Read A Taste of Paradise Online

Authors: Connie Mason

A Taste of Paradise

ROMANTIC TIMES
RAVES ABOUT
NEW YORK TIMES
BESTSELLING
AUTHOR CONNIE MASON!

A KNIGHT'S HONOR
“This is classic Mason.
Her fans will put this on the top of their to-read lists.”

GYPSY LOVER
“Mason's romances are always a feast
for readers seeking a passionate, exciting story peopled with
larger-than-life heroes who take your breath away.”

THE PIRATE PRINCE
“A legend of the genre, Mason delivers a tried-and-true
romance with a classic plot and highly engaging characters.”

THE LAST ROGUE
“A delight. . . . This is a must read for Mason fans.”

SEDUCED BY A ROGUE
“Another wonderful story filled
with adventure, witty repartee and hot sex.”

THE ROGUE AND THE HELLION
“Ms. Mason has written another winner
to delight her fans who want sexual tension that leads to
hot explosion, memorable characters and a fast-paced story.”

THE LAIRD OF STONEHAVEN
“[Ms. Mason] crafts with excellence and creativity. . . [and]
the added attraction of mystery and magic.”

LIONHEART
“. . . upholds the author's reputation for creating
memorable stories and remarkable characters.”

THE DRAGON LORD
“This is a real keeper, filled with historical fact,
sizzling love scenes and wonderful characters.”

THE BLACK KNIGHT
“Ms. Mason has written a rich medieval romance
filled with tournaments, chivalry, lust and love.”

MORE
ROMANTIC TIMES
PRAISE FOR CONNIE MASON!

THE OUTLAWS: SAM
“Ms. Mason always provides the reader
with a hot romance, filled with plot twists and wonderful
characters. She's a marvelous storyteller.”

THE OUTLAWS: JESS

Jess
is filled with adventure and passion. Ms. Mason delivers.”

THE OUTLAWS: RAFE
“Ms. Mason begins this new trilogy with
wonderful characters. . . steamy romance. . . excellent
dialogue. . . [and an] exciting plot!”

GUNSLINGER
“Ms. Mason has created memorable characters
and a plot that made this reader rush to turn the pages. . . .
Gunslinger
is an enduring story.”

PIRATE
“Ms. Mason has written interesting characters
into a twisting plot filled with humor and pathos.”

BEYOND THE HORIZON
“Connie Mason at her best! She draws readers into
this fast-paced, tender and emotional historical romance
that proves love really does conquer all!”

BRAVE LAND, BRAVE LOVE
“An utter delight from first page to last—funny,
tender, adventurous, and highly romantic!”

WILD LAND, WILD LOVE
“Connie Mason has done it again!”

BOLD LAND, BOLD LOVE
“A lovely romance and a fine historical!”

VIKING!
“This captive/captor romance proves a delicious read.”

A TASTE OF TEMPTATION

“You're safe with me,” Chris said, “unless you decide you'd like an introduction to sexual pleasure. There could never be anything more than that between you and me.”

“No, thank you,” Sophia snapped. “Becoming intimate with you doesn't interest me.”

Chris stalked her until he stood before her, his eyes probing deep into her soul. “I could make it interesting.”

Their gazes collided. A simmering tension stretched between them. His features wore an expectant look, his expression dark with promise.

“I suggest that you use your powers of seduction on someone who will appreciate your efforts,” Sophia sniffed.

Chris chortled. “You do tempt me, my lady, despite our complicated past.”

Other books by Connie Mason:

A KNIGHT'S HONOR
GYPSY LOVER
THE PIRATE PRINCE
THE LAST ROGUE
THE LAIRD OF STONEHAVEN
TO LOVE A STRANGER
SEDUCED BY A ROGUE
TO TAME A RENEGADE
LIONHEART
A LOVE TO CHERISH
THE ROGUE AND THE HELLION
THE DRAGON LORD
THE OUTLAWS: SAM
THE OUTLAWS: JESS
THE OUTLAWS: RAFE
THE BLACK KNIGHT
GUNSLINGER
BEYOND THE HORIZON
PIRATE
BRAVE LAND, BRAVE LOVE
WILD LAND, WILD LOVE
BOLD LAND, BOLD LOVE
VIKING!
SURRENDER TO THE FURY
LORD OF THE NIGHT
PROMISE ME FOREVER
SHEIK
ICE & RAPTURE
LOVE ME WITH FURY
SHADOW WALKER
TENDER FURY
A PROMISE OF THUNDER
PURE TEMPTATION
WIND RIDER
THE LION'S BRIDE
SIERRA
TREASURES OF THE HEART
PROMISED SPLENDOR

