Tempted by the Viscount
by Sofie Darling
Genre: Historical Romance Pub Date: June 27th, 2018
London, April 1825
Lord Jakob Radclyffe left his past behind in the Far East. Or so he thinks until a ruthless thief surfaces in London, threatening to ruin his daughter’s reputation. With the clock ticking, Jake needs the scandalous Lady Olivia Montfort’s connections in the art world to protect his daughter’s future.
Olivia, too, has a past she’d like to escape. By purchasing her very own Mayfair townhouse, she’ll be able to start a new life independent from all men. There’s one problem: she needs a powerful man’s name to do so. The Viscount St. Alban is the perfect name.
A bargain is struck.
What Olivia doesn’t anticipate is the temptation of the viscount. The undeniable spark of awareness that races between them undermines her vow to leave love behind. Soon, she has no choice but to rid her system of Jake by surrendering to her craving for a single scorching encounter.
But is once enough? Sometimes once only stokes the flame of desire higher and hotter. And sometimes once is all the heart needs to risk all and follow a mad passion wherever it may lead.
“Am I late?” he asked in a tone that didn’t sound as concerned as his words might have suggested.
“Yes,” she replied, sounding distressingly like Lucy on a petulant day.
“My apologies,” he said on a shallow bow, even as his mouth, that talented, efficient mouth of his, maintained its familiar firm line.
“No need for apologies, my lord. In fact, your tardiness is promising evidence that you are settling into the viscountcy quite well.” She liked the way his eyes narrowed at her stern tone, a tone she couldn’t help borrowing from Mrs. Bloomquist. “It is the first rule of the nobility. Everyone can wait.”
“Then my apologies for not having made you wait longer.”
A begrudging smile found its way to her lips. “Now for the second rule of the nobility.” She allowed a beat to pass. A flash of pleasure coursed through her at the very idea that she could hold this glorious man in suspense. It wasn’t every woman who could boast that particular thrill. “Never apologize.”
He stepped forward, halving the distance between them, and took another bow. “Again, my apologies.”
His gaze pinned her in place, and, like that, the power of the moment shifted to him. Oh, how an unmanageable part of her wanted him to use it. This felt dangerously like flirting. Was she flirting?
She was. In the presence of the tease playing about his eyes and mouth, she couldn’t seem to help herself. She tried clearing her throat, hoping to clear her head in the process.
He should be more careful with that smile. It could give a woman ideas.
Sofie spent much of her twenties raising two boys and reading every book she could get her hands on. Once she realized that she was no longer satisfied with simply reading the books she loved, that she must write them, too, she decided to finish her degree and embark on a writing career. Mr. Darling and the boys gave her their wholehearted blessing.
When she’s not writing heroes who make her swoon, she runs a marathon in a different state every year, visits crumbling medieval castles whenever she gets a chance, and enjoys a slightly codependent relationship with her beagle, Bosco.