Unraveling the Earl, Book 3 in the Idyllwild series:
The Earl of Hastings’s reputation as London’s greatest gift to the ladies has taken on a life of its own, one he is only too happy to live up to in one Mayfair bedchamber after another. Until he encounters a lady more interested in poking around his country estate than sampling his lauded charms.
Georgiana Buchanan is possessed of murky morals, skewed notions of right and wrong, a talent for dancing around the truth, and a penchant for crashing weddings, funerals and charity balls.
When Georgie catches Henry’s roving eye, she turns the tables on the arrogant scoundrel, introducing him to a world of sensual delights and unraveling his vaunted control before fleeing into the night.
Henry is determined to make the elusive Georgiana his mistress while the lady wants only to use his desire to further her own schemes. When they find themselves marooned at Idyllwild during a summer storm, they will both discover they’ve gotten more than they bargained for.
As the final notes of the waltz wound to a close and the dancers slowed almost to a sedate pace, Georgie whispered, “I’ve heard talk of a tower.”
“Don’t tempt me, love.”
“That sounds remarkably like a dare and you ought to know the Buchanan who can resist a dare, or a wager for that matter, has yet to be born.
“Is that so?” His eyes lit with amusement.
“Shall we place a friendly wager, my lord?” she asked, stepping close enough that her hip brushed his thigh.
“What did you have in mind?”
“I’ll wager my frilly drawers against your starched cravat I can get you hard without so much as touching you.”
Henry looked about and, apparently satisfied no one was near enough to hear their risqué banter, replied in a voice laced with husky laughter, “That seems an unfair wager as I’ve yet to see a you in a pair of drawers, frilly or otherwise. And I’m already as hard as I care to be with my family and friends looking on.”
Georgie glanced down at his crotch with unabashed interest and sure enough he was sporting a discernable bulge in his trousers. Peering up at him through her lashes she slowly licked her lips.
“Have mercy, love,” he begged. “You’re going to be the death of me.”
“I don’t want to kill you. Only swive you silly.”
“I want the same,” he muttered as he led her from the dance floor. “You’ve no idea how I want you.”
“You want me flat on my back and yours to command.”
“Leave off, Georgie,” he ordered, his voice a gravelly whisper.
“Or perhaps on my hands and knees with my bum in the air.”
“I gave my word as a gentleman.”
“Mayhap you would rather soixante-neuf,” Georgie mused.
“Soixante-neuf?” he repeated, steering her toward the refreshment table just beyond the wallflowers lined up amid the wheat and barley.
“Sixty-nine,” she translated helpfully.
“I am conversant in French.”
“We’ve yet to attempt it together.”
“Soixante-neuf. We can try it if you’d like, but I must say I’ve never found it terribly enjoyable. It’s deucedly hard for me to concentrate on my part while…well, you know.”
“No, I don’t know.”
“I get caught up in my own pleasure.”
“All right, I give over.”
“You’ll take me to the tower?” Georgie released his arm to clap her hands.
“No, what does it mean?” Henry replied around a huff of laughter.
“That is what we’re discussing, isn’t it? What is it? A card game? Billiards?”
Georgie blinked in surprise before letting lose a snort.
“Are you going to tell me?”
“Oh, good lord, of course you’ve never…I was your first, after all. But surely you’ve heard of…no?” Georgie took hold of Henry’s arm and dragged him past the ladies lined up along the wall and beyond the grains and weeds in tall urns to a shadowy corner, suspecting she was about to win his lordship’s starch-stiff cravat and the swiving of her life.
Where to find Lynne: