SAMANTHA JAMES One Moonlit Night Contents Prologue “I have something to tell you,” she whispered. 1 One “He's a Gyp. DownloadOne moonlit night samantha james pdf. 0 when it hits the public test servers. To add PDF functionality to Open Office, you will need to install the. Download and Read Free Online One Moonlit Night Samantha James One Moonlit Night by Samantha James Free PDF d0wnl0ad, audio books, books to.
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It was angst and turmoil that didn't really suck you in. It was there, but you were watching it from a distance. And even with the turmoil it never came off as anything other than sweet. That's not a criticism, just an explanation for any who are thinking of reading it. I felt that this was an average romance. I never really got to know the characters, and their overwrought behavior felt silly instead of emotional at times, but there was nothing extremely unlikeable about it.
I wish I would have gotten to know the hero and heroine better. I really didn't quite understand their attraction beyond the fact that he's the hero and she's the heroine.
I found Olivia quite frustrating at times. She'd push Dominic away or let him get insecure but then would wonder why he was acting cold toward her later. You're playing hot and cold with him, maybe? All the events felt in keeping with a lot of the older historicals I've read.
It's hard to be critical about it when it all feels so familiar. I still have quite a few books on my shelves from my earlier days and like to reread them and feel nostalgic. I think if I had read this back when I had first started reading romance I would have liked it more. My tastes have grown since then and I've become more demanding of the storylines and characters I read.
And this one was far from ungainly. Her hair seemed the same rich color as the firelight, a striking combination of amber and gold. But it was caught up in a knot on her nape, pulled so severely tight that the skin on her forehead was stretched taut. He found himself possessed of the notion that she sought to hide her beauty. Nature has not failed her, my friend.
No doubt she could aim far higher. Nor did he need to, Christopher decided. He heaved a silent sigh of regret, for the thought of pursuing a dalliance with the wench was captivating indeed, but Gabriel had spied her first so he would quell any frivolous pursuit on his part.
She was dressed much the same as the other, in a worn, muslin gown that might have once been green. The square bodice was cut low. She carried a heavily laden tray and had begun to serve frothy tankards of ale at the table across the room. He gave a cynical half-smile, for oddly enough, he found himself far more fascinated by what this lass humbly concealed than what the first barmaid brazenly displayed.
Small-boned and unearthly slender beneath that wretched gown, it slipped through his mind that she seemed strangely out of place here, like a frail pink blossom among thorns…He was abruptly irritated with himself. What nonsense was this? He was suddenly both angry and annoyed, yet buried beneath his selfderisive scorn was the realization that he could scarcely escape the reminder… His mother had loved flowers. Beside him there was a swish of skirts.
The first maid sidled up between him and Christopher. Indeed, you may pass our compliments on to the cook. The bread was fragrant and warm, the round of beef tender and well-seasoned.
She dipped a curtsy—but not without another display of bountiful flesh—a calculated move, Gabriel thought, nodding in acknowledgement. And real gents they were, not like some we get around here. He inclined his head toward the other barmaid. Her mum was one of the barmaids here years back. And who is Bess? She sniffed disdainfully.
And not much topside either, if you ask me. Never say she is not eager. He pulled her down hard onto his lap. Nell laughed and twined her arms about his neck. The man plunged his hand into her bodice, openly fondling her breast. Gabriel found the display unusually distasteful. Just then the girl called Cassie emerged from the kitchen. Her mother left her on her own? A child yet?
Gabriel stretched out his long legs beneath the rough-planked table. This part of Charleston was hardly a pretty place. There were cows and horses everywhere, even in the narrow alleys; the residents had no qualms about dumping garbage wherever they pleased.
It was no wonder the streets were slimy and stinking. Gabriel turned his head slightly. It appeared the men at the next table had decided to have a bit of fun with the girl Cassie, who was attempting to refill their tankards of ale while trying to avoid their groping hands.
Roving fingers plucked at the pointed thrust of her breast. When she jumped, three of them roared while another leered in avid anticipation.
