From bestselling author Amelia Grey comes The Duke in My Bed, a wickedly romantic tale of one reckless bachelor, five unwed sisters, and a wildly unconventional game of love...
HERE COMES THE GROOM
As a notorious member of the Heirs' Club, Bray Drakestone can't resist a challenge from one of his well-heeled colleagues-especially when it involves money and horses. But the friendly wager takes an unexpected and deadly turn. Bray is forced to agree to marry one of his challenger's five sisters-sight unseen. Now gamblers all over London are placing bets on whether Bray will actually go through with it...
THERE GOES THE BRIDE
Miss Louisa Prim, the eldest sister, doesn't care a whit what the reckless rogue at the Heirs' Club promised her brother-she has no intention of marrying the future Duke of Drakestone. Bray, however, sees her rejection as another challenge. He bets that the fiery Miss Prim will not only agree to marry him, she will propose to him! With four sisters behind her, Louisa knows she can't lose. But why does her opponent have to be a divinely handsome scoundrel? And so sweetly, irresistibly seductive...
"Amelia Grey lights up the pages with humor and passion."
-RT Book Reviews
About the Author
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Amelia Grey read her first romance book when she was thirteen. She's been a devoted reader of love stories ever since. Amelia is happily married to her high school sweetheart and she lives on the beautiful gulf coast of Northwest Florida. Her awards include the prestigious Booksellers Best, Aspen Gold, and the Golden Quill. Writing as Gloria Dale Skinner, she won the coveted Romantic Times Award for Love and Laughter and the Maggie Award. Her books have been published in Europe, Indonesia, Turkey, Russia, and Japan. Several of her books have been featured in Doubleday and Rhapsody Book Clubs.
The Duke In My Bed is Amelia's first book in the highly anticipated "The Heirs' Club" trilogy.
Read an Excerpt
What’s done cannot be undone.
—Macbeth, act 5, scene 1
Hyde Park, 1815
Bray Drakestone, Marquis of Lockington, heir to the dukedom of Drakestone, sat in the curricle, every inch of him shuddering in pain. Not that anyone would know to look at him. He’d learned from a young age not to show any emotion, much less reveal pain. That this pain came from an overabundance of brandy didn’t make it better. In fact, his father would have preferred he experience the searing agony of a bullet or saber wound than a pounding head and blurry eyes from drink.
Bray had never listened to his father, other than to absorb the lesson of never displaying emotion, any emotion. That skill had served him well.
“Are you going to take what’s left of the night to decide if you are up to the challenge, Lockington?” Viscount Wayebury asked him.
Bray pressed his eyes closed. The challenge. Damn.
After a moment, Bray glanced in the viscount’s direction. Whorls of misty fog that drifted across Rotten Row made it nearly impossible to make out the man sitting in the curricle not ten paces from him. Earlier, Bray had noticed an eerie halo surrounding the oil lamps that lit the well-worn road.
His horse stamped and snorted puffs of warm air while jerking its head and rattling the harness of the small sporting carriage. The animal obviously didn’t like being out in the damp cold either.
Bray didn’t know Wayebury as well as some of his other friends. The two of them hadn’t attended the same schools, but they spent a lot of time together whenever the viscount was in London. Wayebury had said that he preferred the quietness of his estate in northern Cornwall, but if that was the case, he seldom went there. He seemed always to be in London, behaving as wild as the next young buck who had nothing but time on his hands. They were both members of the Heirs’ Club and they enjoyed their share of bets on gaming, shooting, and horse racing, but never had they made a wager on such a dark and murky night.
Bray heard the viscount’s dog bark up at his master. Lord Wayebury looked down at the spaniel and said, “Don’t worry, ol’ boy, I know what I’m doing.” He then shot another glance at Bray and bragged, “It wouldn’t be worth the money we’re betting if there wasn’t a little risk involved, now, would it, Lockington?”
