Matthew Trent always knew what was expected of him and that was to become the Perfect Vicar and a Perfect Gentlemen. When Grace Cooper enters his life he is forced to face what he really wishes to become.
Grace Cooper has three options for marriage available to her in the small village where she resides. However, Grace would rather be placed on the shelf than enter into a miserable union.
When someone threatens her father and then makes an attempt on her life, it is Vicar Trent who vows to protect her and brings scandal to her doorstep, upsetting the delicate balance of both of their worlds.
“I think you are a lovely and desirable woman.” Matthew wasn’t certain what he should say. Was she embarrassed or hurt or angry? He was never very good at understanding the feminine gender and it wasn’t like he was given many opportunities, especially in situations such as this. Perhaps if it hadn’t been ten years since he had been intimate with a woman he would have a better understanding.
“I behaved like a wanton.”
Matthew chuckled. “I wouldn’t call you wanton.”
“What would you call a woman who throws herself at her vicar, while in her bed?”
Matthew chuckled. Though the description did sound a bit promiscuous, he wouldn’t describe her as such. “Vulnerable, scared, lonely?”
“That is worse.” Tears welled in her eyes.
What had he said wrong?
“You only kissed me because you felt sorry for me after I threw myself at you.”
“On that point you are wrong.”
She blew out a breath and crossed her arms over her chest. “You are just being kind because you are a vicar.”
Matthew wanted to laugh. “There is nothing kind in my motivation in kissing you back.”
Confusion marred her brow and Matthew cradled her chin in his hand. “Do you have any idea how long I have wanted to kiss you? There are all manner of things I wish to do, but won’t because you are an innocent young woman.”
She bit her bottom lip and it took everything in his being not to kiss her again.
“And if I don’t leave right now, you are in danger of far more than kisses and caresses from me.”
“But you are a vicar. A perfect gentleman.”
Matthew gripped her chin tighter, but not enough to cause a mark or hurt her, and looked deep into her eyes. “Know this, Miss Cooper, I am a man and at this moment I am not feeling the least bit gentlemanly nor much of a vicar.”
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