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Black Silk

Black Silk

BLACK SILK is a Romantic Times BOOKreviews 2008 Nominee for Best Erotic Romance Historical

RT TOP PICK 4 ½ Stars
“This wonderful, well-written Regency has emotion, blindingly hot sex, complicated characters, and a surprise ending.”
—Page Traynor, Romantic Times BOOKreviews


A touch of ecstasy…

Maryanne Hamilton had expected to be shocked, but the wanton orgy she finds in Mrs. Master’s salon makes her wonder if she has walked into hell. Desperate to escape, she comes upon the master of sin himself — Lord Swansborough. Fascinated by his nakedness, she longs to touch every inch of his long, hard body. And when he bids her come near, she quickly surrenders to his wicked promise of carnal pleasure and sensual ecstasy…

* * * * *

BLACK SILK, the sequel to SIN is every bit as scorching…and involves one of my favorite rakes from SIN, Viscount Swansborough, who finds his match in Maryanne, a woman who pens erotic tales that sear his soul and leave him begging for more.

Read an Excerpt

This excerpt contains explicit sexual material and is intended for readers 18 years of age and older.

He caught her staring and gave her a most wicked grin. Enticing lines bracketed his firm, wide mouth, and adorable dimples shadowed his cheeks. “You came in here to seduce me, didn’t you?”

With a crook of his fingers, he motioned her to move toward him.

Maryanne stayed at the door. “N-no.”

The Oriental motif had not ventured past the door. This was an Englishman’s study, resplendent with wood and leather, comfortable yet austere.

Both settings suited Lord Swansborough.

“Who are you?” he asked, and he tipped the decanter—the entire decanter—to his lips and took a swallow. He quaffed the drink—likely brandy—the way men in the country drank ale. Some spilled down his chiseled jaw, and he lowered the lovely glass thing and wiped at his beautiful mouth with his shirtsleeves.

His lordship was the first man here who was interested in her name. And she floundered helplessly—she had a creative mind but all she could do was stare in astonishment.

He settled himself on the back of a chair, one booted foot dirtying the arm. The position displayed the long, lean, muscular power of his legs.

“Your name, puss,” he prompted.

Maryanne knew men used that name to describe a woman’s quim, and she knew she must suggest another name. But what did she want to suggest? Availability or the truth—that she was not allowed to touch a man like he? “Verity.”

Truth. Why had she thought of that?

He saluted her with the decanter. “Imaginative. Where is your partner, Verity?”

“I don’t have one.” Which was, at least, the truth.

“I see.” Amusement, chilling amusement, showed in his rakish grin. “If I ravish you and make you explode in the most intense climax, will you give me my next clue?”

A jolt of shock raced, cold and startling, through her veins.

Lord Swansborough thought she was a courtesan, employed to work in this bizarre scavenger hunt. She’d heard couples speaking of clues and hunting in the salon. “I came here to find a friend.”

The brandy decanter was almost empty. Had he truly drank that much? How could he still be conscious if he had? Her two glasses of champagne and that sickly drink had left her disorientated, and the giddy feeling was now a pounding inside her skull.

“Did you indeed?” he asked. His tone spoke ominously of a man’s awareness that he had a trapped female in his possession. But there was a teasing note underneath, and she knew she would much rather be trapped in this study with Swansborough, than out in the rest of the house with the other scavenger hunters.

Tearstains itched on her cheeks and she was certain she looked disheveled. How much did her mask obscure?

“Come here, Verity.” His voice had sobered and it rumbled with bewitching erotic promise.

Verity. Which sounded like her sister’s name Venetia. Had she thought of the name because her sister Venetia had had adventures, and she had yearned for her own?

But Venetia had told her that Swansborough was exactly like the men who had surrounded her. And he was drunk, therefore dangerous. Logic told her that, but her heart skittered at the gentleness in his black eyes. They were hazy with drink, but not wild with lust.


