Page 6 of Earls Prize Curves

“Why did you run? Who did you see downstairs that sent you scampering away like a fox on the hunt?”

Miss Netherfield bit her lip and avoided his gaze. “It’s none of your concern. If you’ll pardon me, I must return home. My parents will worry about where I’ve been for so long.”

“You’re lying.” He crowded her against the shelf at her back, inhaling the whiff of cinnamon clinging to her skin.You’re too close, his mind warned, but Hugh promptly ignored the reprimand. Base instinct overpowered common sense. “You should’ve escaped downstairs if you wanted to go home, not run deeper into this labyrinth.”

“I needed to return this book first.” She haphazardly shoved the novel in her hand onto a random shelf. Triumph brightened her features, and he almost chuckled at her satisfied glee. The minx had a way of turning every conversation into a game, even if it wasn’t her intention.

And Hugh found himself in desperate need of her brand of playfulness.

“I see…” Their chests grazed each other as he closed the space between them. The outline of her pebbled nipples pressed against her bodice, and Hugh imagined the sweet buds between his teeth, his tongue lashing the sensitive tips. “So, now you’ll be on your way home?”


Clara knew her position to be precarious.

What had started as a much needed escape during her parents’ nap had morphed into being stuck between Lord Covington and Lord Evanston.

Don’t pretend you don’t prefer feeling the heat of Lord Covington on your skin rather than conversing with Lord Evanston downstairs.

But she absolutelyshouldn’tprefer it.

Shouldn’t wonder what the touch of his lips to hers would feel like in this musty part of the bookshop.

“Yes, I should be leaving. If you’ll excuse me, my lord?” Clara mustered a semblance of composure and stepped forward—or, at least, she tried to. Except Covington wouldn’t budge. His firm body remained stuck in place like one of the marble statues on display throughout the Temple of Muses.

A Roman god intent on his very own sacrificial virgin.

Where in the world did that thought come from?

Perhaps Ihavebeen reading too many romance novels…

They were at an impasse. Words failed to materialize—either from Clara to repeat her request or from Covington to… well, she wasn’t quite sure what she hoped he’d say.

Though she knew what she’d like him todo.

His head dipped lower as her lashes fluttered closed. This was wrong. She should think of Sarah and Mary. But what’s one kiss?

A scandalous kiss she could dream about for years to come. Something to warm her in the lonely nights to come as Lord Evanston’s wife. Surely, they wouldn’t begrudge her that bit of comfort.

“Miss Netherfield…” The dark rasp of Covington’s voice glided over her senses, tingling in her aching breasts then lower to settle between her thighs.

But just as she could’ve sworn she felt the faintest caress of his mouth, a shout erupted in the next aisle followed by the tumbling of heavy tomes. Covington lurched backward—his broad shoulders bumping a bookshelf—and reality crashed forth.

What was she thinking about dallying with her friends’ father in a bookshop?

Had she lost the last of her wits?

“My apologies, Miss Netherfield.”

“Think nothing of it, my lord. If you’ll excuse me…” This time when Clara pushed forward, he allowed her to pass with ease, although their bodies still skimmed the other’s in the tight space.

Once free of the aisle and the mesmerizing presence of Covington, she carefully descended the Temple of Muses, assuring herself of Lord Evanston’s preoccupation as she evaded his notice to exit the shop.

The London air was tinged with smoke and horses, but Clara didn’t mind. It was as fresh as a bouquet of daisies after nearly falling victim to Covington’s bergamot cologne—one of his many attractive qualities.

No, you mustn’t think that way.

Objectively, the older lord was handsome, but he still had stolenHer Dark Earlfrom Clara.

Tags: Jemma Frost Historical
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