- N. N. Light
One Little Indiscretion by Sandra Sookoo is a Best Books of '22 pick #historicalromance #giveaway
Title: One Little Indiscretion (Singular Sensation #1)
Author: Sandra Sookoo
Genre: historical romance, Regency romance, romantic suspense
A proper gentleman. A desperate lady. One little indiscretion that will change their lives.
Carew Harcourt Fitzwilliam—Duke of Edenthorpe—is dreadfully dissatisfied with his life. Engaged since childhood to a woman unsuited to him, he feels trapped and hopeless. What he needs is a distraction, which comes in the form of a possible jewelry heist. Too bad it has arrived with his best friend’s sister, now a beauty he can’t banish from his mind.
Miss Leah Haddington, only daughter of Baron Langley, can square with being overlooked by men in the ton due to her auburn hair and freckles, but being left penniless by her father’s gambling is beyond the pale. There’s only one man who can help retrieve a stolen bauble—her deceased brother’s best friend. It matters not that a forbidden attraction is brewing between them. He’s engaged to another, so where is the harm in a partnership?
As they plot and plan their way through ton ballrooms and a practice theft in a bid to snag a missing tiara, that desire ignites. A heated, passionate mistake, to be sure, for he’s to wed someone else in mere days, but the need to belong was too strong to ignore. When the theft goes awry and danger is brought to bear, they must both decide what they want more from life—staid security based in expectation and tradition or unpredictable scandal born out of unexpected love.
Eventually, they reached a narrow set of stairs that would lead to the first story of the house. The trouble with wooden treads was that inevitably a few of them would squeak. Never had he put much thought into the problem, for he rarely visited his own servants’ hall or quarters, but perhaps he should now. By the time he and Leah gained the upper floor, a megrim was forming in his temples from the stress of the moment.
When he was a younger man, none of that bore consideration. There had been a certain rush, a level of excitement each time he went out for the purpose of stealing something. With Leah in tow, every second was fraught with worry.
For him or her?
But breathing was easier out of the servants’ hall. “The drawing room should be on the second story, at least if this floorplan follows mine.”
“I’ll wager I can beat you there,” she whispered seconds before she darted across the open space that served as a reception hall. Before he knew it, she’d gained the grand staircase that led into deeper shadows.
Impossibly, perhaps recklessly, he gave into the lark. “Cheater.” As fast as his shredded thigh muscles would allow, Harcourt followed her. Pain accompanied each step, but he ignored it. Laudanum awaited him once he arrived home, and there was brandy in the offing once in the drawing room.
Of course, he arrived at the designated safe spot later than she had, but he didn’t mind. Leah had thrown open the heavy drapes at one of the floor-to-ceiling windows. Moonlight illuminated the small area where she stood, and the russet color of her tightly bound hair glimmered. Her backlit silhouette fired his imagination and set a match to the tiny fires already simmering in his blood.
“I won!” Victory lay stamped across her face while a thrill threaded through her voice. She held up the brandy bottle. “This has been a singularly banner day that I’ll not soon forget.” A grin curved those kissable lips. “Thank you, Harcourt.”
“Truly, it was my pleasure.” Would he go through the experience again with her? Yes, but perhaps at his own townhouse. “All right, then. The last item on our list is taking a drink of brandy.” He gestured theatrically with his free hand. “If you’ll do the honors?”
Anticipation twinkled in her eyes. “I’ve never had brandy before.” But she pulled the cork from the bottle and tossed it away as if she were the lady of the manor.
“I’ll caution that it burns in the throat until you grow accustomed to it.” He couldn’t help a slight grin of his own, for in this, he would further corrupt her. What would Langley have said about that? Knowing him, he would have lectured but then allowed it, for he could deny his sister nothing.
“To a job well done.” Leah saluted him with the bottle, brought it to her lips, and then took a tentative swig. Seconds after swallowing, she entered a coughing fit while her eyes streamed. “Oh, that’s quite nasty.”
“It sometimes can be.” Harcourt took the bottle from her. This was somewhat of a special moment that wasn’t lost on him. After indulging in a few swallows, he set the bottle on a nearby occasional table. “And that, my dear, has concluded your first mission of thievery. Did you enjoy it?”
“Very much.” She gazed up at him, for she was quite short, and the blatant happiness in her blue eyes threatened to suck him under. “I wouldn’t mind doing this all over again.”
“Honestly, neither would I.” Then, because he’d apparently lost his damn mind and she looked so bloody fetching in her thief attire, he caught her into his arms and brought his lips crashing down on hers. His cane fell to the carpet with a dull thud.
For a fleeting second, Leah froze, met his gaze with surprise in her expressive eyes, but then she uttered a sigh mixed with a moan, looped her arms about his shoulders, and applied herself to kissing him back.
It was much as if a match had been dropped onto a pile of tinder. In next to no time, the heat of inferno consumed him. Needing so much more from her, Harcourt walked her backward until the window prevented further ambulation. When that contact wasn’t enough, he slipped his hands beneath her thighs and hefted her upward, pressing her back against the window and trapping her between that and his body. Dear God, she tasted of brandy and innocence and daring; it was a heady combination that he chased with every frantic meeting of their mouths.
It took very little coaxing for her lips to part. The second his tongue touched hers and the glide of satin and silk made the connection with his brain, Harcourt was lost. Over and over again, he fenced with her, explored her mouth, tangled with her tongue as if he were but a green youth who’d never kissed a woman before.
Leah gave him as good as she got. It was only natural her legs went about his waist, her ankles locked at the small of his back. The insistent pulse of his erection pressed tight into the front of his trousers, and desperate to alleviate the tension, he ground his hips into hers. That provided only a modicum of relief, and if anything sent more intense need pinwheeling through that organ.
When a tiny mewl escaped her, quickly followed by a barely audible moan, the last vestiges of his sanity wavered. She nibbled and nipped at his bottom lip then left his mouth entirely to press featherweight kisses beneath his jaw. When she found a particularly sensitive spot, desire exploded throughout his body. The rightness of having her in his arms, of kissing her thoroughly plowed into him with the force of a blow. Why didn’t he have this with his fiancée?
What the devil are you doing to me, Leah? And why the hell was he letting her?
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What makes your featured book a must-read?
It’s the first book in a new series featuring titled men who are jewel thieves and who had served in the military together finding love in unexpected ways.
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Sandra Sookoo is a USA Today bestselling author who firmly believes every person deserves acceptance and a happy ending. She’s written for publication since 2008. Most days you can find her creating scandal and mischief in the Regency-era, serendipity and happenstance in the Victorian era, or historical romantic suspense complete with mystery and intrigue. Reading is a lot like eating chocolates—you can’t just have one book. Good thing they don’t have calories!
When she’s not wearing out computer keyboards, Sandra spends time with her real-life Prince Charming in Central Indiana where she’s been known to bake cookies and make moments count because the key to life is laughter. A Disney fan since the age of ten, when her soul gets bogged down and her imagination flags, a trip to Walt Disney World is in order. Nothing fuels her dreams more than the land of eternal happy endings, hope and love stories.
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