Genre: Regency, Erotic
Title: Surrender to Sin
Series: The Fallen #1
Author: Nicola Davidson
Publisher: Entangled: Scorched
Lord Sebastian St. John, dedicated bachelor and a co-owner of Fallen, the most scandalous pleasure club in London, is known as Sin for good reason. Orphaned by a shocking accident, Sin long ago vowed a life of solitude and decadence. Yet when Lady Grace Carrington begs for his help destroying her reputation, Sin can’t turn the ton’s most proper lady away.
Obedient daughter, wife, and young widow, Grace has had enough of being controlled. After her father arranges a second loveless marriage to an eminently respectable ancient, Grace plans a fortnight of defiance and self-ruination to stop the wedding. But as Grace enters the heady, risky world of an affair with Sin, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to him — and she soon realizes two weeks won’t be nearly enough.
“Now. To the task at hand. How should you like it to play out?”
“A kiss,” said Grace, irritable at her own transparency when she’d been able to mask herself so well in the past. “In public. Like in a phaeton, or while strolling in a park or perhaps in a box at the theater.”
“All right. What kind of kiss?”
An incredulous laugh escaped. “You are asking me about kissing?”
Sin didn’t smile. “Yes. There are many types, pet. Chaste kisses. Ones of friendship. Relief. A teasing kiss, nothing more than a vague promise. Then new desire, clumsy and hungry but still with the edge of non-consummation. And finally the raw carnality of lovers. What do you want Baxter to believe?”
Grace stared at him, mouth dry and heart pounding. Nell had been right. This was a man who knew every nuance of pleasure, utterly at ease with his knowledge and expertise. “I… I’m not sure.”
“Well then. Why don’t we try an experiment? Kiss me, and I’ll tell you what it says.”
For a long moment she hesitated. Sweet heaven she wanted to. Badly. But it had been so very long since she kissed someone she actually wanted to kiss; the secrets of finishing school seemed like a hundred years ago. What if she and Sin banged noses or foreheads? What if all she could demonstrate was friendship or lukewarm teasing? A mild scandal had seemed so easy. Perhaps it wasn’t at all.
“I’m woefully out of practice,” she said awkwardly. “Probably not very seductive.”
“I’ll be the judge of that. Look, I’ll even meet you halfway on the chaise. Shimmy closer, pet, and kiss me as though bloody Baxter was peering through the window right now.”
Grace nodded, excitement coiling in her belly at the chance to have something she’d wanted for the longest time. Then she leaned across and carefully brushed her mouth against his, once, twice, before timidly touching the tip of her tongue to his lips. A low growl escaped him, and she jerked back. “I did it wrong, didn’t I,” she said tightly, embarrassed. What a countrified twit she must appear to someone of his expertise. “I’m sorry.”
“On the contrary. It was sweet and perfect. But sweet and perfect won’t end an engagement. If we are to create a public scandal, you cannot hold back. You must give me your all, so any gossips looking on unequivocally believe that rather than the quiet, virtuous widow of repute, you are an independent, hot-blooded woman with reckless, ungovernable sexual needs. For that is the last kind of wife a man like Baxter wants.”
“I understand. Can we try again?”
His smile was pure wickedness. “Oh, I dare you to.”
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