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Four Nights with the Duke
Desperate Duchesses # 8
By: Eloisa James
Releasing March 31st, 2015
As a young girl, Emilia Gwendolyn Carrington told the annoying future Duke of Pindar that she would marry any man in the world before him-so years later she is horrified to realize that she has nowhere else to turn.
Evander Septimus Brody has his own reasons for agreeing to Mia’s audacious proposal, but there’s one thing he won’t give his inconvenient wife: himself.
Instead, he offers Mia a devil’s bargain… he will spend four nights a year with her. Four nights, and nothing more. And those only when she begs for them.
Which Mia will never do.
Now Vander faces the most crucial challenge of his life: he must seduce his own wife in order to win her heart-and no matter what it takes, this is the one battle he can’t afford to lose.
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“There’s no need to issue warnings,” Vander said flatly. “There isn’t a fellow in this house who would bother speaking to that dumpy little thing. The only reason she was invited was that my mother brought along her lover, who dragged along his daughter. She’s a charity case, that’s what she is.”
A charity case. A dumpy one, at that.
She loathed him even more because he was right: she was dumpy. Other girls were tall and willowy, but she was “petite,” which was just a pretentious way of saying that she was short.
And round. He meant she was fat.
He was a beast, a horrid beast.
Rage is a useful emotion. Rage burns away sorrow and disgrace. Rage propelled Mia to her feet, and she came out from around the sofa with her fists clenched.
Even knowing what he thought of her poem, despite her rage, the sight of Vander slammed into her. She had loved him too long to be unaffected by seeing him this close.
He was already tall and broad-shouldered. You could see the man he would someday be in the lineaments of his body and the strength of his jaw.
She looked at him up and down, curling her lip, and then gave his friends the same inspection.
Thorn looked horrified, and Oakenrott surprised, but Vander was utterly expressionless. All the things she’d thought she’d seen in him, every good characteristic that she had believed he had, the gentlemanly nature that seemed an antidote to her father’s indiscretions… well, she must have made those traits up. There was nothing readable in his face, and clearly she had seen whatever she longed to find.
“So,” she said, thankfully discovering that her voice was steady. “Three boys whose imaginations are so disgusting that they can read lechery into a silly love poem.” She snatched the crumpled page from Thorn’s hand and tore it in half. The sound seemed very loud in the otherwise silent room. She tore it again, and again, and dropped the pieces on the floor.
“I may have made a fool of myself by falling in love,” she told Vander, “but you have no right to ridicule me for it. Do you know that I was foolish enough to think you a gentleman, unlike—” She caught herself. Her father was her father, no matter his sins. “I should have known better,” she added. “You say I am my father’s daughter. Well, you, Lord Brody, are obviously your mother’s son.”
To her left, Thorn made a protesting movement but she swept him a glance and he shut his mouth.
Vander only stared at her. Why had she never noticed his beautiful eyes were hard and cold?
“I shall now take myself and my cabbages into the drawing room,” she said, head high, though it took every ounce of will power she could summon to hold it there. “If you would do me the courtesy to remain here for fifteen minutes, I shall find my father and be gone.”
None of them said a word, the pestilent cowards.
One more thing occurred to her. “Moreover, I wouldn’t marry a single one of you,” she said, making her voice as scathing as she could, “even if I were desperate! Even if you were the only men left in all England!”
About the author
There is a tour-wide giveaway of one Print Bundle of the entire backlist of the Desperate Duchesses series, books 1 – 7, Including, Book 1: Desperate Duchesses; Book 2: An Affair Before Christmas; Book 3: Duchess By Night; Book 4: When the Duke Returns; Book 5: This Duchess of Mine; Book 6: A Duke of Her Own; Book 7: Three Weeks With Lady X.a Rafflecopter giveaway