Emotion, passion and money are a dangerous combination…
Shocked to discover that her late husband gambled away their entire fortune, Eugenia Wareham is in a dire situation. When she meets Cal Hawthorne, sparks fly, and in one sweeping moment of passion, a proposal is made.
Cal Hawthorne is determined to collect on the debts owed to him. One night of ecstasy with Eugenia turns his world askew and he’s left to wonder, what is more important, reclaiming his funds, or finding true love?
His hand slid over hers. Frozen, she didn’t dare move an inch.
“I’m a married woman!”
“Widowed,” he corrected. “For a year and some now.”
“I’m still faithful to his memory.”
“I’m not asking you to be otherwise. No decent man would have left his wife in such a predicament. You’re young, attractive, and have needs. Needs that I can help take care of.”
“I would not have you speaking ill of him,” she snapped, her temper rising. “Not in his own house.” She felt his hand tighten over hers, yet she couldn’t muster the strength or nerve to pull away from his grip.
His eyes reminded her of the sky on a cloudy day. Grey with tiny specks of amber. How unusual. She was entranced in his gaze.
Barring instinct…instinct that told her she should know better, she reached out with her free hand and caressed his cheek ignoring the urge to pull her hand away, his dark stubble tickling her fingertips.
“Your house,” she corrected, hating to admit those words.
Cocking his head to the side, he kissed the tip of her index finger and then slipped it into his mouth, nibbling gently.
Pulling her hand away in surprise, Eugenia abruptly stood, and Mr. Hawthorne immediately followed. They faced each other.
“This isn’t right. I don’t know you from Adam. It isn’t proper.”
“To hell with propriety,” he growled, pulling her to him.
His lips descended on hers, demanding her response. And for that one brief moment, she’d have given him anything. His tongue toyed with hers, playing, demanding….
She liked it. Maybe too much.
* * * *
He felt her melt under his touch, her lips tender and beguiling.
Cal pressed one hand against the small of her back, drawing her closer to his person, while the other came to rest on her right breast.
“We can’t,” she said, gasping. “If someone should walk in—”
“Then he or she will get one hell of an eyeful. It’ll teach them to never enter a room unannounced.”
“That’s enough.” She pushed him away as he tried to steal another kiss. “My sensibilities are telling me this isn’t right.”
With a groan, Cal readjusted himself. Her effect on him was more than obvious. He smirked when she glanced down, and in turn, placed a hand over her mouth.
“Yes my dear, you caused that. Are you shocked? Horrified? Surely you’re not that innocent having been married to a man much older than yourself..”
She blushed. “We must forget this ever happened. It was a mistake. Chalk it up to a high state of emotions on both our behalves. In three months, I shall vacate Collingwood. That will be the last time you’ll hear from me. I won’t cause you any further trouble.”
“Then tell them. To hell with his memory!” Unrepentant anger rose inside of him, anger for a man he barely knew. How could any man do this to his wife? William Wareham knew what he was doing. He had chosen to gamble away his entire fortune and like a coward in the end, he took his own life, to avoid the consequences. And he left this lovely young woman behind to heft the weight of his indiscretions alone.
“There wouldn’t be any point. They’d simply find another way to blame me. And I don’t need that additional drama, not at this time.”
He bowed slightly. “Then for now, I shall bid you adieu.”
She turned away from him, now facing the flickering flames in the fireplace. “You know the way out.”