EULOGY'S SECRET - greed, prejudice and a stolen identity.
Historical romance by Grace Elliot
In the four weeks since her guardians’ death, Eulogy Foster has lost everything.
Penniless and alone she seeks the help of her estranged brother, Lord Lucien Devlin. But Devlin turns Eulogy onto the streets, where she is attacked and thrown onto the mercy of a passing stranger, Jack Huntley. As Eulogy seeks the truth behind her birth, she is drawn into the world of art and artists, where her morals are challenged and nothing is as it seems.
Jack Huntley: bitter, cynical and betrayed in love. He believes women are devious, scheming, untrustworthy creatures - and when he rescues a naïve Miss from being raped, his life is about to change forever. There is something about Miss Foster that haunts him and challenges his emotions. But despite their growing attraction, Eulogy will not share her secret, which means he cannot trust her. Caught in a deadlock with both denying their true feelings, events take a sinister turn as someone seeks to silence Eulogy….forever.
"full of passion yet one of the sweetest love stories I've ever read" Amazon review
[In this excerpt, Eulogy tends to the man who has just saved her from street ruffians.]
With a humph, Eulogy soaked a rag in the hot water and, studiously ignoring her leaping pulse, touched his hot skin to wipe away the dried blood.
“You are lucky.” Eulogy avoided looking into the hypnotic depths of his dark eyes. “The cut has missed vital vessels by an inch. The bleeding has stopped with pressure and the wound should stitch well.”
Such supple skin made for caressing and kissing. Eulogy licked her lips, anticipating the taste of clean sweat, male warmth and musk, as heat ignited in her belly. Desire struck with such unexpectedly force that her hand slipped.
“Have a care!”
Stormy eyes met hers. Angry and yet amused. Trapped by their unfathomable depths, her heart raced afresh. What was the matter with her? Doctor Foster said she was impulsive, but she hadn’t believed him until now. It took all her strength not to lean in and kiss Mr. Huntley in a most un-ladylike way. It was as if an invisible hand was forcing her toward those sensuous lips.
“You seem distracted, Miss Foster?”
She felt, rather than heard, his deep, rumbling voice.
“Well if this wasn’t like treating a tame bear, then I wouldn’t feel intimidated and my hand wouldn’t slip.”
Blood thundered in her ears as she met his stare, and then, the corners of his taut mouth twitched into a grin and Eulogy couldn’t stop herself from smiling in return.
“Touché, mademoiselle. Few would be brave enough to call me a bear. But the comparison is not unwarranted.” He grew serious. “Besides, you have had a fright this evening and here’s me acting the child.”
His concern was disarming, sending a fresh wave of heat surging through her blood. Eulogy composed herself; this wasn’t like her to act the dolt.
“That’s quite all right. I’m sure I don’t know how to thank you.”
“Really?” His voice sounded oddly hoarse.
Eulogy froze, as his good arm slid around her waist, his touch burning her skin through her gown as he pulled her close. “I think you do.”
To avoid the wide wavy lips closing in on hers, she started gabbling.
“Hush, it’s just a kiss. Call it a thank you. My reward for services rendered.”
Quietly, he placed a finger against her lips. Really, he was hypnotically handsome and one little kiss as a thank you for saving her life, was it so very wrong? Something throbbed deep inside her, rising to an ache as he caressed her jaw. Then his lips grazed her neck, soft as heated velvet. He drew back, waiting for her protest, and yet she did not.
And when his mouth found hers, she parted her lips in welcome.
“One kiss,” he crooned. “I won’t tell. Just one.”
“Just one,” she heard herself repeating his words. It was as if she had become two people: one askance at her brazenness, the other craving this stranger’s touch. She felt his breathing jerk beneath her fingers. He nibbled her lower lip, his tongue sliding into her mouth, feeling peculiar and yet exciting. A moan broke the silence, and blushing, she realized the sound issued from her throat.
“Miss Foster, I do believe you like being kissed.”