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Vanessa Liebe Smuggler’s Bounty
Elizabeth Thornton is left all alone in Georgian England after losing her parents in a tragic accident, so she travels to Cornwall to live with her kindly, older, and very proper Aunt Judith. Soon, however, she begins to suspect her aunt of hiding something nefarious. Determined to learn the truth behind the strange goings on, she sets out on a quest for the truth. A quest that leads to danger, and trouble with the law, and a very handsome smuggler with a firm hand and smoldering, sexy eyes who is as determined to keep Elizabeth safe as she seems to be to put herself in harm’s way.
William is growing tired of the smuggler’s life of danger and instability. If he can just finish his last run, he can give it all up and finally settle down, find love, and start a family. But he already has a preventative officer hot on his heels who is determined to end his career and throw him in jail – or worse. The beautiful, headstrong Elizabeth is a complication he does not need. But she, too, is hot on his heels – and irresistible. Now he must avoid capture, and find time to discipline this woman with an appetite for adventure, who seems determined to steal his heart.
When these two are together passions ignite, sparks fly, and danger lurks around every corner. Can Elizabeth and William avoid the law? Will they finally find the happiness that has so long eluded them both?
She closed the library door and immediately went over to the fireplace with her lantern.
She managed to light the candle in it with the tinder box she’d been given and then pulled on the fire poker once more. The entrance slid open and she ducked down to go inside. She was so keen to explore that she didn’t consider that it might be dangerous, and simply stepped into the tunnel. There was a catch just inside the tunnel that closed the door behind her.
Elizabeth took a deep breath and walked forward with her lantern lighting the way. The tunnel was all wooden paneling at first and so she thought she must still be inside the house. But she soon came to some steps that led a long way down. Then she had to be careful, holding the lantern and her skirts up around her as she made her way carefully down them. When she reached the bottom, the walls were roughly hewn rock and she felt that thrill of adventure again as she realized that she must be underground somewhere.
Elizabeth was so preoccupied with her thoughts that it was a complete shock when she was suddenly grabbed from the side. She dropped her lantern with a shriek and the glass casing smashed. The candle sputtered out and she was left in complete darkness with the man who had grabbed her. He covered her mouth to stop her cries and held her tightly against him.
Elizabeth kicked and struggled in panic before biting hard into the hand that covered her mouth. The man swore but held onto her.
“Curiosity killed the cat, sweetness,” the man purred into her ear, causing her neck hairs to stand on end. “And if you bite me again you little hell cat, I’ll bite back.”
She shivered in fear, and something else she’d rather not admit to, at the sound of that voice. It was the handsome smuggler from last night – the leader. Although Elizabeth was scared of what he might do with her for meddling, she hoped that she could reason with him, especially if she let him know who her aunt was. However, all coherent thought stopped as he ran a hand over her body.
“I’d better check you for weapons.” It was whispered into her ear and she gasped as her nipples tightened in response to him. His hand ran quickly over her chest, briefly squeezing her full breasts through her gown and she was almost disappointed that it didn’t linger. Instead it moved quickly down, over her stomach and then back up over each of her arms.
“Do I need to check under your skirts, girl? Do you have a weapon strapped to a shapely leg perhaps?”
Elizabeth gulped and shook her head violently. Please don’t let him check there.
He removed his hand from her mouth so that she could speak.
“No.” Her voice came out as a squeak. “Please… I haven’t got any weapons.”
For a moment the man just held her against his hard chest and she felt like swooning.
He was so overwhelming. But then he pulled her into a strange little niche in the rocks that had been converted into a small room. He let her go while he shut the door behind him. The room was well lit by candles and she saw a desk strewn with papers in front of her before she whirled around to face him. She looked at him defiantly then almost gasped aloud at the devastating effect of the man up close. He really was gorgeously made.
“What are you going to do with me?” she asked nervously, licking her lips and unintentionally drawing his eyes to their moist softness.
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