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TWO SINFUL SECRETS
by Laurel McKee

Genre: Continental Locales, Historical Romance

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Dominic’s hand suddenly slid from the wall to Sophia’s shoulder, where her skin was bared. His fingertips skimmed over her, the merest, lightest brush. It awoke something hot and alive inside her. “I don’t think you realize the terrible power of your smile,” he said roughly. His hand curled around her waist and drew her closer to the hard length of his body. “It’s so bright yet so full of mystery, as if you tease us with secrets we will never know.”

“I have no secrets,” Sophia whispered. She reached out to grasp his shoulders, sure she was falling. The room was dark and warm, and it seemed to be growing smaller. Narrowing in and in until there was only her and him.

“We both know that’s not true,” Dominic whispered. He leaned closer until his lips brushed her ear. She felt his warm breath against the sensitive skin of her neck, and her eyes slid closed. “I don’t want my brother mixed up in them. He’s prone to leaping into trouble when it comes to a pretty woman.”

“I’ve heard you’re not immune to trouble yourself,” Sophia said. She opened her eyes and found herself staring at the smooth skin of his chest where his shirt fell open. A crystalline bead of sweat gleamed at the hollow of his throat. As she watched it slid down, she had the most powerful urge to lean forward and trace it with her tongue, to taste him.

He seemed to sense her fantasy, because his hand tightened at her waist, and she heard him give a low, hoarse moan. “So you’ve heard gossip about me, have you?”

“Of course.” she murmured. She traced her palm lightly over his shoulder and along the lean line of his back. Under his shirt, she could feel how hard his body was and the graceful power of him as he shifted under her touch.

His lips traced the soft, vulnerable spot just below her ear, and Sophia’s fingers clutched at a handful of his shirt. “And you listen to the gossip about me?” he said. “I would have thought you above such things—Lady Sophia.”

His use of her title startled her, making a tiny touch of ice pierce the heat of her desire, but then he kissed her neck again and the cold skittered away. “Gossip is part of my business,” she said, trying desperately to think clearly again. “I need to know as much as I can about everyone.”

“Very shrewd of you,” he whispered against her skin. “And what have you learned about me?”

“How women can’t resist you,” Sophia said. She flattened her hands on his chest and tried to push him away so she could think again. She could definitely see the truth of the gossip about him now. What woman could resist his skillful touch?

She could not afford to be another of their number. Not if she wanted to get back to her family somehow…