Jamen’s Yuletide Bride
Three years ago, young Lord Jamen Gwyn’s life was turned upside down when a mysterious woman showed up at Gwyn Manor and told him and his six brothers that they were destined to be Vampire Slayers. Afraid for the safety of his fiancé Scarlet, he broke off their engagement, tearing both of their hearts to pieces.
Scarlet Mason’s reputation and life was ruined by the actions of Jamen Gwyn. She has spent years working tirelessly with the help of her aunt, Lady Eliza, to rebuild who she is. Now engaged to the son of a wealthy merchant, Scarlet should be happy with her new life, but one thing is missing. The man she’s loved since she was a girl; Jamen.
When Jamen arrives at the celebration Scarlet’s world is once again upended as she must choose between her duty to her Aunt and following her heart. But the decision isn’t that simple. In his family’s absence, someone has put into motion a plot not only to take over Westfall, but to get rid of the Gwyn Lords for good. And once again Jamen finds keeping Scarlet safe, takes precedence over his own desires for happiness.
She trembled as she slipped her fingers into Jamen’s. His grip was tender but his hands were rough. Not soft like they had been when he’d touched her years before.
Her mind whirled in disbelief as he led her through the crowd and out onto the dance floor. She stood stiff as a board, in the middle of the floor and waited for him to make a move. He stared at her. His eyes drinking her in, long and slow. She cursed her suddenly wobbly knees.
All around people whispered.
“Do something,” she hissed through clenched teeth and then smiled.
Jamen blinked rapidly and then cleared his throat. He stepped up to her and the smell of his soap hit her. His arm slipped around the small of her back and his fingers splayed there, drawing her close. Her body tingled and heated at his touch. Damn him for getting a response out of her still.
She stretched out her arm and his fingers closed around hers. He never broke eye contact as he stepped forward and she in turn stepped back.
Their bodies pressed together and moved in perfect unison. The rest of the world blurred and all she could see was him. Her throat clenched at all the things she wanted to say. But she suddenly couldn’t remember any of them.
He stared into her eyes and for once she was speechless.
“Hi,” he finally said.
“Hello.” She scanned the gathering and smiled at the houseful of spectators. It was a show and she needed to play her part after all.
“You look beautiful.”
Warmth spread over her cheeks to the tips of her ears.
He twirled her around and then brought her back to him. She reminded herself of the last time they’d met and of the hell he’d put her through. She’d promised herself she wouldn’t fall for that again, but suddenly in his arms, she was forgetting everything her aunt had taught her.
“How have you been?” he asked.
Play the game. She relaxed into him. “I’ve been well, thank you. And you?”
His expression saddened. “Surviving.”
This couldn’t be real. She couldn’t really be in his arms again. In a moment she would wake up to find that it had been just one more tantalizing dream of him coming back into her life.
“You changed your surname,” he said.
Anger danced over her spine but her smile stayed planted on her lips. She winked at Edward as they twirled past him. “You left me no choice. I was ruined after you rejected me.”
“I know. I’m sorry, Scarlet,” he whispered.
“I believe you’ve apologized already.” She met his eye and then looked over his shoulder.
“I’ve missed you.”
Her smile faltered. No, Aunt Liza’s training had not prepared her for this. The pain in his eyes made her weak. No! She couldn’t do this. Not now. Not when she was so close to attaining her goal.
“I am to be wed, my Lord. To Edward. A good man. A man who will make me respectable again and give me a home and children and a life. That’s what I want, what I need.” She straightened her spine and hardened her gaze. “And he would never leave me.”
His face sagged impossibly lower, making her lies taste bitter.
“Of course.” His eye took on their signature steely appearance.
Rebekah R. Ganiere – Books With A Bite
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