Read A Growing Passion Online

Authors: Emma Wildes

Tags: #Fiction, #Romance, #Historical, #General

A Growing Passion

BOOK: A Growing Passion
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Table of Contents
 
 
 
Praise for the Novels of Emma Wildes
 
“A luxurious and sensual read. Both deliciously wicked and tenderly romantic. . . . I didn’t want it to end!”

New York Times
bestselling author Celeste Bradley
 
 
“This wickedly exciting romance will draw you in and take hold of your heart.”

USA Today
bestselling author Elizabeth Boyle
 
 
“Regency fans will thrill to this superbly sensual tale of an icy widow and two decadent rakes. . . . Balancing deliciously erotic encounters with compelling romantic tension and populating a convincing historical setting with a strong cast of well-developed characters, prolific romance author Wildes provides a spectacular and skillfully handled story that stands head and shoulders above the average historical romance.”

Publishers Weekly
(starred review)
 
 
“Wickedly delicious and daring, Wildes’s tale tantalizes with an erotic fantasy that is also a well-crafted Regency romance. She delivers a page-turner that captures the era, the mores, and the scandalous behavior that lurks beneath the surface.”

Romantic Times
(4½ stars, top pick)
 
 
“Emma Wildes has thoroughly enchanted e-book readers with her emotionally charged story lines. . . . [A] gem of an author . . . Ms. Wildes tells this story with plenty of compassion, humor, and even a bit of suspense to keep readers riveted to each scandalous scene—and everything in between.”
—Romance Junkies
 
 
“A historical gem. . . . Don’t expect a cookie-cutter romance in
An Indecent Proposition
. Ms. Wildes places enough twists and turns in the story as more than one character finds everlasting love.”
—TwoLips Reviews
 
“Of all the authors I’ve read, I believe Emma Wildes to be my hands-down favorite. . . . Ms. Wildes has once again shown her ability to present new variations of romance in all of its infinite forms. Be prepared to feel your passions grow as you read the beautifully written love scenes.”
—Just Erotic Romance Reviews (5 stars)
 
 
“Emma Wildes has an amazing flair for taking what could be considered controversial subject matter and turning it into a beautiful love story that has the reader cheering for the characters. . . . It is a truly rare and remarkable talent.”
—Euro-Reviews
 
 
“Unique, masterfully written, and engaging story lines coupled with fascinating characters are what every reader can expect from Emma Wildes. For fans of historical and Regency romance, look no further. Ms. Wildes possesses a beautiful, flowing writing style that transports her readers to another time as the sights and sounds come to life around them. My expectations are exceeded every time I read one of her books!”
—TwoLips Reviews
 
 
“Chock-full of mysteries, torrid romances, unforgettable characters . . . delightfully fun and wicked.”
—Romance Junkies
 
 
“Emma Wildes is a rising star who writes incredible historical romance.”
—Fallen Angel Reviews
 
 
“Ms. Wildes has penned an excellent novel that is sure to be a favorite for many years to come . . . deserves no less than a Perfect 10!”
—Romance Reviews Today
 
 
“[A] delightful, delicious, and sexy tale that readers will adore.”
—Goodreads (JERR Gold Star Award)
 
 
“Inventive and well-written, with fabulous love scenes and characters worth reading about.”
—All About Romance
 
Also by Emma Wildes
 
Ladies in Waiting
One Whisper Away
 
The Notorious Bachelors
Our Wicked Mistake
 
His Sinful Secret
 
My Lord Scandal
 
Seducing the Highlander
 
Lessons from a Scarlet Lady
 
An Indecent Proposition
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First published by Signet Eclipse, an imprint of New American Library,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
 
First Printing, May 2011
eISBN : 978-1-101-53108-2
 
Copyright © Katherine Smith, 2011 All rights reserved
 
SIGNET ECLIPSE and logo are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
 
 
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
 
PUBLISHER’S NOTE
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.
 
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The inside of the ballroom was oppressively hot and Victoria Manwell idly fanned herself, stifled by the crowd and heat. “I think I’ll go outside and get some fresh air,” she said, nodding toward the tall French doors open to the terrace and the promise of a cooler, cleaner breeze that did not reek of perfume, sweat, and stale champagne. “I thought I saw Stephen step out a second ago. Perhaps I’ll join him.”
Her aunt merely nodded, half-absorbed in listening to a bit of scintillating gossip, her plump figure firmly planted in a chair. “Don’t catch your death, dear. It’s quite chilly outside.”
The death of me,
Victoria thought darkly as she attempted to edge through melee of swirling bodies with polite determination,
will be to have to stay inside for another minute
. Gaining the exit, she stepped out onto the flagstone terrace and inhaled a great lungful of clean air, feeling vastly relieved. The truth was, she detested parties such as these, much preferring working in her garden or curling up in bed with a good book.
Where is Stephen?
she wondered, casting a look around. Other than a couple close together, whispering and leaning against the balustrade, there was no one in sight. Odd, as she’d been sure she’d seen him, dressed as always in his very severe evening clothes, easing out the very same doors just moments before.
The crisp cool evening wind wafted over her bare shoulders above the low neckline of her fashionable gown, the sensation delightful. She descended the wide steps and chose the path to her left, leaving the sounds of merriment behind. Flowers were dying in homage to the encroaching threat of winter, the roses drooping and beginning to scatter thick petals across the stones that paved the way. A familiar scent wafted upward and Victoria ran her fingers over one overblown velvety blossom, the deep crimson like a familiar friend. “Queen Anne,” she murmured, “you and your fragrance linger longer than the others, don’t you, darling?”
As she continued to wander, she assessed with a connoisseur’s eye the lack of general imagination in the layout of the garden itself. Even in the thin light of a wispy moon, she could see that the gardener had placed the yews that defined the space in such a way that they must surely block the light, and the late blooming bushes were in the back, instead of the front where they would allow––
The sound of voices, one low and modulated, one high and insistent, suddenly made her aware that there were other people in the garden, just ahead. She could see them just a few paces away, but since they seemed to be in the midst of an argument, they hadn’t noticed her approach. Not certain what to do, she halted, realizing she had blundered into some sort of lover’s tryst, for the woman had her arms twined around the man’s neck and was saying in a wheedling tone, “Come on, darling. The coach house is empty and we have at least a few minutes before anyone will notice we are gone.”
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