Giles Warrington Hale, Marquess of Ashcroft, was born to do two things. Paint and rut. But lately, nobody but Miss Patience Emery has inspired him. The moment he sees her, he knows he must paint her and have her– anywhere and everywhere.
After a lifetime of trying to appear smaller, Patience no longer cares what anyone thinks. She’s resigned herself to a life having a man in her dreams only. But when the mysterious Lord Ashcroft approaches her with a chance to act on her bold, scandalous, and depraved desires, she suddenly sees her chance to indulge in every wicked fantasy she’s ever had…
Note: This erotic romance features a BBW heroine and a scandalous hero.
Patience had never needed to touch or be touched so desperately in all her life.
He raised his brows at her and held out his arms. “Well?”
The firelight made his smooth skin glow. His body was lean and muscled, with a dusting of hair over the defined planes of his broad chest.
She barely trusted herself to speak. Her mind was a haze of desire. “You…need compliments, my lord?”
“I need to know…” He paused and flicked hair out of his eyes. His voice plummeted to velvety depths. “…that I please you.”
His head dipped. Their lips came dangerously close. The scent of him deepened her anticipation and widened the breadth of her eagerness.
Patience skimmed her fingers down the front of him. Bare skin to bare skin. His muscles were harder than she’d expected. A stark contrast to her fleshiness. “You do things to me that I didn’t know could be done.”
She explored him, roaming her hands over skin warmer than she’d have guessed. He was a study in textures. Smooth in the curves under his biceps. But another kind of soft entirely where the hair dusted the hard definition of his upper torso.
“A lusty woman like you, Miss Emery? I imagine you expect quite a lot.”
“I do.” The fearful part of her heart, where a voice resided forever cautioning against none but the lowest expectations, had thought she could only hope for a grope in the dark. “But you exceed all expectations.”
The marquess made a growl of pleasure. Their mouths collided. He reached up his hands to cup her cheeks so he could kiss her more deeply, parting her lips and caressing her tongue with his own.
A wild pulse beat between her thighs. Her legs went numb, her knees weak. Her head was light, as if she couldn’t take in enough air.
“Time to remove your gown, I think.”
He treated each pin and tape with reverence normally witnessed in papist priests handling the relics of their holy men. Her gown fell in a heap.
“Sit on the edge of the bed.” He beckoned her.
Heart pumping, she did. The marquess knelt by her feet and gently lifted her chemise. He plucked one garter ribbon free and then the other. The backs of his hands followed her rounding calves upward. Patience shivered. To be touched as if venerated—it was nothing she’d ever expected, or even dreamed possible.
One at a time, the marquess found the tops of her stockings and rolled them down her legs. He took her hands and helped her to stand again, tugged the laces of her stays free, stripped away the garment, and bent to grab the hem of her chemise and lifted it over her head.
There was nothing on her but firelight and his heated gaze.
Willful Depravity is out now.
Ingrid Hahn is a failed administrative assistant with a B.A. in Art History. Her love of reading has turned her mortgage payment into a book storage fee, which makes her the friend who you never want to ask you for help moving. Originally from Seattle, she now lives in the metropolitan DC area with her ship-nerd husband, two small sons, and four opinionated cats. When she’s not reading or writing, she loves knitting, theater, nature walks, travel, history, and is a hopelessly devoted fan of Jane Austen.
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