With her uncle poised to steal her kingdom, Princess Katerina must marry. Miraculously, a new handsome duke appears on the scene. His sexy charm makes her tingle from head to toe. But can she overlook his arrogance?
The future of Dax’s country is at stake. Forced to masquerade as a duke to seduce Katerina and prevent her from marrying, he courts the princess with great success. But when someone tries to kill Katerina, his instincts are to protect the passionate lady no matter the cost.
With Dax’s deception revealed and her life at risk, can Katerina still surrender her heart?
“I’ve danced in the arms of many men and I see no threat to be in yours.”
“And your heart?” He pressed his hand to her back, forcing her to feel the pounding of his heart upon her breasts and discovering hers rapidly beating, too.
“What does my heart have to do with dancing?” Her eyes grew curious with a delightful sparkle, as if she were an innocent child.
“Does it always beat this fast and hard, as if trapped in a cage?”
The princess shook her head violently in several short turns. Two curls sprung free and bobbed over her left eye. Her silent protest spoke the opposite of what she wanted him to think and know about her.
Dax put a hand up and tucked the curls back into the arranged swirls. He didn’t tell her how soft and silky the strands were—his attraction grew strong, like she possessed the magic to put him under a spell. He enjoyed the sensation of happiness, but now was not the right time to forget he worked toward destroying her to save his kingdom.
Wherever they went, the sea of people parted like two waves. Dax and Katerina moved carelessly between the wakes. The brightly lit room concealed nothing about the woman. She carried herself as regally as any noble. Her willowy figure intrigued him enough that he overstepped boundaries, sliding his hands wherever he pleased.
On the small of her back, he felt the heat of her body. Endowed with a healthy set of breasts on her sleek, streamlined frame, the way the princess had them cinched up in her clothing appeared to be uncomfortable. Taking note of the soft ivory swells made his cock stiff and his erection battle the cloth.
“Might I suggest some refreshments?” Dax didn’t wait for her answer. He needed a drink and a reprieve from her delicious, warm body rubbing his.
From a servant passing by, he plucked two long-stemmed crystal flutes from a tray. Handing one to the princess, he took a swig from the other. Over the rim of the glass, he watched Katerina’s mouth part. The fine crystal touched her dusky bottom lip and she tipped the glass, gingerly sipping the wine. Her tongue peeked out and ran a slow trail over her top lip. The elegant drama enchanting him didn’t end when she took another sip and the bubbles tickled her nose. She lifted a hand immediately to ward off a sneeze she didn’t get to stop.
Dax put a hand to hers, holding the glass to prevent her from spilling the drink. He looked deep into her wonderful stare. A hundred places to kiss her and he thought of nowhere else than the tip of her nose. At the first chance he got, he would.
The princess shivered.
“Are you cold?” He continued holding her hand on the glass stem.
“Actually, I’m quite hot.”
Her warm, wine-flavored breath caught his and tugged encouragingly at his lips. With little effort on his part, he could have her against him. From toes to nose, he wanted to meld their flesh with the thrill of passion.
“That doesn’t seem hard to imagine with all the people in this room generating body heat.” He envisioned his tongue thrusting between her slightly parted, plum-tinted lips, tasting the wine the way she had.
Dax discarded his fluted crystal on the credenza next to him. Then, right as her eyes blinked, he put a hand on her hip and one between her shoulder blades. The princess slid her foot closer. Her thigh brushed his and her breasts pressed against his chest. The pearlescent skin rose above the edge of her violet gown. He recognized her perfume as an infusion of rose petal water—a scent he never appreciated until now. Something else had been added. After another deep inhale, he suspected it was the natural fragrance of her sex.
Katerina’s hips shifted and he moved his leg, accommodating her fit and sensing a preclimactic tension. He forced his knee against her gown, into the juncture of her thighs. She took a deeper breath. Her glassy gaze held a blend of trepidation and confusion. His stance blocked her from public view. Though not enough to prevent a passerby from seeing their closeness—tightening, aligning and fitting together as only lovers should.
The tragedy of Katerina letting the duke kiss her would be, she’d love it. She’d adore the moment, the man and the sensations of being a woman. Then he’d abandon her. She didn’t know much about men, even with her brother’s antics giving her insight as to what they were like. He showed sweet devotion to one and then another without ever realizing the consequences to the woman.
Katerina looked into the devil’s blue eyes. Each time his fingers moved, she repositioned. Every time his body twisted, she turned to fit. The pores in her skin dampened and she shivered again. Expectation and desire held her back from the boldness of begging him to kiss her.
“We’re too close.”
“I know.” He had his hands in all the wrong places for public appearance.
“You should move away.”
“Or you could.”
She looked at his naturally tanned skin and the hint of whiskers peppering his jaw. His eyebrows were combed flat and his teeth resembled polished chips of white marble. Only someone so near might notice the hair in his nose was clipped. Yet, she didn’t want anyone else to be as she was, where his lips might touch hers or their lashes fold together. Fantasies rose high in her mind. For once she didn’t force them away.
The duke’s hand squeezed her bottom and she heard an embarrassing moan escape her throat. As if testing her voice, he kneaded the quivering cheek of her ass again, pulling and forcing her tighter into his crotch.
His other hand slipped up her back. Scorching fingers folded around the nape of her neck and held her head firmly. She couldn’t begin to think where she should put her hands.
“If I don’t move, what will you do?” Her body went through a series of titillating sensations in response to the heat between them.