Those were brave words coming from the viscount, so Bray huffed a laugh and released the brake handle. The bleating tosspot possessed stellar gambling fortitude. “Indeed, the dark and the fog make the amount and the win all the sweeter,” Bray answered.
The broad but fairly short pathway called Rotten Row could be hazardous for two carriages careening side by side in the light of day and best of weather, but on such a dreary night, not even the lamps could alleviate the gloom. Quite frankly, Bray couldn’t have cared less if they raced or not. Losing a couple of hundred pounds wouldn’t lessen his pockets nor would winning it add to their weight. But since his days at Eton, what he didn’t like was losing—be it a fortune, a horse, or a shilling. He always played to win.
Like him, Wayebury had been at the Heirs’ Club since early evening, and the brandy was now talking and thinking for both of them. Bray had never declined a bet or rejected a dare, no matter how dangerous the challenge or how foxed he was. He wasn’t going to start tonight.
He had no idea how good Wayebury was handling the horse and lightweight curricle, but Bray didn’t figure he’d lose, even though he’d felt none too steady on his feet when he left the club. He’d been racing curricles as fast as the horses could pull them since he was big enough to climb onto the seat. And the carriage under him now was well sprung and built by a master of the trade.
“Does everyone have their bets placed?” someone called to the gathered crowd of a dozen or so men who had trailed the two young bucks out to the park. Some were afoot, others on horseback, and one or two were in their own carriages. They all would follow Bray and Wayebury down Rotten Row, but at a much slower pace.
Bray heard the grumbling rumble of various voices, which he took for a collective yes.
He wanted to get this over with. He was through with the night and ready for bed. He gave his head a quick shake and tuned his senses to the night and the restless stomp of his horse. He looked over at the man who had agreed to start the race and said, “Step back, pull your weapon, and fire when ready.”
The pistol shot cracked the air. Bray slapped the horse’s rump with the strips of leather, and the carriage took off with a jerk and a rattle. The road seemed bumpier than usual, at times lifting Bray out of the seat as they sped down the lane. He leaned forward, blinking several times to clear his eyes, but the brisk wind and the overindulgence in the brandy had taken their toll.
Knowing they were near the end of the lane, Bray glanced over at Wayebury. They were staying dead even until Prim’s carriage wheel inched dangerously close to Bray’s. His hands tightened on the ribbons, but he didn’t try to check the gelding. Bray had never been known for his self-restraint.
The viscount grinned excitedly and bore the leather down again on his own horse.
Moments later, Wayebury had inched ahead of Bray. Determination to win rose up in him. He flicked the reins hard, urging his animal faster. Instantly, thick fog engulfed him, completely blinding him. His heart leaped to his throat. Over the roar in his ears and the rumble of wheels and hooves on hard-packed ground, Bray heard a loud thump, the whinny of a horse, and the chilling sound of wood splintering apart.
Alarm shot up his spine.
“Prim!” Bray yelled the viscount’s surname and yanked the reins hard and short. The horse nickered in alarm and the curricle shuddered violently, almost throwing him out of his seat. He dropped the ribbons and jumped down before the carriage rolled to a stop.
“Prim!” he called again, hoping to discern which way to go in the fog. He heard shouts of other men calling their names. “I’m fine,” Bray answered as he combed the grayness for the fallen lord. “Find Wayebury!”
“Over here!” someone shouted.
Swirls of fog scattered before Bray as he raced in the direction of the voice. Under a pool of flickering lamplight, he saw the wheel of the curricle slowly spinning in the misty air. At the front of the carriage and tangled in its rigging, the horse seemed unharmed and was trying to stand.
Bray pushed a man aside and knelt down where the viscount lay on the ground, his dog licking his face and whimpering. Bray reached down to lift him, but the man cried out.
“No!” His breath halted and his face contorted in pain. “It hurts like hell. Don’t move me.”
Bray froze when he saw the piece of wood protruding from Wayebury’s stomach, the dark stain of blood soaking the white brocade of his waistcoat. The realization of what had happened slammed through Bray and caused a rare shock of panic to rip him. “What happened?”
