Excerpt from Lover's Gamble
by Jennifer Ann Coffeen


Hugh shook his head, forcing his vision to clear. It couldn't be. He simply had to be mistaken... but no, when he looked again there was no doubt. It was none other than Miss Sophie Hartlend, chattering away like she'd been gambling in Newbury House for years.

What the hell does she think she's doing? It's nearly two in the morning, and not a chaperone in sight! He had to admit she looked as stunning as he remembered her. Her long hair curled artfully around her high cheekbones, like a long-worshipped Grecian goddess. He had a sudden vision of releasing that cascade of hair from its heavy pins, watching it flow down her naked back in waves.

With a sharp pang Hugh remembered the feel of it through his fingers as he kissed her that hot August night - nearly a year ago now, but a night he'd never forgotten. He'd fallen in love after that single night of passion and, stupidly, assumed she had felt the same way. The next day he'd laid his pride at her feet, making an utter fool of himself over a woman.

Hugh's hand tightened into a fist. After that day he'd never seen her again, until now. And suddenly here she was, in the most inappropriately low-cut gown he'd ever seen, gambling like a common bit of muslin.

And apparently quite bad at it, too.