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Beauty Tempts the Beast

Beauty Tempts the Beast cover
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Although hideously scarred, the reclusive Lord Ashworth isn’t really the horrible monster he’s rumored to be… Or is he? Turning away all visitors, he keeps himself and his secrets isolated in his remote manor. But what will be the cost of one woman’s refusal to fear him?

Vivian Suttley is running for her life. Having known true evil, she’s willing to brave the brooding viscount, certain that tales of the monster are just silly rumors. But is she really safe? Or has she just made the biggest mistake of her life?

Excerpt:

He laughed then spun away from her, weaving his way through the old furniture to the clattering window. His wide shoulders blocked the remaining daylight, leaving only a lone candelabra to flicker its ghostly shadows on the walls. “Afraid? I am afraid of nothing. It is others who fear me.”

“I do not fear you.” Her skittering pulse claimed otherwise.

“Maybe you should.”

Perhaps, but not because of the scar. Surface wounds were no indicator of the mortal underneath. She’d learned that lesson well enough. Scars marked painful memories, but true evil lurked within the soul.

She moved closer to him, yet avoided his post by the window, sensing she’d be intruding. Instead, her fingers traced over the worn wood trim of a high-backed chair, disturbing a layer of dust. “Would you cause me pain?”

She knew pain, still felt it, especially when inflicted by a man.

At her question, Lord Ashworth dropped his head. His shoulders sagged. “I have no desire to hurt you. But there are times….” He sighed. “I have been here so long. All alone.”

Wind swept up against the house again, dragging tree branches down the crumbling stones like a witch’s nails. Vivian shivered. She wasn’t accustomed to this bleak weather, yet it would not chase her away. This marriage must be her salvation.

“I am not afraid,” she told him. Dear God, she must make him believe that.

He pounded his fist on the window ledge then swung to face her. “You have no idea of this place…of me!”

“I will accept whatever comes my way.”

His eyes blazed. “Will you? Do you dare share my bed, dare live in a house with The Monster?”