“I don’t know,” Wayebury said, his voice ragged as other men slowly gathered around, whispering among themselves. “Something must have caught in the wheel.”
“All right, don’t worry about that right now,” Bray said, trying to process the tragic turn of events. “We’ll figure that out later.” He looked up at the concerned faces of the other men. “Someone get my carriage over here,” he ordered.
“My sisters,” Wayebury managed to say before coughing in pain. “I must get back to my sisters.”
“You will,” Bray answered, wanting to placate the man.
“They’ll be expecting me home by week’s end.”
“We’ll get you there,” Bray said, though he was certain that would never happen.
“They depend on me, you know.”
“Yes, I’m sure.”
“God! It hurts like hell! What did I do to myself?” Wayebury struggled to raise his head.
“Don’t sit up.” Bray tried to hold the viscount still, but the thrashing man managed to lift himself enough with his feet to lower his head and look down at his stomach. A pain-racked laugh that ended in a wounded animal-like groan blew past his lips and he went limp.
Bray’s arms tightened under Wayebury’s shoulders. “Just hold on until the carriage gets here. You’ll be fine.”
Wayebury’s trembling hand slipped slowly down to his stomach and felt around the wood. He winced. “No,” he said on a moan that carried eerily into the darkness. “I’m not blind. You can’t save me. I’m going to die.”
Bray knew the man’s words to be true, but it didn’t seem fair that Wayebury knew it, too. Bray looked into the viscount’s eyes and saw fear, but he didn’t know what to say to him. Bray had never been that scared. “Lie still and don’t try to speak.”
“I can feel it’s deep, Lockington.” Wayebury made an effort to laugh again, but it sounded more like an agonizing growl. “I can see it’s too late for me.”
“Hell no, it’s not!” Bray demanded as if saying so would make it true.
“Don’t lie to me.”
“I’m not. I’ve not lost a friend yet, and you’re not going to be the first. We’ll get someone to help you.”
“There’s no time, Lockington. My—my uncle will inherit the title. He won’t—provide for my sisters—as I have. I can’t leave them with him.”
“Listen to me. You won’t.”
“You’ve got to help me,” Wayebury whispered, and closed his eyes.
An oppressive quietness settled over the group of gentlemen. The only sounds Bray heard for a few moments were the viscount’s loud, heavy breathing; the hum of crickets; and the lonely chirp of a night bird calling in the distance. All he could think was that if the man was quiet, maybe it meant he wasn’t in any pain.
“I must ask a favor of you, Lockington,” Wayebury said, opening his eyes and breaking the stillness.
“What is it?” Bray said, noticing the man’s lips had lost their color, his breaths coming short and shallow.
“Marry my sister Louisa.”
Marry? Bray thought the man wanted a nip of brandy to cut the pain. Having just turned twenty-seven, Bray hadn’t even thought about the idea of marriage. He wasn’t interested in being leg-shackled by anyone.
“I’m not agreeing to anything like that, you blasted blackguard, because you’re not going to die.”
Prim reached up and closed his bloody fingers around the ends of Bray’s neckcloth and pulled his face close. The smell of blood rose up from the viscount’s hand.
“Marry Louisa!” Wayebury exclaimed on a deep breath that slowly died away.
“Hellfire,” Bray swore as his hands curled into fists. “That’s nonsense talk, and I won’t hear more of it. Next you’ll have me promising to pay your mistress and all your gaming debts, too.”
“No, it’s my sisters. Help me, Lockington. Say you’ll do it—and help me.”
“Quiet now,” Bray said again, not wanting to hear more of the viscount’s preposterous ideas. “Save your strength.”
“Help me!” he cried louder.
“Tell him you’ll do it,” someone in the crowd mumbled.
“Give the man some peace,” another added.
Bray looked up at the swarm of troubled faces urging him to put the man at ease, but Bray made no reply to their pleas. Instead he demanded, “What’s taking so long to get the damn carriage here?”
