Take an icy duke with scars on the inside and add one feisty heroine who isn’t afraid to challenge the status quo. What do you get? A whole lot of steamy encounters. While Spencer and Bo are busy burning up my laptop screen, I’m emerging from my writing cave to give you an unedited snippet of their story, Darling Duke. Available for pre-order now, releasing July 10th.
What had she done?
She’d fallen down the rabbit hole, just like Alice, that’s what. Perhaps next, a mouse would appear and begin to explain William the Conqueror to her. It seemed every bit as likely as marrying the haughty man at her side.
Yes, surely that was the explanation for her inability to steel herself against the persuasive kisses of a man who had derided her as a tart masquerading as a lady. A man who thought she wasn’t good enough to marry his brother.
Her skin went entirely numb as realization assailed her. She hadn’t been worthy of the matrimonial prize of his brother, but he’d had no compunction about touching her himself. Because he imagined her the sort of lady he could trifle with. He thought her fast. He thought he could offer her a furtive coupling in his private library—after mocking her—with no repercussions.
And she had proven him correct.
She would not marry such an oaf, a man who believed himself her better because he’d been born the heir of a duchy and she hailed from a family laden with scandal and eccentricities. She would be her husband’s equal, or she would have no marriage at all.
Not to mention the matter of Lord Harry, who was a dear friend. She was aware that he imagined he harbored tender feelings for her, even as what she felt for him was decidedly platonic. Still, she wouldn’t hurt him for the world by suddenly marrying his brother.
“No,” she said to the room at large. Three sets of eyes swung her way. So she said it louder, this time with more force, holding her head high with a dignity she certainly didn’t feel. “I must decline any such offer.”
Bainbridge was first to react, his lip curling in what was either amusement or a sneer—she couldn’t be certain. “You must decline.”
She inclined her head. “Regrettably.” And then she smiled, her brightest and most entrancing smile, because the part of her that waved the flag of her tattered pride wanted him to know that she didn’t feel a single dram of regret at turning him down.
Want more? Don’t forget to one-click, and I’ll be back with more sneak peeks in the weeks ahead.
P.S. So many of you are eagerly awaiting Kit and Georgiana’s story. I hear you, and I’m working to bring it to you as soon as possible! I can’t thank you all enough for your support and for reading my books.
Until next time, don’t behave.