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Known as The Marble Duke amongst the Ton, Garret Weston, the Duke of Kendal sets himself apart from his peers. Nothing will hinder his guilt-driven attempt to become a perfect duke. Nothing that is, save the alluring and imaginative betrothed he’d thought dead. His intended believes-of all things-that she is a Vicar’s daughter. The “perfect” duke needs a “perfect” duchess, but how was he to discern her suitability? Employing her as a governess to his niece seemed like an ideal solution. But whose “suitability” is being tested? His betrothed refuses to see he is beyond redemption. And most grievous of all, she stirs his blood, making him forget what’s important.
Cara believes fairy tales really can come true, until she meets the unrelenting and arrogant Duke of Kendal. He looks like a Prince, but acts like a Beast. Why must he challenge her at every turn? Her greatest peril is her attraction to the vulnerable, seductive man behind the title. A match between them would be impossible. But can she show him, without losing her heart, that “perfect” is in the eye of the beholder?
Cara noted the tightening around the duke’s mouth and thought she may have gone too far. “I’m sure your behavior is exemplary.
For a duke.”
“But?” He tilted his head slightly, one winged brow raised.
“If you expect your niece to like you, then stop treating her as if she doesn’t exist, or worse yet is a servant in this house.” She moved to within a foot of him. “Do you know anything about her?”
The duke’s gaze darkened with an emotion she didn’t recognize. He lifted his hand in slow increments until he cupped her cheek, as if compelled by a force beyond his control. His thumb rubbed feathery strokes at the corner of her mouth. “I admit to a certain amount of ignorance.” His voice dropped to silky persuasion. “Perhaps you could enlighten me?”
She couldn’t breathe. His voice washed over her like dark velvet. Her heart pounded and she had the absurd impulse to step forward, eliminating the space between them. What would he think of her boldness?
Instead, she closed her eyes and turned her face into the warmth of his hand. The moment felt magical, as if his touch awakened her.
When she dared a glance at him, he shook his head as if he didn’t understand what had just happened, then dropped his hand. The moment faded, leaving her empty and confused. What she wouldn’t give to be able to disappear like the fairies in her stories.
About the Author
“Once Upon a Time” are four of Dawn’s favorite words. Her love of story became a love of romance when she read Georgette Heyer’s, Devil’s Cub. It inspired her to write stories with strong characters that discover love is never easy, but always worthwhile. Dawn’s written several award-winning novels set in Georgian England – an era filled with rules and intrigue. Her characters often defy “Society” as they pursue love, run away, pursue, run away – well, you get the idea.
Then again, she might write romance in order to do the research. What other profession encourages you to sit in the audience at Harlequin’s Male Model search, and take notes, or just sigh?
Dawn lives in a Victorian home in Upstate New York with her husband and very independent cats. When she’s not writing, she’s singing, gardening, learning to play the harp or wood carving. If you’d like to learn more about Dawn and her novels, go to her website at www.dawn-ireland.com