Gabriel started to lift his tankard to his lips, still a silent observer. Certainly he was not offended, for such bawdiness was commonplace in establishments such as this. Indeed, the banter was sometimes far worse at his club in London. As for the girl, certainly she was no stranger to it either. Aye, no doubt she liked it.
Most of her kind did… No. He was wrong. A burly sailor caught a fistful of her skirt. She yanked it away and whirled around. Though she said not a word, for an instant hate blazed keenly in her eyes. Slowly Gabriel lowered his tankard to the table. Surely not. Likely as not, the girl was a doxy just like the other… Cassie McClellan slammed the tray down on the long work table in the kitchen.
God, but she hated this! The smell of sweat and ale. Groping male hands and wet lips. She shuddered. It was disgusting, the way they pawed and grabbed. The very thought made her belly clench in dread.
She shuddered, experiencing anew the feel of grasping hands and pinching fingers.
Lord, but she hated those swine! They sought respite from their troubles in drink—and sport from those who served it. And then, tonight there was him, the dark-haired one in the corner. Staring at her. Watching her. Oddly, it was that she hated most. Knowing he watched while those awful men pinched and fondled her only deepened her shame and humiliation…and her anger.
The soft line of her lips compressed. Had he been amused by it? Had he secretly laughed? Oh, but the nerve of the man! Still, she could not help but wonder who he was, he and his friend. A wealthy captain and mate of a vessel berthed in the harbor? Low-country planters? Well-to-do merchants traveling through Charleston?
Black Jack himself, in a rare moment, had seen to the supper preparations and served them their meal. That alone proclaimed them men of some stature. Wiping her hands on a length of rag, she cast a furtive glance through the swinging double doors into the taproom. It was hard to see through the smoky haze, but sure enough, Black Jack was again at their table. The double doors opened with a swish. Nell sauntered in, her braid askew, the shoulders of her dress rumpled and sagging from her shoulders.
Cassie hastily averted her gaze. Wickedly handsome, he is.
Gives me shivers right down to me very toes, he does. Made of velvet, it is! Cassie said nothing, but inside she winced. Nell was one such as her mother had been; she oft loved unwisely and too well.
Ducking the sides of ham and beef curing from the beam, she stepped before the pantry. With her back to Nell, she did her best to ignore her, placing several clean tankards back into the cupboard. Nell paid no heed. Sir Christopher Marley is yours! Would she never get used to Nell making light of her?
And as for the earl, it mattered little to her whether he was the king of England, or master of a dung heap! Black Jack hammered the doors open with beefy fists. Big, burly, and shaggy-haired as he was, Cassie had long ago decided his sour disposition had earned him his name.
Use the best crystal. Cassie had gone utterly still. A flash of alarm surged within her. Serve him? The one who stared so boldly? Nervously she wet her lips.
Cassie flinched when he grabbed a wooden spoon and shook it threateningly. Smile and be nice to the gents—and stop trying to hide your bosom! She damned Black Jack, even as she damned herself for her weakness. And surely these two could be no worse than any of the others. Mustering her courage, she pushed through the double doors and back out into the noisy taproom. Boisterous shouts hailed her return. Ignoring the coarse calls and snatching hands, she weaved her way through and around tables toward her destination.
Her steps slowed as she approached. She was but a few paces distant when the black-haired one, the earl, turned his head. Their eyes locked. For Cassie, it was as if a bolt of lightning zigzagged through her. Rampant in her mind was the urge to turn and run, as far and fast as she could. Why it was so, she did not know. But for a timeless instant, she could not move. What was it Nell had said? But of the two, wicked was the one etched sharply in her brain. Oh, there was no denying his handsomeness, by far and away.
High cheekbones slanted above clean-shaven cheeks; his jaw was flawlessly chiseled, and all in perfect proportion. Yet for all its perfection, his was a face of supreme masculinity. Yet she sensed a harshness within him, a harshness borne out by the unsmiling cast of his mouth. Set beneath winged black brows, his eyes were like pale frost, as cold and piercing as frozen glass. Cassie was the first to look away.
