Publication Date: July 28, 2015
As she stood, dressed in a chemise with diamonds hanging from dainty earlobes that once had felt his kisses, wearing a necklace that trimmed the contours of her throat, supple, soft, and so inviting, wearing satin slippers, she looked more the expensive courtesan than a wife gone rogue. But his compassion was gone, vented, like a winded sail suddenly pierced. He reached out and laced his fingers in the wild and free locks of her hair and wound them tightly in his hand. Slowly he reeled her into him, pressing her body close to his with her face upward. He ran his other hand up along the terrain of her throat as would a sculptor admiring his work.
She inhaled deeply and ran a tongue over her lips. He held her there, immobile, vacillating between cursing himself for wanting her and cursing her for having left him. He tilted her head slightly, allowing his hand full access to her throat, cupping his hand around her neck with his thumb and forefinger. Straddling her larynx, he applied light pressure because he could, and she couldn’t stop him.
“Where is this little pistol of yours?”
“I do not have it.” She didn’t try to resist; instead she closed her eyes. He wondered if she thought he would end her life here, for she resisted not. His thumb stroked the flawless skin beneath her chin, reminiscing about the feel, having never touched a woman like her.
She opened her eyes and met his. The sea-green color reflected the mist she had thought to dab away. A tear rolled down her cheek and over the tips of his fingers.
“You wish to harm me?” she whispered. “It will not make this go away.”
He kept his focus on her face, her eyes, for in them he would always find his truth.
“Do you think I wish to?” His voice as low as the rumbling thunder that rattled the window panes. “Or that I would?”
She drew another long, deep breath. Her breasts pressed against his chest; he felt the air come and go and a slight muffled sob that escaped. She was powerless and she knew it.
“No, I do not think that.” Her voice was just a whisper, but had a hungry sound to it that made him wonder who he was speaking to, his wife or Jordan’s sister?
“No, harm you, I will not, but take you at my leisure, I will.”
He brushed her lips with his. Her mouth opened slightly for him. She tasted sweet and salty, tears mixed with beauty. He dropped his hand from her throat and wrapped it around her body. At more than six feet, Donato towered over Colette. He nearly lifted her from her feet. But he didn’t care; he had wanted this kiss since he’d seen her in New Orleans, when she had fought him on the dock, when she had kept a rigid spine and led them through the swamp, and when she had fallen overboard and dangled above a furious sea. He had almost asked her permission before, only to be rebuked, but not this time. This kiss was his, and damned if he wasn’t going to take it.
About Meg Hennessy
Meg Hennessy read her first historical romance when Rosemary Rodgers', Sweet Savage Love, swept the college campuses. She won't admit how many years ago that was, but was forever hooked on the genre of happy-ever-afters. Meg grew up immersed in the culture of her father's old Southern family and writes with a Southern flavor. It was her sense of wonderment when visiting her grandmother's home as a child that now bubbles upward into her writing of today, creating steamy nights of intrigue and romance.
She had been writing for years, but seriously pursued publication in 2009. Seeking authenticity for her first novel, she researched hundreds of books, visited numerous battlefields, and toured antebellum homes. When it came to putting pen to paper, Meg found her story-telling voice, as her heroine simply stepped into Shadows of a Southern Moon, winning the 2010 EPIC Award for best Historical Romance and launching her writing career.
Meg lives amid the beautiful rolling hills of southeastern Wisconsin. Besides writing and spoiling her much-loved horse, she enjoys backyard birding, nature walks, and admits to being a gardening addict. Having spun stories for years, she enjoys seeing her dream come true as her characters spring to life and step within the beautifully bound pages of a romance novel.