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Authors: The Prince of Pleasure

Nicole Jordan

BOOK: Nicole Jordan
9.33Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub






Cover Page

Title Page




Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen



Also by Nicole Jordan

Preview of Master Temptation

Excerpts by Nicole Jordan

Copyright Page



To my wonderful readers,
whose enjoyment of my stories
keeps me going



With special thanks to
the lovely ladies of the Beau Monde,
particularly that fount of Regency wisdom,
Nancy Mayer





Kent, England, August 1807


The scent of roses filled the summer afternoon, but Julienne Laurent scarcely noticed the sweet fragrance as she waited anxiously for her lover to arrive. What could be keeping him?

Her nerves on edge, she began pacing the cottage floor, her disquietude increasing with each passing moment. Today, Dare had intended to inform his grandfather of their betrothal, and she feared the elderly nobleman’s objections had been fierce.

Finally hearing hoofbeats, Julienne went to the open window to look out. The diminutive cottage where they held their lovers’ trysts lay nestled in a cherry orchard, hidden from direct view of the lane. When she spied the sleek horse and elegant rider, she momentarily forgot her anxiety.

Her heart thrilled at the sight of him, while her thighs clenched in anticipation. She could almost feel him moving inside her—

Flushing, Julienne tried to quell her shameful hunger. She was a wanton where Dare was concerned. She had surrendered her innocence to his expert seduction with a scandalous eagerness. But what mortal woman could possibly have resisted him?

She watched as he sprang lithely down from his horse and strode purposefully along the path through the overgrown rose garden. He moved with a combination of polished elegance and raw virility that stirred all her feminine instincts, while his handsomeness stole her very breath. Possessing lean, aristocratic features and fair hair that glimmered flaxen and gold in the sunlight, he was endowed with a physical beauty that startled at first glance.

But it was his outrageous charm and penetrating wit rather than his striking looks or exalted title that had ensnared her heart. His magnetism, too, was exhilarating. There was a hint of wildness about him, an unpredictability that made him dangerously exciting. Even his name, Dare, a shortened version of his middle name, Adair, fit him to perfection. He was called so by his friends because he was willing to dare almost any challenge.

Including her. He had worn her down with relentless persistence.

Despite all her scruples and misgivings, she had risked her heart and found love in the arms of a wicked rake she had once vowed to resist.

The door swung open, and Jeremy Adair North, the Earl of Clune, stood there, his vivid green eyes searching the small cottage impatiently. When his gaze fixed intently on her, the flare of heat in the emerald depths was unmistakable.

“Did you miss me?” he demanded, his low voice stroking her like velvet.



In three strides he was across the room, reaching for her. Only then did Julienne recognize the tension smoldering in him. She could see the fire of anger in his eyes, feel it in his touch.

“Dare, what is it—?” she began, but he cut her off.

“I don’t wish to talk.”

She was in his arms instantly, gathered hard against him. His hands twisted in her hair as his lips crushed down on hers.

His fierceness caught her off guard. Ordinarily he was an amazingly tender lover who made her feel cherished and adored. Yet his urgent hunger now aroused a matching response in her. Her senses reeling, Julienne forgot her questions and surrendered to his ardent embrace.

Moments later his scalding kiss ended and his attention shifted to her body. She wore no corset, and he easily freed her breasts from the confining muslin bodice. His hot mouth suckled her nipples forcefully as he backed her against the door.

Julienne gasped at the delicious sensations that flooded her. With no other preliminaries, he pulled up her skirts and thrust his seeking fingers between her thighs. She was already wet for him.

She heard his groan of approval, then his harsh whisper: “God, how I want you.”

He yanked at the front placket of his breeches as if he was desperate to have her. His penetration was hard and deep; her body trembled under the impact of it. He had never acted with such primal urgency, yet she made no protest. Instead Julienne moaned with incredible satisfaction as he filled her, excited beyond bearing.

He took her against the door, thrusting heavily into her with the sheer, overpowering need to mate. His sexual hunger was almost frantic, his rough fervor overwhelming. She wrapped herself around him, attempting to ease the violence of his desire, the raw intensity of his need—but then she too was caught up in the rush of heat, the burning fever. She clung to him, gasping, her hips writhing as she strained to take him even deeper into her body.