“I hear it coming,” a man answered.
The viscount coughed and blood trickled from the side of his mouth. His dog whimpered again, and Prim’s bottom lip trembled. “You owe me, Lockington.”
“The hell I do,” Bray answered without thinking.
Wayebury’s eyelids fluttered. He pulled harder on Bray’s neckcloth, forcing his face even closer. “For my sisters—I can’t help them anymore. Tell me you’ll do it for them—so I can rest in peace. Marry—Louisa.”
Wayebury’s anguish was understandable, but his request was insane. They were friends, Bray supposed, but he couldn’t possibly owe the man a vow that would affect his whole life simply because of a foolish wager and an avoidable accident.
Wayebury cried out in pain again. “Help me! My time is done. Marry her,” he gurgled.
“Do it,” someone in the crowd said.
“Don’t make a dying man beg.”
Over the escalating murmured anger, and the crowd demanding it, Bray said, “All right, Prim, all right. Should anything happen to you, I’ll marry your sister.”
The crowd went silent. Wayebury’s hand slipped off the ends of Bray’s neckcloth. The viscount’s eyes closed, and he whispered, “And my dog, Lockington. Take Saint, too.”
Copyright © 2015 by Amelia Grey
Excerpt from The Earl Claims a Bride copyright © 2015 by Amelia Grey
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The book was lacking for me..I read the reviews of the people who got there book for a honest review..and this book was no way as good as the review's..here is what problems I had...the book said great romance...they had one love scene and it had zero passion..I could not connect with the characters..there was no humor or any suspense.. he was a duke with a bad reputation but never once did he have a mistress or do anything that a rogue would do...I like my duke's to be rogues and then be redeemed ..no scandal what so ever. Also the first 100 or so pages was like ground hog day..the same over and over..in my opinion this was not worth the $8.. if I want funny I will stick with julia quinn, tessa dare and lynsdey sands.. if I want action and romance, kat martin , Johanna lynsdey and Lorraine heath. And real passion bronwen evans, jennifer mcnare and deliah marvell ..books with real storyline that draw you in..sorry this story didn't do it for me. When I read I want to get lost in the story not pray for it to be over.
The Duke in My Bed by Amelia Grey (Audiobook) Narrated by: Barrie Kreinik Series: Heirs’ Club of Scoundrels 1 3.5 Stars - This was a good read. There were some parts that really pulled me in and showed me the feelings between Bray and Louisa, but sadly, for me, there wasn't enough of that. The storyline was good and I enjoyed Bray learning about what a family is. I enjoy the way this author writes and will definitely continue with this series. This was the first time I listened to Barrie Kreinik. I felt she did a good job. ~Paragraphs and Petticoats~
I received this book for an honest review from the Author and I loved it. You have a Duke who made a promise to a dying friend to marry his oldest sister and to take care of his younger sister who really doesn't want to marry because he grew up in a home without a lot of love. And you have a young woman who was raised by wonderful parents and then his father inherited his title which then passed to his son, and after his death they were left in the care of an uncle that really didn't like them. They come to London to have her sisters season and find out that there uncle left their guardianship up to the Duke she is suppose to marry. They both have to find their way around things, her learning how her brother died racing the Duke and him dealing with younger children. It is a wonderful story with a wonderful happy ending. (l
I have no idea what the people who wrote 4s or 5s for this book were thinking. It was lacking in every sense. The ending is what really killed it for me, it wrapped up too quickly, left me wondering where the love came from and a distaste for the novel as a whole. I wasn't able to fully connect with either of the main characters and feel like I wasted my 3 bucks.
