by Erinn Ellender Quinn
Touch the Wind Book Three
Michal Bethany Lovett has led a rather quiet life. As the vicar’s firstborn child, she is expected to care for her eleven younger siblings and help meet the needs of her father’s congregation. While sitting with a widower’s six children, Michal is mistaken for his wife and is kidnapped. Her abductors encounter a group of escaped prisoners and offer her up as a distraction that allows them get away. The arrival of a third group sees her rescued before her virtue is lost, but they take her back to their ship, where she lands half-naked in an Irish giant’s arms.
Tristan O’Dea sails for Justin Vallé and commands the Yseult. His orders are to eventually see the young woman home, after deeming it safe to return, or take her wherever she wishes to go. But first, they need to know why she was in the home of the prison guard who’d been bribed to allow the escape. Remembering the feel of her in his arms, not trusting himself around her, he leaves the questioning to Vallé’s lieutenant, Rafe Quintanal.
Rafael Antonio Santiago Quintanal is the bastard son of Spain’s greatest female spy. He was born. Trained. Instructed in weapons and martial arts. Taught to obey without question and do his duty without fail. To safely return the vicar’s daughter means learning who she is, but she is a distraction he does not need. An inconvenience at the least. A liability if he lets her be one.
He’s never before let a woman that close—another thing he can place at his madre’s door. He doesn’t intend to start now.
Rafe watches her from a distance, curious as to what makes her tick. Like the workings of a clock, what gear engages her hands to shape a subservient pose, clasped primly at her waist, head slightly bowed, even when one corner of her mouth is curved with secret humor? What wisdom makes her fair skin seek the shade, and what lures her out, to lift her face to the sun before retreating to the safety found in the shadows? What kind of woman is she, to be associated with a beast like Lewis Simon, the night guard at Port Royal prison who enjoys making men cry? Is she so innocent, to know nothing of the man’s nature?
Who is she?
And why does he care?
Return proves impossible when O’Dea and Quintanal learn that Michal is wanted for murder. When both men offer her a chance at a future, the vicar’s unconventional daughter must choose between a gentle giant and a man who sleeps with a dagger under his pillow and a pistol by his bed.
Genre: Historical RomancePurchase link(s): Amazon
Content/Theme(s): Pirates, Intrigue, Multicultural
Release Date: February 1, 2017
Publisher: Long Branch Books
Excerpt & More
He was there. Somehow she had wanted the Spaniard to come. She burned for him. There was no hope for her. She very much feared that she was already lost.
“Tears?” He was so attuned to her, he knew she was crying before she realized it herself.
“It hurts,” she admitted, gripping the railing.
“I know,” he said, maintaining distance, making no move to touch her.
“Is there nothing to be done?” she asked, embarrassed by the torment in her voice, wishing she did not sound so desperate, wondering what he must think of her. “I fear I do not have your strength.”
It was late enough, the rest of the ship was asleep, save for those on the far watch, or below in the wheelhouse. The Spaniard came to stand behind her. His breath was hot on the back of her neck. Dressed in breeches as she was, when he pressed closer, she could feel his arousal, proof that he was not unaffected.
The gentle breeze did nothing to cool the fever in her blood.
“When I was in India,” she whispered, aware of the need for quiet, “my brother got hold of a book, and a girl who could tell me what it said. There were pictures,” she said, “of men, with women. They practiced different forms of touching, different paths to pleasure. There are ways to satisfy…without—without…penetration….” Oh, if he only knew how hard that was, for a vicar’s daughter to speak it! “There are other ways, if you think it important that I be a maiden still….”
“Niña dulce. Sweet girl,” he said, and taught her but one of them.
He kept his back to the ship, shielding her with his body as he pulled her to him, keeping the sides of their hips against the rail. Reaching around, he undid the buttons of her jacket and pulled her shirt free of her breeches. He slid his hands up her body, under her shirt, and claimed her aching breasts. He whispered for her to unfasten the top two buttons of her breeches, and he slid his fingers down her belly and through her nether curls until he found the hot, moist core of her that lay beyond. There was a place that crowned it like a jewel, and he cherished it.
Michal turned her head, as hungry for his kiss as she was for the touch of his magician’s hand, but he denied her the taste of him. Instead he tasted her, the lobe of her ear, the side of her neck, and the base of it. When he found the spot at the top of her back that made her shiver, he bit it. Not hard, just the scoring of his teeth. the suction of his mouth, and the pressure of his tongue upon her skin. The pressure built, and a new tension took hold. If not for the railing, she feared her trembling legs would not have supported her.
He knew what to do, and she let him.
She bit his finger to keep from crying out when she shattered in his arms.
He was not through, cruel fiend, and broke her twice more before he unfastened the buttons on his breeches, took her hand, and wrapped her fingers around his manhood. It was long and hard, erotic and exotic, an experience to add spice to her life, to be savored and relived in her memory once he was gone. The contrast was intriguing: a sheath of supple skin over a pillar of hard, male flesh that more than filled her hand.
She tried not to think of how it might fit, or how it would feel inside her.
Rafe thrust his hips, pushing into her small hand, guiding it with his own and pumping until their fingers found the rhythm that he needed to achieve his own release. His breath grew harsher. His rhythm quickened, then broke. Inhaling sharply, he pulled her hand away but kept stroking himself, pivoting just in time to spill his seed over the side.
Keeping his back to the rest of the ship, he turned her to face him, tucking in her shirt, fastening her borrowed breeches, buttoning the jacket that hid the twin jewels of her breasts. He had a harder time—his body yearned for her still—but he finally managed the buttons on his breeches.
He smoothed the hair from her heart-shaped face and brushed her lips with his, a silent benediction, marveling that the vicar’s daughter was her own book of revelations.
“I’m sorry if I hurt you.” Michal lifted his hand and kissed the finger she’d bitten. “I didn’t realize what would happen when you—when I…when I…came apart.”
“The little death. La petite mort, the French call it. Some women know nothing of it, their entire lives.”
And she’d died thrice. How extraordinary.
Society might dictate that she should be ashamed, but in this moment, she felt deliciously relieved, and oddly grateful. Lifting her face, she met his enigmatic gaze and simply said, “Thank you.”
Those carved lips curved in a tender smile. His voice was like black velvet. “Gracias y de nada.”
She repeated it, and he rewarded her efforts with a true kiss.
Framing her face with his hands, he brushed his lips across hers, then claimed her mouth with his own. It was exquisite, like making love with mouths and lips and tongue. He was a magician, stealing her breath so easily, she marveled at it, until something broke the spell he wove.
She felt him change, and knew the moment his awareness went beyond her, and years of training brought his survival instincts to immediate attention. She had no doubt, when real danger presented itself, they would both emerge unscathed.
Then another shift, and her heart sank to hear the sound of retreating footsteps, knowing only one man aboard with a giant’s stride. O’Dea. And she had hurt him.
“I will speak to him,” the Spaniard offered.
“No. Please.” Panic flitted across her face. She wondered how long he’d been there, how much he had seen.
“Just this,” he said. The last kiss.
She put her fingers to her lips. They still burned. And behind them, she still savored the taste of him.
Just the last kiss. If that was all he’d seen, she supposed she should give thanks. They might not have dishonored O’Dea in his bed, but she felt incredibly disrespectful at the moment. And yet, she was not entirely sorry that he’d come. Finding them above deck, kissing in the shadows, fully clothed…
It could have been much worse.
Purchase link(s): Amazon
Other titles by Erinn Ellender Quinn and her alter ego, Nia Farrell:
as You Want
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Be on the lookout for Erinn Ellender Quinn's future release(s): Dare the Wind coming April 2017
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