Take a look at these sexy excerpts from Kate Noble’s The Lie and the Lady, but be warned – there are both PG and R rated excerpts below.
In The Lie and the Lady, Leticia Churzy has dealt with the humiliation of fate’s cruelest joke – falling for a servant posing as an Earl. Now, she and John Turner find themselves living in the same small town – he’s running the local mill and she’s about to marry a wealthy gentleman. But can they keep their past a secret from everyone around them? And how do they avoid the temptation each poses for the other?
They were the words she had been dreading all day—and the ones that echoed in her head, the deep rumble of his voice like a memory not yet had. She knew that he would come to her. She knew that they would find a way to talk—they had to, obviously.
But she was not expecting it to be here.
In her robe. In her room.
Her bed mere feet away.
She’d assumed she’d put all those thoughts away. Enough time and anger had buried them. And while they had been forced to spend the day in proximity to each other, thoughts of bed and soft sheets and softer skin had never entered her mind.
Until he entered her room.
Now, no matter what discipline she imposed on herself, her bed was where her mind ended up.
Don’t be a fool, she told herself. It’s not as if you and he ever—
But they had gotten so close. Closer than Leticia had ever allowed anyone.
A flood of memories filled her body. His skin next to hers . . .
Her fingers, exploring . . .
His eyes, the next day, when she found out about the Lie.
“I must ask that you refrain from calling me by a diminutive,” she said, bearing herself upright while putting as much distance between them as possible. Which wasn’t easy—he seemed to take up every bit of air in the room. “We are, after all, strangers.”
A wry smile twisted his lips. “And I must ask that you refrain from calling us strangers. At least while we are alone.”
“I have no intention of ever being alone with you again after this,” Leticia replied. “Tell me, do you often force yourself into ladies’ bedchambers? If so, I must put some locks on Margaret’s doors.”
“Now, now. You invited me. Both times.”
“That was different,” she replied quietly. “We were different.”
He held up his hands in surrender. “Fair enough,” he said. “Why are you here, Letty?”
“I’m marrying a man I adore and living happily ever after,” she answered.
Now he folded his arms over his chest. “Do me the greatest of favors. Since this is the one and only time we will be alone together, don’t lie to me. And I won’t lie to you.”
“You, not lie?” she said. “How very novel.”
It was reckless.
She knew it as his lips met hers. As her hands clutched the lapels of his coat, as his surprise melted into want, she knew that this was the most reckless thing she could possibly do.
And she didn’t care.
There was only one explanation for her actions, she decided: she had lost her mind.
His warm breath fell across her cheek as he broke free from their kiss, moving his mouth down to her jaw, her neck, to that little notch at the base of her throat. A rough gasp escaped as his hands slid their way down her back, lower, to the rounded rise of her bottom.
“You have . . . amazing hands,” she said, her voice shaking, as those wonderful fingers danced over the thin linen of her dressing gown—the only thing between his hands and her skin.
But it was as if her voice broke through his haze, and his head came up.
“I have to tell you . . .” He struggled with the words. “We . . . we should not—”
She took two deep breaths, trying to calm her racing heart. Perhaps he was right. Perhaps . . .
“We shouldn’t?” she asked, as her dressing gown—completely of its own volition!—slid off one perfect shoulder.
“Oh hell,” he growled, and his mouth found hers again.
Clothes fell away as they groped their way to the bed. His coat hit the floor. His cravat, already hanging loose, was a nuisance. And why oh why did men’s shirts have to have buttons?
But soon enough, her dressing gown was parted, exposing her breasts to the cool night air, and she had other things on her mind.
Namely him. This man who breathed out a long, shaking whistle upon seeing her.
She’d never been looked at like that before. Not by Konrad. Not by anyone. It made her feel . . .
His hands—such marvelous hands!—traced the curve of her high breast (although not as high as it once was) and cupped its weight before his head lowered to taste her.
“Ned. Oh, Ned.” The night air echoed with his name.
His hands, making their way up her legs, stopped midway through the journey. His mouth, lavishing all possible praise on her breasts, simply froze.
Leticia stilled. “Ned?”
“Don’t . . . don’t call me that,” he rasped, his head coming up. In the dark she could not see his eyes. Could not see what he meant.
“I’m sorry . . . I shouldn’t have presumed to call you by your first name,” she whispered. “I simply thought, since you and I . . . since tonight . . .” But not even since tonight. He’d been calling her Letty, a name she hadn’t allowed spoken outside of her own head in nearly twenty years, since he’d arrived. It started as a joke. But secretly she loved it.
“No, don’t apologize,” he said quickly.
“Ashby . . .”
“Not that either,” he bit out, so harshly it startled her.
“Then what should I call you?” she asked, worry beginning to creep into her imagination. “Darling?”
He didn’t reply.
“. . . My love?” she said, biting her lip.
“We cannot do this. Not now,” he said, moving away from her. He sat up on his knees. The cold air against her skin was almost painful. The familiar disappointment was worse.
“I understand,” she said, closing the dressing gown around her body.
“No, you don’t,” he said, raking a hand through his dark hair. “I have to say something to you . . . before we make any mistakes. And I cannot do it now,” he said, his eyes falling over her body, then quickly shooting back up to her face. “I won’t make it through two sentences.”
“Ash—I mean, my love, whatever it is, you can tell me,” she said, sitting up. She reached out to him with her free hand, caressing the side of his face. He leaned into her palm, a whimper of want escaping his throat.
But he took her hand in his, stilling it against his cheek. “And I will,” he said, resolve filling his voice. “Tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow,” he promised, taking her hand and kissing the palm. “Tomorrow I will . . . say what needs to be said.”
His kisses moved from her palm to the crook of her elbow, pulling her closer, drugging her. Torturing himself.
“Nmmmmmnh,” was the whine as he broke free, finally this time, leaping off the bed and picking up his clothes lying crumpled in puddles on the floor.
And then he was gone.