Yesterday on Twitter, a conversation came up talking about the expectations of romance contemporaries and various likes and unlikes. One question asked was,”what is your favorite romance contemporary you’d recommend to someone?” Now, I’ve read ALOT of books in my lifetime. Many get read once but others hold a special place on my bookshelf and/or Kindle for re-read purposes. One such book for me is The Unwanted Wife by Natasha Anders. I picked it up a few years ago during a sale and someone’s recommendation. (Can’t remember who, sorry.) Anyhoo, I was shocked by how much I enjoyed it. A marriage of convenience that only one side is aware of. Anger, shame, and pain scores the scenes as the heroine, Theresa, learns that her marriage to the handsome hero, Sandros, is a farce and demands a divorce. From there we watch as Sandros realizes just how wrong his was about his wife and decides to make their marriage real.
The following scene is after Theresa has learned how she was nothing more than a pawn between her husband and her father. While Sandros thinks he holds all the cards, the little mouse he thinks he’s married is beginning to show her teeth. And they are sharp.
They both immediately went still as awareness simmered between them. Theresa made a soft sound and attempted to put some distance between them but Sandro’s arms came up to circle her loosely, his hands meeting in the small of her back and the tips of his fingers just brushing against the slight swell of her backside. Her own hands came up to firmly brace against his chest, she wanted to push him away but somehow her hands were idly stroking instead of exerting any force. His large hands moved down to fully cup her backside and he lifted her slightly until she could feel his sudden arousal. He lazily pushed himself against her, dipping his head until his mouth was next to her ear.
“Despite everything, cara, you want me,” he whispered, his breath hot and moist against her ear. “And God knows I want you too…”
“Just sex,” she protested weakly.
“Maybe,” he nibbled her earlobe gently, before moving down to nuzzle the sensitive spot just below her ear, something he knew made her crazy. It didn’t fail this time, as she gasped and wound her arms around his neck to push herself closer to his hard body. His tongue gently circled the highly-sensitive erogenous zone and Theresa moaned wanting more. His wicked, hot mouth moved down to her throat, licking, sucking and nibbling the exposed skin along the way.
Theresa buried her face in his short, soft hair and muffled a moan of pure sizzling lust. His hands were busily yanking her blouse out of the waistband of her skirt and they both groaned when his hands finally made contact with the naked skin of her back. He muttered something in Italian, before he swept his hands up to the clasp of her bra, unhooked it expertly and brought his hands around and under the lacy little B-cups. She cried out and arched violently against him when his thumbs found her sensitive nipples and he half-laughed, half-groaned at her wild reaction to his touch.
“I want you,” he whispered, his breath feathering against the skin of her neck, where he was nibbling gently. “How I want you!”
She sobbed wishing she was more adept at resisting him but desperately wanting him too, despite her bitterness, her anger and her frustration. She nodded slowly, tears seeping from between her closed eyes and trickling down her cheeks.
“Please…” she didn’t know if she was begging him to stop or to continue but Sandro took it as an assent. One of his hands dropped from her breasts and tugged at her skirt until it was bunched up around her hips, her brief, lacy panties were swiftly dealt with and his hot, urgent fingers found her melting core with unerring accuracy, stroking, plunging and preparing her. Her hands dropped to his belt buckle and she fumble with the opening of his trousers until she held him captive in her hands.
She did her own stroking and caressing, loving the familiar satiny feel of him, loving the heat, the hardness, the substantial size… He made an animalistic sound, swinging her around and backing her up until she was leaning against the workstation he had so casually been half-sitting on before. He lifted her up until her backside was firmly planted on the desk and moved between her spread thighs. Tilting her pelvis slightly, until he had the angle just right, he finally, with a groan of pure satisfaction, sank into her soft, welcoming heat. Theresa’s breath hitched as she was, once again, caught by surprise by his length, girth, and incredible hardness. She lifted her slender legs and clasped them around his hips as, after the first gently thorough thrust, he simply rested against her. With his hands braced on the desk on either side of her hips, he lifted his head to look down into her eyes. Theresa was undone by that, as he had never simply just looked at her before, not in bed nor out of it. His dark eyes continued to search hers and she wondered what it was he was looking for. She licked her lips nervously and his gaze dropped to her mouth and something completely unrecognizable suddenly flared in his eyes and his pupils dilated until his eyes were virtually black. Theresa’s breath was starting to come in little gasps as she tried to control her own need to move against him. Her hips gave the slightest twitch and she felt herself spasm around him. He hissed at the movement, his face clenching as he finally withdrew slightly, only to plunge back into er as if he couldn’t bear to leave. That was all it took for Theresa’s head to fall back limply and her mouth to open on a soundless scream of ecstasy. The record speed of her orgasm seemed to take Sandro by surprise, as well as, trigger his own. With a shocked sound and another half-thrust, he buried himself as deep as he could go, arching backwards in the process and coming violently. It seemed to last forever but eventually his entire body went limp and he half-collapsed against her, burying his face in her damp neck. So stunned was Theresa by the unprecedented swiftness of the act, it couldn’t have lasted more than three minutes, that she nearly missed the words. In fact, she may have missed them entirely if she hadn’t felt his tell-tale breath on the sensitive skin of her neck. But he said them. The words were muffled but she knew exactly what he was saying. His mantra, his prayer… “Give me a son, Theresa…” and just like that, it was over for her. Her legs fell away from his waist and she pushed at his chest until her levered himself up to look down at her curiously. He made a soft sound of protest when he saw the tears on her cheeks and attempted to fold his arms around her. Yet another unprecedented move but she shoved him again until he stepped away from her.
“Why are you crying?” He asked hoarsely as he readjusted his clothing. “I hate you,” she despaired, dashing at the tears.
“What we just did didn’t feel like hatred to me,” he pointed out.
“Just another…” her mouth started to form the ugly word but he cut her off.
“Don’t say it,” he snapped. “Don’t you dare say it!”
“Why not?” She protested. “It’s the truth and don’t you try to pretend otherwise at this stage of our so-called marriage, Sandro. Do you think sex makes things better? It makes everything worse, like adding petrol to an already raging fire. All you’ve proved is that I am humiliatingly unable to resist you!”
“That is entirely mutual,” he responded dryly and she went still. “Oh, please…” She choked. “Of course you can resist me. I’m just another woman to you. I’m
of no particular consequence, so don’t try to play yet another game with me, Sandro! I’m sick of your lies and deceit.” “Dio,” he hissed furiously. “You’re not just another woman, you’re my wife! You hold a position of great consequence in my life.” “A wife you’re ashamed of? I don’t think so!” “Whoever told you that I was ashamed of you?” He seemed outraged by the very notion. “You did…”
“It’s not like that,” he denied, almost stumbling in his haste to reach for her but she stepped away before he could touch her.
“Yes, it is. Please don’t insult my intelligence by denying it…” she desperately looked around for her panties and finally saw them lying beside her drawing board. She very quickly swooped them up before turning back to face him.
“I need a shower,” she whispered bitterly. “You know what it’s like when you have an overwhelming urge to scrape the touch, the scent, the very essence of someone off of your skin, don’t you? After all, that’s what you usually do thirty seconds after your orgasm and I can finally relate to that”
She turned and left the room before he had the opportunity to respond.
Pick up Natasha Ander’s The Unwanted Wife if you want to read more about the marriage of Theresa and Sandros and see if Sandros can repair the damage he has wrought. This is the first in a standalone series.