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Ready to Read July 4
A disgraced noble and the island woman who steals his heart. Desire that shouldn’t have happened and leads to danger that’s never far away.
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She gripped his broad shoulders and tugged but couldn’t budge him. He was too tall and powerfully built. Panting, she grabbed Gavra’s silk cloth before her friend could leave. “Help me. Then you can run.”
Together, they rolled the man onto his back.
Sand clung to his face, bristly cheeks, and chin. Blood dotted a wound on his forehead. Despite his condition, his complexion was bronze not ashy, features virile and handsome. Given his powerful form and strong jaw, Simone guessed him to be Tristan and James’s age. Like them, he looked English.
She smoothed his dark brown hair, the few dry locks wonderfully thick and silky.
Gavra slapped Simone’s hand. “What are you doing?”
“Searching for wounds.”
“On his mouth?”
She stopped stroking his bottom lip. “To check if he’s still breathing.”
“I can see he is from where I am.”
His muscular chest rippled each time he exhaled. Short, dark hairs hugged his skin, his tiny brown nipples peeking through. Heat flooded Simone, the warmth surprisingly seductive and strangely welcomed.
She pushed his shirt open and touched his ribs.
Gavra made an impatient noise. “What are you searching for now?”
“A broken bone. He might have one.”
“If he did, he would be screaming or dead.”
Simone inched lower to his breeches. Dark hair swirled around his navel and dipped beneath his waistband to the promising bulge between his legs. She rested her hand on his thigh, its heat and strength evident through the fabric.
Gavra grabbed her arm. “Come. We need to tell Capitaine about this.”
“You go.” Simone twisted, freeing herself. “I have to tend his wound.” The laceration was hideous but hopefully not deadly. “Bring the men back with you to carry him to the stone house.”
Gavra stopped on the path and looked over. “Tristan may say otherwise.”
No. He was a good man. He wouldn’t let anyone die here, not even a pirate, and certainly not a stranger who appeared as civilized as Tristan was.
Simone dragged several palm fronds to the man’s side. The leaves were large with flat surfaces that had collected rainwater. She ripped his breeches and drawers, cleansed his wound thoroughly, then covered it with her healing leaves.
What Tristan called periwinkle. Before pirates killed her grandmother, she’d taught Simone about the magic in this plant.
Using a wide strip from the stranger’s linen shirt, she covered the leaves and wound as best she could. The bleeding had slowed considerably. However, he needed a poultice and potion to make certain he healed and didn’t lose his leg.
She touched the silk knotted above his wound, reluctant to untie it yet.
Once she’d confirmed he had no other ghastly cuts on his legs, she straightened to examine his arms and scalp.
He stared at her naked breasts, the cloth tied about her hips, and then her eyes. His were as green as a new leaf, lushly lashed, and quite alert.
He clamped her wrist.
Her breath caught.