Read with: iBooks for iPad
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Harlequin Presents, #1554
Hero: Scott Gregory
Heroine: Grace Blair
Date of Publication: April 1, 1993
Started On: January 22, 2012
Finished On: January 24, 2012
With my second book by the author, Susan Napier has landed in my list of favorite Harlequin romance authors. Even with the 2 books that I have read, I have come to identify with the fact that her books have those elements that continually surprises the reader, which is no mean feat when someone like myself who has read and loved 1000’s of romances can pick up a novel and be drawn into the story because of the opening chapter itself.
Secret Admirer kick starts with seven month widower Grace Blair being caught in an elevator with the man who turns her orderly and well controlled life around. Grace cannot help but be equal parts horrified and fascinated with the turn of events that takes place in the elevator, nor can she forget the heat that had blazed into life in the stranger’s eyes, who continues to haunt and taunt her in vivid dreams of the erotic variety.
When Scott Gregory walks into her life as a potential business partner, Grace cannot believe her eyes nor her luck in meeting the man who keeps popping into her thoughts and dreams at the most inopportune moments. But years of practice and teachings that had been ingrained into her from her childhood itself lets Grace handle the meeting in her usual icy and reserved manner, or so she thinks until she realizes the ease with which Scott invades her life, turning her whole world upside down and making her face the inevitable truth of her changing feelings towards him.
Scott Gregory, hands down, was the best thing about this story. His passion for anything and everything to do with Grace, his utter focus and zeal when seducing Grace and of course the way his senses clamor for Grace’s touch and the desire that he so evidently feels for Grace was such a beautiful part of the story. Scott has a few surprises in store for Grace, one that leaves her reeling, with feelings of possessiveness streaking through her very core. The fact that Scott gives her the one thing that he has been holding off from giving to any other woman should have convinced Grace of his much deeper feelings for her, but Grace continually thwarts Scott’s efforts until towards the very end which pissed me off for a bit when it came to Grace. But nevertheless, the passion, the chase and the ultimate surrender of Grace proved to make this a titillating read that held my undivided attention all throughout.
She wasn’t aware of the rip he made in the back of her dress when his shaking hands wrenched the zip down, only of the molten sensuality of his gaze as he steered her into a shaft of light near the window and studied her breasts, nestled in their cups of pure white lace.
‘Sweet…pretty…did you wear this for me?’ he asked thickly, roughly tracing the outline of the lace across the curving swells. ‘Did you want me to take off your dress tonight, Grace? To admire you like this?’
‘I…’ His arousal was so flatteringly intense that she couldn’t deny him the truth. ‘Yes…’ She closed her eyes, gasping as she felt the stroke of his thumbs across the seams, finding the rigid tips that were evidence of her own desire.
Scott stood by the bedside, looking down at her. Then he spread his hands, revealing the fine tremors there.
‘Look what you do to me. You make me weak.’ Grace reached out a hand and touched his ridged stomach. ‘You’re the strongest man I know,’ she said softly, feeling the shift and clench of muscle under her fingers as she stroked them down to his belt. She tugged at it. ‘I want you.’
She felt shy, like a precious gift being gloatingly unwrapped, but she didn’t resent his moment of purely masculine triumph. The glory of the moment was also hers, this beautiful man hers. He was giving himself to her and asking nothing but what she was willing to give in return.
Her mouth trembled and parted and she began to gasp in light, shallow breaths that made her flushed breasts quiver deliciously, invitingly… He bent and touched a stiff pink nipple experimentally with his mouth, very gently. She jerked and cried out, exploding beneath him in a series of violent convulsions that almost unseated him.
The taste of him exploded inside her mouth, filling her senses with an intoxicating warmth and aroma that had nothing to do with the amount of brandy he had consumed. He made sounds-rough, greedy, indistinct sounds that vibrated through her tissues, his lips and teeth and tongue consuming her with his passion.
Finally, when she was shaking so much that he staggered with the violence of her pleasure, he drove her back against the wall and took her as she stood, careless of the clothes that bunched between them, oblivious to everything but the primitive, driving force that had conquered him far more devastatingly than he had conquered her.
‘Use me, Grace. If that’s what we’ve been doing so far, I love it. I want to be used. Now.’ He stretched, a long ripple of pure muscle as he invited her in a throaty purr that wrapped itself around her heart and drew her irresistibly towards him, the craving stronger than anger or fear. ‘You can insult me, hurt me, hate me… test me any way you like. I’m strong. I’m not going to run away just because things aren’t perfect between us…’