Is a little sin exactly what Goodman Thomas Marlowe needs to shake him out of his self-imposed penance?
Can a former harlot teach a repressed Puritan widower what it means to truly love?
“I love Natasha’s writing. It’s full of emotion without getting sappy, and chock-full of historical details without losing sight of the story. Her characters are rich and believable. In this particular book, I was at first afraid that the heroine was too bad to be redeemable, but that notion was quickly squashed. She learns a lesson instead. I loved the hero, flawed but incredibly masculine and passionate. I highly recommend this book to others who love historical romance with a seriously erotic kick.” ~ Patricia G, Oct. 31, 2012
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Copyright © Natasha Blackthorne, 2012
All Rights Reserved, Total-E-Ntwined Limited, T/A Total-E-Bound.
Excerpt From: A Midsummer’s Sin
She was clad in only her shift.
Moonlight illuminated the thin cloth into a shimmering veil. The glowing ivory of her gentle, generous curves, hints of rose-pink nipples, a shadowy triangle between her long, lithesome legs—all teased Thomas’ imagination.
Blood rushed from his head to fill his cock.
Heart thundering, he leaned against the tree. He barely dared to take a steadying breath lest the vision of that girl dancing in the clearing might disappear and prove itself a mere figment of his long-starved lust.
Dear sweet Christ.
Not since his days at Oxford had he seen a woman’s body displayed so wantonly, then only in dimly lit, rented chambers. Never in brilliant moonlight.
The wind calmed. The rustling leaves of the tall trees grew silent. Her laughter carried to him. The sound—so free, so girlish—sent pleasurable shivers through him, sensual and immediate, as if a woman had raked her nails softly down his back. His erection throbbed, getting bigger, stiffer, straining his breeches. Sweating, he grasped himself and gave his aching shaft a firm squeeze.
God. It was more than a man, a widower of over a year, could bear.
More so for Thomas. Physical passion had repulsed his wife. For his beloved Patience’s sake, after the conception of his son, he’d left her in peace. Now he’d been three years without the ease of a woman’s soft, warm body…
That girl—Rosalind Abramson—was everything he craved.
She was within reach.
They were alone.
He wanted to go her. To seize her. To crush that beguiling body against his own.
No! He released his cock and took a deep steadying breath. He’d learnt how to master his passions. He was a Puritan now, no longer a libertine.
He would not yield.
He closed his eyes, but all he saw was hair burning like flames in the noon sun. He was taken back to a little over a year previously when he had been riding in a carriage on a seedy London street.
He had been with his family, on his way to board the Abigail for Boston. His son had taken ill from the stench of the docks and had forced the stopping of the vehicle. Thomas stood outside the vehicle, talking with the driver as they’d allowed the interior to air.
He looked up and saw her. Rosalind. She had worn no head covering—her curls had bounced wildly as she’d run towards him. She’d held her skirts—the most garish hue of green he’d ever beheld—high enough to display trim ankles and well-turned calves clad in pale pink silk stockings that gave her legs the appearance of being completely bare. She had lifted her knees and run like a boy. A fine sheen of sweat had sparkled on her flushed face and on the exposed tops of her generous breasts.
Thomas inhaled deeply and pinched the bridge of his nose, willing the memory away. But the image only intensified.
She had increased her pace, though it didn’t seem possible for anyone, much less a woman, to move that quickly.
She’d come upon him so fast and close, he’d thought she meant to crash into him. His man’s body, so starved for the touch of feminine flesh, had longed to feel her body colliding with his. Such desire—it had held him immobile. At the last moment, as she’d turned, bypassing him, her eyes, dark brown and large, had caught his—full of terror—he could feel it reverberate in his own bones… His heart had contracted with sympathy. A whoosh of air, scented with roses and musk, had blown over him as she’d hauled herself into the open carriage.
The carriage where his wife had waited.
The crack of a branch snapped. Drawn into the present , he opened his eyes.
She was still there.
Dancing in the moonlight.
As his neighbour’s bondswoman, Rosalind was always so close, so desirable yet so utterly uninterested in him. She was warm and friendly to others yet she dealt with him differently. She often acted aloof, slightly superior, as if he’d never done her any kindness.
But now she shared all with him, however unwittingly.
They were alone.
A single chance to have her without risk of discovery. There would be no consequences. He need only reach out and take. He inhaled deeply. Dear God, give him the strength to resist.
Seemingly unaware of him and lost to her enjoyment, she laughed again. And that did it. His cock became so rigid that his arousal was agonising.
However, this wasn’t simply lust.
He loved Rosalind. He adored the nut-brown freckles that spattered across her cheeks as summer days grew long and hot. The way tendrils of her bright hair constantly escaped her cap to flutter about her face and the way they grew frazzled on rainy days. The curve of her smile and the timbre of her voice and the lazy sway of her walk. He knew all about her, what she’d been—an actress, a woman of easy virtue. It didn’t matter. She captivated him. He couldn’t even imagine marrying anyone else.