First tme to read this writer and it was good
This was a very good read. The book is about Bray Drakestone. He's a woman chaser, he drinks too much and he's very wealth. Now that he's a Duke. While drinking to much Bray and another colleague of his makes a bet on a Curicle race. But during the race an unexpected accident happens. Because of the accident the Viscount of Wayebury is injured and extracts a promise from the Duke of Drakestone that he would look after his 5 sisters. He gets the Duke to promise to marry the eldest sister Louisa. To ease the Viscounts suffering the Duke of Drakestone agrees. Two years later the Duke has not lived up to the promise that he made to the Viscount the Ton is taking bets on if Drakestone will follow through and even the Prince Regent himself is in on the betting. Will Louisa Prim the Viscount's sister marry the Duke? Will Miss Prim & Proper as the Duke calls her set him on fire? I don't know you need to read the book to find out. I love this book for it has sadness, humor, a little mystery and of course some suspense. But the romance is great and I loved being sucked into this book as I read it. I gave it 5 stars, because I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Amelia Grey was a new author for me. I liked her writing style for I found myself chuckling many times from this book. I even teared up a time or two. If a book can do this to me, than it's really a good read. I look forward in reading more books by Ms. Grey.
Loved It! The Duke in My Bed is a wonderful and enjoyable read. This is the second book I read by Ms. Grey and I absolutely love it, she is now one of the auto buy authors for me. The story of Bray and Louisa was sweet,romantic and adorable ( especially Louisa sisters). Although I got annoyed with Louisa on more than one occasion, still Bray and Louisa were so lovable. This is a delightful, funny and emotional romance with interesting plot. Thank you Amelia Grey
I have fond memories of reading Regency romances when I was a girl, which was why I asked to review this book. Either they’ve changed tremendously in the years, or my tastes have changed. Either way, I found The Duke in My Bed predictable and dull. Neither Bray nor Louisa were characters I could root for. Bray’s personality, to me, wasn’t very deep. I just never ‘knew’ him. Louisa was one of the hard-headed heroines who refused to even obey civil propriety for her own sense of pique. I read an ARC that said it was in a pre-edited state and could change, and I do hope that is true. There were several muddled sentences and one sentence that made absolutely no sense. But I think it’s just not my type of book and if a reader enjoys Regency romances, that they would probably like it – if they also enjoy a bevy of loud, obnoxious sisters that come with Miss Louisa Prim. I must now wonder if my reading choices have changed so much that if I went back and read a Barbara Cartland romance, if I would be just as bored. ‘Twould be a shame and as such, I will not do so. It would be a disgrace to ruin such fond memories. Reviewed by a-nony-mouse for Crystal’s Many Reviewers *Copy provided for review*
This is book 1 in the Heirs' Club of Scoundrels Trilogy. Bray Drakestone has never backed away from a challenge, so when a friend challenges him to a race he is all in. Tragedy soon ensues and Bray makes a promise to marry the dying man's sister. Having no desire to marry, Bray puts off his meeting of his intended. Miss Louisa Prim has no desire to marry Bray and when he finally makes his proposal, she turns him down. Seeing Louisa's rejection as a challenge, Bray tells her that they will get married but not until SHE proposes to HIM! Can Bray convenience Louisa that he is just what she needs in her life? This is my first novel by Amelia Grey and I really enjoyed it. I fell in love with Louisa's family and hope that Grey continues their stories. I loved that Bray turned the tables on Louisa and made her propose to him, although he had to do a lot of work to get her to see him as a potential mate. Grey had me laughing out loud at the antics of the characters and I can't wait to see what she has in store next! Thanks go to St. Martin's Press via NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.