She swallowed, forcing her feet to do her bidding and close the remaining distance between them. All the while he stared at her through eyes of burning silver, as if he chose to see all that she would keep hidden. Nell was right, she thought on a note of panic. He gave her the shivers, but it was scarcely a pleasant sensation. Quickly she set the crystal goblets before them. Christopher Marley smiled up at her. He had kind eyes, and a warm and gentle smile. His own deepened. She had no home, for she scarcely considered the cramped, tiny room in the attic where she slept with Nell her home.
In truth, it was the one great wish that preyed longingly on her mind. She and Bess had oft dreamed of saving their coin that they might download a cottage of their own; there they would sew for fine ladies since they were both well skilled with a needle. Bess, she thought with a pang. Dear, sweet Bess. Though not so very much older than herself, Bess had been far more mother to her than her own.
She had taken her in, protected her, and watched out for her when no one else had cared. A bitter darkness stole into her heart. No, she thought again. She had no home of her own, nor was it likely she ever would. Her lashes dropped. She set her attention to removing the stopper from the bottle of brandy.
An awkward silence prevailed as she struggled with the bottle-stopper; uppermost in her mind was awareness that the earl still watched and had yet to say a word. Nervousness made her fingers clumsy. She plucked almost frantically at the stopper. It was then that the earl finally spoke, a hint of barely restrained impatience in his voice. Her lips parted. Strong fingers had already curled around the neck of the bottle.
For the space of a heartbeat, the back of his knuckles lay cradled against the curve of her breast. It was all Cassie could do not to cry out, not from shock, but from the reaction his touch evoked. Like fire it was, clear through to the core of her body. The stopper popped free. To Cassie, the loud pop! She flushed as he proceeded to fill the two goblets.
He was looking her way, his expression as frigid as a sea wind in winter. Badly shaken and praying it did not show, she bobbed a curtsy, eyes downcast. His eyes were cool and assessing. They wandered at will, over her neckline before settling, she was certain, with calculated deliberation on the swell of her flesh visible above the frayed lace trim of her bodice.
Both angry and anxious at his brazenly thorough study, she gave a nod. But in her haste to replace them on her tray, she withdrew her elbow just a little too quickly. The bottle of brandy tipped over with a crash. Both men leaped to their feet. By some miracle both emerged unscathed.
Cassie had already begun swiping at the sodden mess. She paused long enough to return his glare in full measure. Who was he to call her inept? She straightened indignantly. She gasped as her arm was suddenly seized in a grip she knew from experience would cause bruises. A simmering resentment fired within her. It was bad enough to be chastised in front of the entire taproom, let alone knowing that he stood witness to her shame.
Beefy fingers bit fiercely into her arm. The only thing that brought her chin up was the certainty that Black Jack would take immense pleasure in seeing her humbled. Black Jack leveled a scowl at her and dropped her arm. He turned toward the other two men.
Christopher Marley held up a hand. Do not worry your pretty head about it another minute. They were no sooner through the doors than he loosed the full force of his ire. Dear God, surely he was not suggesting…She looked on numbly as he whirled and loaded another goblet and bottle of brandy onto a tray.
One Moonlit Night
The earl is sleeping there. If ye please him, ye please me. As awful as it was here, the streets were even worse. Only yesterday a young woman had been found in an alley, half-naked, her throat slit. She waited no longer. His words were like a burr beneath her feet. She snatched up the tray and fled as if the hounds of hell snapped at her heels. The rose chamber was the best in the inn. Black Jack always put the well-to-do guests there. A wide fourposter with a delicate, rose-embroidered coverlet dominated the large, spacious room.
Matching brocade draperies trimmed the window. When her mother had first started working for Black Jack, Cassie had often crept inside and let her fantasies take flight. She pretended she was a fine lady and mistress of a huge house with a dozen chambers such as this. She was never hungry and never cold. Now her only thought was to escape—this horrid inn, the toil, the endless drudgery.
She deposited the tray on the pedestal table near the window. She pressed her cool hands against the fiery heat of her cheeks. Her heart cried out in weary despair. Was it wrong to want more? Enough coin to download another dress, and maybe a new bonnet. If only there was a way out. If only… Gathering herself in hand, she straightened, wiping the dampness from her cheeks. Did Black Jack truly expect her to lay with the earl?
