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Chapter 1At six feet five inches, short women didn’t appeal to Brent Howard in the least, so it was only natural his gaze zeroed in on five feet ten inch Sophie Adams the minute she walked into the crowded room. She was a stunning creature, cultivated and poised; her status of wealth and influence in society evident in not only her regal appearance but in her every move.
He couldn’t help thinking the outdated newspaper clipping he’d seen of her earlier hadn’t done her justice. The colorless picture hadn’t revealed the healthy, rich satin of her honey-toned skin, or the way the auburn highlights in her hair, done in a casual yet elegant style away from her face, caught the light as she moved. Reminding him of an untamed wildfire begging to be tamed.
The evening gown she was wearing wasn’t much more than a black sheath of shimmering satin. The halter style cut revealingly low in the front while falling in a graceful line all the way to her elegant ankles. It hugged her hourglass shape like a glove, revealing she couldn’t possibly be wearing any undergarments. Three-inch heels put her over the six-foot mark, which meant she’d fit perfectly against him on the dance floor. And in bed. The thought came from nowhere. After all, he was a man, and she was sexier than hell.
As she moved, the light captured the brilliance of the emeralds adorning her slender throat. Even Brent’s inexperienced eyes could tell they weren’t made of paste but were the real deal, and probably worth a small fortune. The fifteen-carat diamond on her finger alone could probably buy a small country and would certainly feed a lot of starving people. His mouth turned down with mild disgust. He didn’t begrudge people who had money but flaunting it in pretentious ways had always turned him off. And Miss Adams had a way of flaunting it as though it was as natural to her as air was to breathe.
She turned slightly and Brent caught his breath, his gaze landing on the amount of flesh exposed by the daringly low cut back of her dress, which narrowed to the curve of her slim waist. Not only beautiful but an exhibitionist as well. Interesting.
Without being obvious, his gaze followed her as he waited for the right time to make his move. As she glided smoothly from one painting to another wearing that “look but don’t touch” attitude, he was surprised to see she was alone. No one approached her, not even to say hello. However, he knew in spite of her social standing within the community, it was a well-known fact that Miss Adams insisted on her space and privacy. In fact, she demanded it. An unapproachable beauty one could only look at and admire from afar.