Published by Entangled: Scandalous on April 9th 2018
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Emma Hibbert will never again trust a good-looking man. They offer nothing but heartbreak and humiliation. But her conscience won't let her abandon a sinfully handsome stranger needing help—even if he ignites an unwelcome passion in her. She soon realizes she should have left him in the mud where she found him, for he has the power to ruin everything...
Viscount Tidworth is anything but grateful for being rescued after a tumble from his horse. His pretty savior may be well-meaning, but forcing him to delay his journey completely wrecks his engagement plans. And Tidworth cannot let that stand. But when he discovers Emma's true identity, he must choose between his desire for revenge...and his baffling attraction to her.
James said quietly, “You seemed to be in difficulties when I arrived, Miss Hibbert. I thought I’d rescued you, but you still seem uncomfortable.”
She gave a little shrug. “I believe I can deal with Mr. Charles. He was just teasing me.”
“We both know what he is. You heard it for yourself that evening his papa rang a peal over him. Don’t let him take advantage of your inexperience.”
Did that sound pompous?
Yes. It did.
She said tartly, “You’re very liberal with your advice, my lord.”
“Please, call me James, or Tidworth if you prefer.” There was too much sarcasm in the way she said my lord.
“I know my place, my lord.”
Clearly, this wasn’t going to be easy.
“Forgive me,” he said. “But going on past evidence, it seems you do not. However, I didn’t come here to cross swords with you. I came to make amends.”
She turned and looked up at him, surprised. “To me? I thought you came to see Charles.”
“His father, actually. But I was hoping to snatch a few moments alone with you. I’ve been in an agony of guilt since last Saturday. The way I accused you was inexcusable. I pray I might be forgiven.”
Her eyes locked with his, and he couldn’t help but notice how brightly the golden irises glistened, and how long her dark eyelashes were.
She bit her lip and said slowly, “Sir, there is nothing to forgive. I now know what I did to you when first we met, and can only say how sorry I am for being so indomitable about your injury. It is I who should ask to be pardoned, not you.”
He blinked at her, then looked down at the dusty toes of his riding boots, awash in a mixed knot of emotion. She knew about Belinda. Charles must have told her.
Probably for the best it was out in the open, even if he didn’t like the idea of his friend sharing his personal troubles with strangers. A governess, at that.
Though, she’d said she came from an ancient noble family. No doubt true. He could see it in her manners, her looks, and the way she held herself. It would be a crime if Charles decided to seduce her.
The idea of any man seducing her threatened to send his thoughts galloping off in completely the wrong direction. He couldn’t help but flush as he said, “You are forgiven, Miss Hibbert, on one condition.”
“That you must say you forgive me, and agree we’ll say no more about it. Let’s turn a new page, Miss Hibbert, and try to be friends.”
She nodded, and smiled at him, unleashing an intriguing warmth in his gut. That smile…those lips…
“Is— Er, is this your sketchbook I’m carrying?”
He sounded like a stammering idiot. What had happened to that sangfroid?