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Suitors and Scoundrels

Suitors and Scoundrels by Woods Karen
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Society expects Sarah Elham to marry the Duke of Chishom, but she loves the Earl of Barrow, badly injured in India.
Awe-Struck Publishing; February 2004
177 pages; ISBN 9781587494178
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Title: Suitors and Scoundrels
Author: Woods Karen
Sarah sighed. "A lady has little choice in life. Marriage is the only honorable choice open to a gentlewoman. Making a selection of a husband is the only time that a lady really has any choice in her life."

"So, would you marry me?"

Sarah felt her face grow warm. "Of course not!"

"Why not? Most females would quite fancy being a duchess."

"I am not 'most' females. You need to find someone who can love you the way that you deserve to be loved, the way that Jane loved you. I can't think of anything that would be more ghastly for you and the children than for you to marry a woman who merely fancies being a duchess. The children need someone to love them in a motherly way. Jane wanted nothing less than happiness for the people whom she loved so well. She had asked me to look out for you and for the babies if anything were to happen to her, to make certain that you were both happy and well."

George picked up his glass and drained it.

"How do you see me?" he asked, his voice serious.

"You are my friend. You always have been."

"Do you love my children?"

"Young George and Anne are extremely precious to me," Sarah replied, her voice low and earnest. "You should be aware of that. I will do the best that I can for them as their godmama."

"There are worse things that could happen than for us to marry, are there not?"

"You are intoxicated. We both will regret this conversation in the light of day. Or rather, I will. You, quite likely, will not remember it in the least. Goodnight," she said as she rose from the chair.

He took her hand and pulled her towards him. "I am not all that firmly in my cups, Sweet Sarah," he said as he pulled her into his lap. Without giving her a chance to protest, he kissed her. He held her firmly with one arm. The other hand had a firm, but gentle, hold on her head.

George kissed her deeply, as though he had every right to her mouth. The kisses were hot and demanding. He tilted her head slightly to gain even fuller access to her mouth. His kisses were lightning, while she was like a dead tree. Desire swept through her as easily as fire would catch in a dead tree after a lightning strike. Just as that tree would burn from the heart outward, so was she burning with the desire that flamed, licking and swirling, through her. She had been kissed once before, but that had been nothing like this.

As the kiss deepened even further, she simply wrapped her arms around his neck and hung on as the world spun away. George filled her senses, leaving room only for the elemental reality of man and woman. The honesty of the need in his kiss totally undid her. Nothing else mattered at the moment to her, nothing except the passion she felt building up within her at his touch and kiss. Sarah gloried in the feeling, wanting nothing other than to be exactly where she was--in his arms.

The hot, demanding pressure of his mouth made her dizzy. The stroking of his tongue against hers filled her with almost unbearable pleasure.

A moment, or a century, later he sank to his knees, placing her on the floor before him. Then he lay atop her, kissing her hungrily once more.

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