Lord Monroe's Dark Tower
The First Physical Encounter
As if losing a battle for control, Flavian dropped to his knees at the far end of the settee and ran a hand along the exposed top of Claire's foot. Light as a feather, he pushed the gown up past the beribboned binding of her slippers. At the exposure of her ankles, he drew a short breath. Fingertips jostled the bow and the silken ribbons unraveled, dropping like leaves. His hand lingered on the ridge of her shin before it brushed down to her ankle, circling the slim circumference. The heat of his palms, the strength of his fingers, sent a bolt of sensation to her core. For the first time, she became aware of a deep primal urge that made her pant slightly in the confining cloth of her undergarments. He lowered his head as if he were going to kiss the tender bone above the joint, and then, with obvious effort, controlled the impulse and sat back.
Once again, he seemed to lose the test of will, and his hand plunged between the arch of her foot and the slipper, his thumb tracing the crescent of her sole. Then her footwear clunked to the floor.
The next shoe came off more quickly, as if he could no longer wait for the appearance of her furthest extremity. Where the ribbons had strapped her flesh, cool air now stirred. His hands, hot and insistent, caressed her ankle, stroking the protruding nub of the heel. Again, he hesitated. Claire closed her eyes and stretched ever so slightly toward him, her body humming. He fingered her stocking-clad toes, tugged on each one, and then slipped a finger between her big and index toe. A gasp escaped her lips, and her body shook with sensation.
Instantly, he bolted to his feet.
THE INSPIRATION FOR HERO AND HEROINE
Claire Albright's expertise in herbs and medicine was inspired by my sister Jenny, acupuncturist and all-around healer. She used to say if Flavian, the kitty on her shoulder, were a man, he'd be the perfect hero.
Two years of bewildering silence have passed since Claire Albright's passions were first inflamed by the powerful, brooding, Lord Flavian Monroe. On the brink of her debut in London he suddenly summons her, asking that she use her knowledge of healing to help his ward—a girl who hoards castoffs in memory of her dead brother. Embroiled in a desperate attempt to curb the child’s destructive madness, Claire struggles to understand Flavian’s burning kisses yet cold demeanor. Can she reach his heart before his ward’s insanity undoes Claire’s chance at love?
When he was fourteen, Flavian made a mistake so devastating it ruined all hope for happiness. Years later, he’s still paying for his sin. But before his ward’s troubled mind destroys his home and family, he must see Claire once more. Vowing to keep their relationship professional—she the healer, he the guardian—he finds the bonds of his resolve snapping. Somehow, he must content himself with the love that could have been . . . but he cannot resist . . . one final embrace . . .