Please remember this is RAW and Unedited which means it could change or may not make it into the book.
We will compare it to what happens when the book is done to see how it changes (if it does) and as always thanks for playing Lisa 🙂
Tempt Me at Twilight by Lisa Kleypas
The eccentric Hathaway family is staying at the Rutledge Hotel during the London social season. While chasing her sister’s ferret, who has stolen an intimate love letter, Poppy Hathaway encounters a handsome and mysterious stranger. He takes her to a private room, and for a moment Poppy wonders if he’ll let her go . . .
Tap. Tap. Tap.
They both turned at the sound. The maid had arrived. “I must go,” Poppy said uneasily.
“My governess will be very distressed if she wakes to find me missing.” The dark-haired stranger contemplated her for what seemed a very long time. “I’m not finished with you yet,” he said with stunning casualness. As if no one ever refused him anything. As if he planned to keep her prisoner for as long as he wished.
Poppy took a deep breath. “Nevertheless, I am leaving,” she said calmly, and went to the door.
He reached it at the same time she did, one large hand flattening against the door panel.
Alarm jolted through her, and she turned to face him. A swift, frantic throbbing awakened in her throat and wrists and the backs of her knees. He was standing much too close, his long, hard body nearly touching hers. She shrank against the wall, away from the sheer force of his masculine presence. When she brought herself to look up into his cool green eyes, he smiled.
A dangerous smile.
“Before you leave,” he said softly, “I have some advice for you. It’s not safe for a young woman to wander alone through the hotel. Don’t take such a foolish risk again.”
Poppy stiffened a little. “It’s a reputable hotel,” she said. “I have nothing to fear.”
“Of course you do,” he murmured. “You’re looking right at it.”
And before she could think, or move, or breathe, he bent his head and took her mouth with his.
Stunned, Poppy went motionless beneath the soft, burning kiss, so subtle in its demand that she wasn’t aware of the moment her own lips parted. His hands came to her jaw, cradling, angling her face upward. She felt him taste her with a gently searching stroke, in a kiss more intimate than anything she had ever known. And with a stranger.
She lifted her hands to push him away, but he put his arms around her, bringing her body fully against his, and the feel of him was hard and richly stimulating. Her skin turned hot, oversensitive, excited nerves craving the cool glide of his fingertips along her throat.
With every breath, she drew in an enticing scent, an incense of amber and musk, starched linen and male skin. She should have struggled in his arms . . . but his mouth was so tenderly persuasive, erotic, imparting messages of peril and promise. He tasted her again, deeper this time, and then his lips slid to her throat. He hunted for her pulse, working his way downward, layering sensations like silken gauze until she shivered and arched away from him. “Don’t,” she said weakly.
The stranger gripped her chin carefully, forcing her to look at him. They both went still. As Poppy met his searching gaze, she saw a flash of baffled animosity, as if he had just made some unwelcome discovery.
He let go of her with great care and opened the door. “Bring it in,” he told the maid, who waited at the threshold with a large silver tea tray.
The servant obeyed quickly, too well-trained to evince curiosity about Poppy’s presence in the room.
The man went to retrieve Dodger, who had fallen asleep in his chair. Returning with the drowsy ferret, he gave it to Poppy. She took Dodger with an inarticulate murmur, cradling him against her midriff.
“Will there be anything else, sir?” the maid asked.
“Yes. I want you to accompany this lady to her suite. And come back to inform me when she is safely returned.”
“Yes, Mr. Rutledge.”
Poppy felt her heart stop. She looked back at the stranger. Deviltry glittered in his green eyes. He seemed to relish her open astonishment.
Harry Rutledge . . . the mysterious and reclusive owner of the hotel. Who was nothing at all as she had imagined him to be.
Bewildered and mortified, Poppy turned from him. She crossed the threshold and heard the door close, the latch clicking smoothly shut. How wicked he was, to have amused himself at her expense! She consoled herself with the knowledge that she would never see him again.
And she went down the hallway with the housemaid . . . never suspecting that the course of her entire life had just changed.
© Lisa Kleypas. All rights reserved