Owner of the Diamond Saloon and Theater, Alice Reynolds is astounded when a fancy Englishman offers to buy her saloon. She won’t be selling the Diamond to anyone, let alone a man with a pretty, empty-headed grin…but then, she reckons that grin just might be a lie, and a man of intelligence and cunning resides beneath. Rupert Llewellyn has another purpose for offering to buy the pretty widow’s saloon. However, he never banked on her knowing eyes making him weak at the knees, or how his deception would burn upon his soul. Each determined to outwit the other, they tantalize and tease until passion explodes. But can their desire bridge the lies told and trust broken?
Lifting the glass, she studied its contents. “There is nothing quite like the enjoyment you get from a good whiskey. There’s the look and color of it, and the way it burns in the light.”
“It’s the same color as your eyes,” he breathed, his own wide and empty of thought.
A smile tugged at the corner of her mouth. That’s right, Llewellyn. Fool me into thinking there’s not an ounce of calculation to your words. “Is it? Mighty kind of you to notice.”
A happy grin was her response.
Well now, she was surely going to enjoy this. Setting her own half-smile, she tilted her glass, watching as the whiskey caught the light of the candle. “Have you ever noticed the feel of glass? It’s smooth against your fingers, and though the whiskey burns you, the glass is cool. It seems strange, doesn’t it? That such fire could come from something so cool.”
Intensely aware of his gaze upon her, she brought the rim to rest on her bottom lip. “You lift the glass to your lips, and all that coolness rests upon your flesh. The scent of the whiskey hits you, sweet and fiery. Your mouth waters, and you can’t wait to have it inside you. Slowly, so slowly, you tip the glass, teasing yourself as long moments in want of its taste stretch unbearably.”
He no longer wore a smile. Dark eyes watched her as strong fingers gripped the glass before him.
A prickle washed over her skin, her heart a steady beat in her chest. With hushed voice, she continued, “Liquid slides down your throat, and flavor explodes, a glorious rush of sensation that overwhelms and consumes.” She tipped the glass. The whiskey rushed down her throat, burning. She gasped, her tongue flicking out to catch the lingering taste on her lips. “You curl your tongue, enjoying the lingering sensation in every part of your mouth. Then, you look at the bottle.” Finally, she met his gaze direct. No subterfuge. No tease. “And you know you can do it again.”