YAHOO GROUP APPRECIATION EVENT DAY 11 ~ SYLVIA DAY
My feature author today is Sylvia Day from the Wicked Writers Blog/Yahoo Group. Her newest release "Seven Years to Sin" is coming out on 8/30/11.
The longer the resistance…
Seven years ago, on the eve of her wedding, proper Lady Jessica Sheffield witnessed a licentious scene no innocent young miss could imagine. Shocked, yet strangely titillated, she’d held her silence regarding scandalous Alistair Caulfield, and walked down the aisle as expected. But through years of serene, unremarkable marriage, Caulfield’s image remained burned into her imagination, fueling very illicit dreams…
…the sweeter the reward
Alistair ran far from the temptation of the prim debutante with the fire of passion in her eyes–all the way to the West Indies. As a successful merchant, he has little in common with the rakehell youth she knew. But when newly widowed Jessica steps aboard his ship for a transatlantic passage, seven years’ worth of denied pleasures are held in check by nothing more than a few layers of silk–and the certainty that surrender will consume them both…
“I don’t know how to do this,” he growled, raking a hand through his hair.
“Dance around the truth, pretend things are not what they are, and use formality as a shield.”
“Formality is indeed like dancing,” she agreed softly. “It creates a known pattern of steps to follow that allow two disparate people to traverse a length of time together with some purpose. It creates an avenue upon which strangers can travel together.”
“I am not interested in dancing at the moment, or being strangers. Why did you stay?”
“Beg your pardon?”
“Don’t be coy. Why did you linger in the woods that night?”
She clung to the lapels of his coat from the inside, holding the two halves tightly together. Not because it was cold, but because she felt too exposed. “You asked me to stay.”
“Oh?” His mouth took on a cruel curve. “Will you obey all my commands?”
“Of course not.”
“Why did you obey that one?”
“Why not?” she rejoined with lifted chin.
Alistair stalked closer. “You were innocent. You should have been horrified. You should have run.”
“What is it you want me to say?”
He caught her by the elbows and lifted her up onto her tiptoes. “Have you thought about that night since then? Did you ever think of it when lying with Tarley? Has the memory haunted you?”
Jess was dismayed by how close to home he struck with his questions. “Why is it important?”
One of his hands lifted and cupped her nape, angling her lips to a position suiting him. His words puffed hot and damp over her mouth. “I remember every second you stood there. The rise and fall of your breasts as you panted. The feverish brightness of your eyes. The sight of your hand at your throat as if you forcibly held back begging little whimpers.”
“There are witnesses around us,” she whispered furiously, trembling with fear and excitement. She was astonished to be responding amorously to his rough handling. She, of all people, should not find such attentions thrilling. It horrified her to think some part of her mind might have been trained to seek fulminating regard.
“I don’t care.”
Torn by her confusion, she spoke harshly. “Your brutish lack of charm may be sufficient for some women, but I assure you, I am not amused.”
His hands fell away so quickly she stumbled. “Sweetheart, it’s more than sufficient for you. You look as hungry for me now as you did then.”
She winced. Something dark and tormented passed over his features, then he turned away with a smothered curse.
He spoke over his shoulder, “I have attempted to forget that night, but it’s impossible.”
Jess looked away from his rigid back, allowing the crisp misty breeze to blow over her face. “Why does the memory trouble you so? You have had my discretion.”
“For which I have long been grateful.” In the periphery of her vision, she saw him shove his hands into the pockets of his satin breeches. “You have avoided me in the years since. Why, if what transpired was of no importance to you?”
“I know something of you I should not know. It made me uncomfortable.”
“I made you uncomfortable,” he corrected. “I still do.”
Whether consciously or no, a part of her recognized the feeling of being hunted. She sensed the turbulence of his desire and was frightened by it. Perhaps not so much because of his appetite, but because of her own.
Alistair rounded her, so that he stood before her and took up the whole of her vision. “The more you hold yourself aloof, the more determined I become to draw you out. Yes, you know something of me that exists only between us. We should be more accessible to one another because of that, not more distant.”
“As accessible as the candor of our present conversation?”
“As accessible as you were last night, without the excessive drinking. Although it was neither of our intentions to cross the threshold we did seven years ago, it has been crossed and there is no turning back. I asked you to stay and you did not run. We shared a moment uniquely separate from our lives before or since. You clutch social mores, propriety, and rules of conduct around you as you do the shawls you wear, but we are beyond such barriers. Fate has conspired to bring us together at this time and I, for one, am weary of fighting against it.”
Sylvia is offering one commenter a tote bag filled with swag and other goodies! All you have to do is follow this blog and comment here to be entered. Please leave your email addy so I can contact you if you win. I will choose a winner on 9/16/11 and post here.
Thanks for stopping by and be sure to stop by tomorrow for Shalya Black!!!