From upcoming release, A Lot Like a Lady, a Regency Romance by Kay Springsteen and Kim Bowman:
Magpie pressed one hand to the gown at her chest, closing the gap, as she reached with her other hand and plucked Will’s letter from the floor. When she bobbed upward again, she stood just outside arm’s reach. Her eyes widened and her nostrils flared like a scared horse when her lips parted and she drew in a sharp breath. But she didn’t step back.
“Thank you,” murmured Grey, accepting the paper and tossing it on his desk. “It is…merely a letter from my brother.”
“Your brother?” Magpie blinked several times, confusion clouding her gaze. “Oh, yes. William.”
The sound of Will’s name on her lips raised Grey’s ire, and he took a step forward. “Why is it you seem to have such trouble using my name yet the names of other men so easily roll past your lips?”
Magpie retreated a step. “I-I…don’t know what you mean.”
“Indeed. ‘Are you unwell, your grace?’…’The ball was lovely, your grace.’” Grey inched forward. “‘Thank you for seeing me to bed, your grace’…”
With a soft gasp, the little bird took another step away, but found herself trapped with her back to his desk. “I’m sorry, your—I…”
Her chest rose and fell rapidly and she seemed to shrink into herself. Grey was well aware he intimidated her, even more so as he stepped closer to her. She swallowed hard. The spun gold of her hair reflected the firelight as it caressed her shoulders, and he ran the flats of his thumbs across the ends of his fingers, yearning to thread his hands through those silky tresses. The heat from the fire was as nothing compared to the need that seared him, beginning in his belly and flashing through his veins.
She trembled…or perhaps he did.
He sighed, and then found himself pleading softly, “Do you think—just this once—you might find it within you to call me by my name?”
Of a sudden, the tension drained from her and Magpie straightened her back. Then she smiled, and a hint of mischief sparked in her eyes. “Which name would that be, Graeme Roland Dominick Markwythe?”
“Or perhaps I should just call you…Grey,” she whispered as he crowded her against the desk.
“Grey,” he murmured as his mouth brushed over hers and retreated a fraction. “Definitely Grey.” He crushed his lips to hers. His body exploded in a conflagration of shameless desire, and Grey settled his hands on the magpie’s waist, spanning it with splayed fingers. When she didn’t resist, he gave himself over to the moment and molded her gentle curves against him.
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