• “Watching him, his hands buried in his pockets—to keep from circling her neck she supposed—she couldn't help but marvel at the curious mix of Southern courtesy and male arrogance, the natural assumption he shouldered of being lawfully in control. "Engaging in a moral battle isn't always hazardous to one's health, you know."
    "Doesn't look like it's doing wonders for yours."
    "Saints be praised, it can actually be rewarding."
    Looking over his shoulder, he halted in the middle of the room. "Irish."
    "I beg your pardon?"
    "You. Irish. The green eyes, the tiny bit of red in your hair. Is Connor your real name?"
    "Yes, why..." she said, stammering. Bloody hell. "Of course."
    She felt the slow, hot roll of color cross her cheeks. "What could that possibly have to do with anything?"
    "I don't know, but I have a feeling it means something. It's the first I've heard come out of that sassy mouth of yours that didn't sound like some damned speech." He tapped his head, starting to pace again. "What I wonder is, where are you in there?”