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The Price of Desire
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The Price of Desire

3.4 30
by Leda Swann

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Caroline Clemens comes to a scandalous arrangement with Dominic Savage. Penniless and responsible for four younger siblings following the death of their debt-ridden father, she agrees to become the willing plaything of this darkly dangerous man who has saved her family from the workhouse—and in repayment, she will fulfill his every physical need. . . eagerly


Caroline Clemens comes to a scandalous arrangement with Dominic Savage. Penniless and responsible for four younger siblings following the death of their debt-ridden father, she agrees to become the willing plaything of this darkly dangerous man who has saved her family from the workhouse—and in repayment, she will fulfill his every physical need. . . eagerly and without hesitation.

Rather than feel shamed by her long fall from innocence, Caroline finds her new life exhilarating—for Savage is a remarkably skilled lover who knows the secret places to enter, taste, and touch that will drive a woman to new heights of ecstasy. He would never falsely promise her a wedding—unlike her faithless fiancé, who betrayed, insulted, and abandoned her. And she will repay his honesty with night after torrid night of delicious erotic games, taking their passion further than either of them ever dreamed possible.

But Dominic will not be satisfied with owning Caroline's ripe and luscious body, for he secretly desires the one thing that she dares not surrender to him. Dominic wants Caroline's heart. . . and he will not rest until she succumbs.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Avon Red Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.64(d)

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The Price of Desire

By Leda Swann

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2007 Leda Swann
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780061176449

Chapter One

Caroline Clemens pasted a smile on her face as she gazed belligerently over the assembled company.

Her insides cramped with fear, but she did not let her discomfort show on her face. At any sign of weakness, the pack would race in for the kill. They did not deserve the satisfaction of watching her crumble. She would outface all the malicious gossip from those old spinsters who had always envied her, and all the false condolences from pretend friends who had come to crow over her misfortune.

Heaven help her, but tonight she could even bear the unfeigned sympathy of the handful of people who genuinely loved her.

She cast her eyes over the sea of color in front of her, looking for the red and gold jacket of Captain Bellamy. He, at least, loved her well. The small matter of her family's bankruptcy would not matter to him a whit. Only last week, when the rumors of her family's financial troubles were starting to make the rounds, he had sworn to her that he would love her even if she were a pauper.

The Captain's earnestness had made her smile at the time, but she clung wistfully to the memory now. Last week she had known only that she could not afford the new pair of kid gloves she needed, even though her old ones were worn and stained. Tonight she knew the whole nasty truth. Her entire family was ruined. Utterly and irretrievably ruined.

Atthe end of the month their house in Mayfair and all their household effects would go under the hammer. Her father's untimely death had made absolutely sure that nothing would be left for them to live on. Nothing.

Were it not for her impending marriage to Captain Bellamy, she and her younger sisters and brother would be facing the workhouse. She shuddered. There was no point in dwelling on the horrors of the workhouse--the rough clothes, the hard labor, the poor food that scarcely kept body and soul together, and the disease that carried you off in the end if starvation and exhaustion didn't claim you first. The Captain would save her from that. He would save all of them.

As she scanned the crowd looking for her savior, her gaze was arrested by that of another man. He was a stranger to her, which in itself was enough to catch her attention. Few strangers successfully braved the close-knit society of London merchant bankers to which her family belonged. Though they took carefully calculated risks in their business dealings, when it came to making acquaintances for their wives and daughters, they eliminated any chance of risk. Only the most impeccably respectable personages were ever allowed to visit or to mingle with them in their infrequent evening soirees.

Caroline allowed herself a wry smile. No doubt those same impeccable personages were now watching avidly from the sidelines, salivating at the thought of ripping her to shreds.

The stranger caught her smile and evidently thought it was meant for him. He raised his eyebrows at her in a friendly if somewhat surprised acknowledgment and returned her smile with one of his own.

Caroline caught her breath at the sight. His smile transformed his face from that of an eminently respectable personage into an enticement to sin. Devilry danced in his eyes, promising delights that she had never dreamed of. His face, tanned a deep brown by the sun, no longer looked weather-beaten and oddly out of place in an English autumn, but somehow full of dangerously alluring mystery.

He stepped forward as if to claim the right to make her acquaintance. Though his figure was stolidly dressed in a dark suit similar to those worn by nearly every other man in the room, underneath the drab clothes he moved sinuously, gracefully, with the barely controlled energy of a panther. He radiated an energy too powerful to stop, wrapped in a gorgeous pelt that begged to be touched despite the obvious danger.

What caught her most about him, though, were his eyes. They hypnotized her; she could not look away. With deliberate focus he held her gaze with his, not allowing her any chance to move away as he came toward her.

"We have met before?" His voice was warm and deep, and it enveloped her in its richness. Though his diction was perfect, his accent was unusually soft and burred, and it fell on her ears like a caress.

She shook her head, still unable to look away from the deep brown of his eyes. "I do not believe so," she replied, her mouth so dry it was difficult to speak.

"Then allow me to introduce myself."

She inclined her head slightly. His presence acted like a powerful drug on her. Even if she had wanted to refuse his acquaintance, she was unable to deny him anything. His inexplicable power over her was too strong to resist.

He bowed low over her hand. "Dominic Savage at your service."

Her tongue sneaked out to lick her bottom lip as he bowed over her hand. He caught the movement and his smile grew fractionally wider.

