How to Seduce a Duke

( 19 )

Overview

Why is the notorious Duke of Blackstone ruining Mary's well-laid plans to marry his brother, the handsome Viscount Wetherly? Every time she turns a corner, he is there—tantalizing her, teasing her . . . and the more she tries to ignore him, the more insistent he becomes. Mary knows she must make an advantageous marriage, but surely Blackstone is the wrong man for her. Isn't he?

Blackstone is not about to let his brother become bewitched by some wily blueblood pretender . . . ...

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How to Seduce a Duke

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Overview

Why is the notorious Duke of Blackstone ruining Mary's well-laid plans to marry his brother, the handsome Viscount Wetherly? Every time she turns a corner, he is there—tantalizing her, teasing her . . . and the more she tries to ignore him, the more insistent he becomes. Mary knows she must make an advantageous marriage, but surely Blackstone is the wrong man for her. Isn't he?

Blackstone is not about to let his brother become bewitched by some wily blueblood pretender . . . even one as deliciously tempting as Mary. But until she came along, no woman has ever resisted his smooth, well-practiced seductions. Could it be that he's actually fallen in love with this infuriating chit?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061124563
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/26/2006
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 634,308
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Kathryn Caskie has long been a devotee of history and things of old, so it came as no surprise to her family when she took a career detour off the online superhighway and began writing historical romances full time. With a background in marketing, advertising, and journalism, she has written professionally for television, radio, the internet, magazines, and newspapers in and around metropolitan Washington, DC. How to Engage an Earl is her sixth novel. Kathryn lives in a 200-year-old Quaker home nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains with her greatest sources of inspiration, her husband and two young daughters.

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Read an Excerpt

How to Seduce a Duke


By Kathryn Caskie

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Kathryn Caskie
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0061124567

Chapter One

Berkeley Square, London
May 1814

In the blue veil of night, three human statues stood clustered behind a prickly screen of holly bushes, their voices carefully held to mere whispers.

"He's just there." Mary, the eldest of the Royle sisters, poked her white, heavily powdered index finger through a gap in the branches. "Do you see him? He's the blond gentleman before the fountain. Is he not exquisite?"

"I cannot see anything other than the back of your head." Her younger sister Anne did not find tonight's adventure nearly as diverting as Mary did. Since the moment they'd left their great-aunt Prudence's house, she'd done nothing but complain about the nonsensical nature of their invasion of the garden rout next door.

But standing hidden along the hedge was perfectly logical to Mary's way of thinking. They weren't invited to the rout this eve . . . but he was.

What else was she supposed to do? Sit in her bedchamber while he was walking through the gardens only yards away? No, she was not about to miss an opportunity like this.

Until this night, Mary had only seen the viscount five times in passing. And though she was an excellent judge of character--everyone said so--she had had to concede that she needed more time to gather a bettersense of him . . . to be sure. For she was nothing if not decisive. And once she made a decision, she never changed her mind. Ever.

Being able to watch him from the holly bushes, undetected as she was, would allow her to confirm her initial opinion of him, even though in her heart she already knew her perception was correct. He was exactly as he appeared--positively perfect.

Anne huffed and tugged hard on Mary's shoulder to move her out of the way.

Snapping her head around, Mary grimaced at her sister. It had taken her a full two hours to achieve the correct marbled effect. "You needn't be so impatient. I shall step aside if you'll lift your hand carefully."

Obliging her, Anne raised each finger in turn, then lifted her damp palm from Mary's powdered skin.

Mary twisted to peer at the damage to her white finish. "I knew it! You've smudged the powder. Your fingers have left prints all over me."

"Will both of you please lower your shrieks?" Elizabeth, the youngest of the triplets by almost ten minutes, according to their father, blinked her powdered white lashes angrily. "What if we're caught? Our family will be ruined. Am I alone in considering this?"

"It's dark, Lizzie. No one can see us here." As she stood, Anne tripped on the hem of her Grecian gown, sending a puff of white powder into the air.

"Anne is right." Mary edged around the thick bush. "But we can't see or hear what's going on either. I daresay we have to move closer." She turned and signaled for her sisters.

It was then that she saw Anne and Elizabeth exchange loaded glances. Oh no. They weren't backing out now. They were going through with this. They were. After all, they'd promised her. "Do not even consider leaving. This was the plan, or have you forgotten? We dress in white and powder ourselves, then invade the rout, posing as garden statuary."

Elizabeth huffed at that. "And as I said at the house, your scheme is madness. Though I have to admit, in the moonlight, our marbling looks flawless. The effect is really quite amazing."

Anne flinched as she gazed down at her gleaming white arm. "What else is in this powder anyway? I feel as though ants are crawling all over me. Lud, Mary, I don't know how you convinced us to do this. And why--because you're smitten with some dashing soldier? I agree with Lizzie, this is madness."

"There is an ocean of difference between a simple soldier and a war hero. Did I mention that a viscountcy was newly bestowed on him, by the Regent himself? It was a grand reward for his valor in battle." Movement caught Mary's notice. "Blast, he's leaving. Come along, we have to catch him up. He's probably headed for the lawn."

Elizabeth shook her head vehemently. "The only place I am headed is back over the wall, and into a bath to wash this coating of white powder from my person." She came to her feet, then lent Anne a hand to help her stand.

"Please. Not until you've at least seen him. I am going to marry him, you know." Mary finished her sentence with a firm single nod.

