The Earl of Amhurst has returned to his estate in search of a wife and, more importantly, an heir. Simon Devere isn’t interested in some comely, simpering creature. A beautiful woman only brings heartbreak and ruin, and Simon’s disfigured visage is proof enough of that. No, he wants a wife who is unattractive and undesirable—and the homelier, the better.
But nothing about Lady Henrietta Beauchamp is homely. She is lovely and sweet…and struggles to mix with polite society when she would so much rather have plants for company. And yet Simon is her only hope for keeping Plumburn Castle in her family’s possession. Even if it means marrying a man she doesn’t love.
It’s an impossible and unlikely match…unless this awkward beauty can bring hope back into a solitary beast’s life.
Simon’s mouth moved over hers, the full swell of her bottom lip catching between his teeth, sending thick swells of desire coursing through his veins. Five years he had denied himself womanly pleasures.
And now he sought to make up for lost time.
His fingers slipped through Henrietta’s hair, working loose the pins. The glossy strands fell cool and soft like silk against his hands.
He was on fire, his blood thundering loud in his ears. Heaven help him, he deepened the kiss as lust filled him with a hunger so intense he had to restrain himself, lest he bruise her delicate pout.
He wanted her, her innocence, her surprising resolve in the face of his accusations. But most of all, he wanted her to want him. And not the damn house.
Lady Henrietta gasped, her breath catching as he lifted his mouth to draw air. She pulled away, stepping backward, her fingers touching her swollen lips.
“My lord.” His handkerchief was bound tight in her grasp. Her gaze darted between him and the soiled square, confusion and disbelief contorting her elfin-like features.
He had been brash, heated, and crude in his behavior. He had no right to assert his will over her. And yet, he had been a man possessed, unable, and quite honestly unwilling to fight the baser urges flooding through him.
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