William, the sixth Duke of Pelham, enjoys his punctual, securely structured life. Orderly and predictable—that’s the way he likes it. But he’s in the public eye, and the scandal sheets will make up anything to sell papers. When the gossip papers link him to Juliette, one of the most beautiful and celebrated courtesans in London, chaos doesn’t begin to describe what happens next…Until she came along…
Juliette is nicknamed the Duchess of Dalliance and has the cream of the nobility at her beck and call. It’s disruptive to have the duke who is the biggest catch on the Marriage Mart scaring her other suitors away. Then she discovers William’s darkest secret and decides what he needs in his life is the kind of excitement only she can provide…
“You’re coming with me,” he told her. “I don’t know what’s frightening you, but you can explain in my coach.”
“I’m not…” But she looked over her shoulder and seemed to reconsider. “Very well. You do realize, Your Grace”—somehow she made the title sound like an epithet—“that your actions tonight only confirm the rumors about us and incite new ones.”
Reluctantly, Pelham looked over his own shoulder. A crowd of onlookers was watching them, most of them murmuring and whispering behind their hands. He scowled at them, and several scurried away. Others took a step back.
“I’ll squash any further rumors,” Pelham said between clenched teeth.
“Wonderful,” she muttered.
He signaled to his coachman, and his carriage was beside them in mere moments. A footman opened the door and handed the duchess up. He was right beside her. Once inside, he closed the curtains and instructed his coachman to wait.
He turned his attention to the woman across from him and tried not to stare. The color was high in her cheeks, and her eyes were bright. He did not think it possible, but she was even lovelier than when he’d first seen her tonight.
His gaze—completely of its own accord—flicked to her mouth. She’d rouged it, because it was far too perfectly red to be natural. It reminded him of some exotic fruit, and he desperately wanted to sample it. One kiss…
He tightened his hands on his knees. What was wrong with him? He couldn’t kiss her. She wasn’t an acceptable kissing partner in the least. She was a courtesan—a whore. She seduced men for money, and he was falling under her spell.
She narrowed her icy blue eyes at him. “Why are you looking at me like that?”
FEATURED AUTHOR: Shana Galen
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