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A Sinful Alliance is the next story in the “Renaissance Trilogy.”

Harlequin

Release Date: April 2008

ISBN: 9780373294930

Marguerite Dumas, the legendary French spy known as the Emerald Lily, encounters her latest foe, Nicolai Ostrovsky, in the midst of a Venetian brothel...

.…In answer, he kissed her, his lips swooping down on hers so quickly she had no time for thought.  She could only react, respond.  His kiss was not harsh and bruising, but alluringly soft, gentle, nibbling at her lips, luring her to follow him into that sunshine and forget all else.  For a moment, she did forget.  She was not Marguerite Dumas, not the Emerald Lily.  She was just a woman being kissed by a handsome man, a man who ensnared her with a blurry, humid heat, with his scent, his strong arms, his talented lips.  She pressed closer to him, so close the edges of her being melted into his and she couldn’t tell where she ended and he began.  His tongue pressed into her mouth, presaging an even more profound joining.

Overwhelmed, Marguerite eased back.  She needed her own ice now, the cold thoughts, precise actions.  Not this, this—lust.  This need for him.  The Emerald Lily did not have needs, especially not carnal ones.  Nicolai Ostrovsky was a task, nothing more.

Why, then, was it so very hard to remember that as she stared up into his sky blue eyes?

She made herself smile.  “You are hot tonight, signor.”

“I told you the Italian sun has made me so.”

“Then come with me, signor, and I’ll cool you off—eventually.”  She untangled her clasp from his hair, reaching down to take his hand.  His fingers held hers tightly, holding her prisoner as she led him toward that small doorway she earlier emerged from.

They climbed the narrow stairs, the quiet enclosing them again, the loud, bright world shut away.  Marguerite felt her heart thud in her chest, felt her skin grow chilled.  The time was almost upon her.

At the entrance to her little room, Nicolai suddenly reeled her close to him, spinning her lightly around to press her to the wall.  Marguerite’s heartbeat quickened—had he discovered her, then?  Was she caught in a trap of her own?

He did not slit her throat, though.  He merely held her there, pressed against her in the half-light, staring down at her with those otherworldly eyes as if he could see into her soul.  Her sin-riddled soul.

“Where do you come from, Bella?” he said softly.

 

 

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