Rule One: There will be no kissing. Rule two: There will be no touching…
Widowed Lady Fury Shelton hasn’t lost everything—yet. As long as she produces the heir to the Beaumont dukedom, she just might be able to keep her position. And her secrets. But when the callously irresistible Captain James “Flint” Blackmoore sails back into her life, Lady Fury panics. She must find a way to protect herself—and her future—from the man she’d rather see rotting in hell than sleeping in her bed. If she must bed him to keep her secrets, so be it. But she doesn’t have to like it. A set of firm rules for the bedroom will ensure that nothing goes awry. Because above all else, she must stop herself from wanting the one thing that Flint can never give her. His heart.
Ex-privateer Flint Blackmoore has never been good at following the rules. Now, once again embroiled in a situation with the aptly named Lady Fury, he has no idea why he doesn’t simply do the wise thing and walk away. He knows he’s playing with fire, and that getting involved with her again is more dangerous than anything on the high seas. But he can’t understand why she’s so determined to hate him. He isn’t sure if the secret she keeps will make things harder—or easier—for him, but as the battle in the bedroom heats up, he knows at least one thing. Those silly rules of hers will have to go…
Fury sat down and dipped the quill into the ink. She detected the faintest trace of nerves. It must be the fact Thomas lay in the cellar. Why else would a man, so great, so stalwart, so worldly as Captain Flint be nervous of her?
“Well, yes,” she said, listening to the pleasing scratch of the nib on the soft paper.
“Babies are not always made in a night. Of course, you wouldn’t know that, being you. It will take time.”
“All the more reason then to just get going. After all this time, sweetheart, you don’t know how eager I am.”
He strode across the tiled floor and the ink trailed a long dark path across the paper as he dragged her to her feet. Had it blobbed it might have been something to worry about. But she was very set on this. And calm. As calm as one could be having this man in her bedroom, knowing what was coming next out of dire necessity, her husband in a box in the cellar and her cast off, potential lovers on their way out the door.
“No, James.” She held a hand up between their lips. “There will be no kissing.”
“No kissing? Why in hell not?”
It displaced her calm to see him grin. She would have preferred that he was indignant. Especially as he was a man who thought he could settle all his arguments—with women anyway—with a kiss. But she kept her face cold, blank.
“Because.” In some ways she was cold. Cold with rage.
“Aw, come on Fury, didn’t you like my kissing? Hmm?” His breath, hot and male, brushed her fingertips. He wrapped his arms around her, splaying his hands across her back, so her hand might as well not have been there for all the protection it was.
But she was calm. Didn’t she have to get into bed with him after all? So, even the impulse to squirm was one she would squash. When she thought of all he had done to her, she would give him nothing. Not even the knowledge she found his proximity so unsettling that she sought to pull away.
“Your kissing was fine, in its way, I suppose. But kissing is a sign of affection.”
“How do you make that out?”
She knew exactly why he scratched his head. Their love-making had been torrid. It had been sensual. It had been shaming. And it had been absent of any affection. Certainly on his part. So, why on earth would a kiss be a sign of anything? To him anyway. She was the damn fool who had thought it had. Who even now was forced to concede the pleasure it would be to take her hand across his face to assist his understanding of her feelings. The impertinence of the damn man, the stinging ignorance.
“It just is.” She eased the distance between them a whisper. “So there will be none. Not now. Not at all.”
“All right then. Saves time. It means—”
“Rule two.” She saw his eyes freeze as he readied himself to yank off his shirt. She persisted anyway. Why not? In many ways she walked a tightrope here. If she paused it might be to her detriment. “You will be fully dressed at all times.”
“What? How the hell am I meant to—”
“I am sure you will manage. You managed plenty before. But I do not desire to look at your body before, during, or after. Nor in any shape or form wandering about this house in just your breeches. Is that understood?”
He dropped his hands from his shirt and glared, so he must have. “You wanted to look at it plenty before. In fact, it makes my head spin, just how often you—”
True. But that was then. “Rule three.” Clasping her fingers around the cool edge of the dressing table to create another inch of distance, she continued.
“Rule three? You mean there’s more?”
“I will not touch you in any place, intimate or otherwise. I will lie. You will perform.”
About the Author
Shehanne Moore, a Scottish author, who writes gritty, witty, as much risky as risqué, historical romance, set wherever takes her fancy. Stories that detail the best and worst of human behaviour, as opposed to pouts and flounces. For years she worked at various things, while pursuing her dream of becoming a published writer, so she was gobsmacked to sell her book, The Unraveling of Lady Fury, written in three months, to U.S. publishers, Etopia Press, six days after subbing it.
Shehanne still lives in Scotland, with her husband MrShey. She has two daughters. When not writing intriguing historical romance, where goals and desires of sassy, unconventional heroines and ruthless men, mean worlds do collide, she fantasizes about cleaning the house, plays the odd musical instrument and loves what in any other country, would not be defined, as hill-walking.
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