4 STARS! “With an interesting plot, likable characters, suspense, sexual adventure, and romance, this story satisfies.”
— Romantic Times BOOKreviews
HOT SILK Trailer
Two years ago, with her reputation already in jeopardy, Miss Grace Hamilton gave herself to a powerful, compelling stranger in one night of delicious, quivering ecstasy. Wild, bold, and wickedly sensual, Devlin Sharpe is a highwayman and pirate—a scoundrel whose world is ruled solely by pleasure. And now he has returned to claim Grace again, vowing to make up for the time they’ve lost, to take her to the heights of carnal abandon and show her the exquisite bliss of exploring her darkest, most decadent fantasies…
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The sequel to SIN, National Readers’ Choice Award Winner for Erotic Romance and BLACK SILK, a Romantic Times Top Pick.
HOT SILK is the final book in the trilogy about the daughters of erotic artist Rodesson.
Read an Excerpt
This excerpt contains explicit sexual material and is intended for readers 18 years of age and older.
Grace shrank back against the papered wall of the hallway, fighting the hot bile that clawed at her throat. He’d shared his horrible plans with Wynsome all along. It had been a joke, a wager, perhaps. And she’d stumbled right into it, a stupid, gullible girl.
How many other gentlemen knew? Did they all?
“She’s a treat,” Lord Wesley said with callous triumph. “Every bit as good as I conjectured, given that she was a virgin. A born trollop. And, as you will note, she makes my twentieth virgin of the year. Your blunt is at risk, Wynsome. I’ll have bedded a hundred by Christmas.”
She felt pinned to the wall by their appalling cruelty. This was sport to them.
“The rest of the club will be astounded. There’s many who wagered more than they could afford, certain you’d never claim one hundred gently-bred virgins.”
The rest of the club? There were others, possibly dozens, of men involved in this? Men who would all talk of her ruination? This would destroy her. Oh God, what had she done?
All of society would know—every gentleman who had treated her as a gently bred young marriage prospect. Wynsome knew—would he tell the Earl of Warren about it? Would the handsome, white-haired earl sneer at her, calling her the horrid names he had used on her mother?
“What have you done, my dear?”
Grace gave a strangled scream at the deep male voice that repeated the very question she’d asked herself.
Devlin Sharpe had seen many frightened women in his day. Terrified women. Desperate women. He had seen the eyes of women as they stood on the gallows and waited for the platform to drop away.
But he’d never seen such a mix of fear and loathing and anger shooting from such beautiful and determined eyes. Of course, he did not think he’d ever seen such an intriguing woman before—an intoxicating, alluring mix of angelic golden hair, pretty features, and enticingly carnal curves.
He held the lovely blonde’s gaze, aware from the way her eyes darted and her lips trembled that she intended to lie to him. “Don’t lie,” he warned. “Don’t give me a weak story and try to run away. I want the truth. I want to know what—or who—has hurt you.”
She straightened away from the wall and Devlin knew exactly what had happened. Her small fingers were curled around the crumpled sky-blue silk of her bodice, holding it up over her generous breasts. Beneath the wall sconce, her soft hair was gleaming gold and poured in disheveled curls over her shoulders and down her back. A tear still clung to her lashes of her red-rimmed green eyes. She smelled of sex.
Hearing his half-brother’s mocking laugh from the study was the final piece of evidence. “Did he rape you? Or just seduce you?”
Furious at his damned brother, he’d let a snarl creep in and she drew back. “I should go,” she whispered.
“Not through the corridors of a crowded house with your dress hanging off you. Come with me.”
“Why?” Her golden brows drew together in suspicion. Now the woman was cautious.
“I can negotiate this house without anyone seeing us.”
Obviously she could not understand why any man would wish to do her a kindness. She took another step away from him. “You…you are a highwayman, aren’t you?”
“Of course I would never admit to that, Miss…what is your name, by the way?”
Since he’d first spotted her startling golden hair in the ballroom, and then indulged himself with a good look at the rest of her, he’d wondered. None of his father’s servants had obliged him with a name—they’d been more interested in tossing him out on the gravel drive.
