Known as The Marble Duke amongst the Ton, Garret Weston, the Duke of Kendal sets himself apart from his peers. Nothing will hinder his guilt-driven attempt to become a perfect duke. Nothing that is, save the alluring and imaginative betrothed he’d thought dead. His intended believes-of all things-that she is a Vicar’s daughter. The “perfect” duke needs a “perfect” duchess, but how was he to discern her suitability? Employing her as a governess to his niece seemed like an ideal solution. But whose “suitability” is being tested? His betrothed refuses to see he is beyond redemption. And most grievous of all, she stirs his blood, making him forget what’s important.
Cara believes fairy tales really can come true, until she meets the unrelenting and arrogant Duke of Kendal. He looks like a Prince, but acts like a Beast. Why must he challenge her at every turn? Her greatest peril is her attraction to the vulnerable, seductive man behind the title. A match between them would be impossible. But can she show him, without losing her heart, that “perfect” is in the eye of the beholder?
The duke peered down at her. “I asked Timmons to refrain from telling you about the servants’ lives.”
“You told him what?” Cara stood. “You had no right.”
“Actually, I have every right.”
For the first time in her life, Cara wanted to throw something at another human being. Fortunately, the oriental vase on the table closest to her was out of reach. “Tell me something. Do you relish being feared by your staff?”
“Don’t they? And what makes you so sure?” Cara could not believe the man had no idea how he treated others. “When did you last speak to a footman?”
“I speak with them daily.”
“Don’t you mean ‘command’ them daily?” She’d witnessed the impersonal way he treated his staff. “I’m willing to wager you don’t even know one of their names.”
Cara crossed to within inches of him. Staring up into his frigid green eyes, she enunciated every word. “There is not one footman named ‘Charles.’ It’s the name you give them, like referring to all dogs as ‘dog.’”
“You would not understand. That is the way things are done. It would be impossible for me to learn every footman’s name.”
“Impossible, or tiresome?”
The duke took her arms in a firm hold and Cara had the impression he wanted to shake her. “My conduct is not your concern.”
“Once Upon a Time” are four of Dawn’s favorite words. Her love of story became a love of romance when she read Georgette Heyer’s, Devil’s Cub. It inspired her to write stories with strong characters that discover love is never easy, but always worthwhile. Dawn’s written several award-winning novels set in Georgian England – an era filled with rules and intrigue. Her characters often defy “Society” as they pursue love, run away, pursue, run away – well, you get the idea.
Then again, she might write romance in order to do the research. What other profession encourages you to sit in the audience at Harlequin’s Male Model search, and take notes, or just sigh?
Dawn lives in a Victorian home in Upstate New York with her husband and very independent cats. When she’s not writing, she’s singing, gardening, learning to play the harp or wood carving. If you’d like to learn more about Dawn and her novels, go to her website at www.dawn-ireland.com
The Perfect Duke