Between A Rake And A Hard Place [Pirates of London Book 2]

Between A Rake And A Hard Place [Pirates of London Book 2] by Emma Wildes writing as Annabel Wolfe Read Free Book Online

Book: Between A Rake And A Hard Place [Pirates of London Book 2] by Emma Wildes writing as Annabel Wolfe Read Free Book Online
Authors: Emma Wildes writing as Annabel Wolfe
Tags: Erotic Romance/Historical
seeing her nude, displayed in lush offering as a symbol of sensual pleasure…all silken hair and smooth skin; woman incarnate.
    He shook it off. After all, there was a world of willing women out there, and she was not available. Still, he muttered, “The sooner we make port, the better.”
    * * * *
    She had the most unusual dreams. She was in Capri, sailing through the grottos, the soft motion of the water soothing, the sky a glorious blue, warm breezes caressing her skin. Fish in brilliant hues swam in schools beneath the boat, flashes of color in the azure pools, and birds called softly overhead. It was idyllic, magical, and she lay back and closed her eyes, the sun on her face.
    The sun was not a dream, Cassandra realized as she came awake with a start. Slanting light came through a round window to her right, spilling across the coverlet and the rich rug. She was tangled in the sheets and an over-sized robe, a momentary confusion making her panic, but then it all flooded back.
    The palace. Rooftops. A fire. The ship. Mr. Ives, who was an enigmatic figure if there ever was one, and then she didn’t really remember anything except him leaving the cabin abruptly and then suddenly being very tired.
    If the position of the sun was any indication, she had slept a long time. At some time during her slumber someone must have come in for there was a tray on the table with an ornate silver pot, a beautiful porcelain cup and saucer and next to it a carafe of water. Also there was a napkin folded over what she discovered to be a bowl of a variety of pastries and some dried fruit.
    She rose and went behind the screen, washed her face and took care of the necessities, and then returned to pour a cup of what proved to be very strong coffee, a taste she was still struggling to acquire. She diluted it with cream and stirred in several lumps of sugar. Sipping it, she gazed out the porthole. It was clearly a beautiful day, the sun holding a hard brilliance she didn’t recall ever seeing in England. Though she’d always wanted to travel, the urge to visit exotic places had been lost with her abduction.
    Once home, unless word of her adventures somehow leaked out, she would duly go back to planning her wedding. Of course, there were prisons of all kinds…maybe the priggish Lord Jameson would decline to marry her after all if there was a hint of scandal attached to her name. It was a rather encouraging thought, which was startling. She’d known she wasn’t anxious for the match, but perhaps she was more opposed than she realized.
    A firm knock interrupted her musings, and Cassandra started, nearly spilling her coffee. For a moment she thought of refusing to answer it because she was clad in nothing but a borrowed dressing gown. Then she remembered that there was nothing else for her to wear, this wasn’t a London drawing room, and as someone had obviously come in while she was sleeping, the knock was a courtesy, nothing more.
    Oddly enough, she still felt safe.
    To her surprise, when she got up to open the polished door, Mr. Ives did not stand there, but instead it was the one he’d called Marcus, his tall form silhouetted by the late morning sunshine. He sketched a short bow. “Sorry to disturb you, my lady, but Gaston sent me to inquire if you had a preference for luncheon.”
    “Gaston?” She blinked, modestly clutching the robe closed, though that was no doubt a bit too late considering their precipitous ride together through the city.
    “The chef. He’s an ogre. A despot. A demon.” Marcus smiled, leaning one broad shoulder casually against the doorframe and elevating a brow. “But I understand why he is most determined to please such a lovely lady and I am willing to do his bidding as long as he continues to cook. I assume you enjoyed your dinner last evening?”
    She had to tilt back her head to look her visitor in the eye. He was even taller than Christopher Ives, by a few inches at a guess; his hair also jet black, but

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