When a Lady Deceives
Author: Tara Kingston
Genre: Historical Romance
In Victorian London, reporter Jennie Quinn employs deception as a weapon. Going undercover to seek justice for a murdered informant, she’s drawn into a powerful criminal’s seductive game of cat and mouse. Enigmatic former lawman Matthew Colton is as dangerous as he is clever, but the passion in his kiss is too tempting to resist. She aches to trust him, but she will not abandon her quest for the truth.
Colton is a man with secrets of his own. Thirsting for vengeance, the disgraced Scotland Yard detective has infiltrated the criminal world he’s vowed to destroy. Jennie intrigues him, even as she breaks down the barriers around his heart. He yearns to uncover her secrets—in and out of his bed. Driven to shield her, he’ll risk everything to protect the woman whose love heals his soul.
Jennie’s heart thrummed. Her yearning for him was madness. She needed his touch as desperately as an addict craved opium.
His lips resumed their leisurely conquest. He captured her earlobe between his teeth, nipping and teasing until she thought she’d go mad with the anticipation of pleasures yet to come.
In too deep.
She braced herself with the truth. Brutality. Seduction. Both were weapons in his arsenal.
“As exhilarating as this…game may be, I’ve no intention of spending this night in your bed.” If only she trusted her own words.
Jennie ran her fingertips along the edge of Matthew’s stubble-roughened jaw. Desire threatened to consume her. How could she give in to it? How could she want this man so badly the need permeated to the marrow?
With a sigh, she fled the circle of his arms. The chill in the room prickled goose bumps over her flesh. Matthew closed the distance between them. His warmth and strength enveloped her.
“This is not a game.” His husky rasp tore at her defenses.
“I shouldn’t be here with you.”
She traced the faded scar on his chin with the pad of her thumb. She shouldn’t want any part of him. He was a source. Nothing more.
Her heart recognized the lie for what it was. My, she couldn’t even convince herself, could she? A fierce hunger roared deep within her, a longing for contact, a yearning to know the man who stood before her. Body and soul.
Her desire for him was insanity. Wanting Matthew Colton could only lead to disaster. Why did this man have the power to make her knees absolutely weak? Why did her heart ache every time she glimpsed the emotion buried deep within his gaze?
“This is madness,” she whispered.
He answered her with another kiss. More gentle now. Infinitely tender. A delicious caress.
Her arms looped around his neck. Accepting his kiss. His touch. His hunger.
She shouldn’t want him so.
But she did. There was no denying that truth.
And then, her feet no longer touched the ground. Swept into his arms, she stared up at him. He met her puzzled gaze with a rake’s smile.
“What in blazes are you doing?”
His eyes flashed. Teasing. Yet colored with passion. “Taking you to my lair.”
She wriggled in his arms. “I don’t fancy the notion of being carried off like one of the Sabine women.”
“I rather like it. It’s far less exhausting than chasing you through the streets of London.” He mounted the stairs, two at a time, bearing her weight as if she were no burden at all.
“You must put me down,” she insisted as he reached the landing. The images of several gilt-framed portraits of the Lancaster’s owner blurred before her eyes as he strode purposefully toward his office. “This is no longer amusing.”
“I assure you, amusement is not my intention.” The smile touched his lips again, even as his eyes devoured her. Hungry. Arrogant. Utterly male. “You bring out my primitive instincts. Perhaps I’ll carry you away every night. That might keep you out of trouble.”