An Erotic Regency Romance Novella
“A great short read… I loved it”
— Sandie, Fallen Angel Reviews. 5 Angels
Lady Juliet DeMar is a confirmed bachelorette and a member of the exclusive London Literary Club, a secret sex club for the more libidinous of the London ton. After taunting her childhood friend and wealthy sea captain, James Wakefield, with the club’s bondage games, she decides to kidnap him and bring him to his knees—and to the altar—or end their acquaintance forever.
But her plan backfires when she’s kidnapped herself. Blindfolded and shackled, she becomes the property of a notorious pirate, the murderous Captain Black, purchased for his pleasure. When her deepest, erotic fantasies become a dangerous reality, will Juliet be forced into submission? Or will she learn what she needs to know to master James?
“Your timing is atrocious, James. I have a very important party to host tomorrow.” She dropped into the settee across from him and smoothed the wrinkles from her dress. “An engagement party.”
He chuckled softly. “You?”
“Why not me?” She stood and reached across the space between them, took his brandy snifter out of his hand, and took a sip. A large one. She forced herself not to choke on the fumes that rose up the back of her nose. “You’re the second person this evening who’s implied I’m some kind of ogre that eats lovers.”
“Don’t you?” He raised one dark slash of brow at her. “I thought your little club specialized in that sort of thing.”
“Don’t start, Wakefield. You’ve already registered all your prudish complaints, no need to keep poking me about it. Besides, just because I wouldn’t marry you, doesn’t mean I despise the entire institution.”
“Of course you do,” he said, taking his snifter back with a proprietary little tug. “You have your little club to amuse you and you believe you need nothing else.”
She snatched the snifter out of his hand and downed the contents. The fumes made her eyes water, and she coughed once but spoke through it. “If men were capable of providing anything else, I’d be of quite a different opinion.”
He glared at her a moment. “I’m not a prude,” he said. “I’m simply worried about you. One of these days, one of those…perverts….”
“Perverts? Oh please, Wakefield, they’re not perverts. And there is absolutely no danger. It’s just harmless fun. You do know what fun is, don’t you?”
“You know, Jules, there are deranged people in the world.” He rose and came to perch on the edge of her settee. He took the empty snifter from her hand and set it upon the lace doily atop the end table. Then he clasped her two small hands in his large warm ones. “What if someone gets…overzealous?”
The warmth of his skin made her shiver in the relative chill of the library. His normally cool blue eyes reflected turbulent currents beneath, and Juliet closed her eyes to escape his gaze.
Here we go again. Damned man, why couldn’t he stay away? She hated when he looked at her like that. Almost as if he gave a damn.
She pulled her hands from his. The alcohol had gone to her head, and she wasn’t going to go around this bush again. “The club is perfectly safe. It’s very hush-hush, very exclusive, as you’d know if you’d ever had the stones to accept any of my invitations. And no one gets overzealous. We use a code if we need to call a halt. For example…imagine I’ve tied you up….”
“Tied me up!”
“Oh, hush, Wakefield. Say I’ve tied you up, and the rope’s too tight and starting to cut. One might say, ‘Dear, the rope’s a tad tight, could you let it up a bit?’ But what fun would that be? There’s no real feeling of danger if you can just ask to be released.”
“So you agree that it’s dangerous,” he said, leaning smugly back into the settee beside her with an air of checkmate about him.
“Of course not. It just has to seem dangerous. That’s the fantasy.” She parted her lips in a way that was meant to unnerve him, then leaned closer and whispered in his ear. “Don’t you find danger…erotic?”
“You mean me, personally?”
“I mean you. Personally.” She ran her finger along the edge of his stubbled jaw, enjoying the rasp of it under her skin. She knew it was the brandy making her toy with him, and she was vaguely aware that it made her not care. He deserved to be tormented. James Wakefield was probably the only man in the entire world who would have made a wonderful husband.
If only he weren’t afraid of his own ballocks.
She ran her finger down the cord of his neck, dipped it beneath his open collar, toyed with the loosened knot of his cravat. “Doesn’t it excite you? The danger, the intensity, the fear of not knowing what will become of you, being totally at the mercy of another?” She leaned in and let her warm breath linger on the soft flesh beneath his ear. “It makes your heart race and your breath come quick and sharp, and the suspense of what each moment will bring makes even the barest touch as intense as pure flame.”
He took her hand from his neck and stood, then walked away from her and came to rest before the fire. “Flames burn, Juliet.”
Her heart fell and crashed upon the floor. Damn him. Damn him. James Wakefield might be her oldest and dearest friend, but the only one thing that made his heart race was his ship. Or perhaps his first mate, some vindictive, jealous beast inside her added. But not her. Never her.
She swept up the bits of her heart and stuffed them back inside, as she’d done many times in the past, each time swearing she’d never toss it to him again. She had to swallow to speak, but damn him, he would not win this hand.
“Perhaps overzealous would be a nice change.” She forced herself to meet his gaze with devil-may-care candor. “Paunchy earls dressed as highwaymen and pirates lose their excitement after a while.”