Enchanted by the Earl
Release Date: February 5, 2016 (As part of the Once Upon A Regency box set)
Length: 31k/ novella
Heat Rating: 2
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency
Will Rose and Hunter overcome their differences and embrace true love?
Rose Woodcourt, a poor seamstress, is too proud to accept help, even when her home and freedom are threatened by the nefarious Mr. Wolfe. Especially not from Hunter Thorne, a titled gentleman far above her station. Earls only court common misses for one reason, and Rose has no interest in being a wealthy man’s mistress–however handsome and charming he may be.
Hunter is an honorable man; he refuses to turn his back on the spirited beauty regardless of how hard she pushes him away. As Mr. Wolfe’s threats evolve into actions Rose has little choice but to turn to Hunter.
Can the pair put an end to Wolfe’s nefarious deeds before Rose loses everything she holds dear, including her freedom?
Hunter watched the sway of Miss Woodcourt’s hips as she strolled ahead of him. The way those breeches hugged her curves begged for his attention. He could not help but take note of her shapely legs, rounded derriere, and the flair of her hips. For a split second, he contemplated pulling her into his arms and ravishing her right there in the street.
The woman was off limits. An innocent, and he would not tarnish her, especially when he knew they could never wed. He tore his gaze from her luscious body, and tossed a glance at Sinclair, grateful his friend walked in front of her. The thought of the viscount admiring her assets caused his blood to heat. Pure madness, yet he seemed powerless to stop his reactions to her.
A scowl marred Rose’s dirty face as she glanced back at him. Hunter’s pulse sped at the sight of her displeasure. She must be miffed over the way he had handled her. With a weak smile, he stepped past her and reached for the door.
He did not care for the effect she had on him. The sooner they got this over with, the better. He withdrew a small tool and began to poke within the lock’s chamber.
“It refuses to budge. I need something longer.” He glanced over his shoulder. Sinclair stood so close to Miss Woodcourt, their arms touched. A ping of discomfort raced through him. Jealousy? He had to get away from this woman before she drove him to Bedlam.
Rose removed her hat, ran a hand across her auburn tresses, and pulled out a hatpin. “Try this.”
“Have you a history of breaking and entering?” Sinclair teased her.
Hunter’s body heated in anger, pulse throbbing in his neck. He did not want Sinclair teasing Miss Woodcourt, touching her, or even standing close to her.
What was going on with him? She meant nothing to him. He only helped because he was unable to ignore her plight. It was lust, plain and simple. Once he returned her home, these feelings would cease. For now, he needed to focus on gaining entry to Wolfe’s office.
Rose gave a quick smile and shook her head. “No, but I knew I would need something if I wished to open the lock. My pin was all I could think of.”
Hunter took the hatpin from her. His fingers tingled where they brushed hers.
“See? I told you I would be of use.” She winked.
He raised a brow at her scandalous behavior before turning back to the door. The woman was positively vexing. That she even imagined breaking into Wolfe’s office angered him. Still, her calculated plan was impressive.
Had he and Sinclair not had the same idea, she may have pulled her mission off without incident. He had never known a woman who would dare dream up such a thing, let alone attempted to carry it out, breeches and all.
“It should do the trick.” Hunter pushed the pin in the lock, wiggled it, and gave the pin a slight turn. The mechanism gave with a click. He allowed the door to open a crack before he pulled the pin out. “Sinclair, let us know if anyone comes.”
The viscount offered a nod before moving to the corner of the building.
Miss Woodcourt held her hand out. “My hatpin, please.”
Hunter put the pin in her palm before pushing the door open farther. He stepped aside for her. “After you.”
She entered the office without a word, leaving a trail of rose-scented air in her wake.
With a last glance at Sinclair, Hunter stepped into the office and closed the door behind them. He took another step into the dark space and suddenly her body was pressed against him. Instinctively, he wrapped his arm around her and pulled her close.
Her soft form molded to him as if she were made to fit against him. Still embracing her, he gently moved her to his side before she could feel the effect she was having on him.
She pushed his arm away and stepped from his embrace. “We need light.”
The cool night air quickly replaced the warmth of her body. He scowled, already missing her closeness. Bloody hell. She would be his undoing if he did not return her home posthaste.
Author Bio and Links
Bestselling historical romance author Amanda Mariel dreams of days gone by when life moved at a slower pace. She enjoys taking pen to paper and exploring historical time periods through her imagination and the written word. When she is not writing she can be found reading, crocheting, traveling, practicing her photography skills, or spending time with her family.
Amanda lives along the Lake Huron shoreline in northern Michigan with her husband and two kids. She holds a Master of Liberal Arts Degree with a concentration in literature and has a long-standing love affair with sugary junk food.