Can an ancient Hindu sex manual turn an arranged marriage into a love match?
That’s the story question posed by How To Woo… A Reluctant Bride, a sexy historical short story set in Victorian London.
A marriage contract, nothing more…until darkly handsome Evan Channing and demure Lydia Blatchford meet. Yet the rules are simple for an arrangement such as theirs. There should be no misunderstanding, no illusions of anything more. But the rules are about to change.
Lydia wants the kind of love and romance she reads about in books. Fortunately, she hasn’t specified which book, and Evan has a copy of Richard Burton’s new translation of the Kama Sutra, with its ancient wisdom on love and courtship. Evan sets out to win his high-born bride, blending seductive heat with exotic lessons in love-making.
Lydia is prepared to tolerate this man she’s been sold to, but his scorching kisses send her pulses racing. Can an arranged marriage lead to love?
(Previously published under the title Love… By the Book)
Available from Amazon, Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble/Nook, Kobo and Smashwords.
Also available as part of Romance Super Bundle II: Second Chances, on sale for 99 cents. Available now at Amazon, BN/Nook, iBooks, Kobo and Smashwords.
“But won’t society think it odd we married in such haste?”
She looked him in the eye. “Let me make one thing clear. I do not give a fig for what society thinks. If you supposed you were marrying a social butterfly, let me banish that notion right now.”
He smiled at her. “Harry said you were sensible, but this surprises me. I’m happy to agree to a short engagement.” He stepped closer, towering over her. “The sooner I can make you mine, the better.”
Her heart pounded and her breath caught as he lowered his head and touched his lips to hers for but a second before backing away. She drew in a deep breath. Her first kiss and it had been over almost before it was begun. She didn’t know whether to be relieved or disappointed.
“Shall we go inside and discuss the wedding plans with your parents?”
“Not yet. There is something else I’d like to say.” It was now or never.
“Yes, my dear, what is it?”
She licked her lips then plunged ahead. “I know how these things work. Arranged marriages, that is. I won’t expect fidelity from you.”
His shocked expression surprised her. “Is that what you think, Lydia? That I’m marrying you with the intention of cheating on you?”
“Perhaps not now,” she said. “But in a few years… It’s not as if ours is a love match. I won’t cut up a fuss if you decide to take a mistress. As long as you are discreet.”
“How very… sophisticated of you,” he said, his tone dry enough to parch a desert.
She took a deep breath before continuing. “And once I’ve produced the requisite heir and spare, I assume I’ll be free to seek my pleasure elsewhere.”
The thunderous look on his face startled her and she stepped back.
“You will do no such thing,” he said fiercely, reaching for her. “Ours may not be a love match now, but I fully intend to see it turns into one.”
With that, he pulled her into his embrace, trapping her arms between them as his encircled her shoulders and waist. Covering her mouth with his, he kissed her with a heady combination of passion and anger. Her resistance crumbled in the face of his onslaught. She clutched at his lapels and returned his kiss, even parting her lips when his tongue probed them. Overwhelmed by the sensations his lips provoked, she let her eyes drift shut as she clung to him.
When he let her go, he was still visibly upset. “There will be no more talk of infidelity. Have I made myself clear, Lydia?”
Lyndi Lamont is the racy alter ego of author Linda McLaughlin, who writes historical and Regency Romance. Since becoming Lyndi Lamont, she has discovered that writing sexy romance is a license to be naughty, at least between the pages of a book.
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