Persuasion Always Wins...***
On a mission to investigate treason, Privateer Marquis Warrick Barry believes he'll have no trouble getting the information he seeks from Karly Bane--the dark-haired beauty the Crown has ordered him to marry. But none of Warrick's tactics work. Unable to deny the hunger the fiery temptress elicits in him, Warrick realizes he must use seduction to persuade his new wife to trust him--both in and out of the bedroom.
When Passion Is the Prize...
As the daughter of a pirate, Karly knows she has nothing in common with the aristocratic Warrick--except an overwhelming mutual attraction. And though Warrick's intentions appear honorable, Karly cannot bring herself to reveal her closely guarded secrets. But when danger threatens to tear them apart, she must decide if she can share herself fully with the man who is now her husband--and if she wants a love that can last forever...
For a moment she could forget they were at odds and surrender to safety. He would not harm her, of that she was sure. It hadn't pained to bare her soul before him, his quiet words were comforting. Men weren't like that or was it simply around her? She gathered every shred of logic she could manage and patched the open wound in her heart, taking deep breaths until she was again solid. "I don't normally lose control like that."
"It's time you did. You've been holding tight for too long, not without reason."
Karly sank onto the bench and didn't move when he tucked her hair over her shoulders. Across from them the fountain splashed and water meandered down the wall into a small pool. It was silent, the rain masking the sound. If only she could drown the sound of her racing thoughts as easily. "You should annul the marriage soon. The damage will be less that way."
"How very philosophical of you."
"Will I need to sign anything?"
"No, the matter is entirely in my hands. All I need to do is ask and our marriage will be dissolved within the week. But I don't believe I will." Shadows deepened and then were gone from his face but never seemed to leave his eyes.
She sensed danger, from him and from within her heart. She needed to guide the conversation, before the path became more treacherous. "The rain is slowing."
"Stop running from me."
His voice was like liquid silver in her veins. He stood before her and touched her lips with his finger, then languidly traced their outline. It was all Karly could do not to move or speak. Her body began to tremble with want of words. She could not go back, she could not break the spell he was casting. His touch advanced slowly past her cheek until his hand massaged the nape of her neck. She heard her own sigh and felt the tension ease, replaced by a delicious warmth that spread outward. "I won't fall in love."