Book 3 in the Devil’s Duke Series
Years ago, when Lady Amarantha Vale was an innocent in a foreign land and Gabriel Hume was a young naval officer, they met . . . and played with fire.
Now Gabriel is the dark lord known to society as the Devil’s Duke, a notorious recluse hidden away in a castle in the Highlands. Only Amarantha knows the truth about him, and she won’t be intimidated. He is the one man who can give her the answers she needs. But Gabriel cannot let her learn his darkest secret.
So begins a game of wit and desire that proves seduction is more satisfying—and much more wicked—the second time around…
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“You do not frighten me.” She snipped the syllables to hide the quaver.
His gaze that was black in the dim light scanned her face—her cheeks and hair and lips and chin.
“Then you are unique among women,” he rumbled. “Now remove that key from your bodice and open the door.”
“Why won’t you speak with me?” This was frankly terrifying. She had not anticipated this or planned for any scenario like this. She had imagined that when she finally cornered him he would act like a regular person and converse. Unwisely, she realized belatedly. He had never been anything like a regular person, after all.
“Five and a half years, yet not even a little small talk?” she said. “Come now. Let us give it a try. I will start. I hear you have become a duke. And an abductor of innocent maidens. And possibly a practitioner of the dark arts. How do you find all of that?”
“Lass.” The word was a warning shift of tectonic plates. “Open the door now or I’ll be taking that key.”
“You cannot deter me, Urisk.” Now her words quivered quite obviously. “Either you will sit down here now and answer my questions until I have asked them all, or you will in fact be obliged to take the key from me.”
In the darkness, the gleam in his eyes was like a knife’s blade.
“As you wish,” he said as though he whispered in her ear.
Her heart slammed into her lungs.
His hand surrounded her hip.
He was not smiling. Large and strong, his five fingers and broad palm took complete possession of her flesh.
“The key now,” he said very deeply. His fingers moved on her buttock. Not painfully. Rather, stroking, kneading as though she were bread dough.
She swallowed over the shock clogging her throat.
“No,” she croaked.
He bent his head and in the murky silence in which the gay music of the ball was only a distant echo, she could hear his breathing, each inhale and exhale a perfectly controlled statement of composure.
“You are certain?” he said as calmly as though he were asking if she preferred tea to coffee.
His hand slid up her side and wrapped around her waist.
“What are you doing?” she rasped.
His thumb stroked along the ridge of her lowest rib and a cascade of pleasure descended.
“Getting closer to that key,” he said.
End of Excerpt
is Book 3 in the Devil’s Duke Series
The full series reading order is as follows: