The Duke Needs a Wife Excerpt
‘Milud, may I ask you to bide a few moments, whilst I announce you?’
‘Not in my own house Beddowes.’
‘But your Grace—’
‘Huh, so who’s up there Beddowes? Where’s your mistress? Out of my way man.’
‘Yes of course your Grace.’ The man raised his voice, and coughed heartily,
Max frowned, no doubt he was warning the little minx. It was uncannily like a re-run of his conversation at the club. Well, there was only one entrance; whoever was with her would have to face him.
He didn’t bother going to the receiving room, but took the stairs two at a time to her boudoir. Flinging open the door, he found her lounging on the Chippendale recliner, a handkerchief to her forehead. As usual, she created a beautiful picture, with rich golden ringlets falling around her shoulders, porcelain skin, and deceptively innocent violet eyes.
‘Ah Maxie, thank goodness you’re here, I am all aswoon; I fear I have a megrim coming on.’
Max glowered, his eyes roving over her curvaceous body, barely covered with a transparent gauze negligee; her slipperless feet curled up. He went to the bedroom, taking the room in one sweep, his eyes moving to the gold bamboo chair, and a pair of man’s chino breeches, dangling over the arm. Walking to the window, he pulled back a brocade curtain, looking at the drop. The fellow might have climbed down the drain pipe, but it was too flimsy to hold a man’s weight. Turning back to the room, his eyes now roved the floor, where – where? He grinned nastily, of course. Stealthily, he crept towards the large four-poster bed; going down on his knees he moved aside the overhanging eiderdown.
On the untimely demise of her parents, Miss Cassandra Whitney endures abject poverty raising her siblings. She faces further torment as her landlord, the odious Baron Scudder, threatens her with eviction, if she refuses to assent to his offer of marriage to her younger sister Belle. As Cassandra fights to save her family, she inherits a titled estate and a ruin of a castle.
News of Casandra’s inheritance travels fast, reaching the highest circles in the ton. The Dowager Duchess of Taunton immediately sees her as a worthy match for her son Maximillian the 6th Duke of Taunton a renowned rakehell. The dowager also plans to take control over the castle which would be a prestigious venue for her many balls and hunting weekends. However, neither Cassandra nor Maximillian has any desire to wed. The Duke is more than inclined to enjoy his various mistresses without the entanglement of matrimony; besides his time is mainly caught up with horses, gaming and his club. What with her siblings, the estate and a ruin of a castle to renovate Cassandra could not possibly entertain the idea of courtship.
Both did not anticipate the manipulative powers of the dowager who slyly arranges a meeting between them.
On seeing Cassandra, Max is suitably impressed with her wit and ironic humour. Already tiring of one of his mistresses, she would be a welcome replacement. Although charmed with his handsome looks and seductive overtures, Cassandra puts him firmly in his place.
Can Cassandra resist the devilish overtures of the Duke and the devious ploys of the dowager?
About the author:
My main loves are writing, painting and singing. I began work as a PA but to my joy was spotted by an agent in London and had an exciting career as a singer, meeting and singing with some wonderful people. Singing meant a lot of travelling both in the UK and abroad. At one time, I toured Germany and Turkey singing for the American troops, which was a fantastic experience. But then, my husband and I wanted a family, so I said good-bye to the singing career, although I did the occasional gig. Having children is such a precious time, and I would say to anyone, treasure it, it goes so quickly and before you know it, you’re waving them off to Uni or pursuing their own dreams and their own homes.
I have always had a deep interest in psychology for various reasons, and especially the area of neurosis arising from abuse. Later, I was to study how we could use our body, mind and spirit to relieve pain and overcome some life-threatening diseases. One important thing here is, I always told my patients to continue with medical treatment along with the complementary and spiritual methods, for I believe medical research and medication is also a gift from God, Spirit or the Universe, as each of us wishes to name it.
I have loved writing from a child and during the years of study, research and treating some wonderful people, whom I called my friends, I would write at night, mainly short stories, and reams of poetry. I wanted to learn how to write self-help books for my clients, so I took creative writing courses at university, which led to writing a novel. So self-help novels turned to fiction but even so, I hope the novels help the reader through their own challenges, as the characters experience love, loss, passion, jealousy, illness, joy and conflict, even the threat of death.