Excerpt – Lori Wilde

Mr. Scandalous

One Scorching Summer: Book 4

ALEC RAMSEY DOUBLE-CHECKED the Soho address on the slip of paper in his pocket. Yep, Wickedly Wonderful, this was the place his oldest sister Sarah had recommended.

He raised his head and started to move toward the door, but then his eyes landed on the woman in the storefront window, and he froze.

Spellbound, he simply stared. She was leaning over, placing something in the window and oh, so slightly exposing just a hint of cleavage. The sight was enough to cause instant sweat to bead on the back of his neck despite the recent drop in temperature.

A burst of wind snatched a red banner from the awning of a nearby building. It sailed down, fluttering in the breeze, until it caught on an updraft just above the storefront window at exactly the same time the woman glanced up.

For a whisper of a second it was a pure photographic moment. The foxy, heart-faced woman framed by a crimson banner. The effect was mesmerizingly magical. And even after the banner twisted and spiraled away into the wind, Alec couldn’t take his eyes off her.

His heart literally skipped a beat, and the unexpected arrhythmia startled him. Usually, the only time his pulse skittered was when he bungee-jumped or hang-glided or skydived.

The sun slipped from behind a cloud where it had been hiding and glinted off her mass of chestnut curls swept back so fetchingly in a loose ponytail. She wore a long-sleeved turquoise peasant blouse. Not exactly high fashion, but it was definitely romantic. His fingers itched to stroke both the tactile material and what lay intriguingly beyond.

He knew the correct terminology for her garment because he had four sisters who had spent their lives telling him about clothes. He owed them a debt of gratitude. The knowledge came in handy with his active dating life.
Their gazes met. And locked.

She possessed the most arrestingly blue eyes he’d ever seen.

Alec swallowed. Hard.

She glanced away quickly but then a moment later she was back, eyeing him with slow, deliberate intent until he felt as if he were a job applicant on an interview.

He couldn’t get into the shop quickly enough.

Wind chimes murmured a musical note as he pushed through the door. The rousing scent of cinnamon candles filled the small room and everywhere he looked he saw something seductive.

Peacock feathers and skimpy panties and black leather masks. Whips and chains and swatches of sensual fabrics. Erotic videos and vibrators and chocolate body paint.

“May I help you?”

He jerked his head around and came face-to-face with his dream woman. Her name tag read Eden. Ah, a woman who crafted erotic gifts named Eden. How apropos.

She smiled, her small but full mouth lifting at the comers. He was aware of a high, humming sexual energy flowing between them.

Her impact was not the strike of a classic beauty but rather like the welcoming influence of a warm, rich hug. An invisible hug that wrapped around him like an aura—distinct and unmistakably her.

She possessed a certain luster that whispered to something deep inside him. Something primal and patently masculine. Something sweetly taboo.

His heart skipped another beat. Amazed at his aberrant reaction, Alec had to clear his throat before he could speak.

“I need...” Damn, how could he think with her studying him like that?

“Yes?” She raised a quizzical eyebrow.

I need. I need. I need.

What did he need? Frowning, Alec ripped his gaze from her lips and met those long-lashed, sky-blue eyes again.


Brilliant, Ramsey, absolutely brilliant. When was the last time a woman had left him tongue-tied? He searched his memory and couldn’t think of a single occurrence.

Alec was incredibly aware of exactly how close they were standing. Eden was near enough to touch. He could feel the very air vibrating between them.

She wet her lips with the tip of her tongue then raised her eyes to meet his again. Thump-thump-thump went his ticker.

“I know exactly what you need…”