Isabella Graham's father bet her in a card game and lost her to a pirate named Snake. Her father isn't about to give up his daughter to the pirate so he double-crosses him by leaving town and not paying his debt.
For three years, Captain Dantel 'Snake' Le Serpente has been looking for his prize. He has a small score to settle with the man who cheated him out of his winnings and abducts her from her home. One look at Isabella and his vengeance soon turns to hot passion. Now that Snake has his little hellion, all bets are on as to who will come out the winner.
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? Heat Level: 5
“Your new chemise, Miss.”
Izzy stood up from her bath, wrapping the drying cloth around her creamy white skin. She quickly dried her body then slipped into the cool, white cotton chemise. Her maid had embroidered red roses along the neckline, giving it a more personal touch.
“What did you hear?” Izzy asked.
“The gentleman is making a deal with your father. He said that if your father can get you to marry him, then he would pay off all of his debt on the island. I think your father is going to do it, Miss. I think he is going to push you into marrying him.”
“I don’t believe it!” Izzy slipped her robe on, tying the sash into a tight knot around her waist, “How could he do this?”
“That isn’t even what everyone is worried about. There has been talk that the Serpent was spotted close to these shores. That is one creature I wish to never lay eyes on.”
Izzy opened her mouth to speak but closed it. She walked to the balcony with a frown on her face, “Do you hear that? Sounds like whistling.”
“That isn’t whistling!”
Izzy’s maid pulled her behind the bed and yanked her down to the floor just as an explosion hit the side of the house. Both girls screamed as the house shook with the force of the canon. Izzy was the first to get up from the floor and rush over to the balcony. She watched in stunned silence as pirates stormed the governor’s home.
“Oh, my God!” she said quietly.
Isabella looked down as five men ran right toward her balcony. Her eyes widened when she looked at one particularly tall man with a trimmed goatee, who was looking up at her with a grin on his face.
Izzy jumped back when a rope with a hook came flying in the air wrapping around the railing. For a few seconds more, Izzy stood still in stunned silence as the one she was looking at started to climb up to her balcony. Another shot of canon fire, and Izzy was finally moving.
She turned and ran, grabbing her maid by the arm. By the time her hand touched the knob she heard the first step of his boots on her hardwood floor.
“Run!” the maid yelled, pushing Izzy out the door.
Izzy started to run and managed to get to the top of the stairs when she stopped. She heard her maid scream and something smash into a wall. Izzy felt her heart drop when her bedroom door opened with such force it slammed against the wall. Out came the same man who had climbed up to her room. Green eyes met cold blue ones in a silent challenge. All other noise was blocked out as the two paired off. Maids were crying out for help as men chased them, and things were being broken while cabinets were being raided.
The second the man took one-step in her direction, Izzy ran down the stairs. She heard him running behind her--could even feel him as he gained on her.
“Father!” Izzy screamed.
Izzy looked behind her to see how far away she was from the man chasing her. Her fright picked up when she saw that he had gained on her. He reached out to grab her, and Izzy tried to duck. She tripped and went down hard, knocking the breath out of her. Stunned, she lay face down on the floor, feeling him hovering over her.
A hand clamped around Izzy’s arm and flipped her around to face the man standing over her. He grabbed her hair in a fist, pulling her up to a sitting position and bringing her closer to his face. “Finally, you will be mine tonight,” he informed her in a deep, rough voice right before he jerked her to her feet and pushed hard up against the wall.
Izzy stood there, somewhat amazed that his brute force of pulling her hair hadn’t hurt. He possessed an amazingly gentle touch for such a huge man. She looked up at him with wide eyes. He was forbidding but that didn’t stop her from kicking him in the shin. He swore an oath and released her. She ducked to run but didn’t get far. A big hand grabbed her hair and yanked her back, pulling her against a hard wall. Looking back, she didn’t see a wall, but saw the same man holding her, with a thunderous expression on his face.
“You little hellion,” he snarled down at her.
“No. It can’t be!” Henry said in a shocked voice.
Izzy fought hard with the hand in her hair when she heard her father’s voice, and almost made it free again. Izzy tried to bite her captor’s wrist, but was rewarded with a shove and a yank of her hair again. He had such a good hold on her, that Izzy could feel some of the hair tearing from her scalp. No more gentleness, she noted, her eyes tearing, almost as though losing his hold on her was the worst thing that could happen to him.
Izzy managed to glance at her father and frowned at the paleness in his face. She didn’t know or understand what the connection was between this man and her father, but something told her that it wasn’t good.
“A debt paid.” the man said. “With interest.” He pulled out his knife and quickly cut Henry on the left side of his cheek. Izzy screamed and tried to go to her father but was stopped by the man grabbing her arm in an almost brutal grip. “Be thankful I do not kill you for beating my man. But do know that I will enjoy your daughter’s pleasures for a long time.”