Contents

Prologue

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Epilogue

AUTHOR'S NOTE

 

 

 

DORCHESTER PUBLISHING

Published by

Dorchester Publishing Co., Inc.
200 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016

Copyright © 2006 by Connie Mason

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, without the written permission of the publisher, except where permitted by law. The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author's rights is appreciated.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Trade ISBN: 978-1-4285-1710-3
E-book ISBN: 978-1-4285-0446-2

First Dorchester Publishing, Co., Inc. edition: March 2006

The “DP” logo is the property of Dorchester Publishing Co., Inc.

Printed in the United States of America.

Visit us online at
www.dorchesterpub.com
.

 

 

Prologue

London, April 1831

“Please, Chris, don't stop,” begged the woman writhing beneath Captain Christian Radcliff.

“Never,” Chris gasped from between clenched teeth as he thrust hard, withdrew, and thrust again and again into the wet warmth of Lady Amanda Dartmore. If Chris had anything close to a mistress, it would be Amanda, a nobleman's wife bored with her elderly husband.

Soon they were both thrashing and moaning amidst the twisted bed sheets, each seeking the ultimate pleasure. Chris collapsed in a boneless heap, his breathing harsh and tortured.

“Must you leave London so soon, Chris?” Amanda asked breathlessly. “It's a rare man who sees to a woman's pleasure as well as his own. Believe me when I say I've been with enough men to know that most of them are selfish lovers.”

“Sorry, Amanda,” Chris said, pushing to his feet. “I'm leaving England in a few days, perhaps for good. My visit this time is of short duration. But if I return, you'll be one of the first to see me.”

Amanda clung to him. “Dartmore is old and feeble. He won't live much longer. I was hoping you and I . . . If I didn't have a husband, would you marry me?”

Chris shook himself free of her questing hands and rose from the bed. “You are married, so your question is moot.”

Chris planned to sail to Jamaica within the week. Aware that he wouldn't have another woman anytime soon, he had taken Amanda twice tonight while her husband slept soundly in another chamber, but now it was time to leave and bid his brother good-bye. He hadn't lied to Amanda when he'd said he might never return to England; convincing his brother that this was a good move wasn't going to be easy.

Legs outstretched, powerful body tense despite his outward calm, Christian sprawled in a chair in his brother's comfortable study, facing the earl's considerable wrath. Justin, the Earl of Standish, scowled at Chris over his tented fingers.

“Damnation, Chris, what do you mean, you're leaving the sea to become a gentleman planter in the West Indies? Isn't it time you stopped your adventurous life and returned home where you belong? You should be looking for a bride and thinking about setting up your nursery.”

“My adventures have earned me an excellent living. The
Intrepid
belongs solely to me. My trading ventures have made me a rich man. My inheritance from Grandmother has made me an even richer one. When I left England seven years ago, I never imagined I would own my own ship, or become rich.”

Chris had always relished adventure and the thrill of danger. The challenges and risks he had faced as a sea captain made him feel alive and vital. Pitting his wits against the elements was more exhilarating than anything Society had to offer. But now it was time to turn to something new, something entirely different and challenging in new ways.

“So why are you giving up that life to become a planter on the other side of the world?” Justin snapped.

“Hardly the other side of the world,” Chris corrected, “and I'll still visit England from time to time to confer with my factor.” His handsome features grew pensive. “I owe England nothing. Society hasn't been kind to me, if you recall.”

“Time glosses over all sins. The incident that caused you to flee English shores has become but a distant memory.”

Chris's voice hardened. “
I
haven't forgotten, Justin. How could I forget killing my best friend?”

“It was an accident, Chris. The girl played you for a fool. She was using you to make Desmond jealous. She only appeared to favor you to bring Desmond up to scratch. She was young, and so were you and Desmond. You were too infatuated with her to think clearly.”

“Perhaps, but because of her I killed my best friend in a stupid duel that would never have taken place were we not both deep in our cups. Desmond had already discharged his pistol and missed . . . deliberately; I shot wide to the right, intending to miss him. I had no inkling he would stagger into the bullet's path as I fired.”

“Precisely what I've been trying to tell you,” Justin argued. “It was an accident. No one cares anymore. You can return home and take your place in Society.”

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