The Duke's Promised Bride

Damsels In Breeches Regency Series

Book 4
Anne Marie Novark Books
4
Free sample

Fifteen years ago, a marriage of convenience was arranged between Quentin D'Arby and Vanessa Graham by their respective grandfathers. The union would unite the vast wealth and landholdings of the Graham Heiress and the Duke of Straithe. From a very early age, Vanessa has been trained and educated to be the duchess.

Now, as the wedding day fast approaches, she discovers she wants more than a marriage of convenience. Can she break through the barriers guarding the duke's impenetrable heart? Will she ever be able to win his love?

EXCERPT:

The duke approached the pianoforte and gave a little bow to Vanessa. "Please, be seated," he said, indicating the stool she'd just vacated. He searched through the stack of sheet music and handed her one. "Are you familiar with this piece?"

Vanessa sat down and nodded. Speech was impossible; the duke was standing extremely close, and she could feel the warmth of his big body. Her own body tingled in response. How was she ever going to accompany him on the piano without disgracing herself?

"Excellent." His arm brushed her shoulder when he reached over and arranged the sheet of music in front of her. Tiny slivers of awareness shot through her bloodstream, making it difficult to breathe.

"Are you ready?" The deep voice washed over her like a caress. Straithe gripped her shoulder, and she felt the hot imprint of his fingers through her thin muslin dress. He stayed but a moment, his touch lingering before moving away to stand at the side of the pianoforte.

Vanessa pressed her hands to her burning cheeks and tried to catch her breath. Goodness! What in the world was the matter with her? They were only going to perform together to entertain their grandparents. Vanessa scanned the music she was about to play, then glanced at the duke for the sign to begin.

He inclined his head, and she plunged into the introduction. As she ran her fingers over the keys, she speedily overcame her fidgets. Losing herself in the music, Vanessa listened as Straithe sang the old love ballad. How easy it would be to pretend the words were meant for her. She peeked at the duke and her eyes collided with his. He held her spellbound, and when he smiled, Vanessa blushed. For that one fleeting moment, she thought that maybe he was singing to her after all. A warm feeling floated through her as she broke eye contact.

When her fingers stumbled over several chords, she heard her grandfather harrumph in disapproval. Straithe slowly turned her way, inclined his head ever so slightly and smiled again, all the while continuing to sing.

Was the duke offering her encouragement? Could his heart be thawing toward her just a little?

 

KEYWORDS: alpha male, marriage of convenience, virgin, Regency romance, London Season

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Philomena Wheeler has been living a lie for the past twelve years. After her mother dies, she pretends to be a boy so she can work in Lady Hembrough's stables alongside her beloved papa. When she's promoted to the position of groom, her father thinks it's time to call a halt to the dangerous masquerade and wants to send Phil to his sister in York to learn to be a girl again.

Viscount Hembrough pays a rare visit to his mother in London. He's looking for a new groom and hires Phil for a one-month trial period before he returns to his horse-breeding estate in the wilds of Ireland. Under the mistaken belief that she's a he, the viscount takes Phil on a trip to inspect a promising stallion for his stables.

Will Phil be able to guard her secret while traveling with the handsome viscount? And more importantly, will she be able to guard her heart against a forbidden love?

EXCERPT:

Anthony held the door open for Phil to pass through. She kept her eyes downcast and her cheeks were pale. Her clothes had almost dried from the drenching she'd received in the rain, but she still had the look of a drowned kitten with her short auburn hair curling wildly about her head. Thank God, the innkeeper accepted her as the urchin she appeared to be.

Anthony placed his hat and gloves on the table in the middle of the room and waited.

Phil stood near the fire, and after the door closed behind the innkeeper, she turned to face him. "Well, my lord? You wished to speak to me?"

He had to admire the girl's courage. She'd successfully hidden her true identity for years, and she must suspect that he'd discovered her secret, yet seemed determined to play it through to the end.

"The game's up, my dear Phil. But your name is obviously not Phillip as I had supposed. What is it?"

Her green eyes widened and that damned chin lifted a notch. "Philomena, my lord."

Slowly, Anthony walked toward the fireplace. "Well then, Philomena--"

KEYWORDS: Regency romance, Traditional Regency romance, England, Britain, masquerade, secrets, historical romance, alpha male, disguises, historical

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Additional Information

Publisher
Anne Marie Novark Books
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Published on
Feb 6, 2015
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Pages
66
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Historical
Fiction / Romance / General
Fiction / Romance / Historical / General
Fiction / Romance / Historical / Regency
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Available on Android devices
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As children, Arabella Trent and Gilbert St. John were best of friends. Wherever he led, she happily followed. Their friendship held fast until Gilbert went off to fight Napoleon and Bella stayed home. Years passed and their youthful camaraderie faded to pleasant memory.

Now Gilbert is home from the wars and Bella needs his help. From the moment she climbs in his bedroom window, he knows he's in trouble. Can this beautiful desirable young lady be the same hoydenish friend from his childhood? Can Gilbert rescue Bella from her desperate circumstances even if it means . . . marriage?

EXCERPT:

With both hands on the broad shoulders, Arabella shook with all her might. "Gilbert St. John! Wake up this instant!"

Strong arms clasped around her middle and pulled her down on top of the hard body under the sheet. "I'm awake, love. How about a kiss?"

She tried to push away. "Let go of me, you big oaf! You don't want to kiss me. I'm not one of your bits of muslin." She wiggled and pushed, and wiggled again.

Gilbert grabbed hold of her wrists, and rolled over, reversing their positions. "Just one kiss. One kiss, love. That's all I want."

