While trying to woo Gypsy singer Talaitha Grey, Lord Harry Beresford does everything wrong. Is her attraction to him strong enough that she can forgive him?
Lord Harry Beresford is used to having everything his way—that is, until he falls in love with Gypsy singer Talaitha Grey. Proud Talaitha is as unimpressed by his title as she is by his wealth, but can she fight her powerful attraction to the man behind those things?
Carrying a tambourine decorated with silk ribbons that were definitely showing their age, Talaitha climbed onto the stage with Cambio. She saw the lord standing a few feet away, leaning with one arm on an ancient apple tree with his thin friend beside him. His broad chest and narrow waist showed to advantage. He was a handsome man. Unsmiling, he nodded at her and reluctantly she nodded back.
Against her will, liquid fire filled her belly. She commanded her body to stop; this man was not for the likes of her, but her body would not listen. She felt a savage desire for him. Had he cast a spell on her?
As she sang the songs the lord requested she tried to smile in his direction, but she felt so resentful and so confused. When she looked at him the liquid fire crept into her veins, and flowed right down to the tips of her toes and the ends of her fingertips. She felt the heat in her face. Inwardly, she cursed herself.
When she finished, her cousin, Delilah, climbed on stage beside her and they shook their tambourines to signal that the entertainment was about to change.
Cambio stroked his guitar. Delilah began the intricate dance steps and after a minute Talaitha joined her. It was a dance their mothers had taught them, but they knew no name for it. Delilah wore a close-fitting green blouse and skirt of multicolored layers and Talaitha, in her deep yellow dress, thought herself no match, but rather a foil to her colorfully attired cousin.
Might the Gadjo decide he preferred Delilah? Vicious jealousy swept over her—jealousy of Delilah's generously curvaceous figure and of the grace with which she moved. She glanced over to where the Gadjo stood. He was not looking at Delilah, but at herself. Again, her rebellious body allowed the flames to spread like wildfire through her, but this time she did not fight it.
Talaitha gave herself to the dance, allowing her unreasonable passion for him to overcome her as she glided and turned, following the steps. She was aware of the sway of her own hips, the twist of her waist, the way her breasts lifted as she took her arms above her head and touched her fingers to the tambourine.
She could feel her thighs brush gently one against the other, the delicious slip and slide of her dress against her skin. Even the touch of the frayed silk ribbons of the tambourine against her naked arms was arousing.
She could feel his eyes devouring her, though she would not, did not, dare look directly at him. She could feel his desire on her skin, on her breasts, even in that most secret part of her between her legs.
She let her own desire mix with his to move her, to consume her. When she looked out at the audience she saw an answering desire obvious on the face of every man there, and the women's faces were flushed.