Tempting the Wolfby Lois Greiman
Nairn O'Banyon has had a couple of bad centuries. Back in the Middle Ages, he was a feared warrior, a charming womanizer, and a...well...he was strictly human. But a dark curse has made him a changed man. In fact, during moments of great passion, he becomes the feral hound his conquests oft accused him of being. And if that isn't bad enough, another brush with the
Nairn O'Banyon has had a couple of bad centuries. Back in the Middle Ages, he was a feared warrior, a charming womanizer, and a...well...he was strictly human. But a dark curse has made him a changed man. In fact, during moments of great passion, he becomes the feral hound his conquests oft accused him of being. And if that isn't bad enough, another brush with the black arts has thrust him into a time frame other than his own. Thus it is that he finds himself in the Prince Regent's elegant London.
Brave, adaptable and utterly charming, O'Banyon is determined to enjoy life wherever it leads. In fact, he realizes he can live quite happily amid the posh ton if he avoids highly passionate encounters, keeps his secrets to himself, and limits his saturated fats. And so he does, until he meets the one woman he cannot resist, and learns she possesses the singular quality he fears more than death itself. Magic.
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Tempting the Wolf
By Lois Greiman
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2006 Lois Greiman
All right reserved.
Women. Nairn O'Banyon loved them with every inch of his being.
He loved the look and feel and sound and taste of them. Loved the way they thought and laughed and glanced at him from the corners of their long-lashed eyes.
Two were watching him even now. He could feel them peruse him from behind. Could sense their interest and so much more. One was young. One was middle-aged. They were both lovely, regardless how they looked.
"Sir O'Banyon, isn't it?" called the older of the two.
He turned at the sound of his name and was not disappointed. The sweet, heady scent of them tickled his nostrils.
"Aye, me lady," he said and bowed. The tail of his brown cutaway coat brushed his boot tops, and the ivory buttons on his fawn-colored waistcoat gleamed. 'Twas a silly costume. 'Twould be no good a'tall in the heat of battle, yet the snug buff breeches accentuated the muscles of his thighs to full advantage, and did no small favor to some of his other attributes. And though the hilt of his ancient blade caused a slight rumple in the fabric at the small of his back, he was forever loath to set it aside, for in his experience, there was no friend so trusted as the dagger he called MacGill.
The women approached, pastel gowns rustling againstthe cobbled walk, frilled parasols tilted just so.
He filled his senses with them. Through the dark years behind him, ladies' costumes had changed, but the essence of a woman had not. 'Twas one of several things for which he would be eternally grateful.
"Mrs. Murray," he said, and reaching for the older woman's hand, kissed her knuckles. The titillation of skin against skin caused a prickle of sensation to quiver across the back of his neck.
Cecilia Murray gave him a flirting smile. "We missed you at Lord Bayberry's ball yesterday eve, sir."
Her gown was mint green, made of a kindly fabric that seemed to show every swell from toe to bosom, where it gathered lovingly to display a wealth of dove-white breast.
Feelings sharpened, scraping like fingernails down his spine. O'Banyon drew his hand cautiously away. "Then I must surely be absent more oft," he said, "if I be missed by such a bonny lass as yerself."
"Lass?" she said and laughed huskily but her cheeks flushed and her eyes shone. "You, sir, are a terrible tease."
"Na a'tall," he said and held her gaze, "I am but an Irishman. And we take lovely lassies verra serious, indeed."
Her hand fluttered to her bosom. His gaze followed it. His senses sharpened, his nostrils flared, and for a moment he feared he had gone a bit far, but in that instant the younger woman stepped forward, distracting him.
"Sir," she said, extending her hand, " 'tis such a pleasure to meet you. I am Rosanna Rutledge. Aunt Cece has mentioned you on more than one occasion."
There was little he could do but take her hand. Anything less would have been considered rude. And he was never rude . . . not where women were involved.
Her fingers felt soft against his palm. Her scent was sweet and heady. His body tightened another notch. "Then ye have me at a disadvantage, lass," he said and kissed her knuckles. Sensations crowded in, feelings as sharp as knives. Images of pale skin, succulent bosoms, long limbs tangled, hot and sweaty, about his.
The bed in his rented townhouse was surely large enough for three. But there were problems . . .
Releasing her hand, he stepped back a pace and put the thoughts behind him -- where they tingled along his backside like a wanton caress.
"A disadvantage?" she asked.
"Aye. For I dunna ken if I should deny yer aunt's words aboot me or swear they be true."
The girl gave her head an inquisitive tilt. "She said you were the most alluring man in all of London."
"Did she now?"
She held his gaze with bold tenacity. "She did indeed."
"Aye well," he said and turned toward the aunt. "It seems the truth will out then, little matter how I try to hide it."
The widow laughed low in her throat.
O'Banyon tightened his defenses against the rousing effects.
