From the Season Standard: ”A true Season’s Original embodies the class, grace, and style of the ton. Such an honor ensures the recipient their pick of eligible suitors…“Lilah’s Appleton’s prospects are looking dim. With one last chance to find a titled husband before she’s forced to wed her wretched cousin, she must make this Season count. Plain, forgettable Lilah must become the Season’s Original. Desperate, she seeks help from the devilishly charming, untitled, and thoroughly unsuitable Jack Marlowe. All she must do now is resist the tempting rogue…
Bastard son and self-made man, Jack Marlowe loathes the aristocracy. When he meets Lilah, he expects her to be like all the other greedy husband-hunters. But she’s far more dangerous. Her alluring smiles and sharp tongue intrigue him. Before he knows it, he agrees to help her find a husband, revealing tricks to ensnare any man. The only problem is, his plan works too well—on him.
When Lilah becomes the belle of the ball, Jack realizes he may lose her forever-unless he can take a chance on love and claim his debutante…
“Since I cannot move forward, the gentlemanly thing for you to do is to step back.”
“Why can’t you move forward?” His breath skimmed across her nape, teasing the tendrils that must have come loose earlier, when their carriage had hit the rut.
She shivered, closing her eyes. “I know very well that you do not care about my answer. All you are doing is delaying the removal of your hand from my . . .”
She’d said the word a moment ago. So why couldn’t she say it now? Likely, because that part of her body had suddenly become the center of her world. It was now a place of intimacy and forbidden touches.
“Waist?” he supplied, moving his fingertips in such a way that it made her stomach quiver—not on the surface but someplace deeper inside.
“Person,” she corrected, yet noticed her thready word lacked censure. She tried again. “You really should not be touching me here.”
“If I were assisting you into a barouche, I would have both my hands on your . . . person.”
Both of his hands on her? She tried not to imagine it. When she felt an enthralling warmth spread through her, she knew she’d failed. “No. I mean here, in the ballroom. If anyone should see, the result would be catastrophic for both of us.”
Her reputation would be ruined. He would be expected to marry her. They both knew, however, that he would not. His conduct indicated that he cared little for the principles of society. He didn’t even like her. And more important, she reminded herself, she despised him.
“Indeed. The rules that govern your actions must be obeyed.” With those hard-edged words, he dropped his hand and stepped back.
Lilah immediately missed his warmth and hated herself for it. She turned to face him, a reprimand at the ready. “If we didn’t have rules, then society would be full of men like you who enjoy taking liberties.”
He lifted his tawny brows. “You don’t think society would be full of women taking liberties?”
She blinked, caught off guard by the question and by the very idea. Women taking liberties?
Spinning a web to decide her fate . . .
It was an unexpectedly intriguing proposition for a woman in her circumstances. Now, however, was not the time to ponder it. “I will not imagine such a thing. After all, if I were to have placed my hand on your person, then you would have removed it. Men do not wait upon politeness.”
“I wouldn’t have removed your hand . . . from anywhere on my person.” He grinned, making her regret the example she’d used. Then he spread his arms out in invitation. “Please tell me you require proof.”