Pity they did not know the secret entrances to the house as he did.
“Your name,” he repeated.
“If I do not tell you, it will be one less man who knows.” Her lips formed a sneer at that, and he knew she meant her anger for herself.
What was it with some women that they absorbed their anger, instead of using it for some good? His mother had been like that—taking every blasted insult and slap his father had bestowed upon her and swallowing it up herself.
“I know my half-brother,” Devlin stated, determined to place blame where it lay. “What did he promise you?”
She shook her head. “It hardly matters what he promised me. I should have known he did not mean to stand by his words. I, of all people, should know that—” She stopped abruptly. “Did you murder Lady Prudence’s lover, or is that something you will also not admit to?”
Murder? Hell, so that was the way the gossipmongers had described it. Since that had been his reason for returning here, it struck him on the raw. “I shot him in a duel,” he said brusquely. “It was all damnably honorable—and I lay stress on the word honorable. It was also deserved. Not legal, of course, but I doubt that will be the crime I’ll ultimately swing for. It was not murder. I am not asking you to follow me for nefarious reasons, love—and I do need a name to call you, or you will have to listen to endearments all the way up the stairs.”
She goggled at him, as young women so often did, but from the slight curve of her lips—immediately quelled—he knew she’d followed his quick speech. “Hamilton. My name is Grace Hamilton.”
Devlin took a step backward and crooked his finger. “Trust me, Miss Hamilton. You cannot stay out here with your gown half-off. And even if I button it for you—”
“I know. I look far too obviously like a harlot.”
She’d tried his patience too far. More roughly than he should, he caught hold of her wrist and forced her to follow him down the hallway. She dragged her heels but had no choice. A thump of his fist against the appropriate molding produced a snick and he pried open the secret panel. “In there—there’s a hidden staircase to the upper floors. I apologize in advance for the cobwebs and the dust.”
Plain fear showed in her large, round eyes. Blast. “I have no intention of hurting you, Miss Hamilton. But I promise you, if Wesley took your innocence, he’ll marry you.”
She paused at the foot of the stairs. “You cannot force him to.”
Devlin waved his hand to encourage her to get up the stairs. “A man with a pistol at his back can be forced to do anything.”
But she laid a slender, bare hand on the rickety balustrade. “I don’t want that. I don’t want to marry him. I just want to…to turn back time.”
She stomped her slipper on the worn floor, the thump swallowed up by the stale air. “Don’t. My name is Grace. I told you what it was and I want you to use it. Don’t call me names like that.”
A strand of a spider’s web dangled in front of her face, but she flinched as he brushed it way. The way she’d recoiled made him want to rip out Wesley’s sorry guts. Gently, he shook his head, wearing what he hoped was a soothing smile. “I cannot call you Grace. That is an intimacy a man like me is not allowed. I can call you ‘love’ or ‘sweetheart’ and live up to my audacious nature, or I can call you ‘Miss Hamilton’, showing you due respect.”
He’d hoped to relax her by making her laugh but she threw up her hands. Which meant her bodice gaped. He caught a glimpse of lush ivory curves with a deep shadowed valley between. His throat dried and his blood rushed down to his cock, making it instantly as hard as iron.
“I don’t want due respect!” she cried. “Nor do I want to be an anonymous ‘love’. I want—Oh, this is ridiculous. What does it matter what you call me? I can imagine what everyone else will call me.”
With that, she turned and began to clomp up the stairs.
“A little quieter, Miss Hamilton,” he advised, through he hated quenching her spirited anger. It was just what she needed—the best remedy for humiliation. “A little discretion will keep our secret a secret.”
“I don’t understand,” she whispered ahead, to the dark and the cobwebs. “Why would you help me?”
“I might be a highwayman, but there are certain things I do not steal.”
“Like a woman’s virtue?” Disbelief rang in her voice.
“Like a woman’s heart. Now tell me your story. All of it.”