"She also informed me that you were quite vain," said the girl. Her tone was cool, as if impatient at his lack of attention.
He turned slowly back toward her with feral slowness. Their gazes met. Her eyes widened the slightest degree, and her breath seemed to stop in her fragile, white throat.
"I can but apologize for me shortcomings, lass," he said.
"Have you many then?" she murmured.
"Counted with the stars," he assured her.
"Truly." She stepped forward. "Then we must surely spend some time together, sir, so that ye might confess -- "
"Rosanna," said Mrs. Murray, her tone just a tad sharper than it had been only moments before. "I believe a breeze is picking up. Will you be a dear and fetch my shawl from the curricle?"
The girl hesitated just a moment, then pulled her gaze from O'Banyon's and crafted a careful smile. "But auntie, the carriage is halfway across town."
The women's gazes met steadily. "I know, my dearest, and I do so apologize, but if I catch a chill I fear your visit may very well be cut short and you'll be forced to return prematurely to your mother in Worcester."
Temper darkened the girl's eyes, which were met by her aunt's knowing stare.
Then Rosanna nodded sharply and turned toward O'Banyon. "Another time, sir," she said.
He bowed and watched her go.
"My niece will be visiting her cousins this afternoon," said Mrs. Murray, pulling his attention back to her. "Perhaps you could come round for tea."
O'Banyon grinned, well flattered. "I fear I dunna drink tea, lass."
"In truth, sir, neither do I."
He gripped his hands behind his back. "Did I na hear ye are betrothed to another?"
Excerpted from Tempting the Wolf by Lois Greiman Copyright © 2006 by Lois Greiman. Excerpted by permission.
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Meet the Author
Lois Greiman is the award-winning author of more than twenty novels, including romantic comedy, historical romance, and mystery. She lives in Minnesota with her family and an ever-increasing number of horses.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Nairn O¿Banyon is a warrior with a secret. His love of women has become his curse, literally, and for him to break his curse he must find true love. This is problematic for the Irish Hound, who finds the fair sex tempting and whose own sex appeal tempts every woman he meets. Every women, that is, except Antionette Debonnet. This woman is a mystery, an enigma and the first women to truly tempt O¿Banyon in centuries. She can sense his desire and still she keeps him at arm¿s length, avoiding even his touch. A fit challenge for the Irish Hound. Antoinette Desbonnet lives most of her life in seclusion, tending to her garden and to those under her care. And to the haunting secret that she alone must bear. She spies the famed Irish Hound across a ballroom floor and sparks fly. Yet she cannot chance getting close to him. She cannot let him get into her world and let him love her. This is her curse, her cross to bear. Antoinette has a beautiful otherworldly essence and possesses a magic that no one, including herself, can understand. Yet somehow O¿Banyon does. He knows her soul is pure and that beneath her brave and independent front, she is lost and alone. In TEMPTING THE WOLF, Lois Greiman has done it again!. The plot is fast paced, the storyline wrapped in intrigue and magic, and her characters well drawn and bold. The theme of temptation plays out for both characters and are woven masterfully through the plot to a more than satisfying conclusion. The dark corners of this story are balanced well with O¿Banyon¿s wit and charming brand of humor.
I really liked this book and I loved O¿Banyon, the hero, right from the start. O¿Banyon is irresistible, a hot-blooded charmer who takes pleasure in the company of all women. I found myself charmed by his combination of unshakeable confidence and self-deprecating humor. I was intrigued by his history and his special powers. It was fun to watch his character change as he found himself falling for a mysterious and elusive woman with intriguing powers and a past of her own. I also enjoyed the clever banter between the characters. In short, it¿s an enthralling and fast-paced read. I stayed up very late to finish it¿and it was worth it!
Over the centuries ever since he disobeyed the sorceress siren that made him pay the price of his refusal to murder a friend, O¿Banyon has been a favorite of the ladies. Though he cherishes them as much as they do him, he hides from his horde of females and for that matter everyone because he was cursed and at times is more wolf than man. He has few delusions of ever escaping from his plight so he enjoys it with the ladies.--------------- However, in 1818 his feelings are about to change when ¿The Irish Hound¿ as he has been called for hundreds of years meets Antoinette ¿the woman in white¿ Desbonnet. For some reason he wants her in away that has never occurred to him before. He courts her even as she welcomes his lure though she knows she should flee. As they fall in love, he wonders if she is his salvation as she tames the beast in him, but soon becomes concerned for her as an old adversary decides to teach him a further lesson by destroying his beloved.---------------- TEMPTING THE WOLF is a wonderful Regency romantic fantasy. Readers will root for the two lead protagonists to find a way to overcome their deadly adversary. As the author did with TAMING THE BARBARIAN, Lois Greiman provides her fans with a delightful action-packed romantic fantasy.------------------- Harriet Klausner