Horror clutched her insides. How could she wait here, like a lamb on its way to the slaughterhouse? She spun around. Her eyes lit on the chest of drawers just inside the doorway. Heaped in a small mound was a handful of silver.
Oh, it was scarce a fortune, to be sure. But it was far more than she had seen in all her years. Iwithout For a timeless moment it was as if she were courage or wits—she could not move. A part of her longed to flee, like a tempest racing across the sea.
But her feet seemed suddenly weighted with lead. Through some miracle she finally managed to turn and face him.
He was tall, she noted in some far distant corner of her mind, far taller than he had appeared downstairs. Oh, but no dandy, this one! His shoulders stretched the velvet of his jacket so taut there was nary a pucker or a wrinkle. Dark-colored breeches revealed every hard curve of bulging thighs, so tight they were almost like a second skin.
He was all grace, all elegance as he approached. A flurry of panic assailed her. If she tried to run, he could easily catch her. To her shock, he strode past her to the tray. He poured a generous portion of port into the goblet, then offered it to her. Sharing a glass with him—placing her lips where his had been—was an intimacy she would take with no man, let alone this one! Well, then. She was scarcely as composed as she might have wished. I much prefer you remain here. She could not stay here for—Lord, she could not complete the thought, even to herself!
Her mind churned frantically. There was an unfamiliar dryness in her throat. And more importantly, with whom I wish to be. Cassie sensed it with all that she possessed. Oh, but he was cruel to torment her so! She gave a curt, jerky gesture with her hands. You cannot know how much. Why, you wound me sorely.
Cassie shuddered. If there was pleasure to be had, it would not be hers, but his. She surveyed him warily as he pulled something from his pocket—a watch, for she caught the glint of a fine gold chain as he dropped it next to the pile of silver. He stepped forward. Cassie inched back. His laugh was both hearty—and heartless. Do I frighten you? No, I do believe Christopher was wrong.
But back to my question. Why do you dislike me?
One Moonlit Night Samantha James : FB2
Why else would you stare at me as you did? Gabriel smiled dryly. She was shabbily dressed, her clothing little more than rags, and still it hid nothing of her beauty. He wondered vaguely if she had any idea how lovely she was. Her coloring was unusual, but striking nonetheless—hair like amber fire and eyes like clear topaz. And though she was young, she was years out of childhood. He frowned, rather irritated with himself. Indeed, he preferred his women with far more sophistication than this uncivilized young lass.
Still, the girl was scarcely untried. Indeed, he decided with more than a touch of cynicism, her experience might well equal his own. And there was no denying she stirred his blood.
Can you not find it in your heart to be generous? Will you not cater to a weary soul who is in dire need of a soft, feminine body, a warm, soothing hand? Oh, but that was rich! Her hands were lobster-red, as rough as the scrub brush which rendered them so. Her temper began to unravel. Gabriel had not.
His gaze flickered to the pile of silver. If you are to earn it, I would expect much of you. You would have to stay with me…oh, not an hour, not even two—the night through, I think.
And in the morning, why perhaps we might even share the bath together. Surely people did not do such things! He unnerved her, she realized, though he had yet to lay a hand on her. She was not ignorant. She knew what he wanted. Cassie knew whenever that happened. Bess would come to bed quietly weeping. Sometimes there were marks on her arms the next day, even on her breasts.
Cassie remembered the last time. She knew why Bess had done such things—for the money it brought. Indeed, it was that money which had saved Cassie from the same fate. But Cassie was not yet ready to trade her virtue for a handful of silver. Gabriel did not glimpse her distress. He saw only distaste. Would she have been as reluctant if she were here with Christopher? The idea rankled. Gabriel recalled how sweetly she had smiled at his friend, while she would not even deign to look at him.
A dark anger swept through him. Not for this! Her fingers curled against her palm. You take what you want, with no thought of anyone save yourself. Loved you and left you, perhaps?
