I’m shining today’s spotlight on Christy Carlyle’s contribution to Once Upon a Kiss.
NEVER TEMPT A ROGUE
An infamous rogue meets his match in a feisty chaperone who has all but given up on love.
Felicity Beckett’s uncle has tasked her with one goal for Lord and Lady Forsythe’s country house party. Keep her innocent cousin away from the notorious rake, Lord Lindsay. The man’s Rogue’s Rulebook has earned him the most scandalous of reputations, but no one warned Felicity how irresistible a rogue can be.
Alex Evering, Lord Lindsay, agrees to attend his aunt and uncle’s party for a bit of enjoyment before embracing the duties of his newly inherited title, but he loathes their scheme to redeem his reputation and marry him off to a proper young lady—until he meets Miss Beckett.
“Lord Lindsay, there will be no more of these. If you send any further unwanted communications, I will tell Lord and Lady Forsythe of your outrageous behavior.”
He was surprised she could say so much when fury stiffened every line of her body.
Perhaps he was as debauched as he pretended to be in The Rogues’ Rulebook, because her ire aroused him. He liked the way it made her lips quiver and infused her cheeks with blood. When her eyes sparked, he could smell anger curling off her like the burn of an electric charge after a lightning storm.
“I have no idea who sent that or what it says.” He didn’t need to examine the folded missive to know it had nothing to do with him. “I assure you, I’ve only arrived half an hour ago and spent much of that time on this balcony. I haven’t sent a note to anyone.”
She faltered, her sensual mouth quivering even more in her uncertainty. A mad impulse made him want to claim those lips, use her trembling moment of doubt to break through her fury. Now, when he might taste all that passion.
Unfolding the letter in her hands, she held it up in front of him, a wall of paper between them.
“Is that not your initial? Signed with an L. That’s you.”
“It is not. My name is Alexander, though my friends call me Alex.” He tipped his head toward her and caught a whiff of vanilla. “I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume we’ll become friends. You may call me Alex.”
He’d never been more eager to hear a woman say his name, to watch her mouth form the word, her pink tongue playing over the syllables. A wave of lust rocked him as he considered what else he could teach her to do with her tongue.
She glanced at the paper in her hand and then up at him, studying his face as if attempting to decide whether or not he could be trusted.
“What’s your name?” He knew enough of decorum to realize their whole encounter was inappropriate, but he was damn well going to know her name. She was the first indication that coming to his aunt’s house party might have been a good decision.
“My name is irrelevant, my lord.”
“I’m very sorry to hear that. Your parents were cruel to name you such a thing. A lady like you deserves a much prettier name.” He couldn’t resist teasing her. Later he’d be a gentleman, perhaps even apologize for his behavior, but now, when this woman stood looking at him as if she’d like his head on a spike, he could only think of ways to make her eyes to flare again.
“My name,” she bit out, her straight white teeth clenched in a grimace, “is Felicity Beckett.”
Laughter rumbled up his chest. “Felicity?” He looked at her lovely flushed face and roared with mirth. He hadn’t laughed in six months, and it felt freeing and glorious. “You do know what that word means, don’t you?”
She scowled. “I assure you I am very happy when men like you don’t provoke me.”
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