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  • The Bride's Bodyguard
  • Written by Elizabeth Thornton
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  • The Bride's Bodyguard
  • Written by Elizabeth Thornton
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Written by Elizabeth ThorntonAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Elizabeth Thornton

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On Sale: July 20, 2011
Pages: 352 | ISBN: 978-0-307-78865-8
Published by : Fanfare Bantam Dell
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Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

With his striking good looks, Ross Trevenan was one of the most attractive men Tessa Lorimer had ever seen.  But five minutes in his company convinced her he was the most arrogant, infuriating man alive.  That's why it was such a shock to discover Trevenan's true purpose: hired to escort her out of Paris and back
to England, he had sworn that he'd do anything to keep her safe--even if he had to marry her to do it.  Now, finding herself a bride to a devastatingly
attractive bodyguard seems more hazardous than any other situation she could possibly encounter.  

Yet Tessa doesn't know that she holds the key to a mystery that Trevenan would sell his soul to solve...and that a vicious murderer will kill to keep.

She should stop him, she knew she should stop him, but she felt as weak as a kitten.  She said something--a protest? a plea?--and his mouth was on hers
again, and everything Tessa knew about men and their passions was reduced to ashes in the scorching heat of that embrace.  Her limbs were shaking, wild
tremors shook her body, her blood seemed to ignite.  She was clinging to him for support, kissing him back, allowing those bold hands of his to wander at
will from her breast to her thigh, taking liberties she knew no decent girl should permit, not even a French girl.

When he left her mouth to kiss her ears, her eyebrows, her cheeks, she got out a shaken whisper, "I never knew it could be like this.  You make me feel things
I never knew existed, sensations I've never experienced before.  You seem so different tonight."

And he did.  His body was harder, his shoulders seemed broader, and she hadn't known he was so tall.  As for his fragrance--

Then she knew, she knew, and she opened her eyes wide, trying to see his face.  It was too dark, but she didn't need a light to know whose arms she was in.  He
didn't wear cologne as Paul did.  He smelled of fresh air and soap and freshly starched linen.  Outrage rooted her to the spot, but only for a moment longer.
Those clever hands of his had slipped and were beginning to massage her bottom.

"Trevenan!" she gasped, and fairly leaped out of his arms.  He made no move to stop her, but said in a laconic tone that grated on her
ears, "What a pity.  And just when things were beginning to turn interesting."

She was so overcome with rage she could hardly find her voice, and when she did find it, it was high-pitched and unnatural.  "Interesting? What you did to me
was not interesting.  It was depraved."

As he advanced she retreated.  Though she felt a leap of alarm, she was too proud to run away.  When he halted beside the stone steps, so did she, but she
was careful to preserve some space between them.  The lights on the terrace had yet to be extinguished, and she had a clear view of his expression.  He could
hardly keep a straight face.

"Depraved?" he said.  "That's not the impression you gave me.  I could have sworn you were enjoying yourself.  'I never knew it could be like this,'" he
mimicked.  "'You make me feel things I never knew existed.'" He began to laugh.

"I thought you were Paul," she shouted.  "How dare you impose yourself on me in that hateful way."

He arched one brow.  "My dear Miss Lorimer, as I recall, you were the one who imposed yourself on me.  I was merely enjoying a quiet smoke when you barged
into the gazebo and cornered me.  I didn't kiss you.  You kissed me." His white teeth gleamed.  "Might I give you a word of advice? You're too bold by half.  A
man likes to be the hunter.  Try, if you can, to give the impression that he has cornered you."

The thought that this depraved rake--and he had to be a rake if his kisses were anything to go by--had the gall to give her advice made her temper burn even
hotter.  She had to unclench her teeth to get the words out.  "There is no excuse for your conduct.  You knew I thought you were Paul."

"Come now, Miss Lorimer.  That trick is as old as Eve."

Anger made her forget her fear, and she took a quick step toward him.  "Do you think I'd want your kisses? You're nothing but my grandfather's lackey.  You're
a secretary, an employee.  If I were to tell him what happened here tonight"--she pointed to the gazebo--"he would dismiss you."

"Tell him, by all means.  He won't think less of me for acting like any red-blooded male.  It's your conduct that will be a disappointment to him." His
voice took on a hard edge.  "By God, if I had the schooling of you, you'd learn to obey me."

Excerpt

A movement on the terrace alerted Ross to the presence of someone else. When he saw a shadow move, he took a cautious step back into the gazebo, then another.

