Que s'est-il passé pour que Cynthia Brightly, belle comme un papillon exotique et reine de Londres, se réfugie au village de Pennyroyal Green ? Ses fiançailles rompues, elle est devenue une paria dans la haute société et elle cherche désespérément un riche mari. Miles Redmond seraient malvenu de lui reprocher son pragmatisme, lui qui s'apprête à demander la main de Mlle Georgina dont la fortune lui permettra de financer ses prochaines expéditions scientifiques dans les mers du Sud. Il propose même à Cynthia de l'aider dans sa chasse au beau parti... en échange d'un baiser. Un simple baiser, qui va tout changer.
Pennyroyal Green, Tome 2 : Pour un simple baiser
Extrait offert par Julie Anne Long
(Source : http://www.julieannelong.com)
In this excerpt, Miles Redmond, renowned explorer and heir to the Redmond family fortune, has just sorted out a bit of house party mayhem and is on his way up to bed when some instinct makes him stop on his way up to his chambers...where he encounters the cause of the evening's mayhem, and proves to himself just how dangerous it is to be alone with Cynthia Brightly.
And later, he would never be certain why he paused near the library door on the way up to his chambers. When his faculties were finally returned to him, he would, of course speculate in terms of the properties of physics: magnetic attractions, atmospheric disturbances, things of that sort, because analysis was what gave order and meaning to his world.
Regardless, pause he did.
And in that dark room, two things created light: the dying fire, and the shining head of the person bent toward it from a perch on the settee. An unmistakable head.
For an instant, Miles went still and admired it the way he might the moon: with a helpless, impartial wonder. All those burnished shades of—
Oh, for God's sake. Brown. Her hair was brown. Her dress was also some shade of brown. And the fact that Cynthia Brightly was still wearing it meant that she hadn't yet gone up to bed.
She was perched on a settee, her body curled forward towards the fire, her face cupped in her hands. Something about the pose implied… Was she…could she…could she be weeping?
He froze, instantly restless and panicked. He took a step forward.
A step backward.
And then her body slowly curled upright again, as lyrical as a flower blooming, and one hand dropped to her lap, and—
For God's sake. She'd been leaning over to light a damned cheroot in the fire.
She balanced it at her lips with a disconcertingly practiced motion and was clearly about to suck it into full flaming life when he spoke.
"Where did you find a cheroot?"
Her head whipped toward him and she launched her cheroot-holding hand the entire length of her arm away from her mouth, looking like a chaste maiden fighting off a zealous suitor. She froze that way, her eyes round and white as eggs.
Miles tried and failed to turn his laughter into a cough.
She reeled her arm back in. "I nearly swallowed this thing whole," she said peevishly. "I searched the house over for it, too."
"You went…searching…for a cheroot."
She stared at him, her head at a slight tip, dark brows diving toward the bridge of her nose. And then with pointed theatricality she slowly, slowly—pruriently slowly— inserted the tiny cigar between her lips, pursed them around it. And sucked until the tip was tiny, angry red dot.
Miles was undecided as to whether he was fascinated or repelled. Though he was certain he was aroused. Out of genuine curiosity, he waited to see if she would cough or tear.
Instead she sagged elegantly against the generously curved arm of the settee, cast her head back, and released a slim geyser of smoke toward the ceiling.
The elegant sagging shifted her bosom in the confines of her bodice, which was suddenly beautifully illuminated by firelight, soft, round, inviting. He stared.
And he was, in just about a thrice, hard as a rock.
"I searched the house over, and at last I found three of them in the humidor in this room. Fortunately this room already smells of cheroots."
"Muskets, sherry, and a room that stinks of tobacco. The stuff of every young lady's dreams."
"I find cheroots relax me."
"I suppose hunting heirs can ride roughshod over the nerves."
She rewarded this terse witticism with a duck of her head and held the little cigar out before her to study the burning tip reflectively.
"The thing is … I find being incessantly… good…and sparkling leaves me strangely depleted. And as I will be allowed no habits at all when I am married—or rather, honor dictates that I continue with the habits I've demonstrated thus far—the urge suddenly overcame me."
Miles was silent. He didn't know which part of this revelation to address.
" 'Honor,' Miss Brightly?"
Her head turned sharply toward him. "I've more notion of honor than many of the people sleeping under this roof tonight, I'd warrant, Mr. Redmond."
She left her gaze level with his. He wondered suddenly whether he was included in the remark. Thinking of Lady Middlebough. Third floor, fourth room from the left. Which is where he should be right now.
She took his silence for the apology it was.
"What precisely was the nature of the game tonight?" he genuinely wanted to know.
"We were all to drink when Lady Georgina said, 'Oh, Mr. Redmond. You're so interesting.' "
He was struck. Imagine Cynthia noticing such a thing. And once again, he was torn between hilarity and anger.
Georgina did say it rather a lot.
"Perhaps she thinks I'm very interesting." He said this dryly.
"That could very well be," Miss Brightly allowed skeptically.
He couldn't help it. He smiled. She shifted again on the settee, and her dress pulled at the swell of her breasts, and his smile vanished, and he felt that familiar difficulty with his breathing.