Nevertheless, Rosalind was not the wife for him.
He loved her, aye with every breath he took he loved her more but in all the wrong ways. To even think of wedding her—after the pure, pious love he’d shared with Patience—was a sacrilege.
How could he even think of making a former actress his beloved daughter Hannah’s stepmother?
God save him. His past was full of sensual, sinful decadence. He’d filled his time with nothing but transgressions before Patience had saved him with the example of her steadfast faith and love. He had been so inspired by her. By the peace her religion gave her. He’d been blessed with his conversion experience, changed forever.
Dear God, he was lost without his Patience.
And never more lost than here in the moonlight, alone with Rosalind. Just a fortnight away from leaving to teach at Harvard College in Cambridge village—he’d almost escaped unscathed.
He took a step towards Rosalind. Then another. Then several more.
She turned. Her eyes, glittering in the moonlight, caught his. She stopped, her hips in mid-sway. She backed away, watching him, her eyes growing wide. Dark brown velvet eyes framed by delicately arched brows. Tonight, those orbs were deep and smoky, almost black. He couldn’t tear his gaze from hers. A dry-mouthed, pulse-pounding apprehensive excitement possessed him. A sense of inevitability.
Dear God, he was falling. Falling into sin with her.
Her thick lashes swept down over her eyes, the dark auburn crescents looking purplish in the moon’s light, and a slight smile curved her lips. His focus dropped where her breasts rose and fell quickly, their tight, pink peaks straining against the gossamer shift.
She didn’t attempt to cover herself but kept her hands to her sides. That surprised him. However, he’d not been out of this sport so long that he misunderstood. It was clearly an invitation.
Temptation pounded through his blood and, with every beat of his heart, increased the pulsation in his cock. She was lust incarnate.
His body trembling with hunger, he fisted his hands.
He would not succumb.
Breathless, Rosalind panted as the tall, broad-shouldered image before her swayed in her dizzy vision. She beheld the glossy, dark chestnut hair, the high forehead, well-shaped yet heavy brows, long straight nose and full yet firm-looking mouth.
He wasn’t wearing his doublet. In the moonlight his white shirt glowed and rippled in the slight breeze against a body that displayed the sort of hard muscled strength and power that came from strenuous daily labour.
Each time she saw him, her whole focus narrowed on him, her body tingling yet weak. Oh, he was very familiar to her. But she had never been alone with him.
However, she wasn’t afraid.
He’d always been kind. He’d assisted her that horrid day over a year ago when she’d needed nothing more than to get out of London. Attained her passage to New England and found her modest clothes in sad colours. Told everyone on the Abigail that she was his cousin and helped her falsify her last name—even though she could tell he hated being dishonest.
But Thomas had saved her from the censure of the other Puritans on the ship knowing she was an actress. She had begun to love him then. Even though he was married.
Even though coveting him was a sin.
Now he was a widower. The town schoolmaster. A stern-faced, hardworking, pious man. He’d never been able to completely hide how he held her in disdain because of what she had been. Despite his kindness he’d retained a certain dispassionate remoteness. Especially after the mid-point of the voyage, when he’d lost his young son and, shortly thereafter, his wife, to a fever that had raged through the passengers.
She sensed that he suspected the truth of her past. For years, she had been a whore but not of her own choice. Her mother had been a member of an acting troupe who had shared herself with many wealthy gentlemen. Rosalind had never known her father. When her mother had grown ill, they’d grown completely dependent on the troupe manager Mr Boger’s goodwill to pay for the doctoring and life-extending medications. He had owned Rosalind’s very soul. He’d forced her, trained her how to please men then sold her by the hour to the highest bidders as if she were a pleasure slave.
Then her mother had died and Rosalind had vowed to escape.
That day in London, near the docks, she’d been running from Mr Boger. He had been escorting her to yet another wealthy gentleman, a merchant prince who had paid for a few hours of gratification in his offices. She had jumped from the carriage when it had stopped.
However, Mr Boger wasn’t opposed to using physical violence. She’d often experienced the back of his hand—or his fist. He had warned her that, if she ever ran from him, she’d better run well and hard for, if he caught up to her, he would kill her.
That day, he’d come after her in a rage.
She’d been desperate. Running for her dear life. Knowing she couldn’t fail. She’d recognised the sympathy on Thomas’ face that day. And the desire.
Well, she’d been dressed as the veriest of doxies. Who could blame him for any mistaken assumptions?
She couldn’t bear to tell him the truth of her past outright. She couldn’t take the chance of increasing the disdain he must feel for her. What did the circumstances matter? She was just as unclean no matter if the choice had truly been hers or not.
She’d been a whore. A dirty whore.
Goodman Thomas Marlowe. Goodman. As if the damned Puritans held some special innate goodness others could never attain. Well, of course they saw it that way. Their religion centred on the sanctimonious notion.
