Table of Contents
“CHERYL HOLT DELIVERS WHAT READERS DESIRE:”*
PRAISE FOR HER NOVELS
“Hot, sexy, and wild!”
Book Cove Reviews
“A scorching novel that titillates as she explores a woman’s deepest fantasies and brings them, red-hot, to the page. But there’s more than just great sex in Holt’s romances.”
“Cheryl Holt is magnificent”
Reader to Reader Reviews
“[A] master writer.”
Fallen Angel Reviews
“From cover to cover I was spellbound... Truly outstandlng: ”
“The action is intense and the love scenes are explicit, which makes [this] a doubly fantastic page-turner.”
—Night Owl Romance
“A classic love story with hot, fiery passion... dripping from every page. There’s nothing better than curling up with a great book and this one totally qualifies.”
“Packed with emotion, sensuality, and surprising twists and turns. Holt has come up with the perfect combination of intrigue, sensual love scenes, and tender emotion, which I haven’t read in a historical romance in a very long time. Just too delicious to pass up. Happy reading!”
—Romance Reader at Heart
“This book pulls you in and you won’t be able to put it
—The Romance Studio
Berkley Sensation Titles by Cheryl Holt
PROMISE OF PLEASURE
TASTE OF TEMPTATION
THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
Published by the Penguin Group
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Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R ORL, England
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 websites or their content.
TASTE OF TEMPTATION
A Berkley Sensation Book / published by arrangement with the author
Berkley Sensation mass-market edition / June 2010
Copyright © 2010 by Cheryl Holt.
Excerpt from Dreams of Desire by Cheryl Holt copyright © by Cheryl Holt.
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without pennission. Please do notparticipate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions. For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
eISBN : 978-1-101-18795-1
Berkley Sensation Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014. BERKLEY
SENSATION and the “B” design are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
“THIS is my most famous remedy of all.”
“What is it called?”
“The Spinster’s Cure.”
Phillip Dudley, who—when selling his wares—used the false name and character of Frenchman Philippe Dubois, smiled at his pretty, auburn-haired customer. She looked bedraggled and exhausted, as if she desperately needed whatever he could convince her to buy.
she asked. “What does it do?”
“It helps an unwed female find a husband. You’ve never heard of it?”
He filled a vial with the red liquid and, as if the concoction was exotic and rare, gently placed it in her hand.
“You should try a sample. It would be extremely beneficial to your condition.”
She scowled. “My condition! What do you imagine is wrong with me?”
“You’re lonely, Miss Hamilton.”
“I am not,” she scoffed.
He peered into her striking green eyes, certain she was lying.
He was a renowned charlatan who had a knack for guessing a woman’s hidden thoughts and feelings.
“You shouldn’t pretend with me,
,” he said. “How old are you?”
“How can you insist you’re not lonely? Despite your advanced age—”
“Advanced! You talk as if I have one foot in the grave.”
“Face it, mademoiselle. You are no longer in the first blush of youth, yet you wear no wedding ring. No husband has been chosen for you. How can this be?”
“I’ve had a bit of trouble lately—not that my personal affairs are any of your business—but my father is recently deceased, so I’m busy caring for my two younger sisters. There’s been no time to worry about marriage or anything else.”
“If you could have one wish granted, I am positive you would ask for a handsome husband, a home of your own, and children to mother.”
She gaped at him, amazed that he could be so astute, when he had simply voiced what most women craved.
“How did you know?” she marveled.
“I am Philippe Dubois,” he answered, sounding pompous and wise. “It is my job to know.”
He wrapped her fingers around the vial.
“You must drink this potion,” he instructed, “while staring at your true love. You will be married to him in four weeks.
“Not about this.
She gazed at the vial, running her thumb over the cool glass.
Her yearning was palpable. She wanted the potion to be real, wanted it to magically alter her circumstances, but she wasn’t prone to superstition or fantasy.
In the end, logic won out.
“I don’t think so.”
“But you must!” He grabbed her hand and held it, palm up, tracing down the center. “This line right here?”
“It tells me that your dreadful fate is set. Drastic intervention is necessary to change it”
“I don’t want my fate to be altered.”
“You’re not serious,
He studied her shabby dress and tattered cloak. She wore the trappings of gentility, but her threadbare attire indicated she was experiencing tremendous financial difficulties. “You would go on as you have been? Why continue to struggle and toil, when you can drink a dose of my Spinster’s Cure and fix what is wrong?”