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Untouched
     

Untouched

4.0 27
by Anna Campbell
 

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Beautiful Grace Paget has no reason not to believe these words. After all, she was kidnapped, spirited away to a remote country manor, and told she is to grant this man his every desire . . . or lose her life. But Grace is no common trollop. So she risks everything to save her virtue by planning a daring escape, even though she finds herself tempted by this

Overview

Beautiful Grace Paget has no reason not to believe these words. After all, she was kidnapped, spirited away to a remote country manor, and told she is to grant this man his every desire . . . or lose her life. But Grace is no common trollop. So she risks everything to save her virtue by planning a daring escape, even though she finds herself tempted by this handsome man. There is something in his eyes that makes her wonder if he is as dangerous as he would have her believe.

Sheene knew nothing of the plan to bring him this woman. Locked up as a prisoner, called "mad" by all of the world, he will do anything to reclaim his life, and Grace's sensuous beauty has distracted him from his goals. And although he finds her irresistible, he is horrified to hold her against her will. Now, together, they must both revolt against the strange set of circumstances that have forced them together—for only then will Grace truly surrender to him . . . forever.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061234927
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
11/27/2007
Series:
Avon Romance Series
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
894,069
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.96(d)

Read an Excerpt

Untouched

Chapter One

Somerset, 1822

"This lass is nowt like any whore I ever seen."

The man's thick Yorkshire accent pierced Grace's agonizing return to consciousness. Through the pounding ache in her head, she recognized the sound of home.

If she was back on the farm in Ripon, why did her stomach cramp with pain? Why couldn't she move her hands or feet? Fear iced her blood, froze the voice in her throat.

Remember, Grace, remember.

When she tried, she met only a terrifying wall of blackness.

"No question she's a whore!" a different man insisted from her other side. "What were she by the docks for if she's not a bloody whore? You heard her ask the way to the Cock and Crown. She'd want nowt there but to pull a gent with brass in his pockets."

A whore? They couldn't possibly be talking about her. Confusion eddied through the fog in her mind. How could anyone mistake respectable Grace Paget for a woman who sold herself on the streets?

Instinct stifled her protest. Something told her it was vital that these frightening strangers believe her still unconscious. Keeping her eyes shut, she battled the throbbing headache and forced her sluggish mind to function.

Stray details, each more mystifying than the last, filtered into her awareness. It was day. Light penetrated her closed eyelids. She was strapped to some sort of cushioned bench and she lay flat on her back, arms by her sides. Stout ties fastened each wrist and ankle and a thicker band stretched across her chest, restricting breathing.

For one suffocating moment, the broad strap seemed crushingly tight.She felt faint for lack of air. Sweat broke out on her skin, chilling her to the bone, although the room wasn't cold.

And still she stayed as mute as a stone.

Bewildering memories of violence and duress swam up through her nausea and dizziness. Her head filled with chaos. Chaos and swirling, acrid dread.

Clawing back from smothering panic, she forced herself to breathe. Where was she? Without benefit of sight, she could only collect jumbled impressions. No rumble of traffic. So a room in the country. Or at least in a quiet part of town. The reek of unwashed males mingled with an incongruous hint of spring air heavy with blossom.

The first man made a doubtful sound deep in his throat. "No self-respecting ladybird would be seen dead in them black rags. And she got a wedding ring."

His cohort gave a scornful laugh. "Mebbe she's new to the game, Filey lad. Mebbe the ring is part of the act like her la-di-da chitchat. Them toffs at the Cock and Crown go for that. If she's fresh to the trade, all the better. Lord John said make right sure we plucked a nice clean tart, not some clapped-out old jade."

Appalled disbelief flooded her. She was a lady, even if a lady with threadbare clothes and holes in her shoes. People treated her with respect, deference. Men didn't accost the virtuous Mrs. Paget for a quick fumble in the hedgerows.

Except if these brutes had troubled to abduct her, they must want more than a brief tumble.

Had they already raped her in her sleep?

Oh, please, God, I couldn't bear it if they touched me while I lay unaware.

The weight of her shabby dress was familiar. Hard to be certain without moving, but she seemed unharmed. So far.

But what now? A nightmare vision seized her of these thugs raping her again and again. Sour bile flooded her mouth. Only with the greatest effort did she remain silent when every nerve screamed to shriek and struggle and fight.

As she'd struggled and fought when they'd kidnapped her in Bristol.

Oh, yes, she remembered now. Everything.

Cousin Vere had offered her a home to save her from destitution but he'd failed to collect her from the mail coach. After hours of waiting, she'd gone out into the night to seek him. She'd never found her cousin. Instead, she'd met these two devils in human flesh.

