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Tempt Me Twice by Anna Kathryn Laneir

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Stories by M. J. Sager

A Heart Warming Sensual Romance set in Victorian England

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Seven years ago, Meghan Shelton fell in love with Peter Bourne, Duke of Prestwick, only to learn his seduction was a means to win a bet.  Ashamed and pregnant, Meghan flees England. On her return, she literally runs into Peter.  This time she has more to protect than her heart, she has a daughter, too. 

 

One look at Meghan and Peter knows he was foolish to think he could seduce her and not love her.  Now he has to gain her forgiveness and work his way back into her heart. Will Meghan be tempted twice by the man she loves?

Unedited Excerpt

 

“I hope I am not disturbing you, Meghan.”

Meghan jumped at the voice and whirled to face Prestwick. He stood in front of the closed door, blocking her exit.

“Your Grace.” She gave a curtsey.

Your Grace,” he taunted.  “I recall a time you called me Peter.”

“Yes, well, that was an age ago, was it not?”

His dark, steady gaze held hers.  “A lifetime ago, Meghan.” He seemed to shake himself. “I owe you an apology for the way I treated you back then.”

If he’d kicked her, she wouldn’t have been more surprised.  She realized the apology, so long in coming, made no difference. He’d not cared for her back then.  It was merely his mature years forcing him to regret his past actions. Was she so pathetic that she would accept his hollow regret?  She gave a humorless laugh.

“Oh, really, Your Grace, do not tell me you have dwelled on that all these years. I assure you, you did not take anything that wasn’t offered.”

“Winston believes differently.”

She arched a brow.  “You men are such odd creatures.  You think you must protect the women of your family from the very things you encourage women of other families to do.  Winston keeps a mistress and yet he would tell you I suffered greatly because you chose to dally with me for a short time.” She stuffed her hands into the pockets of her dress when she noticed they trembled. “I assure you, Prestwick, my emotions are not so fragile as that.  They never were.”

“You were too young to know—“

“But you were old enough to know my mind?” she interrupted.  “How condescending, Your Grace. I begin to see why you men think you must control us.  We are too foolish to make up our minds.”

She prayed he couldn’t detect the wild beating of her heart.

He stared at her.  “I never meant to imply you do not know your own mind, Meghan.  I only wished to tell you I regret the way I treated you.”

She blew out a breath. In what way, she wanted to ask. Instead she said, “And so you have done.  I am meeting Lady Sarah for a game of cards, Your Grace. Please excuse me.” She tried to step around him.

“I think not. You are keeping a secret from me, are you not?”

Panic gripped her. She drew in a shallow breath, clinching a hand to her abdomen.  “N-no, Your Grace, I am not.”

 “No?  Are you sure, Meghan? Did you think I would not realize the truth?”

Shear black fright swept through her.  How had he found out about Marissa?  Did he plan to take her daughter from her?  She would die first.

“I know not what you speak of.  I have no secret from you, Your Grace.”

He moved from the door with long, purposeful strides and stopped in front of her.  “It has taken me a few days to work it out, but trust me, I have finally discovered the truth of the matter.”

Meghan’s lungs seized in her chest.  “You cannot have her.  Do you hear me?  She is mine and you cannot have her.  Have not you taken enough from me, Peter?  Do you plan to also take my daughter? I would fight you to the ends of the earth first.”

He stared, complete surprise on his face.  “What are you talking about? Why would I take your daughter, Meghan?”

Too late she realized her mistake. Already she could see the wheels of his mind working.  Tears burned her eyes.  A deep moan rose in her breast. “Nooooo.”

He gripped her painfully by the shoulders.  “Dear God, Meghan, do not tell me she is mine.”

Buy TEMPT ME TWICE now from Coffee Time Romance.

When you speak your words echo only across the room
or down the hall.
But, when you write, your words echo down the ages. --Bud Gardner