d ever seen, and he was in her bed. The idea he wanted to inspect her left her unbalanced and unsure, ready to fall.
Alex lifted his face from hers, his gaze earnest. “I’ve always thought you were beautiful.”
She caught her bottom lip between her teeth. If his expression hinted at any disappointment, the only thing she’d remember about this night was his regret. His weight shifted as he leaned over her. With a gentle touch, he framed her face in his hands and turned her toward
He must have caught the doubt in her eyes. “I want you to watch as I look at you. It’s important for both of us,” he commanded. He drew back. His gaze perused her chest and down her abdomen before following the lines of her legs.
Alex’s mouth curved into a smile. “Just as I imagined.” He returned his attention to her breasts and took a nipple into his mouth. As he sucked, a twinkle of devilry shimmered
in his eyes. With a flick of his tongue on the tip of her breast, he contemplated her. “Hmm. You taste perfect. Much better than the custard.” He delivered a smile worthy of a rogue.
Claire wanted to close her eyes to relieve the sudden burst of light-headedness, but she was mesmerized as he continued to lave her nipple. A tingle tantalizing in intensity came straight from her center and exploded through her body. When his engorged cock pushed against her
thigh, she couldn’t help but moan and rock her breast into his mouth as she angled to feel him between her legs. The touch of his lips was a hot brand against her skin. His tongue circled and teased while his hand cupped and squeezed her other breast.
She had little experience with lovemaking, but he was a master with his gentle touch and caresses. His ravenous feasting was the most erotic sight she could ever have imagined.
“Alex … ” Her fingers threaded his thick black hair as she tried to sit up. She had to find a way to keep her equilibrium in this tempest he had started. Cautious, she scooted away and sat up. “Alex, please.”
He groaned as if he enjoyed hearing his name on her lips. “Please more? Please harder? Tell me what you want. I’ll give everything to you.”
The look on his face was so sincere, it pierced her heart. There was only one answer she could give him. “More of your touch.”
Alex lowered her to the bed before he descended to continue his exploration. She watched his tongue meander its way onto her curved belly and her navel. Suddenly, he was
too close to her most intimate parts. To stop his movement, Claire pulled at his shoulders. He looked at her briefly with a boyish smile and continued to her hips. Claire twisted, trying to calm the storm raging within her.
She couldn’t believe he wanted to look at her there. No one had examined her that closely before. She inhaled sharply as she watched him kiss her mons. She jerked to scramble away on the bed.
He grasped her hips and anchored her to the bed. “Claire, stop. I’ll not hurt you.” He looked at her through hooded eyes, then continued his exploration. She froze, unable to turn away.
“I promise you’ll enjoy this.” Like a feral beast, he pinned her with his gaze, eyes flashing as though aroused by her scent. Within seconds, his expression became languid with a lazy smile. With the slightest touch, he brushed through her curls before he found her center. He groaned and closed his eyes. “Sweeting, you’re wet.”
With those words, he lowered his head and kissed and licked her most private area. His touch brought her off the bed. She grasped the bedding, trying to find purchase as he fondled and excited her. Unhurried, he placed one finger into the entrance of her sex. In a gentle rhythm, he
moved it slowly in and out. He kept using his tongue and lips as he kissed and sucked, totally captivating her. Claire arched her body to shift closer to his mouth. She could feel something building inside, a pressure, a need for more of Alex’s touch, for more of him.
Claire doubted she’d survive his sensual attack. “Alex, please . . .” she whimpered, her breathing fast and shallow. A rush of new sensations raced through her body. All the while, he worshipped her with his tongue.
He pleasured her by replacing his mouth with the pad of his thumb as he continued to stroke her in a movement that was unlike anything she had experienced before.
His eyes flashed. “You’re ready, aren’t you?” His words were an aphrodisiac, taking control of her body. “I’ve thought about this moment for days. I want you to fall apart.
Do it, Claire. For me.”
His fingers continued to entice as he tempted her to reach higher. Claire let the pleasure spill into every part of her body. It flowed from the end of her toes through her legs. The sensation rose, and an explosion of light cascaded through her body as it reached its pinnacle. She went over a cliff and kept on flying.
Eventually, her heartbeat slowed, and her body came back under her control.
She didn’t move when Alex came to lie next to her. His mouth met hers in a slow pursuit, learning every sensitive area of her lips. She could taste her essence, tart and wildly forbidden, when his tongue penetrated her mouth.
Alex brushed the hair from her face, and his eyes met hers. “That’s how you taste. You. And only you.” He closed his eyes. “Delectable.”
Note: We have not read this one yet, the excerpt was provided by the publicist.