Welcome to the one day blitz for The Stranger She Married by Donna Hatch, hosted by Irresistible Reads Book Tour!
About the book:
Genre: Historical Romance
Blurb: The widowed Elise is a perfect English lady living within the confines of society for the sake of her impressionable young son. Her quiet world is shattered when she meets the impulsive and scandalous Jared Amesbury. His roguish charm awakens her yearning for freedom and adventure. But his irrepressible grin and sea-green eyes hide a secret. A gentleman by day, a pirate by night, Jared accepts one last assignment before he can be truly free. Elise gives him hope that he, too, can find love and belonging. His hopes are crushed when his best laid plans go awry and Elise is dragged into his world of violence and deceit. She may not survive the revelation of Jared's past...or still love him when the truth is revealed.
“You are a woman of great courage to face those cutthroats.”
As he lay on the ground, his fingers closed around hers as if she were a lifeline. Her late husband’s hands had always been smooth and soft, the hands of a gentleman, so unlike this man’s calluses which bespoke hard work. She marveled at their size and at the tingles that traveled up her arm. A flush crept over her face as she realized the direction of her thoughts. “I saw a cruel act and felt compelled to intervene. I could do nothing less.” His eyes darted over her face and he said in a stronger voice, “They might have turned on you.”
“I’m an excellent shot.”
“And did you not consider that you may have been in danger from me as well?”
Elise suspected many women found him a very great danger, but not for the reason he spoke. He closed his eyes, and his face relaxed. “Your hands are so soft,” he whispered, his fingers tightening over hers. “My mother used to stroke my hair like you did a moment ago.” He brought her hand to his face and pressed it against his cheek as if hungry for human touch.
Torn between wanting to comfort him and achingly aware of the impropriety of his conduct, she turned her hand over and rested it against his cheek. She couldn’t remember when she’d touched a man in such an intimate manner. It felt right somehow. And that terrified her.
She slowly removed her hand. “Are you well enough to be moved? Or should I send for a doctor?”
“Not necessary. I merely need to rest a moment.”
He slowly pushed himself up, breathing harshly against hidden pain, but then steadied himself. As he leaned forward and shifted his position, his unbuttoned shirt exposed a shocking amount of his chest. Muscular and broad, it provided a tempting sight. She’d never even seen Edward so scantily clad. Her late husband had been the perfect English gentleman, always immaculately dressed.
She flushed deeper when she realized she had failed to look away from the indecent sight of this stranger’s dishabille. Guilt tugged at her heart for betraying Edward’s memory by looking at another man so wantonly. The stranger ran his tongue along his lip and she watched the motion as if hypnotized.
His eyes softened. “My beautiful angel.” He cupped her cheek, leaned in, and kissed her softly.
Too startled to react, she froze. His lips brushed against hers, light as a whisper and more provocative. His fingers slid to the back of her neck and held her firmly in place. His thumb stroked her cheek while his lips grew more insistent. The passion contained in such a gentle contact astonished her. For a blissful moment, she allowed her lips to melt into his, reveling in the long-absent touch of a man.
About the Author:
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