"So you've said." Anne brushed the crumpled, dried holly leaves from the knees of her snowy gown. "But you don't need to marry the man just to secure your future. We've got the entire season . . . and more to find the proof we need."

Mary huffed at that. "I am not about to bank my life on such a slim possibility. I am being realistic about our prospects--and so should you." She watched the viscount lift a glass to his mouth, saw the crystal sparkle in the moonlight, and a sigh fell from her lips. "Beginning with that gentleman . . . that beautiful gentleman."

"Oh, very well, show me." Anne stood on the toes of her slippers and peered over the top of the hedge. "Which one is he?"

Mary looked closer and saw that there were two men now. But while her viscount--because indeed she already thought of him that way: her viscount--had golden hair, the other man's hair was as dark as jet, and he stood at least a head taller.

"Well, certainly not that hulking giant. My tastes are much more refined." Mary trotted a few steps along the hedgerow and beckoned for her sisters to follow, which they reluctantly did.

She paused only twenty paces from the two gentlemen. "There. The one with the cane," she whispered when her sisters drew alongside of her as she peered over the holly. "What did I tell you? Such fine, aristocratic features. Shows good breeding."

Continues...


Excerpted from How to Seduce a Duke by Kathryn Caskie Copyright © 2006 by Kathryn Caskie. 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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 19 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2006

    DO YOURSELVES A FAVOR - DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY!!!

    I'm writing this review to keep readers from falling into the trap i did: a nice cover + good reviews from the 'professionals'. This book is not funny, not romantic, not spicy, not clever, not historically rich or interesting or correct. It is stupid, boring, annoying, with an unredeemable heroine, the kind you want to punch in the face, and the hero is not exactly a genius, if you get my meaning. The story is a mash of absurdities that - contrary to caskie's belief - do not make people laugh. Needless to say, this book is the opposite of `a keeper¿. And believe me, i am being nice here.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

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    a reviewer

    In 1814, the Ton is excited over rumors about the beautiful Royle triplets (Mary, Anne, and Elizabeth), who many believe are the offspring of the Prince the siblings do nothing to confirm or deny the gossip. Everyone wants the three sisters to attend their gala for if they fail to show up the party is considered a bust.-------------- The ¿oldest¿ of the trio Mary decides that Viscount Wetherly would be a perfect mate for her so she begins to make plans to bewitch him. However his rakish brother Rogan, Duke of Blackstone, consistently destroys her plans as he always is seemingly in the way trying to seduce her. Though Mary is convinced that Blackstone is not right for her with his reputation, she admits to herself that she is very attracted to him which is ironic since she believes that he is up to no good when it comes to her. She would be right as Blackstone refuses to let his sibling fall for the wiles of a con artist though he himself cannot stop thinking and dreaming of Mary as his.---------------- HOW TO SEDUCE A DUKE is a fabulous amusing Regency romance that grips the reader from the first ¿sighting¿ and never slows down until the gender war ends with domestic tranquility. The story line is driven by the battles between Mary and Blackstone as both agrees they are not good for one another, but cannot get enough of one another. Fans will enjoy their humorous stinging exchanges as Kathryn Caskie opens her trilogy with a delightful tale.-------------- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2006

    Well worth your money.

    Set in London, 1814. The three Royle sisters are triplets, but they do not resemble each other a great deal. Their father had been a simple country physician, yet was able to set aside a large dowry for each of his daughters. Their Season is about to begin. They reside with their great-aunt, Prudence, who sleeps most of the time and is quite forgetful. When the sisters find a mysterious box from their father, the items within cause a huge stir. If the clues be true, then the three sisters may very well be the secret offspring of the Prince Regent and Mrs. Fitzherbert, his true love. Elizabeth and Anne are excited and eager to believe, but Mary, the reasonable and frugal one, does not believe it at all. Then the sisters are summoned to their guardian's resident. There, within a secret chamber, Lord Lotharian, Earl of Lotharian, and two other elderly gentlemen reveal an amazing story to the sisters. Still, there is no real evidence to prove their blood is even the slightest bit blue. Yet it does not matter. The men had promised their 'father' to see them settled with good husbands of High Society. ........................ The sisters are launched into Society by Lady Upperton. As Lady Upperton's protégées they automatically have entry to many door that would have been closed to them otherwise. Lady Upperton is thrilled to be a part of it all. Mary is to be the first sister matched by their sponsors. However, Mary already knows the man she wants to wed. It is Quinn, the newly belted Viscount Wetherly. Mary even convinces her sisters to powder themselves into disguise, as garden statues, to sneak a peek at him! That is good for everyone, including Quinn since he already has his eye on Mary as his future Viscountess. The only problem is Quinn's older brother, Rogan. .................. Rogan Wetherly, Duke of Blackstone, distrusts all women. He believes that all women are greedy winches out to trick unwary men into marriage by proclaiming love and devotion. Rogan has good reason for his beliefs and refuses to let his brother fall into any female's trap, especially Mary's. It is obvious that Mary has tossed out her lure in hopes of reeling Quinn in. So Rogan decides to pursue Mary in his brother's stead, but is the motives honorable? ......................... ***** A fabulous story that begins with a shock before morphing into one of the most intriguing reads I've had in a while! Are the three Royle sisters really princesses? It makes for an interesting sub-plot, that is for sure. Don't expect ME to tell, and you will have a wonderful time reading to find out. Author Kathryn Caskie may win awards for this novel. I eagerly await the next sister's tale. *****

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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