The Arranged Marriage (MF)
[BookStrand Historical Romance, HEA]
Olivia Reynolds was soon to be eighteen. She had the affections of some of the boys in town but vowed never to marry for less than love. Her father informs her that she was to be married on her eighteenth birthday to a man name Sebastian Hollingsworth and he would surely be on his way to meet her very soon. Olivia is beside herself, she swears she will never marry if she does not love him.
Sebastian Hollingsworth is a rich rogue who spends his days and night in pleasure and has a mistress named Evangeline. His father informs him of the upcoming nuptials and his trip to Santa Rosa, CA to meet his future bride to be. Sebastian likes his life the way it is but comes to terms with the fact he will lose any inheritance if he does not follow through with this marriage business. So reluctantly he journeys to marry Olivia.
Although there is a spark of attraction, neither wants to marry. They spend the next few weeks, hating each other and fighting. Unknowingly, with every bitter word they breathe towards one another, it is bringing them both closer to what they desire. After marrying, Olivia must leave her family and the only life she has ever known. They journey to Sebastian's home in San Francisco, CA.
Along this new journey, there is death and love. There is kidnapping and intimacy, fear and desire. There are plots and schemes, fights and betrayal. There is jealousy and murder.
Follow Olivia and Sebastian through their journey as they fight and bicker, love and at last conquer each other.
A BookStrand Mainstream Romance
Hallie was running up the embankment and yelling to their father before Olivia could stop her. Her wet feet turning the dirt to mud, she turned, yelling, “Come on, Olivia.”
Olivia was barefoot, her pants rolled up to her knees, standing in the creek. She was wet and dirty. Her long hair was falling out of the braid that lay against her back. Walking to the shore, she looked down at her dirty feet and clothes, and she took in a deep breath. Her father would kill her if she came out to meet them looking like this. He told her he did not want her looking like a boy when she met her future husband. She scoffed to herself then smiled, very proud of her thoughts. She began covering herself with more mud and leaves, untucking one side of her shirt. She hoped the sight she was going to present to him would surely send him packing. She made sure to stomp up the embankment, knowing the dirt would settle on her wet feet and ankles. She heard her father yell at Hallie, “go get cleaned up,” and she smiled.
Gustav watched in silence as Olivia smeared her body with mud, wishing he were the mud, and he wondered why she would be doing that.
Sebastian was standing next to his future father-in-law as he watched a dirty little girl named Hallie climb out of the muck, then skip home to clean up. Having spoken briefly to Amelia, a very attractive woman, he was somewhat looking forward to seeing the woman he would be stuck with. Something was slowly emerging from behind the trees. He could not tell if it was a man or woman through all the dirt and muck.
Dave’s mouth fell open at the unsightly, disheveled look of his eldest daughter. She looked worse than Hallie had. He was furious with Olivia. She knew her future husband would arrive today, not to mention he had told her to dress like a woman, a clean, presentable woman. She had done this on purpose, and he was about to yell at her when the man next to him let out a great big belly laugh.
Sebastian had never seen such a sight as this in all his life. A young, well-brought-up woman looking as though she lived as an ogre in the swamp. He was laughing so hard birds were scared into flight from a nearby tree. Wiping the tears from his eyes, he tried to catch his breath, but every time he looked at her, he began to laugh again.
Olivia frowned at him. Who did he think he was, anyway? She was so furious. How dare he laugh at her! Narrowing her eyes, she marched right up to him to give him a piece of her mind. Squaring her shoulders, she wanted to poke his chest with a mud-covered finger and tell him exactly what she thought of him.
Her father, knowing all too well her explosive temper, stepped in between them, stopping her to introduce them. “Olivia, darling, this is Sebastian Hollingsworth. Mr. Hollingsworth, behind all this dirt and grime is my beautiful daughter, Olivia Anne Reynolds.”
“Nice to meet you, Miss Reynolds.” Sebastian smiled. “I would kiss the back of your hand, as is customary when introduced to a young woman, but seeing as you look rather like an orphan instead of my future wife, I will have to refrain from what is proper,” he said with a cocky grin.
His smile was insulting. Olivia squared her shoulders again and looked directly into his arrogant eyes. “And you, sir, are neither charming nor handsome.” She was lying, of course.
Sebastian looked at Dave, saying, “Well, that’s a first.” Looking back at Olivia with a raised eyebrow, he said, “Shall we make our way back to the house so you can have a hot bath and I can see what’s underneath all that muck?”
Olivia questioned hopefully, eyes squinted, “Am I not good enough for you to marry unless I’ve bathed?”
