Mariah could still feel his kiss on her lips. That fleeting touch –warm, impossibly intimate –had set off an explosion of sensations within her that nearly stunned her senseless. Her knees felt like jelly and her heart was still racing. All she seemed able to do was stare into Lord Milbourne’s amber eyes. How was it possible that such a small kiss, such an infinitesimal brush of lips, could turn her world so completely upside down? It was shocking. As shocking as her desire to stop him from stepping away had been. She had been so nearly overcome by the sensations and feelings flooding her at that moment, it was a miracle that she had possessed the wits not to grab onto him and pull him back to her.

He was waiting. She needed to breathe, and to find words.

Finally she managed to utter, “You have a singular way of fixing ladies’ bonnets, Lord Milbourne.” The words came out in a breathless whisper most unlike her normal voice.

He smiled, but there was a grim tightness to it. “Only yours, Miss Parbury. Only yours.”