'I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review' Bray has a problem. He and another gentleman were drinking and made a bet on a horse race between the two of them. Something went horribly wrong though. The other Gentleman had and accident and was killed. Before he died he asked two things of Bray. To take his dog and to marry the oldest of his sisters. So having made a death bed promise to the man in front of plenty of witnesses that he would. He has put it off as long as he can but now it's time. Once he see's her he thinks it won't be so bad being married to her. However, she doesn't want to marry him. So now it just became a challenge. He vows he will not marry her until she proposes to him. Lousia wants nothing to do with the handsome gentleman that showed up at their door once she realized who he was. She had known about the deathbed promise. She also knows it's been years since the promise. She also blames Bray for her brothers death. But as much as she doesn't want to have anything to do with him she just can't seem to get him out of her head. She is beyond attracted to him and he just won't stop kissing her. How is she supposed to fight these feelings for him if he is always there breaking through all of the barriers she has set in place? My Opinion: I absolutely loved this book! This is the second book that I have read by Amelia Grey and both times I have finished in one sitting unable to put the book down. I am a big fan of historical romance and Amelia has quickly become one of my favorite authors. Any chance that I have to read one of her books I will be jumping on. This book has loveable characters in the Prim girls. The younger girls are utterly adorable. It is very easy to connect with Lousia's character. If you are a lover of historical Romance then this is definitely a book for you! I highly recommend reading! 'Read and Reviewed by LSK Sweetheart Reviews'
This book has joined the ranks of my favorite books. This is also a great reread book. The people are spot on. Some are nice and some are off-setting but they are real. Bray is a new Duke. Before this he raced his team against against a friend. Of course there is an accident and his friend crashes and makes him promise to marry his sister Louisa and take in his four sisters too. There are so many spoilers here. He is slow in following his promise to marry. Anyone who is anyone is betting when or if he will marry Louisa. It even comes down to the Prince Regent. Horror- they both tell him NO. Read this to see how that works out. This is hard to put down and there are tissue moments. Please read this book! I have this book for an honest review for NetGalley.
Charming and fun to read! The Duke in My Bed is the perfect read for our winter months, let yourself flow in Bray Drakestone and Miss Louisa Prim's love story set in the Regency era! It's fast paced, charming and fun to read. I spend hours of pleasure reading their story. The author, Amelia Grey, really wrote a beautiful introduction to her new trilogy The Heirs' Club of Scoundrels! This is the tale of Bray, one member of the notorious Heirs' Club, who can't resist a challenge, but instead he is forced to agree to marry! Louisa, the eldest sister, doesn't want to marry either. Beautiful chemistry between Bray and Louisa! Will a game of seduction start and send sparks flare to ignite a beautiful passion! I just loved this historical romance set in the Regency era.
A love romance with a reluctant hero and a lively heroine, The Duke in My Bed was a wonderful historical romance. I really enjoyed this book. It was sweet, romantic, and I really liked it. Louisa was, for the most part, a really good heroine. She was very protective over her sisters and determined to continue caring for them. She was a mostly great character. However, I did get frustrated with her for a couple of things. First, she was very determined to think the worst of Bray and that became very annoying, very quickly. I could understand her wariness at first but when she got to know him better and see what kind of a person he really was, she still insisted on assuming the worst of him in everything. That leads up to the other issue with her. Because she didn't like Bray, she wanted to have him removed as their guardian and she actually thought it would happen. Seriously? He got them everything they needed, treated all the girls well, and took care of his responsibility to them. There was no court that would consider changing the guardianship. And who would it be given to? Well, she was hoping that judge would actually bother to appoint someone for them. Because, of course, having a strange man be their guardian was better than having a duke who she knew would do right by them, even though she didn't want to admit it. She did realize her mistake in the end, which is why I was able to still like her. But, I did get annoyed with her on more than one occasion. Bray was a character who changed a lot over the course of the book. He started off as a somewhat selfish rake who did his best to avoid real responsibility. But, as the book went on and he got to know Louisa and her sisters, he did a lot of changing. He showed himself to be a kinder and more patient man than even he knew. I absolutely loved how he was with Louisa's sisters, whom he treated very kindly. I thought he was wonderful. The romance was good. It was held up a bit because of Louisa, but even her protestations didn't hide the fact that they had feelings for each other from the moment they met. Their romance was sweet with a little spice and I thought it was lovely. The plot was well paced and kept me interested. Other than my issue with Louisa, I did really enjoy the story and I thought the ending was perfect. The Duke in My Bed was a delightful historical romance that I really enjoyed. Romance lovers, this is a book worth checking out. *I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review