'You’re playing a dangerous game.' But is she playing for business, or pleasure?
Fourteen days. That’s how long exiled Duke Sebastian gives art valuer Sia Keating to try and prove he stole a famous painting. Once she has proof, she’ll demand her job back! She’s worked too hard to build her reputation and throw off her father’s corrupt shadow. She won’t go down without a fight.
But having complete access to his life doesn’t mean Sia can breach the gap Sebastian keeps between himself and the world. That’s something only embracing their dangerous attraction can do…
Sia soon found herself deposited into a beautiful mahogany stool lined with a worn green leather seat at the bar of Victoriana, in front of a man looking expectantly at her with a broad smile.
‘What’s your poison?’
Sebastian Rohan de Luen, she thought.
The barman interpreted her silence as confusion and pressed on, not unkindly, with another question. ‘What flavours do you like?’
‘Ginger. Rum,’ she decided. Not usually much of a drinker, Sia thought that some Dutch courage wouldn’t go amiss. But she would stop at the one. Because instinctively she knew that she would need all her wits about her.
While the barman created her cocktail Sia scanned the room, trying not to show her surprise at the number of famous faces she saw. A TV star sat with the male model currently gracing Piccadilly Circus’s illuminated advertising boards. A politician was pressing far too closely into someone he really shouldn’t have been, and a news presenter was having a heated debate with a foreign dignitary.
But all of them faded into the background the moment that she caught sight of the tall, dark figure in the far corner of the room, bending slightly as if to hear what the beautiful woman he was talking to was saying.
She had found the Spanish Duke, but felt as if she were the one in the trap—not him.
She couldn’t pull her eyes away. It was as if she’d been set alight and was painfully conscious of everything—the feel of silk against her skin, the gentle hum of voices around her, the way that the light glinted on the large red jewel on the necklace of the woman he was talking to. But, aware as she was of all those things, nothing was more prominent than him.
His profile was powerful. The faint trace of stubble marked a proud jawline, framing his features, and matched the thick waves of burnt umber coloured hair on his head, making her hands twitch reflexively. Even in the shadowed lighting of the corner where he and his companion stood, she could see the almost honeyed colour of his skin, rich and tempting. The exquisite cut of his clearly expensive suit outlined broad shoulders, a flat stomach and firm thighs. And, for the first time in what felt like for ever, she itched for a sketchpad. She wanted to trace the outline of his features, copy them, fill the page with the impression of…
She saw him still. It was an almost imperceptible absence of movement probably unnoticeable to anyone, but she had been so focused on him it blared at her like an alarm.
Unerringly, Sebastian Rohan de Luen, lifted his head and gazed directly into her eyes. Her heart missed its next beat, her breath caught in her throat and she nearly cursed when she saw the same ghost of a smile she recognised from the security footage from Bonnaire’s.
He might be the most handsome man she’d ever seen, he might own a dozen four-star hotels around the world, he might be titled, but he was also the man who had singlehandedly destroyed her career and her future.
And she wasn’t going to let him get away with it.
Helen, 4*, Goodreads