KEYNOTE:Declan Farrell, earl of Dungannon and the famous highwayman known as “the Gypsy,” is about to have his heart stolen by the very woman he intends not to marry.BACK COVER COPY:STAND AND DELIVERDeclan Farrell, earl of Dungannon and the son of the duke of Arlington, is a nobleman of the highest order, dissolute and a thief. He is a drinker and a lover, and at night he is “the Gypsy,” a highwayman who prowls from the city of Boreas to Chappendale Forest.And yet, his heart is true. Impelled by a tragic past, he steals from the rich and gives to the poor, offers hope to those who cannot fight their fate. So much was taken from him, which is why he gives. He himself is undeserving of love and happiness, but there are those who are worthy, like Lady Althea Standfield, daughter to the duke of Oxmoor. Independent and kind, beautiful and smart, she must be freed from the obligation of marrying him. His heart might be stolen by a woman of such fine form and finer character...but his heart is all that he has left, and it is perfectly protected.
She licked her lips—wondering what his would taste like. How the sculpted muscles that undulated beneath the wet shirt would feel against her palms. How tight those brawny arms would hold her.
His smile widened, became knowing and he began to slide his hand slowly up and down the handle of the pitchfork in a suggestive way.
Althea stumbled away from the window, turned then looked wildly about her.
She had to have him.
She must have him whether he was willing or not.
If it was the last thing she ever did, she would claim that man as her own!
“I have such need for you, wench,” he said.
That was more than evident to her. He was close enough for her to feel the tip of his cock pressing against her body.
The laces undone, he pushed her nightdress over her shoulders and it fell from her arms, rippled down her body to pool at her feet. Before she could take another breath, he snaked his arms around her, put his hands to her rump and lifted her. She wrapped her legs around his waist, her arms around his neck and kissed him. He took three steps to her bed, turned and drew her down with him to the narrow mattress.
From their very first night together she had known he would always be a gentle—and thorough—lover. He always put her pleasure before his own and this night was no different. His hard body covered hers, his delicious weight pressing her into the covers, and he smoothly eased her thighs apart with his hips. His lips moved to her chin, her neck, the sensitive sweep of flesh between neck and shoulder and then he was gliding down her. The moment his mouth closed over her straining nipple, she arched toward him. His low chuckle vibrated against that turgid peak to send chills down her sides.
A southerner transplanted to Iowa, Charlotte Boyett-Compo (her friends call her Charlee) is a multi-published author of almost all sub-genres of Romance fiction. Under the Mayhaw Tree is her 100th book. Over the years, her novels have won critical acclaim and many awards. When asked why she writes, she's said, "I write because the urge is there and it's like an itch you can not ignore. Sometimes, I think if I don't get my thoughts down on paper, I'll go insane. It is a craving, an addiction, that unless you experience it, you can't quite explain to 'normal' people."