Once a Duchess by Elizabeth Boyce – Excerpt & Giveaway
In Love with Romance, On The Set welcomes Elizabeth Boyce. Elizabeth is sharing an excerpt of her latest release Once a Duchess and she’s giving away a copy to a lucky commenter.
Check out the excerpt and leave a comment telling Elizabeth what’s your favorite historical romance.
A late night supper in the garden sends divorced couple Marshall and Isabelle into the rose maze. A chase for a strawberry tart is only the flimsy excuse they need to pursue their real hunger – each other.
He caught up to her in the center — the only secluded spot in the rose garden — where a tall wall of hedges encircled a graveled clearing. In the middle, a bed of roses surrounded a fountain. Isabelle sat on a stone bench, panting. They were cut off from the house lights here, and only a little moonlight filtered in. Her features took on an ethereal quality. He glimpsed only the outline of her face, a flicker of light reflected in her eyes, the gleam of her teeth through her parted lips.
“You, madam,” Marshall said, lowering himself beside her, “are caught. I shall have my prize now.”
He heard the smile in her voice as she spoke. “I still don’t wish to share,” she cajoled.
His voice rumbled in his throat. “Keep your dessert. I think I’d like something sweeter.” He heard her intake of breath as he lowered his head.
Before reaching her mouth, he encountered a forkful of flaky pastry. He chuckled and allowed her to feed him the bite of tart. Juice flooded his mouth, and the buttery crust melted against his tongue.
“It’s very good,” he said sincerely. “You were right to keep it away from me. Now I must have more.” He placed a hand at her waist and drew her to his side. Reaching down, he plucked the fork from her fingers, scooped up a morsel of pastry, then returned the favor of feeding it to her.
Isabelle closed her lips around the offering. Marshall withdrew the fork and pressed the tines, still warm from her mouth, against his own lips.
He watched her jaw work and her throat move when she swallowed. Only highlights of her skin gleamed in the dim light, the rest was cast in shadow. The contrasting rises and falls of her contours invited his touch. He brushed a finger along her jaw, and before she could rebuff him, he bent his neck and pressed his lips to hers.
She stiffened, and made as though to withdraw. Marshall kept a hand on her back, and ran the other down her arm in a soothing touch. When she calmed he took advantage, deepening the kiss.
He teased his lips back and forth. A hand slid up his shoulder and hooked around his neck, and then her lips parted, inviting him in. What was left of his rational mind melted away. She was warm, and tasted like strawberries and wine. Heat stirred his blood, stoking the desire that had been at a dull roar ever since he’d clapped eyes on her in his kitchen.
His tongue plunged boldly into her mouth, exploring territory that had once been so dear and familiar. An aching sense of loss caught him off guard, and he crushed her to him, desperate to hold onto this woman who captivated him in a way no other had.