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Available 4.15.24


A Touch of Passion

A Touch of Passion, April 2015
The Disgraced Lords #3
by Bronwen Evans

Loveswept
Featuring: Grayson Devlin; Lady Portia Flagstaff
260 pages
ISBN: 0553391178
EAN: 9780553391176
Kindle: B00L0EYO20
e-Book
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"A dalliance with a difference"

Fresh Fiction Review

A Touch of Passion
Bronwen Evans

Reviewed by Clare O'Beara
Posted May 3, 2015

Romance Historical

Lady Portia Flagstaff yearns to know the scandalous gossip which circulates in less polite society, so she risks her good name by attending a ball graced by women who are too freely available. A TOUCH OF PASSION is her dearest wish, ideally from Grayson, Lord Blackwood, a family friend and handsome man about town. But she must remain chaste until marriage.

I like the premise. What were hot-blooded normal young women to do when a corset might be so tight as to make them faint? Should they be kept ignorant of the facts of life, or did married friends share tales with singletons? Was it right for men to sample as many courtesans as they wished, while expecting to marry virgins? Along with the masked Portia I observed proceedings at the ball. Lord Blackwood makes his interest known. Napoleon is raising an army however, and fortunes will be changed.

After the war, unmarried Portia has successfully developed a cider brand, the money funding an orphans' charity on her family's estates. Society is unsure it approves. Portia and her widowed friend Rose share confidences, each in love with men who don't wish to marry them. Receiving a message to meet Lord Blackwood at Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, Portia goes happily - and next day is reported missing. Has she met a dreadful fate? Is the busy peer responsible, or innocent, as he claims?

The scene shifts with dizzying speed as Portia encounters more danger and exotic adventure than she could have imagined. Her reputation would now be in shreds - if anyone knew where she was. Does it matter, since she probably won't see home again, and even if rescue comes someone is determined to ensure she dies?

Not your average stately romance, A TOUCH OF PASSION is filled with lustful longing, fast-paced adventure and hidden menace. While I disliked Grayson's refusal to declare his love for a lady he clearly loved, his stated reason - that fine ladies are for sedate marriage and mistresses are for enjoyment - might be typical of the time, so Portia is the untypical and admirable stronger character of the two. Bronwen Evans lives in New Zealand which may help to explain how she has created a dalliance with a difference, sure to excite adult romance lovers and armchair adventure travellers.

Learn more about A Touch of Passion

SUMMARY

In the latest Disgraced Lords novel from  USA Today bestselling author Bronwen Evans, a vivacious thrill seeker clashes with her dutiful defender—causing irresistible sparks to fly.

Independent and high-spirited, Lady Portia Flagstaff has never been afraid to take a risk, especially if it involves excitement and danger. But this time, being kidnapped and sold into an Arab harem is the outcome of one risk too many. Now, in order to regain her freedom, she has to rely on the deliciously packaged Grayson Devlin, Viscount Blackwood, a man who despises her reckless ways—and stirs in her a thirst for passion.

After losing his mother and two siblings in a carriage accident years ago, Grayson Devlin promised Portia’s dying brother that he’d always watch over his wayward sister. But having to travel to Egypt to rescue the foolhardy girl has made his blood boil. Grayson already has his hands full trying to clear his best friend and fellow Libertine Scholar of a crime he didn’t commit. Worse still, his dashing rescue has unleashed an unforeseen and undesired consequence: marriage. Now it’s more than Portia he has to protect . . . it’s his battered heart.

Excerpt

“I say, Grayson, the ladies are eagerly waiting.”

Robert! Her eyes flew to Grayson’s in alarm. He immediately pressed her back against the wall, his large body shielding her from Robert’s eyes.

He whispered in her ear, “Put your arms around me. Pretend this is an illicit liaison.”

She did what she was told, her body afire with sensation as his lips trailed down her neck. The material covering his hard thighs rasping against her bare legs exposed through her harem outfit.

“I’ll be right with you. I’m just reacquainting myself with an old friend.” The low, husky sound titillated her skin as his fingers caressed her bare stomach.

Robert seemed to hesitate, seeming to notice the possessive stance behind his words. “I’ll keep the other ladies entertained until you can join us. Unless you’d like to share the lady who has kept you so occupied that you’d keep five exquisite beauties waiting.”

Portia froze. The feelings and desires sweeping through her seemed to be scrambling her brain. If her brother found her like this, in Grayson’s arms . . . Thankfully, Grayson was in control. “No need. The beauty in my arms never shares. I’ll be along soon.”

Robert shrugged and clapped him on the back. Portia pushed herself fully into Grayson’s embrace, hiding as much of herself as she could.

Robert chuckled. “I see how it is. You always keep the best for yourself. However, it leaves the field open on five delicious ladies until you return.” With that he slipped back through the door into the ballroom.

She was surprised when Grayson did not immediately push away. He continued to hold her trapped, and warmth radiated from his chest, infusing her breasts with a delicious heaviness.

She tried to move. “You can let me go now. I’m sure the ladies are waiting for you.”

His eyes smiled into hers. “That almost sounds like jealousy.”

Of course it did. She was jealous, but she was not about to let him know that. “Don’t be ridiculous. If you remember, I left as soon as you arrived. Why would I be jealous?”

“So, you’re saying you’re unaffected by me?”

What game was he playing? Portia found her gaze riveted on Grayson’s lips, watching them move, wondering what they would feel like. She shook her head. What had he asked?

“Of course I’m not jealous. Not every woman wants to fall into your bed.”

“Liar. I can feel your heart pounding in your chest.”

“We were almost caught by my brother. He does allow me more leeway than most men, but dressed like this, in your arms . . . there would have been consequences.”

He reached up and slid his fingers behind her nape, and her breathing faltered as she watched his lips draw nearer. “So if I were to kiss you, you’d feel nothing?”

He didn’t allow her to reply but drew her mouth up to meet his. He permitted his lips, soft and firm at the same time, to play over hers like a maestro. Liquid heat washed through her, making her light-headed. She was losing herself in his kiss. She wanted to experience everything his kiss had to offer, and never leave his embrace.

After only moments she felt him begin to pull away. Blast! She was determined to have more.


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