Excerpt from Wild Rose

     
     "Have you forgotten that you are to make your debut today?"
     Of all the things she had forgotten, this fact was not one of them. She lowered her lashes and bit her bottom lip. "No, I didn't forget. I'm just not sure I want to go through with it."
     "Not go through with it?" Dane's temper exploded. "You dare to stand there and tell me that after I have troubled myself to bring your family here, after my mother has spent hours preparing you for this day? Does nothing we do hold any value for you?"
     Tears stung the back of her eyes, but Maxine wouldn't give in. "None of this was my idea. I never asked you or your mother to turn me into something I'm not. Hell—before I met you, I didn't know anything was wrong with me."
     She tried to pull away from his grip, but Dane held her fast. With her accusations burning in his ears, he narrowed his gaze. "My mother and I are simply trying to teach you some manners, to help you become lady enough to attract a large dowry. Have you forgotten that along with all you learned here?"
     Maxine jerked out of his grip, but Dane managed to hook her arm again and spin her around. "I don't care about dowries or debts," she said. "I just want you to let me go."
     "I'm not done with you yet," he snapped.
     "Well I'm done with you." She tilted her chin upward. "In fact, there's nothing I want or need from you.
     "Nothing?" Dane echoed, out of control. "Not even this?"
     Then, before she could react, he crashed down on her mouth with his, smothering her with a kiss so brutal she could hardly believe the lips assaulting hers belonged to Dane.
 
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