Special Excerpt from Touch of a Thief

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Touch of a Thief by Mia Marlowe

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“You didn’t have to resort to thievery to provide for your family, you know,” Quinn said. “A woman has other options. Marriage, for example.”

“Not if her dowry has disappeared in a blink.” Lady Viola had been all ginger sauce up to this point, spicy but not the least sour. The sudden bitterness in her tone surprised him.

“You’re undoubtedly well-educated. You might have become a governess.”

“How deliciously lowering. The earl’s daughter takes a position tending a baron’s brats.” She laughed mirthlessly. “The ton would have eaten that for breakfast with a spoon.”

“There’s another choice they’d consider more even more lowering, but some women make it.”

Quinn wondered, not for the first time, about her level of sensual experience. She was old to still be unwed, probably in her mid-twenties, and hadn’t been under a man’s protection since her father died. When he insisted on sharing this cabin with her, she had protested, but not with a virgin’s horror at the scandal of it or with demands that he marry in truth to protect her good name.

And she kissed like a woman who knew what passion was.

“Are you suggesting I sell myself, lieutenant?”

“As frank a woman as you are, I’m certain you considered it.” He moved closer and realized she was trembling a bit but trying to control it. “You’d cut a wide swath through the demimonde. A gentleman with plump pockets would snap you up in a heartbeat to keep you—”

“As his own private plaything,” Viola finished for him.

“His cosseted, protected, adored plaything. You could name your own terms. What man wouldn’t want you? You’re well-born . . . beautiful . . . accomplished . . .” Without conscious volition, Quinn found himself reaching to cup her cheek. She didn’t pull away. In fact, she inhaled a hitching breath when his thumb feathered over her skin. “Passionate.”

“How could you know that?” she whispered, her lips barely moving.

He bent to lower his lips to within inches of hers. “A man just knows.”

Then to his very great surprise, she slipped her fingers under his lapels and stood tiptoe. Eyes wide open, she closed the distance between their mouths.

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Touch of a Thief

Greydon Quinn Card

Lt. Greydon Quinn

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