The sweetest gift is the hardest to unwrap. . .
Lady Victoria Allen-Hill never dreamed she'd be a widow at twenty-one—let alone a virgin. Her father insists that she attend a matchmaking house party in the snow-covered seaside town of Pevensey in hopes she'll find a suitable husband. But for Victoria, it's an opportunity to indulge in a passionate affair—and the handsome inventor she meets at the Christmas Eve masquerade ball may be just the man for the job. . .
Lewis Noble is the cousin of London's famed Redcake sisters, so it almost stands to reason that he's just as irresistible as one of their sugar-iced pastries. Lewis catches the eye of every woman at the party—but Victoria is the only one who catches his. He won't be tied down in her father's business, but watching other men court her amid a flurry of engagements ignites a jealousy he's never felt before. A dose of honesty may be just the thing to mend their broken hearts—for many holidays to come. . .
“Why would you want to dine with him?” Lewis growled. “He’s a known rake, on the prowl for a rich heiress.”
“I am a rich heiress,” Victoria said softly.
“I thought you were interested in me. Was that all a mistake?” His expression stayed closed, remote.
“Will you be dreaming of some other woman when I’m in your bed?” Her retort shocked her. She was acting like a jealous lover, not a flirt.
He stared at her for a long moment. “If I allow a woman into my bed, she is going to be the only thing I think about. The only thought I will have will be her pleasure; my only concern will be her satisfaction.”
She felt her intimate flesh contract in a hard burst of pleasurable shock. “Are you ready to allow it, sir?”
“Are you?” His gaze narrowed. “You seem to be having second thoughts.”
“I never have second thoughts at midnight. Only at other times of the day,” she said lightly, wishing she could run her hands over his elaborate jacket and feel the outline of the hard muscles underneath.
“Then we will make an assignation for some midnight,” he said.