Rena Mills plans to turn an abandoned abbey into a haunted bed-and-breakfast to prove she can be successful without her ex-fiancé. What she finds inside is Synn MacAllistair, the distinguished, self-proclaimed Ghost Keeper. Her dreams soon fill with sexual cravings for him. But are they dreams?
Synn, born in 1828, is determined to free the souls of the resident spirits, blaming himself for bringing the Red Death that killed them. When Rena steps into the old Pleasure Palace, he’s sure he can take her through the after-midnight Pleasure Rooms and stoke her passion to complete the Masque so the souls can cross over. Her innocent fire makes him crave more, but it’s far too late for him.
As Rena begins her erotic journey, her heart becomes more involved with every sensual caress until she discovers by completing the Masque she would lose her ghosts. Synn’s betrayal wars with her compassion for her ghostly friends. Torn, she must make a choice between her financial security and freeing seventy-three trapped souls. Either way, she could lose her Synn.
At the top, a wooden door stood open and Rena stepped outside into the fading light of day, but it wasn’t the sunset that arrested her attention. Synn stood, one foot braced on an embrasure, one hand resting on the crenellated stone of the battlement. The breeze lifted his long brown hair away from his face and off his shoulders…his very bare shoulders.
Oh shit. She hadn’t expected his back to be so broad and muscular. His biceps stood in stark relief as if he worked construction. Below his narrow waist, his firm ass and muscular thighs were outlined by his tight gray pantaloons, if she had the term right. She’d bet the boots he wore were Hessians because those were the only nineteenth-century boots she’d heard of that rose to the knee. To call the man handsome would be to belittle his sculpted perfection, and her heart increased its beat as raw, sexual attraction rifled through her limbs.
He brought his arm down, causing the muscles in his back to ripple before he turned to catch her staring.
Her gaze shifted to his eyes and for a moment they revealed such heartbreaking anguish that all sexual heat fled and her stomach tightened into a sorrowful knot. He shuttered his gaze and smirked. “Were you looking for something?”
Confused, and more than a little distracted by the man’s emotions and his highly defined pectoral muscles, one of which had a fist-sized dark spot, she grasped for logic. “Yes, the sunset.”
“Ah, then you are just in time.” He stepped to the side, bowed and swept his hand toward the battlement. “It’s ready for you, my lady.”
She searched his eyes for any sign that he made fun of her, but found only sincerity. “Thank you.”
She stepped up to the place next to him as indicated and gazed across the town. As she suspected, the ocean was a few blocks past the shops and it glittered red as the setting sun shimmered off its dark surface, its waves lifting and lowering the dazzling color as it moved.
“This is breathtaking.”
“Yes, it is.”
His tone made her glance up, and she found him staring at her. She swallowed.
He released her hair from its clip and the breeze swept it from her face. She couldn’t have looked away from his eyes even if the sun had turned green.
He cupped her jaw with his hand. “You are exquisite.”
Her breath hitched at his words, but her mouth parted as his face drew closer to hers. When their lips were but a breath away, he spoke again. “You are made for passion, Rena.”
She let her eyes close, his words shooting pure desire through her, and then his full lips were upon hers. It was not a gentle kiss, but neither was it harsh or demanding, simply controlled. The hand holding her face encouraged her to open her lips and she did.
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