Monks and Filey.

They'd been brazen enough to introduce themselves.

Desperately, she strove to recall that short, terrifying encounter in the darkness. She'd asked the two hulking brutes for directions. Lulled by their familiar Yorkshire accents, she'd accepted their escort back to the coaching inn. She'd been so frightened, lost in the labyrinth of dockside streets, that any help had been welcome.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

They'd trapped her in a narrow alley. Filey had held her while Monks forced laudanum down her throat. Filey's foul stench, repulsive, unforgettable, lingered in her nostrils. Now the noxious odor grew stronger as he lumbered closer.

"Aye, she looks right fresh. She's bonny enow to catch the marquess's fancy. But I still don't reckon she looks owt like a whore."

Monks grunted. "Any road, she'll play a whore's part until his lordship tires of her. Hope she knows a trick or two to keep a lad happy. Or she'll not last out the month."

"Happen we should have fucked her while we had the chance." Filey's regretful musings tested Grace's tenuous control on her roiling insides.

"The watch would have been on us. You'll get your turn after his lordship's had his fill. Let's go. The laudanum'll wear off soon. If she comes to and sees your ugly mug, happen she'll be in a right state for the marquess."

"I care nowt," Filey said. "She's got a grand pair of tits. I lay a penny to a pound her slice is even sweeter."

Stale gin-scented breath puffed into Grace's face. Rough hands wrenched at the high neckline of her dress. Horror kept her paralyzed as Filey ripped at her buttons. A meaty hand shoved under the edge of her stays to palm one breast with bruising force. He was so intent he didn't seem to notice that every muscle in her body tensed with revulsion.

Her heart raced like a half-broken horse given its head. A scream hovered behind her teeth.

Untouched. Copyright � by Anna Campbell. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Always a voracious reader, Anna Campbell decided when she was a child that she wanted to be a writer. Her historical romances have been critically acclaimed and have won numerous awards, including the Australian Romance Readers’ Favourite Australian Romance Author from 2009 to 2012, and Favourite Historical Romance for Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed , Untouched, Captive of Sin and My Reckless Surrender. Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed also won Best First Meeting of a Couple, Best Love Scene and Best Cover for 2012. Anna lives in Queensland.

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Untouched 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I cannot say that I liked this book...the premise of the story was fine, but I found myself getting annoyed because the story seemed to drag on and on. Also, the writing was not as good, and the characters did not seem rich or well developed. I have just finished re-reading "Claiming the Courtesan" and Campbell's new book, "Tempt the Devil", and they are much, much better. Almost as if Untouched was written by someone else.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1822 Grace Paget has no idea why the thugs came for her all she knows is they kidnapped her from the family farm in Ripon and brought her to an isolated Somerset manor house. That is until her ¿hosts¿ offer her as a whore to the lunatic they hold prisoner Lord Sheene. Although he has needs, Sheene refuses to touch the gift they bestow on him. However, Sheene realizes that like him Grace wants her freedom Grace realizes that the alleged insane aristocrat is not crazy and by not taking her proves he is not abusive either. As they fall in love, Sheene knows he has a more compelling reason than ever to escape his jailers as he wants to insure his Grace regains her liberty even if it means dying to achieve his revised goal. --- This dark historical romance grips readers from the moment the lead couple meets. Sheene is a tortured soul who wants his freedom back, but Grace gives him the extra incentive he needs. Their changing relationship from fear to admiration and respect to love is beautifully rendered by Anna Campbell. Fans will appreciate this fine tale wanting to know why his jailers insist Sheene is crazy while also seeking the author¿s previous tale (see CLAIMING THE COURTESAN). --- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Heartbreaking story with a great ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite books ever. I have read it many times and probably will read it again. The characters are great and the sex is steamy. What more do you need?
Guest More than 1 year ago
At first I thought what a very odd story line this book has and then I kept reading and reading and couldn't put it down. I just wanted to know what was going to happen to Grace and Matthew. I finished this book in 1 day and thought it was great. I loved the way the author built the characters and their love for one another. I can't wait for her next book to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Am reading Anna Campbell's books in order of release. She shows a fondness for extremes... dark, twisted circumstances for her heroes and heroines, explicit sex scenes and language, and endless drama. I felt she rushed the ending in this book, leaving us several questions and skipping over a significant portions of time when the lovers are separated.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it!! It's a nice change to have the hero be a virgin instead.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A different sort of read... wonderful.
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This is the first book I have bought from this author. It was a total let down. I did not finish this book because the pace was really slow and the story line was missing "spark".