Previously published in the anthology THE DUKES OF VAUXHALL
When the prodigal duke returns…
After his older brother’s death, Leo Billingsley returns to London to assume the duties of Duke of Westfair. He has spent years abroad, traveling the world and building a fortune—but to his uncle and only remaining relative, Leo is still the impulsive black sheep who doesn’t deserve a chance to make good.
Tied to England and an impoverished dukedom, there’s only one person Leo trusts: his old friend and first love, Poppy Hayworth. But Poppy’s life has taken surprising turns since Leo left, and now she carries a crushing secret. Desperate to save enough money to flee the country, she earns a temporary living as a Vauxhall Gardens tightrope walker.
To win over his uncle, Leo offers Poppy a fortune to pretend an engagement with him. It seems the ideal solution, especially when they rediscover love and passion. The one flaw? If their ruse succeeds, they’ll be parted forever…