Duke of Scandal

Duke of Scandal

3.6 9
by Adele Ashworth

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The scandalously handsome Samson Carlisle is not the deceiving nobleman Lady Olivia was searching for... but he's the lover she fervently desires.


The scandalously handsome Samson Carlisle is not the deceiving nobleman Lady Olivia was searching for... but he's the lover she fervently desires.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Duke Trilogy , #2
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Duke of Scandal

By Adele Ashworth

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright ©2006 Adele Ashworth
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060528419

Chapter One

London, England
Late March 1860

It had been four long months since he'd been with a woman; probably a year since he'd touched a woman whose name he remembered. Tonight, though, he intended to seek out companionship regardless of the circumstance. He needed a toss between the sheets as he hadn't needed one in ages. Unfortunately, the circumstance to overcome was his very small selection of gently bred ladies flirting with discretion, snickering with intimidation, and prancing before him in a rainbow of richly colored gowns as they celebrated his distant cousin Beatrice's coming out. A typical party he felt obligated to attend, one of the Season's first, and not a great feminine offering for his trouble, to be sure.

The utter absence of female attention in his life of late was indeed a pathetic record, especially for him -- Samson Carlisle, the most distinguished, roguish, scandalous fourth Duke of Durham. Or so he'd been told. What would his fellow noble rakes think if they knew of his recent lack of preoccupation with the gentle sex? He had his infamous reputation to uphold. Of course, nobody really knew him as they thought they did. Not even his closest friends. Yet he needed it to be that way.

Standing against a tall marble pillar ofswirling bronze and gold, on the opposite side of the room of the elegant grand staircase, Sam steadily sipped a rather sour whiskey as he eyed the debacle on the dance floor before him. From his vantage point he could see most of the ballroom while still remaining relatively unobtrusive. He hated parties. He despised anything that drew attention to him, really, and nearly always being the highest ranking individual at any social function, not to mention one of the wealthiest, he tended to be the one person toward whom most people chose to gravitate. Sometimes it was obvious, sometimes not. Gentlemen wanted to discuss business propositions, young innocents giggled and begged for his interest with their eyes, married ladies flirted coyly, sometimes shrewdly offering their own invitations, which he refused, every one. The greatest lesson he'd learned in his thirty-four years was to never, under any circumstance, trust a married woman. Such faith in hidden, experienced charms would ultimately ruin a man. As it had nearly ruined him.

Groaning within, Sam had to wonder why his mind always wandered to his past at times like this. Considering lifelong struggles he couldn't change did nothing but agitate his mind and body, on many levels. And an obvious agitation at a carefree event such as this wouldn't help him seduce a woman, which was ultimately his only goal for tonight. He swiftly needed a change of attitude or he'd be riding home alone.

"Alone again, eh?"

That wry comment, echoing his thoughts, came from Colin Ramsey, his longtime friend, occasional competitor where women were concerned, and the only man at the party who fairly equaled him in rank. Aside from that, there were no two men more opposite in every regard in all of England.

"And you're not, I've noticed," Sam replied snidely without looking at him. "I think you've been with every lady here tonight."

Colin chuckled. "I'm certain you mean only on the dance floor?"


"Naturally. Then yes, I've danced with nearly every lady here tonight." He grunted. "My feet hurt."

"Try soaking them," Sam muttered.

"Ah," Colin remarked immediately. "That's what you do after a long night of waltzing?"

Sam fought the urge to snort. "Yes, that's what I do after a long night of waltzing."

Colin laughed again, glancing over his surroundings as he lifted his hand to take another full swallow of his drink. "You waltzing. On a frosty day in Hades," he added over the rim of his tumbler.

