When the Duke Returns (Desperate Duchesses, Book 4)
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The Duchess of Cosway yearns for a man she has never met . . . her husband.
Married by proxy as a child, Lady Isidore has spent years fending off lecherous men in every European court while waiting to meet her husband. She's determined to accept him, no matter how unattractive the duke turns out to be. When she finally lures Simeon Jermyn back to London, his dark handsomeness puts Isidore's worst fears to rest—until disaster strikes.
The duke demands an annulment.
Forsaking his adventuresome past, Simeon has returned to London ready to embrace the life of a proper duke, only to find that his supposed wife is too ravishing, too headstrong, and too sensual to be the docile duchess he has in mind. But Isidore will not give up her claim to the title—or him—without a fight.
She will do whatever it takes to capture Simeon's heart, even if it means sacrificing her virtue. After all, a consummated marriage cannot be annulled.
Yet in forcing Simeon into a delicious surrender, will Isidore risk not only her dignity—but her heart?
up within a few minutes, and I do not mean bread and cheese.” Honeydew bowed and hastened from the room. His mother huffed and averted her eyes as if Simeon had belched in her presence. But Godfrey asked, rather shyly, “Have you ever eaten a lion, brother?” The dowager duchess opened her mouth and Godfrey amended his question, “Your Grace?” “Not on a regular basis,” Simeon said. “There are tribes in the Barbary states who depend on lions as a source of food. I assure you that if they did not
there was room enough for him as well. He made a rough sound, low in his throat and pressed deeper. Isidore waited for the pain that was supposed to come, but nothing happened. Well, that was good. He pulled back and then thrust forward again. It felt good. It did. Well, perhaps it didn’t feel that good. There was a little pulling feeling that she didn’t care for all that much. Isidore tried to push away that disloyal thought. He was supposed to do whatever, and she could just do what she
something, or perhaps moaned. But in the back of his mind a voice was shouting for attention. He couldn’t just—he couldn’t just do what— She was moaning, she was, just a little sound in the back of her throat but it was enough to make him mad. Surely he could just put her down— Gently, of course. On the ground? Cold and damp? His bad angel spoke up again, telling him that his coat was as good as a blanket. For a moment he managed to look down at Isidore with a modicum of logic. Her eyes
followed, his longer legs allowing him to cover ground quickly, though his lungs were burning. Bahrnagash was in his stride now, and they ran on and on. The air was thin and Simeon’s head started swimming. He thought blearily that he couldn’t possibly win the race, so he might as well die trying. Three hours later Simeon collapsed. Bahrnagash hesitated, waited, returned. Simeon’s chest hurt so much that he thought there might be blood in his lungs. After a while, he sat up and asked whether
who doesn’t speak English.” She whipped around. “What stopped your marriage to the princess?” “I was promised to you.” “Correction,” she said scathingly, “you were married to me. But that’s all right. As the solicitor so obligingly told us, we can have this marriage dissolved.” “No, we can’t. We’ve consummated it.” “I am not pregnant,” she said, through clenched teeth. “Not pregnant.” He almost asked how she knew and the words died in his throat. “Oh.” “No one need ever know that I