When Beatrice Hennessey sets out to confront Lord Coldhurst, the notorious rogue who killed her brother in a duel, her intent is to save her family from destitution. She’s determined to blackmail the man into a loveless marriage. She’ll make the wealthy Lord Coldhurst pay for the rest of his life. But while greeting his ship, Beatrice takes a tumble into the Thames—only to be fished out by a pair of strong masculine arms that tempt her to stay locked in their heated embrace forever. That is, until she realizes those arms belong to Sebastian Hawkestone, Lord Coldhurst himself.
The little drowned mermaid has an interesting proposition indeed; one that Sebastian is surprised to find quite agreeable. Although he’s had women more beautiful, she is pleasing to the eye, and besides, it’s time he fathered an heir. Beatrice promises to be the ideal wife; a woman who hates him with an all-consuming passion is far too sensible to expect romance. However, it isn’t long before Sebastian’s plan for a marriage of convenience unravels, and he’s caught up in the exhilarating undertow of seduction.
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Sebastian studied her steadily and said, “You look absolutely petrified at the thought of sharing my bed. Has no one explained what goes on between a man and a woman?”
Beatrice nodded and looked away. She would have to tell him something. “I had a friend, a very dear friend. She had an experience that wasn’t very pleasant, and her experience has not made me look forward to intimate relations with any man.”
“So you are afraid? This friend of yours, her lover obviously wasn’t very skilled if all she felt was pain. No woman should feel any pain if her lover prepares her correctly.”