Sebastian smiled. “I don’t have a problem marrying you like this, Olivia.” He stepped close to her and bent his head, bringing his lips close enough to her ear that only she would hear him.
He was so close she was afraid he could hear her heart thumping in her chest. The scent of him filled her nostrils, she felt his warm breath on her neck, and she shivered.
“When you become my wife, I will make you bathe, and if you refuse, I will have no choice but to bathe you myself,” he whispered.
Olivia stumbled backward, gasping she was so mortified, and her hand shot out to slap him. He was much faster than she thought and had ahold of her wrist before she made contact with his face.
The cloth scratched her hard nipples as he rubbed the cloth over her breasts. It felt pleasurable as it hurt. She could not understand why. She couldn’t control her shivering body or her rapid breathing.
Bending and scooping water into his hands, he poured it over her and watched as it ran down the space between her breasts and dripped from her nipples.
The water felt wonderful as it ran down her body and cooled her. It felt as if his fingers were touching her feather-lightly.
Her skin was pink where he had rubbed the cloth. He blew air out ever so slightly around her nipples, then took her breasts into his mouth and circled her erect nipple with his tongue.
His mouth felt as though it was searing her flesh, and her knees felt weak as his tongue played with her hard nipple. She inhaled deeply, unable to control her shaking.
He could take it no longer. Throwing the cloth to the floor, he none too gently grabbed her buttocks and lifted her from the tub, carrying her to the bed.
Feeling her naked, wet body pressed closely to him, she could feel her heart pounding. He dropped her onto the bed, and as she tried to cover herself Sebastian ripped the covers from her hands and threw them to the ground. She thought she heard him growl when he did. She was finding it hard to breathe as he looked at her lying there naked on the bed.
He had never wanted anything or anyone more in his entire life, and he had to remind himself to be gentle as he slowly climbed onto the bed where she lay naked.
Olivia felt his hot flesh touch hers as he kissed her. He was on top of her now. The only thing between them was the towel he was still wearing. Feeling his manhood press against her, she wondered if he would put it inside her tonight.
She felt so good, Sebastian thought. Everything about her felt right. He wanted to be inside her but knew she was not ready for him. Engulfing her breasts, he began to suckle them and nuzzle them as he caressed and stroked them. She was so pliable and giving under his touch.
Olivia could not open her eyes as she felt him take over her body. She could not control the sounds coming from her mouth. His stubble scratched in some spots and tickled in others. She could not control her movements as he moved over her body, and it felt wonderful. Each time his mouth or fingers touched her that spot burned, and when he took them away, she could feel goose bumps replace the fire.
Kissing and licking his way from her breasts down to her stomach, he stopped only for a moment and caressed her stomach, knowing someday soon, there would be a child growing inside her, his child. Moving ever more down, he could feel her body tense.
Olivia tried moving away from his hot mouth as he reached the hair that covered her secret place, and she tried pulling his face back to hers.
Trying to spread her legs, he felt her tense even more.
Olivia tried to sit up and move away as she watched Sebastian sit on his knees, pull her legs apart, and kneel between them. While she was trying to cover her exposed self, he flung her backward as he grabbed her under the buttocks and brought her to his mouth. She tried to speak but couldn’t as his mouth covered her secret spot. Her legs falling over his shoulders, she knew this act must be wrong. She took a deep breath as his tongue slid up and down her. His mouth was so hot against her soft flesh. She tried to squirm and wiggle away but he had her in his firm grip.
She smelled of lilac, and she was hot and wet, very wet, as he found the hard nub with the tip of his tongue. He circled it and flicked it with his tongue. He could hear her moan with delight and feel her legs tense around his head as he suckled the nub and ran his tongue up and down her and inside her. Her hips began to move with each stroke of his tongue. He knew she was close to exploding so he brought his mouth away and set her back onto the bed. His manhood had never felt so hard. Even the blood in his veins felt hot.
Olivia was breathing heavily. Her heart was pounding out of her chest. Why did he stop? Is that all? It felt so different, she didn’t feel done.
Sebastian stood and ripped off the towel, exposing his very erect manhood. He kissed her hard as he pushed his fingers deep inside her, the hot molten lava burning his fingers as he tried to ready her for his throbbing manhood. She was tight around his fingers, but he could wait no longer. Breathlessly, he whispered, “This might hurt a little but I can wait no longer to be inside you, Olivia. I have held back as much as a man can. Just relax and accept me.” He kissed her hard as his fingers continued to stroke the inside of her.
Olivia felt wonderful. She could think of nothing but his firm lips taking control of her mouth, his hands on her body, inside her body. Her heart was pounding, her hips moving uncontrollably to the intoxicating rhythm of his fingers going in and out of her.