A Kiss to Remember by Teresa Medeiros - Romance>Historical Regency
AWAKENED BY A KISS
Laura Fairleigh needs a husband. If she is to keep a roof over her siblings' heads, the prim rector's daughter must wed by her twenty-first birthday. When she finds a mysterious stranger with the face of an angel and the body of Adonis unconscious in the forest and with no memory of his name or his past, she decides to claim him for her own. Little does she know that her fallen angel is really the devil in disguise.
Sterling Harlow, the notorious rakehell known as the "Devil of Devonbrooke," awakens to the enchanting kiss of a lovely young woman who informs him he is her long-lost betrothed. With her sun-kissed cheeks and smattering of freckles, she looks every inch the innocent, but her curves possess a woman's allure. When she assures him he is the perfect gentleman, he wonders if he's lost his wits as well as his memory. He would have sworn he was not a man to be satisfied with mere kisses--especially from lips as sweet and luscious as Laura's.As he attempts to uncover the truth before their wedding night, A Kiss To Remember ignites a passion neither of them will ever be able to forget....
From the Paperback edition.
My darling son, my hands are shaking as I pen this letter....The devil had come to Devonbrooke Hall.
He hadn't come drawn by four white horses or in a blast of brimstone but in the honey gold hair and angelic countenance of Sterling Harlow, the seventh duke of Devonbrooke. He strode through the marble corridors of the palatial mansion he had called home for the past twenty-one years, two brindle mastiffs padding at his heels with a leonine grace that matched his own.
He stayed the dogs with a negligent flick of one hand, then pushed open the study door and leaned against the frame, wondering just how long his cousin would pretend not to notice that he was there.
Her pen continued to scratch its way across the ledger for several minutes until a particularly violent t-crossing left an ugly splotch of ink on the page. Sighing with defeat, she glared at him over the top of her wire-rimmed spectacles. "I can see that Napoleon failed to teach you any manners at all."
"On the contrary," Sterling replied with a lazy smile. "I taught him a thing or two. They're saying that he abdicated after Waterloo just to get away from me."
"Now that you're back in London, I might consider joining him in exile."
As Sterling crossed the room, his cousin held herself as rigid as a dressmaker's dummy. Oddly enough, Diana was probably the only woman in London who did not seem out of place behind the leather-and-mahogany-appointed splendor of the desk. As always, she eschewed the pale pastels and virginal whites favored by the current crop of belles for the stately hues of forest green and wine. Her dark hair was drawn back in a simple chignon that accentuated the elegance of her widow's peak.
"Please don't sulk, cousin, dear," he murmured, leaning down to kiss her cheek. "I can bear the world's censure, but yours cuts me to the heart."
"It might if you had one." She tilted her face to receive his kiss, her stern mouth softening. "I heard you came back over a week ago. I suppose you've been staying with that rascal Thane again."
Ignoring the leather wing chair that sat in front of the desk, Sterling came around and propped one hip on the corner of the desk nearest her. "He's never quite forgiven you for swearing off your engagement, you know. He claims you broke his heart and cast cruel aspersions upon his character."
Although Diana took care to keep her voice carefully neutral, a hint of color rose in her cheeks. "My problem wasn't with your friend's character. It was with his lack of it."
"Yet in all these years, neither one of you has ever married. I've always found that rather ... curious."
Diana drew off her spectacles, leveling a frosty gaze at him. "I'd rather live without a man than marry a boy." As if realizing she'd revealed too much, she slipped her spectacles back on and busied herself with wiping the excess ink from the nib of her pen. "I'm certain that even Thane's escapades must pale in comparison to your own. I hear you've been back in London long enough to have fought four duels, added the family fortunes of three unfortunate young bucks to your winnings, and broken an assortment of innocent hearts."
Sterling gave her a reproachful look. "When will you learn not to listen to unkind gossip? I only winged two fellows, won the ancestral home of another, and bruised a single heart, which turned out to be far less innocent than I'd been led to believe."
Diana shook her head. "Any woman foolish enough to trust her heart into your hands gets no more than she deserves."
"You may mock me if you like, but now that the war is over, I've every intention of beginning my search for a...
A Kiss to Remember
By: Teresa Medeiros