Release date: January 19, 2015
When Henry De Vere wakes up naked in bed with his longtime friend Claudia Baxter, it is his fondest dream and his worst nightmare come true. Could he truly have compromised one of his dearest friends without even the benefit of remembering it? Plagued by somnambulism his whole life, Henry fears his baser nature has asserted itself, and insists on doing the honorable thing to marry Claudia.
Claudia’s plan to stage her own ruination and escape marriage to the churlish and elderly Sir Saint had seemed foolproof. She was sure the kindly Henry wouldn’t mind helping her out … but somehow she hadn’t counted on him actually proposing.
Their illicit encounter awakens feelings long buried for each. Will this preposterous scheme result in a happier ending than either could have hoped for?
by Elizabeth Boyce
When she isn’t devising new ways to antagonize her characters, Elizabeth Boyce likes to spend her time devising new ways to embarrass her children. She lives in South Carolina.
An excerpt from Truth Within Dreams:
Claudia Baxter was in his bed.
He’d dreamed of taking her in the stables, on the sitting room divan, in their childhood treehouse. Once, he’d even dreamed of making love to her while they floated in the river, their entwined bodies buoyed by the gentle current and serenaded by croaking frogs.
This dream was all the sweeter for its simplicity. He was in bed with Claudia beside him, as natural as the beat of his heart. Actually sleeping with her was a fantasy he’d never dared to allow himself before. Her soft hair spilled over the pillow and surrounded her heart-shaped face like a golden-brown halo. Her left arm was flung overhead and her right lay atop her stomach, her fingers curled in a loose fist. There was an adorable little pucker between her brows, as though she dreamed of scolding someone.
He was hard as an oak branch. Her soft warmth invited him over for a cuddle, while her kittenish exhalations made his mouth water for a taste of hers.
Henry scooted into her warm spot and bent his head to her full lips. They were warm and dry. He moistened them with darting laps of his tongue. Claudia’s head tilted back, and she sighed.
Oh, yes. Here came Henry’s favorite part of his Claudia dreams.
He parted her lips and ran his tongue along the edge of her top teeth. At the same time, he worked his thigh between her legs, laced his fingers with hers, and captured her hands overhead. Satisfaction rumbled deep in his chest. Claudia was warm and pliant beneath him. She tasted sweet and smelled like summer meadows—faintly floral and fresh and so vibrantly alive.
Henry deepened the kiss. His tongue swept into her mouth, leisurely exploring. His loins ached with need. The muscles of his stomach twitched. His hips languidly rolled against her, warming up their thrusting motion. That part of the dream was great, too, but Henry tried to prolong the preliminaries.
“Kiss me back, sweet girl,” he dream-muttered. “Give me your tongue.”
“Why do you want my tongue?” Claudia asked in a husky voice.
Henry lifted his head. A pair of distinctive eyes—soft blue irises ringed with gray—blinked up at him in confusion. His dream-Claudia wasn’t usually so bewildered at this point in proceedings.
Wrinkling her nose, Claudia twisted her head to look at their tangled arms. “Will you please release me, Henry? My wrists are twinging.” She wrinkled her nose, sniffed.
“Henry, I have to tell you something.”
His dream-Claudia usually didn’t have morning sniffles, either.
Oh, God. She was awake. He was awake. Claudia Baxter was actually in his bed.
This wasn’t such a good dream anymore.
Henry yelped, loud and short. He scrambled back to the other side of the mattress and yanked the counterpane up to cover his … Oh, my God. Worse every second. He had actually been on top of Claudia. Naked. And trying to introduce her to his morning constitutional.
Claudia lay as he’d left her, arms overhead, fingers lightly tangled in her hair. Anxiety clouded her eyes. They darted toward the door—
Which opened. “Everything all right, Henry?”
Claude Baxter, Henry’s friend since childhood and the twin brother of the woman in his sheets, stepped into the room and froze. Only his eyes, grayer than Claudia’s, moved, darting between the occupants of the bed.