Weekenders Romance Watch
(Book Four can be read as a standalone.)
Author: Maggi Andersen
Genre: Mainstream Romance
Lady Charity Baxendale has long dreamed of becoming a renowned portrait painter. After she’s received two significant commissions from esteemed family members, a rakish Scottish baron commissions her to do his portrait, and she feels she is one step closer.
When Robin, Lord Stanberry, with whom Charity has had a long friendship, asks her to marry him, she must choose between marriage and her career. She refuses him, for he is heir to a dukedom, and Charity fears that not only would she be unsuited to life as a duchess but also that her burgeoning career might end before it begins. And besides, Robin has made no mention of love.
“But is that all I am to you?”
Her gaze sought his. “No, of course not. You are my very dear friend.”
Robin uncoiled himself from the chair. He leaned over her, silently removed her pencil from her fingers, and placed it beside the sketchbook on the table.
Charity watched him as if frozen, her eyes wide, as he took her hands and drew her to her feet.
His hand cupped her chin, and his mouth came down on hers.
Her heart thudding in her ears, Charity held on to his arms as they entrapped her. Like stone, they didn’t budge an inch as he purposefully slid his mouth over hers. She dropped her arms and murmured incoherently. His tongue pressed along the seam of her lips, and when she parted them, more to deter him than encourage him, his tongue dived inside her mouth.
She sagged as her breath deserted her, and she grasped his shoulders to stay upright when her knees almost buckled. The intimacy of such an act made all her senses come alive, his masculine smell, his strong body against hers, all sinew and bone and muscle, the sweet taste of his mouth, and his lips, taking possession.
“Charity!” he whispered, his breath hot against her ear.
Knowing she loved him, and how impossible that was, became almost more than she could bear. She pushed at his chest. “Let me go, please, Robin.”
Robin released her, and she sank back in the chair.
“I’ve been yearning to do that for a very long time,” he said, leaning against the desk beside her. The smile in his eyes contained a sensual flame. “I’d like you to think about that, Charity. Think what we might have, here, together.”