"Paul?"

Tessa's voice.  There was a rustle of skirts as she descended the steps.  Ross threw his cheroot on the ground and crushed it under his heel.

"Paul?" Her voice was breathless, uncertain.  "I saw you from my window.  I wasn't sure it was you until I saw our signal." Her voice took on a teasing note.  "Or perhaps I was mistaken.  Perhaps you weren't signaling me but simply slipped into the gazebo for a quiet smoke."

Ross said nothing, but he'd already calculated that he'd stumbled upon the trysting place of Tessa and her French lover and had inadvertently given their signal merely by smoking a cheroot.

Tessa entered the gazebo and halted, waiting for her eyes to become accustomed to the gloom.  "I wanted to thank you for the spray of violets.  They really are lovely.  But I had to burn your note." She laughed.  "You mustn't write such things to me, Paul.  My cheeks burned so hot, my maid feared I was coming down with a fever." She paused, and her voice turned husky.  "Paul, stop playing games with me.  You know you want to kiss me."

It never crossed Ross's mind to enlighten her about his identity.  He was too curious to see how far the brazen hussy would go.  She had, quite literally, backed him into the darkest corner of the gazebo.

Her hands found his shoulders and curled around them.  "Paul," she whispered, and she lifted her head for his kiss.

Tessa was no stranger to a man's kisses.  In France, she had discovered, young gentlemen were not so circumspect as their English counterparts, nor were French girls the least bit prudish.  Her female friends weren't wicked, far from it, but they saw nothing wrong in indulging in a little kissing.  They reasoned, and Tessa agreed with them, that it was foolish for a girl to keep herself in total ignorance of what awaited her in marriage.  Now, after two years in France, Tessa considered herself quite knowledgeable about men and their passions.

She also knew that by trysting with Paul in the gazebo, she was overstepping the boundaries of what a French girl would allow.  But Paul was different.  He was courting her.  Perhaps tonight he would ask her to marry him.  Then their kisses would be sanctioned by his ring on her finger.  And if that were not enough to tempt her, there were Paul's breathtaking kisses.  When he molded those experienced lips to hers, something peculiar happened to her insides, and that had never happened to her with any other boy.  He made her feel quite giddy.

It was exactly as she had anticipated.  His mouth was firm and hot, and those pleasant sensations began to warm her blood.  When he wrapped his arms around her and jerked her hard against his full length, she gave a little start of surprise, but that warm, mobile mouth on hers insisted she yield to him.  She laughed softly when he kissed her throat, then she stopped breathing altogether when he bent her back and kissed her breasts, just above the lace on her bodice.  He'd never gone that far before.

"Thank God," she cried out, "that will never come to pass."

He laughed.  "Stranger things have happened."

He had argued her to a standstill.  The thing to do now was to exit with as much dignity as was left to her.  She wasn't going to leave him with the impression that she had followed him into the gazebo knowing who he was.

She breathed deeply, trying to find her calm.  "If I'd known you were in the gazebo, I would never have entered it." His skeptical look revived her anger, and she said, "I tell you, I thought you were Paul Marmont."

He shrugged.  "In that case, all I can say is that little girls who play with fire deserve to get burned."

She said furiously, "You were teaching me a lesson?"

"In a word, yes."

Her head was flung back and she regarded him with smoldering dislike.  "And just how far were you prepared to go in this lesson of yours, Mr.  Trevenan? Mmm?"

He extended a hand to her, and without a trace of mockery or levity answered, "Come back to the gazebo with me and I'll show you."
Elizabeth Thornton

About Elizabeth Thornton

Elizabeth Thornton - The Bride's Bodyguard
Elizabeth Thornton was born and educated in Aberdeen, Scotland, where she taught school for a number of years.

She is the author of five Regency Romances and fifteen historical romances. She has been nominated for and received many awards including the Romantic Times Trophy Award for the best New Historical Regency Author and Best Historical Regency. Her books have appeared on best-selling lists and have been translated into many languages.
Praise

Praise

"A major, major talent...[a] superstar."—Rave Reviews

"I consider Elizabeth Thornton a major find."—bestselling author Mary Balogh

The author of the national bestseller Dangerous to Hold, Elizabeth Thornton once again combines intoxicating passion with spellbinding suspense....

  • The Bride's Bodyguard by Elizabeth Thornton
  • March 03, 1997
  • Fiction - Romance - Historical
  • Fanfare
  • $6.99
  • 9780553574258

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