Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!
Today we have a smooch from The Bought-And-Paid-For Wife by guest author Bronwyn Jameson, who writes for Harlequin Desire.
Without further ado, here it is!
The last person widow Vanessa Thorpe expected to see on her doorstep was Tristan Thorpe — her deceased husband’s estranged son. Tristan stood between her and the inheritance she desperately needed. Despite the attraction simmering between them, she could not let him win!
As far as Tristan was concerned, Vanessa was a trophy wife — young, stunning and cunning — who married his father for money. He was determined to reveal every dirty little secret she had. That is, until a rage-filled argument suddenly turned into a soul-burning kiss…
He regarded her in silence, a long taut moment that fanned Vanessa's gathering fury.
"I'm giving you the chance to deal with me privately, here and now," he said finally, his voice low and even. "Or would you prefer to take this to court? Would you like to answer all the questions about who and where and how often under oath? Would you like all your society friends to hear--”
“You bastard. Don’t you dare even think about spreading your lies."
“Not lies." Something glinted, brief and dangerous in his eyes. "I intend to dig deep, Vanessa, if that's what it takes to discover all your dirty little secrets. I will find every truth about you. Every last detail.”
Her resentment rose in a thick, choking wave. She wanted to sound icy, imperious, but instead her voice quivered with rage. “You turn up at my home uninvited. You manhandle me. You threaten me with your nasty lies. I can hardly wait to see what you try next.”
Their eyes clashed in a lightning bolt that was eight parts antagonism, two parts challenge. She knew, a split second before he moved, before his hands came up to trap her against the wall, that two parts challenge was two parts too much. And still she couldn't back down, even when his gaze dropped to her lips and caused a slow sweet ripple in her blood. Even when he muttered something low and unintelligible—perhaps an oath, perhaps a warning—beneath his breath.
Then his mouth descended to hers, catching her gasp of indignation.
For a second she was too stunned by the sensation of his lips pressed against hers to react. Everything was new, untried, unfamiliar. The bold presence of his mouth, the rough texture of his skin, the elemental taste of rain and sun and man.
Everything was unexpected except the electric charge that flashed through her skin and tightened her breasts. That was the same as when he'd touched her, the same as when he'd watched her walk away, the same as when she'd turned at the library door and caught him staring.
She heard the accelerated thud of her heartbeat and scrambled to compose herself, to reject that unwanted response. But then he shifted his weight slightly and she felt the brush of his jacket against her bare arm. For some reason that slide of body-warmed fabric seemed more intimate than the kiss itself, and the effect shimmered through her skin like liquid silk.
The hands she'd raised to shove him away flattened against his chest and the slow beat of his heart resonated into her palms. With a shock she realized that she wasn't only touching him but kissing him back, just now, for one split second. Oh, no. A thousand times no. Her eyes jolted open, wide and appalled, as she pushed with renewed purpose.
His mouth stilled for one measured second before he let her go. The message was clear: he'd instigated this; he was ending it. Damn him. And damn her traitorous body for reacting to whatever weird male-female chemistry was going on between them.
The Bought-And-Paid-For Wife is a Mills & Boon Special Release in Australia and New Zealand this month, May 2011. To be in the draw to win a signed copy, PLUS the winner's choice of another of Bronwyn's Special Release or Bestseller Collection re-releases, simply answer the question she has posed below!
The Bought-and-Paid-For Wife is part of the series "Secret Lives of Society Wives." If I were to have a "secret life", it would be as a beta-taster in a dessert restaurant. What is your idea of the perfect "secret life"?
Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced -- and a smooch from Hunter's Surrender by Anna Hackett will be posted!