She's 44. He's 22. They're about to cause a sensation. Valentina Rowe is a proper, Victorian-era bookstore owner who indulges her fantasies only through the pages of sensation novels; suggestive works she writes under a pen name for local newspapers. Yet she finds real-life adventure in the arms of Lord Nathaniel Billingsley, a younger man who discovers her secret fantasy life and seeks to fulfill her deepest desires. And while Valentina cannot resist the charms of the gorgeous young seducer, who both lavishes her with beautiful gifts and brings her most wicked fantasies to life, she fears the scandal that could destroy their reputations--and their blossoming love.
“Actually, Valentina, I didn’t come to buy a book.” Nathaniel shoved his hands deep into his pockets. “I was wondering if you needed any help around the shop.”
“You want to work here?” She squinted in confusion.
“I’d expect no wages, of course,” Nathaniel raised his hands before him. “I believe that some quality time spent around books, and around you, of course, would help me through my difficult days.”
“You are always welcome here, of course,” she allowed, adding with an arched eyebrow, “What exactly would you venture to do?”
She took in her breath as Nate closed the distanced between them, standing close beside her at the bookshelf as he stared into her eyes.
“I would do whatever you desired, Valentina.” His voice low and coaxing. “Anything you asked of me, darling. Anything to make you happy.”
Valentina cleared her throat, bracing her hands against the shelf before her. “Well, I am about to conduct an inventory of my store.” She shrugged. “Perhaps you could help.”
Nathaniel tilted his head, gracing her with a knowing smile.
“Of course.” Nathaniel nodded, then, moving closer to her, “I wish to emphasize, though, that my duties need not always be of a professional nature.”
Now facing her, he stared deep into her eyes.
“I’ll gladly do anything that would make your day’s labor more, shall we say, pleasurable?”
Valentina shut her eyes, fighting a wave of unbidden arousal that coursed her entire being.
Soon she opened them, and nodded curtly in Nathaniel’s direction. “I guess you could fetch my tea every morning.” She smiled. “That would be my greatest pleasure.”
Chuckling, Nate leaned daringly forward to kiss Valentina’s cheek.
“Milady,” he grinned roguishly. “It appears that I’m going to have to teach you a thing or two about pleasure.” Valentina let loose with a startled gasp as her companion swept her up in his arms, covering her lips with his to engage her in a warm sweet kiss.