The Lady Meets Her Match
by Gina Conkle
Rough-around-the-edges Cyrus Ryland rose from humble origins to become England’s wealthiest citizen and most eligible bachelor. Called the King of Commerce, he thinks nothing of marriage until he hosts a masked ball and discovers an alluring woman hiding in his study. After one dance the lady vanishes, leaving behind a single shoe. The hunt is on, but finding her is only half the battle.
Claire Mayhew wants her hard won independence…a mid-town shop of her own. She resists the scorching attraction with Mr. Ryland — her new landlord, but Cyrus isn’t a man who gives up easily.
She peeked up at him around his arm, her pretty face impertinent among all that untamed hair. Her tone and bearing matched the prim coffee shop proprietress, but the view was pure brazen tavern maid at the end of her day.
His arms flexed. So, the East Ender gave him up. He wanted to thrash the lad for doing something so foolhardy as bringing Claire here. Too many bad things happened to women in this ward, even those who lived here and knew their way around.
Claire placed a hand high on his arm while her flimsy linen cleaned him. She made small, soft sweeps low, where his spine met his breeches. Her skirts brushed the backs of his exposed calves, something more intimate than their first dance. A wicked need to tease her struck, lightening his mood.
“I have a better idea for getting my back clean. It involves a copper tub, large enough for two.”
The swiping slowed. Her hand on his arm lifted, and the loss left his skin cool.
Perhaps he went too far.
Then her palm rested on his ribs, settling there with discovery. The heat of each curious finger splayed provocatively on his flesh in a lover’s exploratory touch. A heady rush followed, sending a pleasant burn over his already-hot torso.
“Whatever your plans in that copper tub of yours, I’m sure it’s not safe for a woman like me.” She said softly against his shoulder blade. “Though I’m sure you have some creative ideas.”
Cyrus looked over his shoulder, her blond head close to his back. “Careful, Miss Mayhew, or you’ll admit out loud you want more to happen between us.”
Gina writes Viking and Georgian romance with a softly sensual side. She loves history, books and romance…the perfect recipe for historical romance writer. Her passion for castles and old places ---the older and moldier the better--- means interesting family vacations. Good thing her husband and two sons share similar passions. When not visiting fascinating places she can be found delving into the latest adventures in cooking, gardening, and chauffeuring her sons.
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