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Some sinners deserve a second chance. Not this one, though…
Miss Maisie Beaufort has no intention of running away ever again. She’s more than ready to return home after a decade in the midst of society and take charge of her life as a spinster businesswoman. Nothing will distract her. Especially not her first love, the rebel who destroyed her young heart…
Apollo Everly always knew Maisie was too good for small town life…and for a spare heir like him. He never stopped wanting her, though. Not that it matters. Even though he’s reformed and a viscount, his lingering reputation is still a threat to her. He should stay away. But fate—and Mother Nature—seem to have other ideas…
If Maisie and Apollo want to rebuild their village after a devastating flood, they’ll need to work together. The only question now is whether they can trust each other when it matters most. And if they can avoid heartbreak this time around…
If you love second chance romance, spinsters, and a hero who will prove he isn’t beyond redemption set amongst a village of unusual and eccentric characters, A Viscount for the Spinster is perfect for lovers of steamy historical romance!
The fierce beat of Apollo’s heart thudded against her palm. Warmth seeped into her fingertips and left her breathless. She glanced briefly to the side, spying the tile embedded inches into the ground.
That could have been her.
She met Apollo’s gaze, his pupils dark. His breaths were ragged and whispered through her hair. She smelled sweetness on his breath for a moment until it gave way to a soapy fragrance that wrapped about her.
His arms framed her against the wall, a protective cocoon that should have slowed the pounding of her pulse. But he was so close. Inches away. And he was so warm. Her fingers remained splayed upon his chest. She couldn’t move them even if she wanted to.
And she didn’t.
The firmness of his chest and thump, thump of his heart eased away the breathlessness and brought her back to the world. A breeze tousled her hair, sending a curl tickling around her neck. Somewhere in the village a baby cried. And the tingle of awareness that came with touching Apollo continued, rippling through her and leaving her feeling as though her entire body was aflame.
When she met his gaze, everything but the awareness dissolved. Gone were the sounds of life in the village. She swore she could hear the raging hammer of his heart which had yet to slow and each thick inhale she took.
Maisie dragged her gaze over his features, lingering upon the white scar then to the slight stubble on his jaw and up again to meet a gaze that remained intense. All she needed to do was push him away. To utter a quick thank you for saving her life and retreat inside.
Neither her legs nor her arms would obey such a command.
His gaze flicked down and up again. He twisted the golden ring on his index finger, his body swaying ever so slightly forward.
Her breaths quickened, rasping in her throat. A single word would stop him. All she had to do was force one from her throat and it would put an end to the inevitable.
Perhaps she’d known this would always come, even from the moment she’d first spotted him. Perhaps that was why she’d hidden from him. Apollo had always held sway over her, and years apart hadn’t changed that. If anything, it was worse. She liked the man he had grown into far too much.
“Maisie,” he murmured, his tone guttural.
She blinked. Her name echoed in her ears, and a flash of recollection flared. He’d uttered her name in exactly the same manner when he’d sent her away. A word tinged with regret.
Well, she wasn’t giving either of them anything to regret now.
She ducked under his arm and backed up by several steps. He offered a rough curse and pushed away from the wall.
“That was a mistake.”
He scrutinized her, his face giving nothing away. Could he not at least show regret at his actions? It would make escaping what had to have been a near kiss easier—if he did not really want it either.
She knew what she wanted, and it wasn’t a kiss from Apollo.
She froze. He clutched the empty bucket.
Lashes wet and spiky, she blinked at him several times. Only after he assured himself the flames were entirely doused did he take in quite what he had done. She was sodden, strands of hair clinging to pale cheeks. The muslin of her gown clung tightly, revealing the lines of her stays.
“Are you well?” he asked, the words graveled.
“I…I think so.” She blinked several more times.
He cursed under his breath and dropped down to his knees.
He gripped the hem of her skirt and hauled it high.
“Apollo?” Her tone turned higher in pitch.
Her stockings remained unblemished. The scent of scorched fabric lingered in the air, reminding him how close she had come to being harmed. He shoved her skirts higher whilst she remained entirely still, seeking out the edge of her stockings where little pink ribbons were tied, and pale thigh greeted him.
Pale and unharmed.
“Apollo?” A whisper this time as he touched her smooth skin.
He lifted his gaze and met hers. His heart gave a jolt in his chest, and he let her skirts drop from his grip then rose slowly. He didn’t look away. Neither did she. The air around them seemed to still, and the sound of fire crackling in the grate ebbed away. His breaths were harsh in his throat as he hooked an arm around her waist and drew her firmly into him. She gasped and tilted her head to view him, and a droplet of water trailed down her cheek.
With the back of one finger, he stopped the droplet in its track. “You are unharmed,” he murmured.
She nodded, her throat bobbing.
“As perfect as ever.”
“Thanks to you.”
“I got you wet.”
Ignoring this flame between them hurt too much. Seeing her and not touching her killed him. He wanted to erase every awful word he’d ever uttered and return to the innocent days of their courtship when the passing of time had yet to make something as simple as love seem so complicated.
But maybe it was simple.
As simple as placing his lips upon hers perhaps?
Apollo could no longer think of a single reason why he shouldn’t find out if that were true.
USA TODAY Bestselling Author Samantha Holt is known for fun, witty, and usually steamy historical romances. She’s been a full-time writer for longer than she ever thought possible having originally trained as a nurse and an archaeologist. She’s a champion napper, owner of too many animals, mum to twins, and lives in a small village near the very middle of England.
She’s usually writing (or napping) but when she’s not, Samantha is plotting (books of course!) with her husband, drinking coffee, climbing hills that are far too high for her fitness levels or visiting stately homes and pretending she’s posh.
You can claim a free book by signing to to her newsletter http://www.samanthaholtromance.com
If you’re not sure where to start, why not try:
Capturing the Bride (The Kidnap Club #1). A fun Regency read full of spice and an unusual heroine trying to escape an arranged marriage and a hero who has no idea how to keep his hands off her!
You’re the Rogue That I Want (Rogues of Redmere #1) is a longer read with heat, witty dialogue, a feisty heroine and adventure. All books in the series are standalone.
There Are Plenty More Dukes in the Sea (The Inheritance Clause #1) is a fun, steamy read focused on the Templeton family as they fight to save their inheritance.
Wake Me With a Kiss is a sweet, fairytale romance. Twists on Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella are also available if you love a clean, fun read.
To Steal a Highlander’s Heart is a full length dive into the world of sexy highlanders. For those who love braw Scots, some steamy scenes, and medieval romance, this series is a perfect escape.