wicked in your arms by Sophie Jordan
Excerpt for wicked in your arms by Sophie Jordan
"Sizzling sexual tension ... thoroughly satisfying ..."
Grier glared down at where he gripped her arm. "Perhaps ladies in your country find primeval manhandling charming. Why don't you seek one of them out and unhand me?"
He said nothing. Simply stared, clinging to her arm with hard fingers.
She inhaled raggedly, her chest rising and falling with deep breaths. She couldn't remember ever feeling so angry. And truth be told, it wasn't all entirely at him. She found herself frustrated at herself, at this whole wretched scenario. Finding a husband … a man who only wanted to marry her for her sudden fortune ... It was becoming quite the distasteful task, contrary to the hope she had felt when she started this whole endeavor.
She shook her head. This night had simply been too much. She glared down at his hand on her arm. He followed her gaze before looking back up at her. Even garbed in her silks and satins, Grier felt out of place, an imposter in his glittering world.
The moment stretched interminably, so unbearably intense as they stared at each other that Grier thought she could hear the rush of blood in her ears.
She felt the clear shape of his hand, each press of his fingers over her arm. Awareness of their closeness, the intimacy of the situation, came crashing down over her. Her gaze flicked around the empty music room with its lonely instruments.
Her skin snapped, awake and alive. In fact all of her felt alive.
More alive than she had felt in quite some time.
Her gaze drifted, settled on his perfectly carved lips. Temptation incarnate. A man's lips should not look so beautiful. He was as seductive as the princes of all her girlhood fairytales. For a moment she allowed herself to forget that this prince lacked the heroic qualities to go along with such looks, that he thought her unsuitable, a mere nobody rubbing elbows with her betters.
With a deep breath, she let herself forget all of that. She let herself step outside her numb self and dive into life.
Before she could regain her common sense and think to stop herself -- before she could let him think enough to stop her -- she stood on her tiptoes and slid a hand around his neck, delighting in the sensation of his silky hair against her fingers.
This. She'd have this before sentencing herself to a cold marriage of practicality, to a life of loneliness.
For a moment, Grier glimpsed the prince's widening eyes as she pressed her lips to his. Her heart beat so fiercely she feared it might burst from her chest.
Then she saw nothing as her eyes fluttered shut.
In closing her eyes, she only felt. She surrendered herself to sensation, to the waking of desire within her blood.
She was no stranger to kisses, but it had been a while. The moment she tasted the prince's lips, she knew he was the perfect cure for her numbness.
For a several heartbeats he didn't move. He held himself as still as marble against her, and she feared his rejection. That he would set her from him. Then his arms slipped around her and he was kissing her back, his lips parting against hers.
She opened her own mouth with a small gasp at the suddenness of his reaction. He swallowed that sound, drank it deep into himself. She pressed herself closer, tighter against him, her muscles straining to get ever nearer.
A shudder racked him as she tentatively tasted him with her tongue. She buried her hands in his hair, pulling him down just as he urged her up against him. He tasted her back and she moaned at the sinuous stroking of his tongue along her own.
His large hands roamed over her back, holding her tightly, fiercely. One of those hands slid around to span her ribcage, his thumb grazing the underside of one aching breast and her body burned from the inside out.
There was nothing delicate or dandified in the way he kissed. She felt consumed. By her own desire and by the magic of his expert mouth on hers. Her hands delved deeper into his hair. With a hard tug on the strands, she forced his head to a different angle, positioning his head for her and slanting her mouth against his one way, and then another. She didn't know herself, this woman losing herself, taking, seizing what she craved as if it were hers. As if he were hers.
He groaned into her mouth. The sound shuddered through her.
She relished the feverish movement of his lips, the slide of his tongue deep in her mouth. Her made her feel wanted, and that made her feel powerful.
She burned from the inside out. In that moment, she didn't feel as if any of it could ever be enough -- as if she could ever have enough of him.
Impossible as it seemed, the kiss deepened. They staggered together, clutching one another, stopping only when they collided with a pianoforte.
She nipped at his bottom lip and then sucked the bruised flesh into her mouth, clutching his head closer to her starving mouth.
And still she wasn't close enough. Her body hummed, alive and awake as she had never felt. That's all that mattered. The extraordinary thrill of this moment.
She wanted to crawl into his drugging warmth, let it continue its waking heat through her. Nothing could ruin this moment.
Nothing except him.
As she dragged her lips to his jaw, kissing his bristly flesh, his voice rumbled in her ear. "My, my, Miss Hadley, I had no idea such a hellcat lurked beneath. Perhaps you've reconsidered my offer."
She stilled, his words sinking in, reminding her where she was, who she was … who he was.
The fire in her blood cooled. The humming life that had so thrilled her slipped away until she was naught but the cold, numb shell again.
His hand drifted up from her ribcage to brush over her breast. The touch jolted her, sparked her to move, to react as any female of proper breeding should. As any unwed female who had not initiated a passionate kiss would do.
The crack of her palm against his cheek rang through the cavernous room. His arms dropped from her.
She stumbled away, gaping at him as he lifted a hand to his cheek, fingering the afflicted flesh.
"What was that for?" he demanded.
"You-you-" Her hand waved between the two of them, words of outrage strangling in her throat.
"Kissed you back?" he finished.
"No!" she denied. "You touched-" She swallowed, unable to say it, unable to face how close she had come to surrendering herself to the wretch. "You touched me. Intimately."
"The way you attacked me with your lips, is it any surprise?"
"So this is my fault?" she charged, even as a small voice inside her head whispered, yes. This is your fault. You attacked him with your lips like a man-starved harlot.