She’s the one woman who could expose him to the world…
Hard body . . .
She tensed and opened one eye to peek at the man in the bed with her as memories of last night came flooding back. She’d had a terrible nightmare, and then Grigori Barinov had made it snow and held her until she fell asleep. She wasn’t sure what shocked her more, having fallen asleep with a stranger after her nightmares, or that she watched him take a vast thunderstorm over Moscow and make it snow.
Just for me.
A smile curved her lips and she tried to hide it. Men didn’t even open doors for her, but this man had made it snow. It was the most romantic thing that had ever happened to her.
She enjoyed her moment to study him. The sensual lips and pale gold brows. He was gorgeous. She knew she kept thinking about it, but damn, he was beautiful. It almost hurt to look at him.
One of his arms curled around her waist. The other lay against his stomach. The tattoo on his forearm was in open view and she examined it. The tattoo was stunning. More symbolic of a dragon than lifelike, she could see the dragon was clearly in a curled position. One of its eyes was closed, but the other was open and fixed on her. Her attention turned to the signet ring on his hand. The serpent biting its tail. A symbol for eternity. The ouroboros. The jeweled eyes of the serpent were made of tiny bright sapphires.
“Did you rest well?” Madelyn jumped at the sound of his voice, her body clashing against the arm wrapped around her waist. Her eyes flew to his and her knees weakened at the sight of his soft, indulgent smile.
“Er . . . yes.” She stammered, trying not to think of how many women over the countless years he’d seduced with a look. It was a look that promised whispers in the dark, glittering jewels and naked bodies entwined on beds of furs. But when she looked at him she could see a future unfurling like a new flower, a future that his bright gleaming eyes and strong hands hinted at as they held her captive against him in bed.
“Good.” He suddenly flipped them so she lay beneath him on the bed. A gasp escaped her and she tilted her head back to look up at him.
“What are you—”
With a wicked smile he dipped his head to hers. The kiss burned and sizzled, sparking part of her to life that she hadn’t even known existed. It seemed in the last day her body had completely changed inside, making her aware that she wasn’t as in control of herself as she’d always believed. She should not be turned on by a stranger’s kiss, but she was.
Oh yes, hell yes. She tried to wrap her arms around his neck, but he caught her wrists and pinned them into the bed on either side of her head. His large, strong hands curled around her wrists, making her feel small, helpless . . . She strained against the hold, struggling just enough to test his power.
His blue eyes flashed with molten fire. “My bed, my woman,” he purred in a low seductive rumble that seemed to ripple through her entire body. She was hyper-aware of him, from the wisps of his hair brushing against her neck as he nuzzled her throat to the scrape of the faint shadow of a golden-brown beard along his jaw. He may have worn an expensive suit and looked like an Armani model, but he acted like an ancient warrior—one who took what he wanted. God help her, she liked it.
His natural dominance frustrated and aroused her at the same time. She should have been scared, kissing a stranger in a foreign city in his bed. But bit by bit, Grigori was becoming less a stranger to her.
He tugged on her bottom lip. The weight of his body on hers was thrilling and yet she felt safe. How was that possible? She’d never had sex before, had never been all that interested in the whole idea of sex, but right now all she could think about was having him take her and make love to her, wildly, roughly. Her body was in total overload with all of the sensations and new hungers.
“I can feel you thinking.” He teased before he moved his lips in a trail of kisses down her neck.
“Not thinking,” she panted. “I promise.” She rolled her hips, inviting him to lay deeper into the cradle of her thighs. It was time to get rid of that pesky virginity.
Grigori’s warm laughter on her neck made her quiver. He lifted his head, their gazes locked. His body still trapped hers, his hand still holding her wrists captive.
“I have so little control around you,” he whispered.
“Is that a bad thing?” she asked, loving the way his lips twitched. He was trying not to smile and for some reason she adored that. It was a challenge. What could she do to make him lose that control and grin at her?
“It can be. You are untouched and I might be too rough.”
Every muscle in her tensed, her body going rigid. “You, you know that I’m a . . .” the word failed to come out.
“A virgin? Yes.” His eyes hardened and he frowned.
Suddenly she couldn’t breathe, her lungs seized in panic and she struggled. How did he know? How the hell could he know she was a virgin?
“Let go of me,” she demanded.
Grigori slid off her at once, as though he’d expected this.
She grabbed the top blanket off the bed and dragged it around her like a protective shield. Being a virgin had not been something she wanted him to know. Didn’t it freak out guys to be with a virgin? That’s what she’d heard, anyway. And just how had he figured it out? Was she a bad kisser? Was it because he was a dragon? Had he sensed something or was she acting like a virgin? Maybe she . . .
“Madelyn, do not be angry with me.”
She lifted her chin. “I’m not. It’s just . . . How did you know?”
He slowly skirted the bed and when she retreated, he paused leaning against the nearest bedpost, his blue eyes changing to liquid amber.
“Your scent. It’s like a potent aphrodisiac.” He licked his lips, the action seductive and a little frightening.
“My scent?” She kept the blanket wrapped around her and continued to retreat until her back bumped into the wall.
Grigori smiled crookedly as he seemed to realize he had effectively cornered her.
“It’s like Georgian wine with a hint of berries . . . and rain.”
Madelyn stared at him, trying to process that before she lifted a lock of her hair up and took a sniff. Nothing but a faint scent of the shampoo she’d used a day ago. She didn’t smell like a thing. He was creeping closer, his long elegant fingers trailing along the bedspread and she was momentarily distracted by imagining those fingertips gliding along her skin, sliding into her. Her body quivered with new hungers and Grigori’s nostrils flared.
“It’s almost impossible not to touch you. From the first moment I picked up Barrow’s book back at the Russian State Library your scent has been torturing me with its sweetness. Madelyn,” he growled her name in a subtle warning.
“My sc—scent?” She couldn’t believe she’d stuttered. It wasn’t like her at all, but neither was she the type to tremble and quake at a man’s touch, let alone a scorching look. Not that she’d honestly had much experience with men sending scorching looks her way.
“You know a fair bit about dragon mythology, don’t you?” he asked, taking one step closer.
She nodded, suspicious.
“And what do dragons love to eat?”
The moment she realized the answer, Grigori’s wicked grin grew.
She didn’t stutter this time, but her heart was pounding wildly.
“Virgins . . .”
He’s one of the last of a powerful but vanishing bloodline …
Grigori Barinov is the eldest in an ancient line of dragon shifters and the guardian of his family’s lands and fortune. Sworn to protect their history and magic, he won’t rest until he neutralizes any threat to their existence. When he discovers an ancient manuscript that exposes his family and their dragon lineage has fallen into a mortal woman’s hands, he knows he must get the book back by any means necessary. If that means seducing a nosy American woman with an intoxicating scent, he is more than willing to carry her off to his palatial home deep in the heart of Russia.
She’s the one woman who could expose him to the world…
Madelyn Haynes has never fit in. As an adopted child she grew up in a loving home but never felt as though she belonged. Plagued by mysterious dreams she’s had of a silver scaled beast ever since she was a little girl, she is convinced dragons are real. While in Russia working on her PhD in mythology in order to escape the ridicule from fellow professors, she unexpectedly crosses paths with the sexy and dominating Grigori, and after just one night with the man whose eyes seem to burn, she starts to change inside. Isolated in the Russian wilderness Grigori calls home, Madelyn can’t help but fall under his sensual spell, yet something deep inside her calls out that she can’t trust him. She has to show the world dragons are real to salvage academic reputation, even if it means costing her the heart of the dragon she’s falling in love with.
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