Wednesdays are for Lovers! And this week, my attention has been hijacked by historical matchmaking trope! I love it. I loveeee it! And the best of my recently read crop is Vivienne Lorret’s Ten Kisses to Scandal.
Briar Bourne’s matchmaking career could be summed up in two words—comic disaster. Unless she can learn about the irresistible forces that draw men and women together, her professional future looks rather bleak. But Briar has an intriguing plan—enlisting London’s most irredeemable rake to teach her everything he knows about attraction. Given his notorious reputation, it’s no surprise that Nicholas Blacklowe, the Earl of Edgemont, requests one thing in exchange for his tutelage. For every lesson, he wants a kiss in return. And what harm could there be in a simple kiss? After all, Briar would never fall for a scoundrel…
Nicholas has no romantic notions about love, and no intention of changing his ways. He’s only helping Briar so that she can find the perfect bride for his jilted cousin. Yet Briar is so clever, so curious, so candid—so blasted tempting—that soon, Nicholas can’t stop wondering what it might be like if he was irresistible to her.
Ten lessons. Ten kisses. And a million ways to fall hopelessly, scandalously in love.
I feel in complete and utter rapturous loveeee with this heroine! Let me tell you, more often than not, the hero steals the show in my most adored romances and it is such a truly special experience when everything clicks! Briar was such a dynamic woman! She was independent but not averse to love, just the opposite, she just knows exactly the man she won’t fall for- and watching her fall for Nicholas was hilarious! The banter, the romance, ugh, this was freaking delightful!
…She rose up on her toes and began to scatter kisses all over him.
“You could have been clumsy with me. We could have learned together. I would have loved all your awkward fumbling, because you would have been mine. All mine. And I wouldn’t have shared you.”
He growled in response, capturing her mouth in a fierce kiss. Reprimanding her for saying those tender things. For wanting the gawky, callow young man he’d once been. For making him wish to go back in time to make that possible. But she deserved so much more than him. She deserved everything he wasn’t capable of giving her. He broke free, pressing his forehead to hers, gripping her hips, letting her feel his hard, unrelenting need.
“I have to deliver you to the housekeeper. She is the only one who can act as chaperone.”
“Let me love you first.”
Wanton- yet sweet.
“Show me how to please you without wrinkling my dress.”
Her adept little fingers started flicking open his waistcoat buttons. And he, pathetic fool that he was, didn’t stop her. Instead, he took her by the hand and hauled her through the nearest door—a small sewing room with a quilt stand by the windows, where beads of water scattered prisms of sunlight into the room. The rain had stopped. The garden below already appearing dry, soaking up the shower like a sponge. The roads would be clear soon. She giggled when he pulled her eagerly to him.
“A hedonist to your very core.”
“Yes, and had we more time, I would take you to bed, tie you up, and do terrible, wicked things to you.”
A tremor quaked through her as she panted into his mouth, pausing her attempts to pull his shirtwaist free.
“Can we not still pretend?”
“Now who is the hedonist?”
“I suppose I am. I just want to feel you all the time.”
Her hand slipped inside, splaying over his abdomen, drifting up and over, everywhere she could reach. Then she lifted the linen shirt and pressed her face against him, inhaling deeply.
“Your skin has so many different, glorious textures . . . and your scent makes my pulse race. Part of me wishes I could make clothes out of you, just so I could wear you next to my skin all day long.”
Ten Kisses to Scandal by Vivienne Lorret is available now!