Before she could protest, Arabella found herself being passionately kissed like she'd never been kissed in her whole life. Of course, she'd never actually been kissed at all. It was a sad reflection, really. She was twenty-two years old and practically on the shelf.

She surrendered to the onslaught of Gilbert's kiss. Just a few seconds more, then she would call a halt. Maybe another second . . . the sensation was pleasurable. No, that didn't describe what she was feeling. She shouldn't be feeling anything, because this was Gilbert for goodness sakes.  The pressure of his mouth on hers was making her melt inside. And a warmth in her stomach began to flame into something bigger, stronger . . .

KEYWORDS: Regency romance, England, historical romance, novella, short story, heiress, marriage of convenience, second chances, reunion, kidnapping

For years, Damien Avenall loved Alexandra Turlington like a little sister; or so he thought until she grew into a lovely and desirable young lady. In a moment of madness, he kisses her and everything changes between them.

Alex often wonders why the dangerous viscount betrayed their special friendship. His kiss awakened her to passion, but she knows better than to give her heart to a libertine. Or does she?


EXCERPT:

Damien resumed his place at the breakfast table and smiled sardonically. 

“A man can enjoy a variety of interests, Miss Turlington. People may call me Demon, but I don’t waste all my time in decadent amusements, I assure you.” 

He waited for her response. Would she recognize her own words? Words that had cut through his jaded heart, words he knew even then to be true?
 

Alexandra rose from the table, her cheeks flushed. “Years ago, I said some unkind things to you. I’m sorry, but you must admit the provocation was great.”
 

Quickly, Damien pushed back his chair and leaned across the table. Placing a finger under her chin, he stared at her full, moist lips, then into her eyes. “I admit nothing, my dear. And I refuse to apologize for something which—if I remember correctly—I found extremely pleasurable.”
 

Jerking her chin from his grasp, Alex stepped back. “You forget yourself, my lord. I’m no longer an impressionable schoolgirl. Try for once to act with gentlemanly decorum, especially if you intend to stay at Willowmede. Now, if you will excuse me, I shall go see about my brother.”
 

“Certainly, Miss Turlington.” He frowned as he watched her retreating form. Alexandra was correct in saying she was no longer a schoolgirl. She was a beautiful woman, and much too desirable for his peace of mind.

KEYWORDS: Traditional Regency romance, regency romance, historical, historical romance, England, second chances, reunion, alpha male, friends to lovers, betrayal

Philomena Wheeler has been living a lie for the past twelve years. After her mother dies, she pretends to be a boy so she can work in Lady Hembrough's stables alongside her beloved papa. When she's promoted to the position of groom, her father thinks it's time to call a halt to the dangerous masquerade and wants to send Phil to his sister in York to learn to be a girl again.

Viscount Hembrough pays a rare visit to his mother in London. He's looking for a new groom and hires Phil for a one-month trial period before he returns to his horse-breeding estate in the wilds of Ireland. Under the mistaken belief that she's a he, the viscount takes Phil on a trip to inspect a promising stallion for his stables.

Will Phil be able to guard her secret while traveling with the handsome viscount? And more importantly, will she be able to guard her heart against a forbidden love?

EXCERPT:

Anthony held the door open for Phil to pass through. She kept her eyes downcast and her cheeks were pale. Her clothes had almost dried from the drenching she'd received in the rain, but she still had the look of a drowned kitten with her short auburn hair curling wildly about her head. Thank God, the innkeeper accepted her as the urchin she appeared to be.

Anthony placed his hat and gloves on the table in the middle of the room and waited.

Phil stood near the fire, and after the door closed behind the innkeeper, she turned to face him. "Well, my lord? You wished to speak to me?"

He had to admire the girl's courage. She'd successfully hidden her true identity for years, and she must suspect that he'd discovered her secret, yet seemed determined to play it through to the end.

"The game's up, my dear Phil. But your name is obviously not Phillip as I had supposed. What is it?"

Her green eyes widened and that damned chin lifted a notch. "Philomena, my lord."

Slowly, Anthony walked toward the fireplace. "Well then, Philomena--"

KEYWORDS: Regency romance, Traditional Regency romance, England, Britain, masquerade, secrets, historical romance, alpha male, disguises, historical

Former bad boy Mitch Defalco roars into Stone Creek, Texas, on the back of a Harley with his newly discovered daughter riding behind him. Single mom Sarah Cooper cannot believe he's moved in next door.  She had a secret crush on him years ago when he dated her older sister.

As Mitch tackles the responsibilities of fatherhood, Sarah admires the way he's turned his life around. She asks him to help her with a personal problem: Her fear of men. Mitch knows he's bad news for sexy Sarah, but how can he refuse her dangerous request, when she's determined to move forward with or without his help?

EXCERPT:

Mitch didn't wait for permission. He moved in closer, touching his lips to hers, pressing gently, letting them both get a feel for the other. He'd sworn he wasn't going to kiss Sarah Cooper, but sitting next to her on the swing like this, she was a temptation he had no power to resist.

For a minute, she didn't respond and he worried that he'd overstepped his welcome. Then her lips trembled beneath his, and she exhaled a soft sigh. When he heard the little moan in the back of her throat, he put his arms around her and pulled her forward.

Mitch deepened the kiss, taking it to the next level, swiping his tongue against her lips. She opened for him, tilting her head for better access and he slid inside her mouth. She tasted of chocolate and vanilla and the sweet essence of Sarah.

KEYWORDS: Texas romance, cowboy romance, alpha male, reunion romance, single dad, single mom, small town, contemporary western romance, rancher, bad boy, biker

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