His release came swiftly. She felt the shudders that rocketed through him before the same frenzied explosion swept her. A hoarse cry burst from her as she succumbed to him with abandonment.

When the searing aftershocks faded, she realized Dare had sagged against her, pinning her to the door with his lean hardness. He was still panting for breath as he buried his face in the curve of her throat.

“My lovely Jewel,” he rasped finally. “Did I hurt you?”

“No,” she lied, ignoring the protest of twinging feminine tissues, content to savor the aftermath of his exquisite ravishment.

Eventually, however, he drew away. Lifting her in his arms, he bore her soft and willing to the bed in the adjacent room, where he undressed her with his usual attentive care.

When he was naked as well, he lay beside her and gathered her against him, then closed his eyes.

Silence reigned for a time.

Julienne yearned to know what had kindled his dark mood, yet she was afraid to ask if he had spoken to his grandfather. Finally, though, she could bear the uncertainty no longer.

“What did he say?”

At Dare’s continued silence, her heart sank. The Marquess of Wolverton would not want his only grandson and heir to wed a French émigré, even if her pedigree was nearly as distinguished as their own. She was still considered a foreigner by many, for all that she had lived in England since she was four years old.

Julienne raised herself on one elbow so that she might search Dare’s face. The frown between his eyes told her more than any words ever could. “Your grandfather refuses to accept me as your bride, is that so?”

“He has no say in the matter,” Dare answered grimly.

She tried to steel herself against the hollowness in her chest. She was of noble birth, the daughter of the late Compte de Folmont, who had been guillotined during the Terror in France. But she owned a hat shop, and the stench of trade clung to her, tainting any claim to aristocracy she might have made. Yet she had never regretted her lost birthright as much as at this moment.

“He will not sanction our marriage,” she said, her tone dismal.

Dare’s lean jaw clenched. “My grandfather’s wishes mean nothing to me.” Reaching up, he clasped her face gently while his searing green gaze searched her face. “I want us to elope, Julienne.”

“Elope?” she repeated doubtfully.

“Yes, elope…leap over the anvil…flee to Gretna. It is but three days to the Scottish border, and we could be married next week.”


“If you love me, you will come with me. Do you love me, my precious Jewel?”

She loved him so much, it was an ache inside her. Yet it distressed her to think she would come between Dare and his grandfather, who was practically his only family. “Of course I love you. My heart is yours. But elopement…It is such an irrevocable step. Your grandfather will be even more enraged by such rashness, won’t he?”

“I trust he will be,” Dare replied darkly.

“Perhaps we would do better to let him grow accustomed to the prospect of our marriage.”

His bark of humorless laughter told her how improbable her suggestion was, but then he shook his head. “Stop worrying so much about my damned grandfather.”

“It is not your grandfather who worries me,” Julienne said, carefully choosing her words. “It is you, Dare. If we rush into an elopement, you might someday regret it. You might even come to despise me.”

His gaze speared hers, holding her riveted. “That could never happen.” Rolling over with her, he pinned her naked body beneath his own. “I know what I want, Julienne, and it is you, as my wife. Forever. Nothing could change what I feel for you.”

Despite the heat in his passionate declaration, a sudden chill swept Julienne with enough force to make her shudder. She couldn’t shake the fear that their happiness would never last.

Yet she shut her eyes and gave herself up to Dare’s embrace, hoping with all her heart that he would never have cause to rescind his fervent vow.






London, March 1814


Flickering firelight cast a golden glow over Dare’s nude body as he stood before the bedchamber hearth, yet no flame could warm the chill in his heart. His mind flooded by thoughts of a beautiful, deceptive enchantress, he stared down at the playbill advertising her latest performance at the Drury Lane Theater.

Julienne Laurent.

He didn’t need the artist’s sketch to prod his recollection, for everything about her was burned into his memory. Images of her assaulted him: her exquisite body arched in passion. Her sleek limbs wrapped around him. Her luxurious hair like a mantle of sable fire about her shoulders. Her skin so flawlessly white, it looked like fine porcelain. Her laughter and her smile. Her keen wit. Her dark, luminous eyes with their incredible sensuality…

BOOK: Nicole Jordan
9.33Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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