A FAIR TRADER by Amy Gallow
EBook formats ISBN: 978-1-60313-737-9
Trade paperback ISBN: 978-1-60313-738-6
Dinner at the Captain’s table, dancing cheek to cheek, and that uniform!
The final night of Ruth Lambert’s romantic cruise is pure magic…until Matthew Parker’s duty intervenes. A night of promised passion becomes five years of “What happened?” as letters go astray and pride stifles common sense.
Their next meeting plunges Ruth into a maelstrom where a love greater than anything she’d ever imagined thrusts her higher than the heavens, drives her deeper than the abyss, and threatens every achievement of her career.
At the point when everything she’s valued depends on proving she is a fair trader, her fear for Matthew dwarfs all else, and she discovers the true price of loving…
Like most of my books, this one gathered a swathe of reviewer's top picks and maximum awards. Here's an excerpt
The final set of numbers for the evening allowed Ruth to escape the others and have Matthew to herself once more on the dance floor, achingly aware the evening was moving towards its promised climax. The music was slow and dreamy, giving her the excuse to mold herself against him and feel his reaction grow insistent. She closed her eyes and nestled her head against his shoulder, a small secret smile signaling her satisfaction.
The situation was perfect. She was dancing with the best
looking man in the room who, very shortly, would provide the perfect ending to her cruise. More, the unguarded look she'd seen in his eyes earlier reflected her own feelings that this was more than a shipboard romance. In taking a chance to get away from the strictures of Andrew McLeod's, she'd stumbled upon something to change her life.
It frightened her a little. This wasn't what she'd intended. There'd been one affair already. A fumbling unsatisfactory thing with Jeremy at the university and she'd come out of it badly. This felt nothing like it, and vague fears troubled her mind. She took positive action to carry her beyond their reach, turning her head to nibble gently on the lobe of Matthew's ear.
He reacted by tightening his embrace, drawing a shuddering breath of delight from Ruth as she moved luxuriously within the circle of his arm to apply a little distraction of her own to the hard evidence of his arousal. His low chuckle was a promise she intended to make him keep.
The singing of "Auld Lang Syne" completed the evening, and Ruth happily followed Matthew through the series of passageways to his cabin. There, she moved into his arms with certainty and surrendered completely to the surge of her own feelings, matching Matthew's advances with her own, allowing no doubt this was mutual. Jeremy had found her openness disconcerting, but not Matthew. He actually growled with pleasure, the sound seeming to come from deep within his chest so that she felt its rumble transmitted into her own breast by the closeness of their embrace.
Ruth thrust herself against him, her back arching to increase the contact of their bodies
trying to fuse them into one as her flesh clamored for his. Her hunger startled Ruth and, for just a fleeting moment, she wondered at its intensity. The Matthew discovered the fastenings at the top of the zipper in the small of her back and slipped them free. The tight waisted dress fell open to the slither of the zipper and the slide of his hand down her buttocks left no room for coherent thought and her purr of pleasure matched his.
Undressing became a mutual exploration, the removal of each garment exposing new territory to questing fingers and hungry lips. Ruth had never felt so intensely before, every inch of her skin now so alive it hovered on the edge of pain wherever Matthew's lips touched. He kissed her closed eyelids,the hinge of her jaw and the hollow at the base of her throat.
Her eyelids had drooped shut to shut out all external distractions. Now they flew open and she looked directly into his eyes, searching for proof this had become greater than a one-night stand. She knew it beyond doubt. It must be impossible for Matthew not to feel the same. Yet she sensed a curious reluctance in him, as if he sought to reassure himself she understood where their actions were leading.
As if he were soley responsible for their future...
Perhaps it was this sense of responsibility that made him extend their love play beyond the perfect point, so it was Ruth who led the way to the double bed, taking Matthew's hand so he trailed her by half a step. Reaching it, she turned to face him and drew him to her so she could reassure him of her commitment.
"I want this, Matthew. I want everything," she breathed into his ear. "I have no doubts."
The transition from standing to the bed separated them briefly, but they came together again between the crisply starched sheets and a long kiss eased aside the final barrier to their consummation. Ruth shifted with their embrace to accommodate the hard evidence of his arousal and opened herself to him...only to have him freeze as the urgent buzz of the telephone at the bedside interrupted them.