It struck him then…he was goading her, and quite unmercifully. She looked at him as if she were his better…as if he was nothing. And that was the one thing Gabriel could not tolerate. Slowly he circled her. He sensed her nervous tension, just as he sensed her struggle not to reveal it. Gabriel was both amused and piqued by her resistance. It seemed the wench possessed not only beauty, but an abundance of pride, an odd combination for one of her station. At length he halted before her, so close they stood but a breath apart.
Yet how could she disagree, for then he would assume she meant to lay with him! Cassie battled a mounting panic. His nearness was disconcerting; a prickle of warning trickled up her nape. It took every ounce of courage she had to meet the steely probe of his gaze, yet somehow she managed.
But I would have you know, sir, you have neither my consent, nor my willingness. Therefore, I ask that you let me leave. Her gaze slid away, but not before he glimpsed the suspiciously bright sheen that glazed the breathtaking gold of her eyes. He scoffed. There is no need for pretense between us, Yank. We both know why Black Jack sent you here.
Most likely he does not expect you to leave this chamber until the night is well spent. Her attention was confined to the intricate folds of his impeccable white cravat. I have nothing to give.
Oh, but she should have known better than to expect mercy from him! A wrenching despair rode heavy on her heart. Was this how it would be? Her virginity surrendered to one who cared only that his own pleasures of the flesh be satisfied? Gabriel had already made up his mind he would not force her. Desirable though she was, there were too many other willing women in the world to trouble himself with one who wanted no part of him.
But by God, the wench was a maddening little piece, and he would have none of it. Cassie went hot inside, then icy cold. His mouth, beautifully shaped though it was, was set in a thin, cruel line.
There was no softness in him, none at all. Strong hands shackled her about the wrists. Even now they drew her closer. Ever closer… Her breath came fast, then slow.
It was but a kiss. Was that so much to yield? She shivered. Far better that than the other… His mouth met hers. The grip upon her wrists tightened by a hair. Cassie glared. Their bodies twisted together.
A peculiar sensation of weightlessness assailed her. His mouth closed over hers. The fleeting thought chased through her mind that this kiss was like none other, and then her mind seemed not her own.
His lips were warm and compelling, starkly primitive yet oddly persuasive, draining her of strength and will. Cassie was dazed by the strange inner trembling that seized her. She felt absurdly lightheaded. It took a moment to realize he had raised his head. Sweet heaven, she was lying on the bed, and he was lying on her!
Sanity returned with a galvanizing rush. She thumped his shoulders with her fists. He studied her, turning his head first this way, then that. Finally a devilish brow rose high.
His head dipped again, but his target was not her lips. Cassie gave a small, stricken cry as his mouth settled on the side of her neck, nipping the tender skin with his teeth, gently sucking, then soothing the hurt with his tongue. Her fingers tangled in his hair.
She tugged hard but he paid no heed. His mouth fastened greedily on its tender prey. Then all at once his mouth was on hers again, only this time demanding and ruthless, so raw and plundering that she could scarcely breathe.
Something exploded in her mind. Somehow she managed to tear her mouth free. Small fists pummeled his shoulders. Let me go! Nell was right, he decided with vast amusement. The chit did put on airs. Her mouth felt swollen and bruised. The delicate skin around her lips still burned. A wench who is unwilling is as much trouble as one who is untried. He now stood at the window, hands behind his back, staring out in the stark blackness of the night.
Slowly she began to back away. But if he heard, there was no sign of it. He did not turn, nor did he speak, and that gave Cassie the very chance she needed… She snatched his watch from the dresser and fled. Chapter 3 the attic, Cassie rushed to the crooked table in the Iwerencorner to light the stub of candle there.She had taken her in, protected her, and watched out for her when no one else had cared. It boasted excellent food, clean sheets, and respectable service, all at a fair price.
He did not.
A Ding Darling Sampler: Ever closer… Her breath came fast, then slow. Five minutes later, he stood before the window, simply dressed in a loose white shirt, dark breeches, and shiny, high-topped boots. Versailles - Alan Sharp, Dejan Djokic.