‘Desired’ by Nicola Cornick

BOOK BLURB: Tess Darent’s world is unravelling. Danger threatens her stepchildren and she is about to be unmasked as a radical political cartoonist and thrown into gaol. The only thing that can save her is a respectable marriage. But when it comes to tying the knot Tess requires a very special husband – one who has neither the desire nor the ability to consummate their marriage.

Owen Purchase, Viscount Rothbury cannot resist Tess when she asks for the protection of his name. But he has no intention of making a marriage in name only. Will the handsome sea captain be able to persuade the notorious widow to give her heart as well as her reputation into his safekeeping?


“I am at your service,” he murmured. “Whenever you are ready to acquaint me with this business proposition you have.”

Tess’s throat dried. “I wanted…”She groped for the words that had scattered like petals in the breeze. “That is, I thought…”

One dark brow rose quizzically as Rothbury surveyed her confusion.
“I came here-” Gracious, she had lost all her town bronze. This would never do.

“I came here to ask you to marry me,” she finished, with all the finesse of a tongue-tied schoolgirl. “In name only, that is. I wish for a marriage of convenience.”

Mortified, she stood pinned to the spot whilst a burning blush seemed to creep up from her toes to engulf her entire body. It was difficult to see how matters could have gone more painfully awry. She had wanted to be so cool, so composed. She had wanted to be herself, Teresa, Dowager Marchioness of Darent, poised and self-assured. Instead, this man had taken all her confidence and turned it inside out. She should have realised how he would affect her after their encounter earlier. She should have remembered the way in which he had made her nerves sing and her pulse trip. She should have had the sense not to come here with her ridiculous suggestion of marriage. She should have known not to engage in this dangerous game of using Rothbury for his name and his protection because any moment now he would call her bluff, accuse her of sedition and very like have her thrown in the Tower of London.

“An extraordinary suggestion,” he murmured. “A marriage in name only. Why would you wish for that?”

Rothbury took a step away from her and then turned sharply back on his heel.

“It was not a rhetorical question,” he said.

Tess jumped. “Oh!” Her mind was a blank. Why had she not anticipated that Rothbury might ask that question – and a great many more difficult questions besides?  She had hurried off to proposition him without laying the groundwork first. She should have realised that he was not the kind of man, like Darent before him, to accept such an arrangement without debate.

Rothbury was still watching her with one eyebrow raised in an odiously quizzical manner. And her mind was still blanker than a blank canvas.

“No doubt you will share your reasons with me before too long,” he said, still in the same gentle drawl.

“Meanwhile, I have another question. This may seem impertinent, Lady Darent – vulgar even – but I have to ask it.” He smiled. “What exactly is in this for me?”


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27 thoughts on “‘Desired’ by Nicola Cornick

  1. Pingback: Catch Desired on bookworm2bookworm! | Nicola Cornick

  2. Hi Melanie and Kristel! I don’t know which one of you invited Nicola over for a visit today but all I can say is THANKS!!!!

    Hi Nicola – Maybe it’s just me but whenever I read one of your stories there’s always that one line or scene that where I find myself laughing – not necessarily because it’s funny but (as my husband would tell you knowing how “out there” my mind can be) that I think of something that you totally didn’t mean when I read one of the lines in your book. One of your books that’s a favorite of mind is The Secrets of a Courtesan (which a friend borrowed and never returned). Even though it’s been a while since I read it I can still remember the scene where Eve threw a hair brush at Rowarth!

    You always have that one scene or line in your book that makes me laugh because I think of something the opposite of what your writing and it makes me smile. In Desired it’s when Owen, Lord Rothbury said to Tess “I am at your service”! The first thing that came into my mind was if I had been Tess I would have told him he could give me all the “services” he wanted! To explain why this is so funny to me is that I’m 65 and if you talked to my husband of 42 years he’d tell you I shouldn’t be “thinking that way” – (anymore)!

    I love all your books and can’t believe that I didn’t pick up a copy last November when Desired was released!

    PS: Congratulations of the release of your Anthology with Stephanie Laurens and Kasey Michael last month – I’ve already picked up several copies for Christmas gifts for some of my book-loving friends!

    • Hi Jeanne! Thank you for dropping by. That’s such a funny story. I can see you have a very vivid imagination! I’m so pleased you enjoy my books so much (And that they put ideas in your head!)

    • ME! ME! ME! I’m taking all the credit for inviting her! LOL! She rocks! I’m about to read FORBIDDEN…can’t wait! [I have Christmas TBR to do for next month] before I get to Forbidden….

  3. Wonderful book trailers! Thanks for sharing those! I hear great things about Nicola’s books but have yet to pick on up yet…(I am such a terrible book nerd!)

    In need of a respectable marriage…then my book to push today would be To Seduce a Sinner by Elizabeth Hoyt. Another great need to get married book with page turning consequences.

  4. I’ve read Desired and loved it! It’s my favourite in the Scandalous Women of the Ton series. My book to push would be Unclaimed by Courtney Milan. Virgin hero and courtesan heroine! Fantastic book!

  5. Having just finished Nicola’s “Scandalous Women of the Ton” series, I am glad to see her featured here! While I cannot pick a favorite from that series, I thoroughly enjoyed Desired primarily because I had fun “hearing” Owen’s American drawl in conjunction with the British accents. I thought the story was great – two adventurers with strong wills (in their own way) have to compromise to get what they want — imagine that, a *real life* scenario!

  6. I love these stories where the couple makes a marriage of convenience and then things start to change! Victoria Alexander’s ‘The Husband List’ has a couple who agreed to marry for convenience – it was such fun as they became a couple in love.

  7. I haven’t read any of Nicole’s books, yet, though I have a bunch of them on my TBR list. This one sounds delicious! I recently read Elizabeth Hoyt’s The Raven Prince, and it was very good. Edward de Raaf reminded me, in many ways, of Edward Rochester.

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