Overview

When Trevor Phillips finally returns home to claim his inheritance, he's astonished to find the estate in shambles. Still, he has no great desire to be rusticating in the country and it's only the enchantingly beautiful—and shockingly young—Dowager Duchess, Sara, who captures the rake's very masculine interest. But while Trevor is determined to lure Sara into his arms, she is equally determined to entice this confirmed bachelor into doing his duty by finding him a bride.

Trevor ...

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Duke's Return

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Overview

When Trevor Phillips finally returns home to claim his inheritance, he's astonished to find the estate in shambles. Still, he has no great desire to be rusticating in the country and it's only the enchantingly beautiful—and shockingly young—Dowager Duchess, Sara, who captures the rake's very masculine interest. But while Trevor is determined to lure Sara into his arms, she is equally determined to entice this confirmed bachelor into doing his duty by finding him a bride.

Trevor has made it quite clear that nothing could be more boring than to marry a nice debutante and produce an heir. And in Sara he discovers a passionate woman who is unlike any other he's ever known. But what he hasn't yet told her is that he has a plan of his own...and her future depends on her answer to his proposal.When Trevor Phillips finally returns home to claim his inheritance, he's astonished to find the estate in shambles. Still, he has no great desire to be rusticating in the country and it's only the enchantingly beautiful—and shockingly young—Dowager Duchess, Sara, who captures the rake's very masculine interest. But while Trevor is determined to lure Sara into his arms, she is equally determined to entice this confirmed bachelor into doing his duty by finding him a bride.

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Editorial Reviews

Romantic Times
Ms. Martin creates a delightful, readable romance with very special lovers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062276155
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/12/2013
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 738,006
  • File size: 967 KB

Meet the Author

Raised on Hawaii, Malia Martin grew up listening to stories rich in culture and history. From the moment she could read and write she has been doing both in great abundance. She majored in English just so she could read her way through college. And she married a man who loves to cook and can do his own ironing so she could spend every spare moment writing. When the children came she found that the hours she spent pushing swings, watching ballet classes and driving carpools lent themselves marvelously well to plotting.

Malia now lives in California with her three small children and extremely supportive husband. When she is not reading, writing or plotting, she loves to ski, play tennis and take her children to the beach. Visit Malia's website at Malia.com.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Newgate Prison, 2820

Things were not going well at all. Sara Whitney, Dowager Duchess of Rawlston, clutched the rusted bars of her cell, pulling herself onto her tiptoes in order to breathe the relatively clean air that wafted by her high window. The stench of ripe chamberpots and unwashed bodies had driven her finally to press her face as close to the window as possible, but she was not sure that the soot-filled air that stagnated outside the bars of her cell was any better than what she breathed inside. With a sigh, Sara relaxed back, putting her hand to her nose as she turned around into the darkness of her dank room.

Yes, things had definitely gone from bad to worse, Sara thought, as she slumped down onto the bale of rotting hay that served as her chair. Being put in jail for treason had been a chink in her plans Sara had not anticipated.

Still, when the cell doors had shut behind her with a clang, she had hoped, at least, that her incarceration would finally garner her the new Duke's attention, which she had been trying to capture for the last ten months.It had not.

That had been a fortnight ago, and still she sat in the dark, musty prison, awaiting her sentencing. Sara made a disgusted sound, clicking her tongue against the roof of her mouth, then shrieked as a mangy rat scurried across her foot.

She would never get used to the things. Sara shivered and closed her eyes for a moment.

"Well, Duchess, seems someone remembered that you were here!"

Sara opened her eyes and jumped to her feet. The stout little jailer who had brought her food for the last couple of weeks shoved one of the keys on hismassive ring into the lock of her door.

"What?" Sara cried.

"You're free." The man swung open the door, turned on his heel, and started down the murky hallway.

Sara stared at the open door to her cell and blinked. "What on earth is going on here?" she cried, picking up her skirts and following the vague shadow of the retreating jailer."Some duke came and said to let you free," the man's voice echoed in the stone hall. "So you're free." He turned a corner.

"Some duke?" Sara stopped dead. The Duke! She hiked up her gown and sprinted after the jailer. "The Duke of Rawlston is here?" She took the corner at high speed and nearly fell headlong down a tiny stairwell. Sara could hear footsteps descending and hurried after them. Finally, the Duke of Rawlston was on English soil. She would be able to speak to the man, make him realize the dire straits his estate and people were in. Sara smiled hugely as she took the last two steps in a single leap. Things were not as bad as she had thought, after all.

The room at the bottom of the stairs was large, and windows lined one entire wall. The bright light they emitted shone harshly against Sara's eyes, since she was used to the dark bowels of the prison. Sara squinted until the black shadows in the room slowly began to take on human characteristics. The jailer stood at the other end of the room, speaking with a small woman. Another man stood closer to her. Sara took in his foppish clothes and thinning, pale hair, and knew that it must be the Duke.

"Your grace," Sara and the Duke said together, then stopped.

Sara strode forward. "You must return with me to Rawlston, your grace."

The man's pencil-thin brows arched and his nostrils wriggled with amazing dexterity. Sarastopped in the middle of her passionate summons and stared.

"I am not his grace." The man pronounced each word with delicate care. "I am Andrew Stuart, his grace's..."

"Oh! Mr. Stuart, it is very good to meet you, sir. My husband thought very highly of you. But I have been trying to contact you, as well!" Sara stood a bit straighter, quite relieved, actually, that this mouse of a man was not the new Duke of Rawlston. "You do realize that we have received absolutely no monies for the support of Rawlston Hall? I am sure that this must be a mistake. I have been paying the servants with the small allowance I receive from an inheritance from my mother. But truly, 'tis not much, and I have had to stretch the budget to incredible proportions." Sara shook her head. "And I have not been able to do all that is necessary to support such a large estate. We need the Duke..." Sara glanced around once more, noting with disappointment that there was no one else besides Mr. Stuart, the jailer, and the woman. "Is he here?" she asked hopefully.

Mr. Stuart cleared his throat, his nostrils working vigorously. "He is not here, your grace." His eyelids dropped and trembled as if he were trying to open them again, but could not. "His grace appeared before the court on your behalf yesterday." His eyelids finally slid open, his pupils dilating, dark and snakelike.

Sara frowned and took a small step back.

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