Refused his rightful promotion, Adam Hardacre quits the Royal Navy in disgust and is quickly approached with an intriguing proposition to serve his country undercover.
His first assignment takes him home to Cornwall to expose traitors plotting a French invasion of England. There, he meets newly unemployed governess, Olivia Collins, who has stumbled upon a hidden secret from Adam’s past – his youthful summer love affair with the local squire’s daughter. It is a tragic history that brings Adam and Olivia closer than is wise.
However, with the attraction deepening to something more, neither realize that Olivia unwittingly holds the key to his mission.
As Adam infiltrates the plot, Olivia finds out the shocking truth behind his lost love’s death many years ago, and both their lives are in danger. But their growing relationship is clouded by suspicion. Who can and cannot be trusted – anyone or no one?
Or... even each other?
And here's an excerpt from this delicious story:
He risked another kiss. This time on the lips. It was returned in equal measure. He’d seen men who had been thrall to the opiates used to dull the pain of their battle injuries. Long after the wounds had healed, they had to be weaned off the stuff.
Lust, passion, desire – call it what you like – was just potent.
He placed the key in her shaking hand, closing her fingers around it, stroking their smooth skin.
“Lock yourself in here, Olivia. Lock yourself away from me tonight.”
He backed up a half step.
“You can’t go,” she said. “The storm...”
Adam groaned and bowed his head. The low lamplight illuminated the tattoo on his hand, reminding him of who he was. “I may not be considered much of a gentleman by some, so trust me when I say it is taking almost all the chivalry I possess to leave you here.”
He put a finger to her lips. She would overcome his resolve with a single word – her eyes already articulated them, and his body wanted that promise fulfilled.
He backed toward the door. Olivia followed in silence.
“Is the study still furnished?”
“With a couch?”
“Then that will do me for tonight or until the storm passes.”
Her eyes shimmered with tears. Regret? Shame? Adam swallowed against a tightness in his throat. By God, what a cad he was. He would have made love to a woman who he knew was otherwise spoken for.
“Forgive me...” Her voice, husky and raw, was very nearly the undoing of him. He kissed her to silence, tasting the salt of her tears.
“There is nothing to beg pardon for – not from me. It’s just not our time, Olivia. Not yet.”
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