Hunter’s Mercy, a historical Hunter novella in the Private Places anthology

USA Today bestselling author Robin Schone shares a tale of a man and a woman in a notorious club, who learn how very dangerous desires of the flesh can be.

Claudia Dain heats up this collection with the story of two voyeuristic young courtesans who might just take part in a very public seduction at the theatre.

Allyson James has a card-playing, cunning widower and a desperate young widow learn that passion is the ultimate wild card.

And finally, Shiloh Walker introduces a short story of a woman saved by a shapeshifter. Now, if only she could think of a way to repay him…

Rarely does such blush-worthy, heated erotica exist—and almost never all in one book.

No, Jack decided as he looked for some sign of the girl he remembered, Mercy wasn’t well at all.  She sat in the parlor, a delicate porcelain tea cup held in one hand.  She’d been holding it for some time and had yet to take a drink.

Mercy stared outside, but Jack suspected she wasn’t seeing the lovely gardens or the vast sprawl of land.  She just sat and stared and the lack of movement was almost as disturbing as the lack of emotion.

In all the time he had known Mercy Harper, he’d never seen her go more than a few minutes without jumping out of her seat, or running around, and chattering like a blue jay. The stillness and the silence bothered him a great deal. She was too contained, too controlled.

He’d expect her to try scalping him when he had told her that he was there to watch over her.  But instead of lashing out at him, she had politely smiled.  “I appreciate the intent, Jack, but I am perfectly fine.”  It was too—polite.  Mercy didn’t trouble herself with niceties.

“Regardless, I gave Richard my word,” Jack said.  He sat on a silk covered chair that seemed as though it would break under his weight.  Mercy sat across the room.  In the pretty, feminine parlor, she should have looked out of place in her breeches and waistcoat.

She didn’t, though.  There was something innately feminine about her, something that had just been beginning to bloom when he had left.  The swell of her hips and the curve of her backside drew his eye and he kept having to remind himself that he was here to watch over her, not ogle her.

It wasn’t something he had counted on. In the years since he had left Williamsburg, he hadn’t often thought of Mercy, but when he did, he thought of the wily, demanding child with tangled hair, big eyes and a mean streak.  A wide mean streak.

It was taking some time to acclimate himself to this sad, solemn eyed woman. With the loss of her husband and brother, that sadness was to be expected.  And if she hadn’t plugged him with silver, he could have accepted that sad, somber exterior without a qualm.


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