The pleasure of your company is requested at Warbury Park. Four lovely ladies will arrive… but only one can become a duchess.
James, the scandalously uncivilized Duke of Harland, requires a bride with a spotless reputation for a strictly business arrangement. Lust is prohibited and love is out of the question.
Four ladies. Three days. What could go wrong?
She is not like the others…Charlene Beckett, the unacknowledged daughter of an earl and a courtesan, has just been offered a life-altering fortune to pose as her half-sister, Lady Dorothea, and win the duke’s proposal. All she must do is:
* Be the perfect English rose [Ha!]
* Breathe, smile, and curtsy in impossibly tight gowns [blast Lady Dorothea’s sylph-like figure]
* Charm and seduce a wild duke [without appearing to try]
* Keep said duke far, far from her heart [no matter how tempting]
When secrets are revealed and passion overwhelms, James must decide if the last lady he should want is really everything he needs. And Charlene must decide if the promise of a new life is worth risking everything . . . including her heart.
Debut author Bell begins the Disgraceful Dukes Regency series with a winning tale in which disreputable but charming protagonists bond over a shared passion for righting social injustices. Charlene, the illegitimate and unacknowledged daughter of an earl, longs to save herself and her sister from prostitution by opening a boarding house for impoverished girls. James, a second son who unexpectedly inherits a ducal title, arrives in London prepared to marry an impeccable bride, produce an heir, and return to the West Indies to run his fair-wage cocoa farms. When James invites four women to audition for the role of duchess, Charlene is hired to stand in for her look-alike half-sister, Lady Dorothea, until Dorothea returns from abroad. Charlene's spirited manner, martial arts skills, and instant rapport with James's biracial daughter (whose existence and acceptance by her father are absolutely scandalous to most of the London elite) immediately put her at the top of the list, but soon James's suspicions of trickery dampen his ardor. Meanwhile, Charlene reluctantly cedes her place to Dorothea, certain a duke would never marry an illegitimate woman. Colorful supporting characters, plentiful plot twists, and the trials of star-crossed lovers make for a sizzling and heartwarming page-turner.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I can't remember the last time I truly enjoyed a book this good
. This is a quick, very entertaining read. I even found myself laughing out loud a few times. Good characters, good plot, great writing.
I devoured this book quickly...well written and wonderfully told...this story is one for the reread pile!!!!
This is a great book. It was a little Cinderella-ish and definitely more daring than your typical Regency romance. There is even a biracial child woven beautifully into the story. It was refreshing in so many ways. This is my first book by this author and I'm so glad I found her.