Sorcha Bronson, the beautiful daughter of a slain dragon trainer is determined to take over her father’s business. To make a name for herself means showing off her skills in a tournament where she goes up again the best dragon rider knight she can find. But first, she must convince him to accept her challenge. When the knights of the Dragon Fighter’s Society turn her down because she’s a woman, she tries using feminine wiles to change one man’s mind. Soon, she discovers a game of love that seduces and distracts her. Uncertain she has any real chance at winning Sir Henry’s heart, she struggles to stay focused on her career.
Handsome, charming, free-spirited Sir Henry Pembroke loves riding dragons and competing in the kingdom’s tournaments. With a penchant for harmless fun, he’s unprepared for the ambitious lady who wants to participate in a dangerous sport meant for men. He makes it his mission to keep her from getting hurt, but the tavern wench shows unfaltering determination when she attempts to barter sex for a chance to compete. Sir Henry finds himself more attracted to the beguiling and passionate beauty than he bargains on. Yet he has to wonder if Sorcha is just playing on his emotions to get what she wants. Or, can her love be real?
The flame-haired, green-eyed beauty blinked rapidly. That fluttering of her lashes seemed damn close to a complete surrender. Henry pressed his mouth to hers, sucking at her lips to feel the softness meld completely with his. She gasped, a small sound of surprise. He drew back the breath she tried inhaling. Women equaled pleasure. They provided a relief to a tedious day. Their skills eased tension in a man’s tired body. Sorcha caught him unaware by drawing out of him an odd, unexplainable emotion he’d never felt before—one he dared not try to name.
“Sorcha,” he murmured, liking the way the sound of her name tightened the air in his lungs.
“Yes,” she paused.
Her lips remained poised for another kiss.
“I want you,” he said, unable to stop himself from confessing his desire again.
“I know you do, Sir Henry.” Her breath whispered a soft caress over his face as she turned her head away. “I said you can have me… if you accept my challenge.”
“To go up against me in a dragon fight.” She lifted her head.
Henry looked at her with incredulous shock. “You’re kidding, right?”
“I’m serious. I need a dragon rider to accept my challenge so I can compete. It’s the only way non- members of the Dragon Fighter’s Society can participate in an exhibition or tournament.”
“Yes, but that’s meant for men with a dragon.”
“I have a dragon. Several of them.”
“But you’re a woman.” He stroked her face. “A very beautiful one, too.”
“I read the rules. They say anyone.”
“Regardless, I want to take advantage of that oversight. Will you accept?”
He pulled her head down again. It would be a small price for her virtue. He never cared whom he went up against in the dragon games. He’d certainly be able to win against her. And just as she had mentioned taking advantage, he decided to do so now.
She did nothing to prevent him from enfolding her in his arms. He kissed her deeply, taking what he could get.
“So does this mean you shall accept my challenge?” she asked when their mouths broke free.
“Regrettably, I can not.” He relinquished his hold.
“Are you certain you want to refuse me?” A sly grin curved her mouth.
What was she up to? He eyed her curiously, carefully waiting for her to spring some trap.
He never guessed her next move.
Her arms folded around his neck and her lips pressed his. Instead of disappointment, she showed tenacity with a cleverly performed, age-old form of bribery. She kissed him. Not a simple peck to the cheek, or brush of her lips against his, no, she flat out pressed her mouth hard to his and delved deeper into the moment than he had ever dared before. From twisting positions to tongue flicking and lip nibbling, she exhibited her clear determination. He had to admit, she expressed herself well without words. Her exuberant moans came close to trapping him into agreeing.
“Now tell me you cannot.” She pulled back, dropping her arms down to her sides.
Passion burned in the sparkle of her violet eyes. He rubbed her shoulders, enjoying the feel of her smooth neck. If lying were in him, he’d have told her anything she wanted to hear.