"Caroline. C-Caroline Clemens," she replied, giving him her full name without a thought. His effect on her senses demanded such a familiarity.

His eyes narrowed. "You are related to Isaac Clemens, then? The Clemens who recently--"

Anger clutched at her soul at the look of distaste that flashed over his face, though she could not break the spell he cast over her. "Yes, I am," she broke in coldly, knowing what he was about to say. Her father's misfortunes would have been whispered into his ear by any number of gossips by now, but she had not thought anyone could be so ill-mannered as to mention it to her face. "I see."

The sudden veiling of his eyes finally allowed her to break away from his gaze. Moving her head almost imperceptibly to the side . . .


Excerpted from The Price of Desire by Leda Swann Copyright © 2007 by Leda Swann. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Leda Swann lives happily on the beach in a small New Zealand community and spends free time boating, swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, and anything else that involves getting unpleasantly cold and wet on a regular basis.

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Price of Desire 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The desire to have someone body and soul turns into love in this erotic historical romance tale of the beautiful young and innocent virgin Caroline Clemons who suddenly finds herself and her siblings penniless after the suicide of her prominent society banker father. She is depending on the honor of Captain Bellamy to hold to their engagement agreement. When he breaks the engagement and offers her the position of mistress instead of wife, Caroline is devastated. She sees her father's way as the easy way out. As she sits in the conservatory at a society gathering and plans the taking of her siblings life and herself, the handsome and wealthy Dominic Savage approaches her. He is under the misconception that she is the widow of the now deceased banker. He has desired her for his mistress from the moment he saw her across the room. Thinking this is to be her last evening alive, she gives up her innocence to Dominic with such passion that he wants her body and soul. Later that night, Caroline discovers she cannot go through with her plan and the following morning she and her siblings enter the local workhouse. Once again the evil Captain Bellamy tries to manipulate her to becoming his mistress and arranges it so that she is removed from the workhouse. As she and her siblings are being removed to the streets once again, Dominic steps in to rescue her. Now that she has no other alternative and he appears to be more honest and upfront in his offer, and mostly because she cannot forget the passion and pleasure she experienced when he took her virginity, she takes him up on his offer. He takes her and her family in and provides a home, education and dowries. She in turn is to provide him with every desire and pleasure and he will teach her everything he has learned about pleasure in India. At first Caroline is shy and uncomfortable, but soon learns to make the best of the arrangement. When Dominic takes her on a trip to spend time at a house of pleasure called Sugar and Spice, he comes to realize that he does not want to share Caroline with any other man. He discovers that he not only wants her to belong to him body and soul - he now wants to win her heart. He then begins to court her, but when a strange twist of fate causes him to lose his fortune, he can no longer keep her and she moves to the small estate given to her by Dominic in their original agreement. Caroline is then pursued by numerous gentlemen desiring her pleasures, but it is only Dominic that fills her thoughts and desires. When she finally has no choice but to offer herself up for auction in order to continuing supporting herself and her siblings, one bidder offers '...my love for you, because that is all I have to offer.' The Price of Desire is a passionate, moving story of hardship, desire, passion and love that is not only a good sensual story, but well-written with substance. An excellent erotic read.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Her banking father¿s death leaves Caroline Clemens and her younger siblings in monstrous debt. Her only hope to keep her and her brothers and sisters out of the workhouse is her pending marriage to Captain Bellamy. However instead of her fiancé meeting her, he is courting a different female as the Clemens brood is no longer worthy of his social climbing ambitions. Dominic Savage introduces himself to Caroline and offers her a deal to pay off the debts of her late father Isaac and insure the future of her siblings outside of the workhouse in exchange for her fulfilling his every male desire. Reluctantly seeing no options she agrees to a deal with the handsome devil. Caroline refuses to wallow in pity or shame as she becomes Savage¿s mistress. He, in turn, teaches her the pleasure of sex including tough love. As she fulfills his desires with passion and he takes what she offers and much more, she falls in love with her ¿owner¿, but knows that soon he will discard her just like Bellamy did as a mistress has short bed cycle. Unbeknownst to Caroline, Dominic fell in love with her from the moment he recognized the beating of her courageous heart. --- This Victorian era (it may actually be Regency) erotic romance showcases the choices a poor person had as Caroline must choose between becoming a kept woman or along with her younger siblings go to the workhouse where the destitute work for room and board (think Oliver Twist). The relationship between the lead couple seems realistic for the nineteenth century (some will say today too) though some readers will be turned off as he bought her, pleasure trained her and forced her to do things she did not want to do. Still sub-genre fans will appreciate THE PRICE OF DESIRE as Caroline¿s courage and sacrifice make a fine tale. --- Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be an amazing escape from every day life. Caroline's and Dominic's story of erotic pleasure and twisted fates entranced me so much I could hardly put the book down. A great read that I would strongly recommend.
HumpsGirl More than 1 year ago
if youre not into explicit details of sexual scenes do not buy..i read the first couple chapters and decided it wasnt for me!
atzbech More than 1 year ago
The Product Details say this book is 288 pages.  It is NOT; only 175 pages.  Let's try to be honest, Barnes and Noble.
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I love a great romance but the story line was just horrible! The erotica parts of the book were just... ok. Not worth you time or money.
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