Colin didn’t stop to think. His body simply responded by instinct. Cupping her cheek
in his hand, he slowly lowered his face to hers, their eyes never breaking contact. There
was plenty of time for her to pull back, or even just turn her head and reject his kiss, but
she didn’t. Then his lips touched hers and time hung suspended.
She was soft, so very soft. His hand tightened on her waist as his lips moved against
hers. When he lightly nipped her full lower lip, she let out an inarticulate cry, which gave
him the opportunity to slip the tip of his tongue inside her mouth.
Oh, lord, she tasted like heaven. How had he ever been attracted to willowy blondes
who never did a day’s work in their lives? This woman, curvy, sweet and strong, felt
perfect in his arms. Her untutored but eager response to his kiss had him reaching for the
fastening of her gown. Watching her discover passion was like watching a flower bloom.
She didn’t stop him as he untied the tapes at the back of her gown, making the snug
bodice droop off her shoulders. The sleeves trapped her arms at her sides and he nudged
her shift down as well, revealing two lush, white mounds. With one arm still wrapped
about her waist to hold her still, he used the other to cup one of her heavy breasts. Her
nipples were small, but tautly furled and he grazed it gently with his thumb, wondering
how it would taste.
“Oh!” She pulled away from him, clutching the burning oil lamp that she’d clearly
Colin swallowed hard and sagged against the doorframe. Holy hell, they’d nearly
burned the house down, literally as well as figuratively. With his own hands shaking more
than he’d like to admit, he reached out and took the lamp from Augusta’s hands, while she
made an effort to cover herself. Christ, he’d nearly deflowered an innocent.
“I’d apologize, but it would be a lie,” he said thickly, setting the lamp down on a
nearby chest. “I am sorry for getting carried away though.”
“I-ah-” She squeezed her eyes shut and backed out the doorway until her back
bumped into the wall of the corridor behind her. “G-g-goodnight, my lord.”
“Colin,” he told her as she turned and fled toward the kitchen, without so much as a
candle to light her way. “After that, you had probably better know my name.”