That religion, his devotion to its principles and practice, made him completely unattainable to a woman like her. He always held a wistful, removed quality in his eyes as if he were consumed by some long remembered and perhaps deliciously savoured pain.
But tonight was very different.
His large, heavy-lidded, green eyes glimmered with something earthy and very intimate and they were focused lower than her neck.
She glanced down.
Her nipples were pointed peaks against the thin material. Her shift! No wonder he stared! Dizziness swept over her, her head growing light, as if it might float away. Dear God. She was dressed only in her shift. No matter how fascinating she found the contours of his powerful body, how could she have forgotten, even for a moment?
She ought to feel shame. She ought to cover herself and run away and pretend this was all a dream.
He kept looking at her with those gorgeous green eyes. Looking at her as if he would never stop. Could never stop.
Triumph at her power took her breath. Energy surged through her body like fire blazing up a piece of kindling. Verve that couldn’t be suppressed. She resumed swaying, allowing her feminine instinct complete possession.
He fixed his gaze on her lower body. His eyes widened. Darkened.
She knew the look of a man’s lust.
God, he was hers. Totally hers.
And this was likely her last chance ever to know him like this. Maybe fate itself had created this moment of magical moonlit opportunity.
For hours, she’d tossed in sweat-soaked sheets. She’d told herself it was owing to the excessive heat, the worst summer’s heat she had known in her life. As the clock had chimed midnight, wind had rustled the curtains. The first cooling breeze New Balcombe had seen in days had compelled her to come outdoors.
However, she couldn’t lie to herself. One thing and one thing only had dominated her thoughts and kept her from sleeping.
In two weeks, Thomas would leave for Harvard College. He was leaving…
The only man she had ever wanted—yes, it must be admitted, the only man she had ever loved—was about to walk out of her life. Maybe forever.
She would never know his kiss, his touch.
You could have him, here tonight, if you wanted him. No one shall ever know…
A little seduction. That was all it would take.
What People Are Saying About A Midsummer’s Sin:
“A Midsummer’s Sin is just an erotic and compelling as Natasha’s other books. And it’s just as engaging and entertaining. In this novella, you have two people Thomas and Rosalind who are desperately in love with one another and want each other just as disparately. Presently puritans, they both struggle with their pasts of sins more so Thomas than Rosalind. As Thomas struggle with is demons and his lust for Rosalind, will he lose her? or have her to hold forever?… If you have not read a book by Natasha Blackthorne, then you simply must. You are missing out on some of the most sensual, sexual, historical writing ever…” Reviewed by Sharonda of Salacious Reads.
“I loved this sensual tale from beginning to end. Both characters touched my heart. Natasha writes historical erotic romance that sizzles and heats up the pages. Her writing blends together perfectly. The details take you into her world and make you want to stay there…This story will stay with me for a long time to come. This is a must read!” Dawn from Let’s Get Romantical.
“One of the things I love about a Natasha Blackthorne historical is her unusual time periods and locations…in this ultra-religious community, their union is strictly forbidden, so each encounter takes place either in the woods or the barn, making this the steamiest of summer sizzlers!”Melissa’s Mysteries, Mocha’s and More
“I’m truly hooked on Natasha’s works! I’ve not read much historical in my life, but have read a lot of romance and erotica. She meshes them all into sensual, seductive and touching stories that she has perfected telling ;)…This is a very powerful, short and satisfying read that I recommend to all and any that enjoy a sensually thrilling, historical story.” ~ Ava at Romance Book Junkies
Sometimes giving in to temptation is the
best thing you can do…
Goodman Thomas Marlowe needs a wife. He loves his neighbour’s bondswoman Rosalind Abramson but for all the wrong reasons. The carnal passion he feels for her is at odds with his vision of the perfect marriage—something shaped by the memory of the pure, pious union he shared with his late wife. Valiantly, he fights to keep his feelings hidden.
Rosalind yearns for the handsome Goodman Marlowe. Yet beneath his kind action lies a cool distance that tells her he cannot forgive Rosalind’s shameful past. She’s determined to deny an infatuation with a man who will never respect her.
However, Thomas cannot focus on finding a bride while the unsuitable Rosalind is always so close and so alluring. Now he’s about to take a teaching position in another town. It’s the perfect escape for a man tormented by unacceptable desire.
Late one night, in the midst of a summer’s hot spell, Thomas spies Rosalind in the woods, clad only in her shift, dancing in the moonlight. It’s really more than a man celibate for three years can bear. Thomas is in danger of falling into a sin so powerful, it threatens to challenge everything he believes in…
Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of sensual spanking and issues surrounding previous death and grief. This an Erotic Romance and uses the strong, graphic language and situations of erotic romance. Be warned: This is a SHORT NOVELLA of approx. 64 pages. To Purchase Now:
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