She would break all the rules for his touch.
Annalise always followed all the rules, but that is at an end. She is haunted by a terrible memory that makes it easier and easier to do the things no proper lady would ever do…particularly where Elliot Morton is concerned.
Elliot Morton is a man withholding many secrets, particularly from Lady Annalise. He never wanted another woman more than he wants his own sweet Anna, but dangerous foes threaten to rip their world apart. He will do anything to keep her safe, even from himself.
“Look at me,” he ordered.
She didn’t obey him quickly enough. Her cupped her cheeks in his palms, turning her face up to his. There was terror and shame in her eyes. The remnants of fear he could understand, but the shame he did not. He rubbed his thumbs over her high cheekbones.
“Everything is going to be all right,” he told her gently, as though soothing a child. “You are safe now.”
She shook her head roughly, eyes widening even more. Her mouth quivered, drawing his attention. Her ran a finger over her soft lips. She flinched in reaction. Her obvious fear of him caused a pang in his chest, an ache he couldn’t ignore.
“That was your first kiss, wasn’t it?”
Her mouth worked, but no words came out. He felt the ache in his heart increase. He hadn’t had a choice, but damn, he wish he had been gentler. It never occurred to him that she would be so unspoiled. His touch had been carnal, more than an untried girl could be expected to understand.
“I’m sorry,” he said, meaning it.
She shook her head roughly. “No, please don’t!”
He pressed another kiss to her forehead. Her spectacles were slipping down her nose. He pushed them up again, and then, because the temptation was more than he could resist, he kissed the tip of her adorable nose.
“A woman’s first kiss should be different. It should be a soft exploration of breath and textures.”
She blinked up at him, confused.
“A woman’s first kiss should be like this.”