Book 4 in the MacGregor series
by Grace Burrowes
by Grace Burrowes
Releasing October 7, 2014 from Sourcebooks Casablanca
Lady Joan Flynn needs a husband—any husband—if she’s not to find scandal and mischief under her Christmas tree; Scottish wool magnate Dante “Hard-hearted” Hartwell needs an aristocratic wife to gain access to the financing that will keep his wool mills secure. Can holiday magic spin an expedient match into true love, and wary differences into trust?
* * * * *
Dante and Joan’s wedding night has begun with a discussion of holiday gift-giving, though neither bride nor groom can stay focused on that topic for very long…
Joan stretched out her chilly foot, and encountered Dante’s calf. His bare, warm, hairy calf, because her husband slept without the benefit—or hindrance—of clothing.
He moved onto his side, facing Joan. “What shall I get you for Christmas, Mrs. Hartwell?”
“You’ve given me your very name. That’s gift enough.” Also his trust, his respect, his kisses…so many treasures.
He rolled to his back, suggesting Joan had provided the wrong answer.
“I don’t want your gratitude, madam. Loyalty, fidelity, and a good-faith effort to make something of this marriage will be a fine bargain on both of our parts. The marriage is as much opportunity for me as it is convenient for you.”
Joan did not want a fine bargain, but she did want the warmth her husband’s body gave off. She yielded to the craving and snuggled right up to his side. His arms came around her, as if they’d spent many nights visiting their way to shared sleep.
“I kept my nightgown on.”
“I know, lass. I’ll forgive you that modesty if you kiss me.”
She kissed him, and the contour of his lips told her he was smiling. “You should kiss me too, sir. My feet are cold.”
“You need your new husband to warm them up?”
Joan needed her new husband in so many ways. “Shall I take off my nightgown?” She didn’t want to, but Dante was naked, and the intimacies she’d tried hard not to dwell on were commencing.
“You feel safer with it on,” he said, shifting to blanket her with his body. “I’ll try not to tear it.”
Gracious. “I can stitch it back together if you do.”
He nuzzled her ear, sending a shivery feeling down Joan’s spine. “Kiss me some more, Mrs. Hartwell.”
He’d been calling her that since they’d shut out the rest of the world nearly an hour previous, but his voice had taken on a rasp, and her new name had become an endearment.
Also a dare.
Joan threaded one hand in his hair and used the other to cradle his jaw, the better to know exactly where to resume kissing him.
“You shaved again.” He’d also used his toothpowder, bless him.
Dante rubbed his cheek against Joan’s in answer. The movement rubbed his chest against Joan’s too.
“I love silk,” Joan said, kissing his smooth jaw. “I think I’ll love it even more by morning.” Because silk turned every touch into a caress. Did all married women know that?
Did married men know that?
Dante resumed kissing her, and his tongue came calling, politely at first, then more boldly, until Joan caught on and paid a few calls of her own.
“Your nightgown, woman—”
He tried to lift her hem, but the fabric was trapped under Joan’s weight. She raised her hips and encountered…her husband.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes’ bestsellers include THE HEIR, THE SOLDIER, LADY MAGGIE’S SECRET SCANDAL, LADY SOPHIE’S CHRISTMAS WISH, and LADY EVE’S INDISCRETION. Her Regency romances have received extensive praise, including starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Grace is branching out into short stories and Scotland-set Victorian romance with Sourcebooks. She is a practicing family law attorney and lives in rural Maryland.
To learn more about Grace and her books, please visit her website and feel free to follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
TOUR WIDE GIVEAWAY
WHAT A LADY NEEDS FOR CHRISTMAS, a MacGregor novel by Grace Burrowes, Sourcebooks Casablanca, releasing October 7, 2014 in print and ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks.
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