Sam ignored that and sipped his whiskey, noting how Lady Swan's daughter, Edna, didn't look at all like a beautiful, elegant bird, especially in the low-cut chiffon gown of pastel pink that exposed her thick neck. Then again, Edna, who stole glances in his direction and smiled prettily at him as she twirled with Lord Somebody-or-Other, wasn't all that unattractive. Sometimes in the future he might consider her a prospective wife, for she came from a good line, had a satisfactory face, and the general good health and roundness of hips to bear children easily. Producing an heir was really all his duty required, anyway. But in the last analysis, standard Englishwomen were one and the same to him, a blur of dainty expression, fair skin, and brown hair, and most of them bored him. He supposed at some point soon he would have to choose somebody to be his duchess, before he died of one malady or another and his wealth and assets became his brother's. He would marry an angel of death before he allowed that to happen. But probably not sweet, rather ordinary Edna, and not anytime soon.

"She fancies you, you know," Colin said, interrupting his thoughts.

Sam looked down at his friend, who stood only an inch or two shorter than his own extraordinary six feet three inches. Colin, who dressed only in expensive finery -- tonight black and white silk -- continued to gaze out across the dance floor, appearing totally at ease, as he always did under the scrutiny of the ton's roving eye. Sam almost voiced his disgust, for as long as he could remember he'd felt a certain mix of jealousy and admiration for Colin's easy charm, his confident, relaxed nature and intuition where ladies were concerned. In comparison, he had never had an easy moment with a woman in his life.

"She fancies my money," he corrected.

"An obstacle of which you should be deeply proud," Colin retorted.

He said nothing to that.

"Yet you don't fancy her in the least I suppose," his friend added.

"Not in the least."

Colin took another drink from his glass. "I know her family has you on their short list of eligibles and she's got a handsome dowry -- "


Excerpted from Duke of Scandal by Adele Ashworth Copyright ©2006 by Adele Ashworth. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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“This stimulating collection of 133 essays fully validates the New York Times’ decision to launch ‘The Stone,’ a column devoted to twenty-first-century philosophy in all its perplexing diversity…. The Stone writers remind readers that long after Socrates challenged his students in Athens’ agora, philosophy still speaks to our deepest human concerns.”

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Duke of Scandal 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1860 Lady Olivia Shea and her new spouse Lord Edmund Carlisle are on their honeymoon in Paris when he goes out but never returns allegedly on business leaving her a virgin. When she realizes that he wasted her money leaving her broke and her family firm the House of Niven perfumes in jeopardy she vows to find and expose the cad unless he returns her fortune.----- At a London gala, Olivia confronts her husband threatening to expose his actions. She gives him one week and their kiss affects both of them. A few days later Edmund visits Olivia who realizes he is not her spouse. He admits that he is Edmund¿s twin brother Samson, the title holding duke by three minutes, which his brother has always resented. They have not seen one another in years. As Olivia and Samson fall in love, Edmund remains a shadow between them.------ DUKE OF SCANDAL stars two protagonists in love, but a ghost remains between them making a relationship seem scandalous to high society. The fine Victorian romance focuses on the war between Olivia and Samson with the missing sibling ironically serving as the matchmaker. Though Edmund seems to have no redeeming qualities as an amoral scoundrel (perhaps his girlfriend Brigitte can find some), fans will enjoy this entertaining historical tale.------ Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a nice read. I think what I liked most about it was the vulnerability of the characters and also their innocence.
1VAReader More than 1 year ago
The fact that the principle male character was a twin gave this book a different twist. Of course there is always the good twin and the bad twin. Even the bad twin did not turn out to be completely evil. Good love story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this was a good read. I liked both the main characters, however, there we're loose ends that never came together. For instance, Normand. What happened to him? Did he just continue working at Nivan or did he slink away to return to his burrow like other rats?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book had a decent plot and it moved along better than previous books I've read by this author.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this authors previous book, Duke of Sin, was wonderful and looked foward to reading Duke of Scandal. What a disappointment. All of the characters, including the Duke and Lady Olivia were thoroughly unlikeable. The hatred between the Duke and his twin brother is not satisfactiorly explained. The villans are one dimensional and silly. Edmond and Claudette are just greedy and corrupt. Bridget is a silly romantic. Normand is just greedy. I could not care about or remain interested in any of them especially the Duke and Olivia. Worse, as happens too often in romance novels these days, explicit sex is thrown in for whatever reason but did not help me believe in the romance between these two strange characters. Maybe the next novel by this talented author will be better. Do Dukes really 'snicker'?