Secrets, Volume 7: The Best in Women's Sensual Fiction

Secrets, Volume 7: The Best in Women's Sensual Fiction



Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780964894273
Publisher: Red Sage Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date: 12/28/2001
Series: Red Sage Secrets Series , #7
Pages: 250
Product dimensions: 5.65(w) x 8.44(h) x 0.84(d)

Read an Excerpt


His mouth was driving her crazy.

It was the contrast that did it, Virginia decided. His blue eyes were hard and narrow, deep-set under his thick dark brows, but his mouth looked soft and seductive, as though it knew all kinds of wicked things to do if only he'd let it. He had a killer's eyes and a lover's mouth, and she wanted to kiss him more than she'd ever wanted to kiss anybody in her life.

She should have left the mask on.

And the rest of his clothes, too. Virginia had pulled off the bulky Kevlar body armor, the long-sleeve shirt he'd worn under it, and his combat boots, leaving him in his black undershirt and fatigue pants. She'd left the black gloves on as well, to protect his wrists when she bound him.

She'd told herself she was undressing him only because she wanted to search his clothing for weapons. She'd known better. True, he had a small armory tucked away in all those pockets — Virginia didn't even want to know what he'd planned to do with the set of manacles she'd found. They looked thick and strong enough to restrain even someone with a vampire's strength.

But the fact was, she'd pulled off all his gear so she could discover whether that big body matched that gorgeous face.

And God help her, it did.

He had the build of an Olympic gymnast — broad shoulders, powerful arms, and a deep, strong chest. When she'd searched his pants, she'd felt long, heavy muscles in his legs. It had been all she could do not to unzip him and find out if other parts of his body matched those legs.

Her mother would be so ashamed of her. Here she had the poor man tied to the bed, and now she was ogling him. The ton would have beenscandalized that Virginia Grayson had sunk to such depths.

Then again, every last soul who'd been at her 1829 come-out was dust in his or her grave. Including her mother.

Including John Alexander Hart, rakehell, vampire, and the love of her life. Thinking of John, Virginia twisted her hands together in guilt. It was one thing to make love to men because she had to in order to survive. It was quite another to feel this vivid desire.

It didn't help that Logan had stopped her before she'd drunk from Gary. And since she always put off hunting until she was driven to it by raw need, the Hunger was so intense now her blood burned with it. The taste she'd had of Gary had only sharpened its edge.

And now she had to deal with her homicidal captive, in his black under shirt that showed off those gorgeous biceps and muscled torso, his kiss-me mouth and killer's eyes. Keeping her hands off him would be difficult, but Virginia had no choice. It would be dishonorable to indulge when it was so obvious he wasn't willing.

The lush mouth she was staring at curled into a wry smile. "You're making me nervous, Virginia. The last time I saw somebody wearing that look, it was a Marine visiting a strip club after a six-month deployment. I have this urge to tell you I'm not that kind of girl."

Heat flooded her cheekbones, and she jerked her eyes away from him, mortified. "Oh! Oh, I'm sorry!"

"Are you blushing?" He sounded amused.

Virginia pressed her palms against her hot cheeks. "I don't make a habit of ... leering at men, Mr. McLean. I apologize if I..." She swallowed and made herself meet his cool blue eyes. "...Gave any offense."

"I didn't say I was offended. Worried maybe, but not offended."


A deep growl came from the Duke's throat. "You will sit there," he ordered, his eyes boring into hers. He leaned forward menacingly, the masculine power of him releasing an energy that startled her.

She tipped her chin and raised a brow. "I think not, Your Grace."

His eyes flickered with astonishment and then flashed with fury. His shoulders bunched with raw tension. Well, so be it! Johanna was appalled that he thought he could order her about. She smoothed her skirt and with a practiced air of dignity started to rise when he spoke again.

His eyes glimmered and his voice was softly dangerous. "You defy me, young lady, and I will lift your skirt, take you over my knee, and spank your bare bottom."

She blanched inwardly at the image, but then her eyes dropped involuntarily to his large hands resting on his thighs. He flexed them subtly and the thought of that raw strength on her tender bottom sent blood coursing through her veins. But she gave no sign of alarm. His eyes were like burning coals, challenging her. A silky lock of raven hair fell over his forehead. He looked the devil incarnate. She decided not to test him.

Her mother was holding her breath. Good God, the woman was afraid of this beast. The thought gave Johanna unquestionable pleasure.

"Very well," Johanna replied with a stiff toss of her head. "I will stay for my mother's sake. She looks fairly ready to swoon. But make no mistake, I am not the least afraid of you." She met his gaze levelly. He was an intriguing specimen of male strength although his confidence was infuriating, but it confirmed her thought that it was best not to tangle with him for now.

A tick jumped in his jaw and repressed power flickered from every pore. But then that bedeviled gleam surfaced, and the faint twitch of his lips told her he arrogantly assumed he had won. Johanna resolutely held his stare.

"Bloody hell," the devil himself muttered. He jerked his head toward her mother. Victoria Carlton had finally released an audible breath and her stepfather sank into the nearest chair.

The Duke's tone was calm, but his eyes flashed a fiery challenge. "This... this little Madame has had far too much freedom."

Her mother attempted a protest, but the blackguard cut her off. Johanna fumed at being referred to as a child. She would be eighteen next week. Who was this tyrant?

"Is she still a maid?" He looked to Lady Carlton.

She sputtered a response. "Of course, Your Grace. My daughter is untouch—"

Johanna cast her mother a horrified glance as the reason for this visit became all too apparent. She gathered her wits and rallied quickly, this time succeeding in escaping the chair. "Nay, Mother." She dropped the cloak and stood before him, her chemise dipping dangerously low to reveal the full cleft of her bosom. She knew her nipples were clearly visible through the transparent slip as was the dark hair shielding her womanhood.

Her mother's mouth dropped and her stepfather made clucking noises and fled the room.

Johanna moved closer to the black demon. Sitting as he was, his eyes were level with hers. She expected outrage, but his cool gaze swept over her, his eyes faintly lit with interest.

Undaunted, she fingered the dark waves of her long hair. "The truth, Your Grace, is that I am ungovernable and my mother would admit nothing so she can wash her hands of me." Although it was difficult, she held his steady gaze.

Her mother came out of her stupor in time to interfere. "Your Grace," she started, her panic evidently rising to zenith heights, but he stopped her with a harsh command.

"Leave us," he breathed, never taking his eyes off Johanna. He moved closer so that their breaths mingled. The light scent of mint reached her, and she found her gaze dropping to his lips. They were too lustful to be decent. Johanna heard the door close behind him. Had her mother lost her senses...leaving her alone with this man who was old enough to be her father and with her scarcely dressed? Sudden fright lodged in her throat. He settled back, ankle atop his knee with his elbows propped on the chair's arms and his fingers laced across his lap. His voice was low and controlled as his eyes drifted down the length of her. "Boys have had you?" he asked her, his tone matter-of-fact, confusing her.

Although he appeared to withhold judgment, she didn't like that he implied she was a child. Yet, she needed him to reject her. She'd worry about the consequences later.

"Yes." She stiffened under his blatant stare. She hated his relaxed attitude while she stood before him tense with uncertainty...and practically naked.

He steepled his fingers, touching them to his lips. "It matters not," he said simply, his gaze settling on the tips of her breasts. She shifted uncomfortably and then stopped for fear her breasts would simply slip out with the subtle movement. She flushed to the tips of her toes before she realized his meaning. He didn't care that she was not a virgin?

Incredulously, she lifted her eyes to his. Surely he couldn't mean it. His gaze was melting and a warmth flooded her limbs, disturbing her. His male scent stirred her senses.

"I..." she faltered. "I've done... wicked things — unspeakable things." She willed herself not to cross her arms across her breasts in an attempt to cover herself. She would not retreat.

"I see." His voice held the hint of smile. "Tell me," he softly demanded.

"Tell you?" She searched his expression, unsure of his meaning.

"Tell me the details." A tiny sparkle lit the center of his irises. She wanted to murder him. How dare he use her quandary for his amusement while she struggled to keep her freedom? A man like him, most men, knew nothing of such terror. Marriage was simply a necessary inconvenience for them, its reward the attendant pleasures, while the women became no more than property at the disposal of their masters.

She tossed her hair, giving him a dismissive look, and attempted to whirl away from him. But he caught her waist roughly with both hands and held her, locking his strong fingers around her. She drew in a sharp breath, clutching at him as her eyes riveted on his face. Surely he wouldn't raise a hand to her for her insolence?

Her heart thundered as she watched him. His eyes grew soft as he studied her quietly. Her breath stopped as he drew out the moment. And then his lips were on her, warm and lightly brushing hers, his eyes half-lidded and watching her, like a cat toying with its prey. Even in her inexperience, she recognized the arousal in the darkening of his eyes and the tension of his hands clutching her waist. Her pulse began to pound in her ears.

Before she could draw a breath, he pressed her between his muscular thighs. "What are you doing?" she whispered. Her head was spinning, the experience too foreign, and her thoughts sweeping irreverently to the hard strength of him that sent quivers racing down her spine. She pushed at him half-heartedly, thrilling unexpectedly at the feel of his muscles under the coarse linen of his shirt. His lips were soft, his scent so male and pleasing... she grew dizzy.

His lips tasted of brandy and mint, exciting her as he brushed lazily along her mouth. She felt herself melting. At his gentle urging, her chemise slipped down and her breasts spilled into his palms. She grabbed onto his wrists in a moment of fright before the warmth of his hands on her bare skin heated her deliciously. Distant protests surfaced and then disappeared with the feel of his lightly calloused thumbs tingling her nipples. She softened into him, clutching his wrists for support as her body swam in a titillating pool of sensation, threatening to drown her. Then he boldly licked her lips with his wet tongue, and her body ignited.


He wore only a pair of jeans hanging low on his hips, and he noted the guilty expression on her face with a puzzled smile. She glanced down at the bundle still clutched in her hands. Anything was better than staring at his naked chest and remembering how his heated skin tasted and felt against her lips.

He advanced into the room and set the tray on the couch before moving to stand in front of her, his silent scrutiny causing her even more discomfort.

"I'm not sure..." She twisted the ball of cloth tighter between her fists.

Reaching out his hand, he tilted her chin, forcing her to look at him. His amber eyes searched hers and whatever he found in them seemed to assure him, because he smiled.

"I don't usually—" The awkward speech died in her throat as he lowered his head and covered her lips with his. The wad of clothing dropped from her hands, following the shoes to the floor. Shoving them out of the way with his foot, he pulled her closer, molding her body to his, while slanting his mouth and deepening the kiss.

Her body reacted to his like a lit match tossed at a highly volatile chemical. She exploded into flames. His tongue searched along the edge of her lips and she opened her mouth wider, letting him in. He delved inside her moist heat with deep, velvet licks and she wrapped her arms around his neck, yielding to the sleek invasion. Why did it seem so new and yet so familiar to be in his arms?


Hawke grinned. "I have better ways for you to spend your time. Unfastening my trouser buttons, for a start."

The buttons in question paraded down a pronounced bulge that distended the front of his trousers. Kneeling beside him, Amelia set to work, freeing each button from its hole.

Hawke held himself rigid as she worked, his breathing increasingly troubled, until at last the touch of her fingers against the fabric wrung a gasp from him.

"Have I hurt you?" she asked anxiously, lifting her hands away.

"Wonderfully. Hurt me again."

She had never felt so foolish in her life. "What sort of nonsense is that, sir? Pain is nothing to be courted. If I have hurt you, then I am sorry."

He offered her an indulgent, knowing smile. "You have done me no harm. Have you never experienced a pleasure so intense that it almost seemed like pain to your beleaguered mind? You shall, before this voyage ends, I promise you."

"I do not think I wish to feel such a thing."

"You'll wish it, right enough," he promised. "Indeed, Amelia, you shall beg me for it, before we dock."

Table of Contents

Amelia's Innocence1
The Woman of His Dreams63
Kissing the Hunter171

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews