Tainted Tea for Two
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by Susanne Marie Knight
Category: Mystery/Crime/Romance ARIANA Award Winner: Best Cover Art, EPIC eBook Award Finalist
Description: Someone wants Viscount Embrey dead! Is it--His caring but determined barrister son, Gregory Gresham? His ne'er-do-well nephew, Giles? His doting sister-in-law, Florence? His fired secretary, Smythe-Davis? His son's disagreeable fiancee, Lady Helena? The tedious village vicar, Patrick? Or the vicar's restrained wife, Kitty? When personal fitness trainer Ms. Marty Jackson accepts an assignment in England, romance is the furthest thing on her mind. Fate has other ideas in the form of a handsome British barrister. But when a body is found in the library, can Marty convince her new-found love of her innocence when all evidence points in her direction?
eBook Publisher: Uncial Press, 2006
eBookwise Release Date: October 2006
9 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [255 KB]
Reading time: 149-209 min.
"4 STARS! The charming English countryside, stately manner, and regional dialect embellish this murder romance into a cozy night's read."--Betty Cox, Affaire de Coeur
"Riveting and hard to solve mystery."--Romance Reader's Connection
Belatedly making sure her short cotton robe covered what it was supposed to, she took a step back from him. No good, though. His masculine aftershave drifted toward her and teased her tired senses. "What do you mean by coming into my room like this? I could've been ... sleeping."
She'd almost said naked. Dangerous to suggest such a thing around someone who looked as devastating as he did.
Gresham's smile conveyed his disbelief. "At eight o'clock? I hardly think so." He clasped his hands behind his back and took a cramped stroll around the room. "I'm here to bring you downstairs."
Although she should have thrown him out, she stood rooted to the floor. She didn't flinch when he picked up her special paperweight, but her fingers itched to grab it out of his hands.
Then, for some reason, the four poster bed seemed to attract him. He walked to it and began pawing through her pile of recently discarded clothing. "I was under the impression that Americans understood English, Ms. Jackson. Dinner, I remember saying, is at eight. You are keeping everyone from their food."
Only when he uncovered her bra did her motionless state vanish. "Do you mind?" She quickly tugged on his arm, and pulled him away from the bed and the intimate articles.
He smiled again, revealing perfect white teeth. This time her heart fluttered in a peculiar way. "I, ah, told Lottie I wouldn't be joining you."
"You have no choice. Come. It is late."
Annoyance crept into her tone. She planted her hands on her hips. "Listen, I appreciate the offer but I'm tired and I don't feel like eating."
The top of her robe gaped open. Naturally his gaze took in the sight. Just collarbones, but his smile deepened. She grabbed at the material. The beast!
Then he did the unexpected. He bent down to stare directly into her eyes. His masculine, musky aftershave teased Marty's senses. His sparkling grey eyes mesmerized her, and once again, she couldn't have moved if her life depended on it. She gulped. Embarrassingly enough, her nipples hardened. Good grief, this power he had over her was unfair, but how could she protest such a thing. What was she supposed to say? Stop using your charm, I'm getting attracted to you?
"Ms. Jackson," Gresham murmured, "you will accompany me to dinner, undressed as you are, or otherwise." He skimmed the side of her cheek with two fingers.
Whoa. "I don't know what the laws are in England, Mr. Gresham, but sexual harassment isn't tolerated in the States. I don't think anything in the contract covers you coming into my room unannounced and making advances." Despite her words, she couldn't stop the shiver his touch invoked.
He broke contact and shrugged. "I have no intentions toward you other than to see that you go to dinner on time. Make no mistake about it. Lord Embrey wishes to meet you tonight, and I'll not have him disappointed."
She felt breathless. Her outrage was tempered by this insane attraction to him. Never in all her born days had anyone affected her to this degree. She didn't know the man, didn't like him, but one touch from him and she was like Jell-O.
Marty, you're losing this battle. Better retreat and build up your defenses.
"Ah, okay." She massaged the bridge of her nose. Was this day ever going to end? "Give me a minute and I'll get dressed."
She waited but he didn't leave the room. She started to lift her hands to her hips again, then remembered about the robe's tendency to gape. "I can't change with you here."
"No?" Gresham raised a dark eyebrow. "A pity." He walked to the door, then turned around. "You said a minute, so that's when I'll expect you to be done. And, by the way, there's no sense locking the door."
He patted the pocket on the left side of his chest. "I have the key."