"She's very nice," she added. It sounded almost like an accusation.
"That isn't her fault," Miles said quickly.
Which then struck both of them as funny, and they both smiled. The smoke she'd released now hovered over them like a net about to drop.
Leave now, you bloody, bloody fool, the voice in Miles's head said.
"Have you considered that you'll spend your entire wedded life 'depleted,' as you say, Miss Brightly?"
She turned to look at him. "Depleted but rich," she corrected slowly, deliberately.
He went still.
And then the fury was instant and seemed to come from nowhere and everywhere.
It propelled him into the room and down on his knees next to her so swiftly she didn't have time to gasp: he gained an impression of her wide blue eyes and of the cheroot tip glaring between her fingers like a third accusing eye.
And then Miles plucked it from her fingers and hurled it into the fire. They stared, astonished, toward where it vanished, devoured with a pop and a hiss.
Silently they sat. Miles watched the flame inexorably reducing the log to ashes, feeling oddly spent. After a time, he became aware of Cynthia's breathing beneath the groans and pops and hisses of the fire. The logs sounded as though they were objecting to being consumed.
He turned slowly. She wasn't staring at the fire.
She was staring at him, and some expression that haunted him fled her eyes when he turned. Shadows of flame leaped and shivered over her throat, as though she herself were being consumed.
As if to test whether or not this was true, Miles watched his hand move toward her. His fingers landed softly, softly, beneath her jaw.
Her breath snagged audibly. And so did his.
He couldn't stop.
She didn't stop him.
With two fingers he slowly, purposefully, gently, followed both the clean, fine line of her jaw and the unthinkably soft skin beneath, marveling at this contrast in textures.
Like a vigilant chaperone, he watched his own fingers as he drew them
slowly, slowly, down, down, down. Her throat was satiny and hot, frighteningly delicate. Her pulse bumped hard there, sending blood rushing through her veins, flushing her skin with a heat that transferred itself to his own skin. The surface of it felt feverish, every cell of his body alert to, craving, sensation.
Onward his fingers journeyed. They made an almost whimsical figure eight over those bones at the base of her long neck.
"I don't want you." She said. It was a cracked whisper.
Miles, the truth seeker, sought proof of this. Lower, just a little lower, just above the pale round give of her breast, his fingers found again her rapid heartbeat. Miles paused his fingers there to savor, with vindication, its tempo, and levered his head up to meet her eyes.
It was the only warning he gave her before he eased his forefinger into that alluring crease between her breasts.
Her head jerked back; her lips parted on a silent gasp; her ribcage gave a minute leap.
"I don't want you, either." He whispered, too. It seemed the proper language for the dark, the language to use when touching bare skin.
And at that, she smiled faintly: that got the lies out of the way, then.
Je découvre cette saga avec ce second tome. Le ton n'est pas désagréable même s'il est vrai que j'ai trouvé certains passages trop longs.
Miles sous ses dehors assez classiques manque d'un petit quelque chose pour être le héro parfait !
Cela reste un bon moment de lecture.
Légèrement meilleur que le 1 er en termes de dialogues, d'humour, d'histoire et de personnages, on n'échappe pas au ton emprunté ...
Il me manque la passion pour ces tomes jusqu'à présent, et on s' attarde trop sur des détails au détriment de la romance.
Des passages auraient pu être coupés quand d'autres auraient dû être développés. Dommage.
En bref, des personnages et une histoire un peu plus intéressants que le 1 er mais dont hélas, la romance souffre d'un ton guindé, d'un piétinement qui ralentis le tout et qui ne développe pas assez certains points.
Dans le village de Pennyroyal Green il y a deux familles fortunés qui s'affrontent. C'est une rivalité qui remonte à des temps anciens et les tragiques histoires d'amour entre eux se produisent à chaque génération.
Ce deuxième tome m'a moins ravi que le premier. Par contre la visite chez la bohémienne pour se faire dire la bonne aventure m'a beaucoup plu. Dans le premier tome nous avions l'histoire d'un rejeton de la famille Eversea et dans celui-ci nous avons l'histoire d'amour d'un rejeton de l'autre famille : les Redmond. Miles est un homme posé et lorsque sa sœur invite Cynthia une jeune intrigante dans leur demeure il est comme un papillon attiré par une gigantesque fleur. Lentement nous apprenons que cette jeune femme est au bout de ses ressources et qu'elle est au bord d'un précipice financier. Leur histoire d'amour ne m'a pas emballé.
Lu en VO.
Like No Other Lover est à la fois drôle et grave, émouvant et crédible. C'est une bien belle histoire de vue et de mue, ou quand l'amour fait émerger d'âmes esseulées toute la poésie, la douceur, et l'espoir, en les rendant encore plus belles et plus fortes : Cynthia et Miles, tous deux exigeants, passionnés, et intenses, sont tellement, tellement fait pour vivre leur "happily ever after" !
-> Retrouvez mon avis complet sur mon blog.
Veuillez choisir un nouveau mot de passe et indiquer le code secret qui vient d'être envoyé sur votre email