When her dissolute husband insists that Lady Annabel Peters bed one of his villainous cohorts to repay a gambling debt, she is scandalized. But she is forced to agree because he controls every aspect of her life.
A physically and emotionally crippled war hero, James Drake has retreated from society. At the request of his brother, he manipulates events so he can interrogate Annabel, a woman he thinks may be part of a ring of thieves.
Neither of them count on an instant and overwhelming attraction. James may now believe Annabel but she suspects her husband plans to kill her. As one of her husband’s friends, James is not to be trusted.
Excerpt:Yet how can she escape a man who has the ability to control her with a gentle kiss?
Lady Annabel Peters sat in the open-top carriage and realized she had left it too late. She should have escaped yesterday.
“Really, Annabel, I don’t want you to give your left eye. All I’m asking is that you go in there and do what comes naturally.” Lord Elliott Peters, her husband of two months, sat opposite her, smoothing his waistcoat against his flat, toned abdomen. A lock of blond hair fell across his brow, accentuating his startling blue eyes. He claimed all he had to do was crook his finger, and besotted society women swooned, but she couldn’t imagine it. His grotesque personality obliterated any physical beauty he possessed.
The warm summer breeze touched her face. She inhaled the scent of grass and honeysuckle. Frogs sang somewhere in the distance, and crickets chirped, a sure sign it was going to be a warm night. She looked out at the passing Berkshire countryside, and wondered how anything this ugly could happen on such a perfect summer evening.
“It is not natural for a married woman to bed a man who is not her husband.” She struggled to breathe; a vise tightened around her chest.
“You must be joking. Women do it all the time. That’s how they entertain themselves. You didn’t believe we would be faithful to each other for the rest of our lives, did you? What a ridiculous notion.”
The thought of copulating with Elliott was horrific enough. Now he wanted her to sleep with his friends, too. Bile rose in her throat at the idea of having to endure another man like her husband. He was totally amoral, and thought nothing of sleeping with a friend’s wife. He undoubtedly took pleasure in it. He never controlled his lust. If he saw a woman he wanted, he took her by any means possible.
After being thrown out of England for refusing to drink tea, Marlow Kelly made her way to Canada where she found love, a home and a pug named Max. She also discovered her love of storytelling. Encouraged by her husband, children and let’s not forget Max, she started putting her ideas to paper. Her need to write about strong women in crisis drives her stories and her curiosity regarding the lives and loves of historical figures are the inspiration for her characters. You can visit Marlow at www.marlowkelly.com.