Visiting an old English castle, Carla Morgan falls asleep with a book of poetry on her lap. And awakens to 19th century England complete with its own Duke. A deliciously arrogant man with more than enough sex appeal to curl her toes and make her forget all about life in 2004. Sinclair, Duke of Heath, doesn't want another wife, but when the village soothsayer tells him Carla Morgan is his destiny, his curiosity is piqued. And while one look at the sleeping vixen on the settee bids him to accept what the fates have decreed, one taste tells him he can do nothing less. With mind-blowing sex to muddy the waters, Carla has to decide where her true destiny lies-in the arms of this duke or with her old boring life. And when the portal opens to enable her to return home, Sinclair makes it very clear he wants her to stay. She never much cared for modern convenience anyway. After all, what good is technology without love and excellent sex.
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November 13, 2009
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Excerpt from Choices by Rachel Carrington
Refreshed from her bath, Carla wasn't prepared for the blast of cold air that greeted her the moment she walked out of the bedchamber. Teeth chattering, she slid her hand along the wall to guide her way down the dimly lit corridor. A faint glow at the end guided her to the drawing room.
Sinclair heard her approach and stood, a flask of brandy in his hand. "You are shivering. Come. Sit with me." He extended his hand and Carla surprised herself by taking it, allowing him to draw her into the circle of his arms.
The heat of the fire quickly erased the iciness from her skin and Carla found herself relaxing in the simplicity of the night. Settled against Sinclair's shoulder, she sat beside him on the narrow settee. The glow of the flames threw his profile into stark relief and she was caught again by the sheer perfection of his face. Here was a man that had captured the fates' good fortune. They had smiled upon him and bestowed him with the features of a god, strong, aristocratic and boldly handsome.
Sinclair turned, dark eyes catching the surveillance. He smiled. "You are watching me."
Boldly, Carla lifted a hand and touched his cheek. "I'm sure you've had other women watch you. This cannot come as a shock to you."
The smile deepened. "You are attracted to me."
Could he not hear her pussy whispering his name? Her breath caught in her throat. "Yes, I am."
"But because you are leaving, you wish to keep distance between us."
"I've known you a day and a half. I think it's wise to keep distance right now."
She captured his interest. "You need time. I can wait."
Carla was flustered, which was unusual for her. She'd come from a long line of poised, confident people. She wasn't accustomed to losing control of any given situation. "I didn't say that. I have every intention of leaving here."
"Yes, but you still have to find a way."
"It would be quicker if you would help me."
The flask tipped against his lips, lips that Carla had touched, felt against her own and her skin tingled. His eyes met hers over the rim.
"I think you don't really want me to help."
He read her thoughts too accurately. She shifted away from him, drawing the dressing gown tighter around her slender frame. "What are you talking about? You don't know anything about me."
"I know you."
"No, you don't." Was that hysteria she heard in her own voice? "You can't know me."
"The fates have told me what I need to know."
"Then why won't you tell me?"
"Because you would not believe me." A log popped and hissed in the grate and sparks littered the floor, creating a bright, orange shower at their feet.
Instinctively, Carla drew her knees up close to her chest. Sinclair placed his hand over her arm. "The fire will only burn you if you get too close to it. You are far enough away."
Carla sensed an underlying meaning to his words, but wisely chose to change the subject. "Where am I going to sleep and please don't say your bed."
Sinclair laughed aloud, a full throaty sound. "You will sleep in the bedchamber joining mine. You will be quite safe. It will get cold in the night. Nettie will give you additional coverlets." He focused his full attention on her face. "I could make you want to stay with me, Carla, but I will leave the choice to you."
Her breath shot out of her lips and her hands shook. "You may be able to make me stay with you, but you will never be able to make me want to stay in this century. I'm used to the things that this age cannot provide me. That is why I have to go back."
Sinclair didn't argue with her. "Are you ready for bed?"
If the truth were told, she wanted to stay here with him, listening to the low vibration of his voice, the sizzle of the flames and smelling the burning wood. But common sense propelled her to her feet. "I think so. Don't get up. I can find my own way. Goodnight, Sinclair." She paused. "It is alright if I call you Sinclair, isn't it? I mean, you mentioned that only our closest relatives called you Sinclair."
"And friends. My friends call me by my Christian name as well. We will be friends." He held out one hand in a gesture of friendship, but when Carla slipped her hand in his, he tugged her back down onto the settee. She fell against his hard chest and electrical shocks climbed from the soles of her feet to the base of her spine. "Look at me, Carla."
She opened her eyes in time to see his lips drawing closer. Her lids drifted down again and she leaned forward, anticipating the return of the kiss. She expected softness, but Sinclair had another plan. He cupped the back of her neck and ravaged her lips, leaving her breathless, disheveled and uncertain. His tongue danced with hers as he tasted her intimately and Carla found herself wanting to clamp his hand against the dampness between her thighs.
Then Sinclair released her and with a sexy grin, murmured, "Goodnight, Carla."
She didn't know what to say. She turned and walked away, her feet becoming sluggish as they carried her back down the hallway to the dark bedroom. A room that held no warmth even was it furnished with a blazing furnace. Although her bedroom in the twenty-first century had available heat, she couldn't say that it was any more inviting than this one. She was still going to bed alone and for the first time in a very long time, longer than she could even remember, another option almost destroyed her willpower.
She paused to consider that option, her heart beating rapidly within her breast. What type of lover would Sinclair be? Would he take his time, enjoying every inch of her body and allowing her to discover his or would he rip the clothes from her body and feast on her skin much like a hungry wolf. She dropped her head against the wall outside the bedchamber and drew in a deep, almost painful breath. She didn't know what was happening to her. She couldn't explain the feelings swamping her.
She wanted a man she'd just met. And he wanted her.
Why then, did she feel this clawing need to fight the sensations storming her soul?