A confident, autocratic command. She knew the other meaning of the word and a shiver of anticipation, hot, electric, weakening, shot down her spine.

Her feet obeyed, and she closed the distance between them, and with each step, her heart tightened. Sweat trickled down her bodice and her throat felt aflame. She felt exactly the way she did when reading erotic manuscripts.

She stopped—a little more than a sword’s thrust away-and he grinned. “Who is the friend you came to find, sweetheart?”

He was Marcus’ good friend—he had seen her perhaps a half dozen times. She was so close, she feared he would know who she was. That he could see behind her simple white mask and guess the truth of her soul. That she was Maryanne Hamilton, ordinary virgin, here in Hades to find a courtesan.

“Georgiana,” she admitted, softly.

His black brow lifted. “Do you belong to her, sweeting?”

Mystified, she asked, “How do you mean that, my lord?”

“Do you know who I am?”

“A viscount. And you expect me to answer your questions, but you will not answer mine.” She smiled and dipped her head. Heavens, had she just said that? “You are Lord Swansborough.” Surely that was safe enough to admit. He would think her a jade who knew him from brothels and Cyprian balls.

She still wasn’t certain what role she should play. Should she pretend to be experienced? Should she admit she was an innocent in trouble?

“But I hardly expected to find you in here, alone in the dark.”

“But I often drink alone, sweet. There’s no pleasure in drinking alone in the middle of a crowd.”

He was foxed. Absolutely. “But why-?”

“I encountered a man. He spoke of a tragic incident that happened a long time ago. It is something I like to forget. And I needed a way to help me do that.” His lordship lowered the decanter, let it drop the last inches to the table, where it rattled. “You are lovely, Verity. But then, the truth is always beautiful. Dangerous but beautiful.”

“I’m hardly dangerous, my lord.”

He reached out his hand—bare of gloves. A perfect, long-fingered gentleman’s hand. She had never touched the naked hand of a gentleman. He meant to kiss her fingers. Uncertain, she moved forward, for good breeding dictated it, and let him sweep her hand to his lips.

Lovely lips. Firm and delectable and brushing her gloved knuckles. The champagne inside her bubbled up once more at his hot, seductive touch, at the caress of his full lower lip over satin.

He drew her closer, his hand casually holding her fingers. She took one look into his dark eyes, at the sculpted curve of cheekbones, the autocratic nose, and lost her breath.

Shadowed by dark stubble gracing his jaw, a dimple teased. She looked closer. Beneath his thick, black lashes, his eyes focused in two different directions.

“In you, sweeting, would I find truth?”

In her?

Before she could even gasp, his mouth slanted down over hers, and his broad back blotted out the light. She fell into black shadow and reached out to him. She should not allow this, but she was here, and he expected it and—

No. She was Verity. Truth. She wanted to kiss him.

His lips pressed to hers, his tongue parted her lips and slid inside her mouth. She tasted him—delicious was too mild a word!

She tasted brandy, too much brandy, and the warm flavor of him that was so erotically male. His hand cupped her breast. He must know her nipples were indecently erect.

His large body surrounded her, his scent—brandy and shaving soap and witch hazel and the earthy hint of his sweat—washed over her, yet all she wanted was to kiss him deeper. Beneath her fingertips, his shoulders were solid lines of muscle and bone. Daringly, she trailed her fingers toward his neck. She left the almost-propriety of his shirt and touched his bare flesh.

And moaned wantonly into his mouth.

His tongue teased hers, and he toyed with her, letting his tongue thrust lazily in a promise that made her heart hammer and her quim turn to liquid honey.

She went rigid, suddenly uncertain.

He eased back from the kiss, bending forward to feather kisses to her nose, her right cheek, her chin. “Do you want to give me what I want?”

Oh yes, he was drunk. She tried to make sense of his words. “W-what is it that you want?”

He stepped back and yanked his shirt out of his trousers. Before the hem could settle around his hips, he pulled his shirt off, over his head.