The Duchess of Bentley, is just out of mourning. As a widow, she has certain freedoms other women do not. But she has neither the time nor inclination to look for dalliance. She’s much too busy overseeing the very special properties left to her by the late duke—including the elite gaming hell known as Dante’s Inferno.
Until another nobleman returns to London, and reminds her that she is still a young, passionate woman.
The Duke of Evermont, has returned from his sugar plantations in the Caribbean. His life is full running his estates and seeing to his investments. The last thing he’s searching for is a wife. That is, until he sees Eleanor again, and other society beauties fade in comparison.
The last time he saw her, Eleanor was walking down the aisle to another man. This time, Evermont is determined not to let the beautiful and vibrant lady slip through his hands.
Fortunately for him, the duchess turns to him for help—and he’s more than willing to sweep her under his ducal cloak of protection. Whether his assistance is required in shielding her from members of society foolish enough to gamble away their fortunes, or from the heartless schemes of her own father—Evermont will do what it takes to show her their future together is a sure thing.
“Good evening, gentlemen. May I join you for a moment?” Eleanor said as she approached.
“Yes, of course you may,” Evermont replied, eyeing her intently, as he had been from across the room. “It’s nice to see you again.”
Eleanor couldn’t take her eyes off him, especially after hearing him speak. It’d been years since she’d heard his voice. There was something sensual yet commanding about it. He was putting images in her head that she had not entertained in quite some time.
Alec stepped in, “I’m sorry. Where are my manners? You remember my sister, the Duchess of Bentley …?”
“Yes, the Duchess of Bentley…it has been a long time. My condolences on the passing of your husband.”
She nodded her head. “Thank you.” Her eyes followed as he dipped his head.
“My sister is out of mourning now.” Alec blurted out. He cocked an eyebrow at her, then at the duke, as though he knew there was something else going on.
“That is good to know,” Evermont replied.
Eleanor nodded. “I understand you are just recently returned from your family’s sugar plantation in the Caribbean?”
“Yes, the overseer my father had managing the place died suddenly. I went to make sure all was running smoothly, and put a new man in position.”
“We’re lucky to have you back, though I fear you’ll be getting invitations from every mother in the ton with an available daughter.” Eleanor tried not to look at her sister, who was now eyeing her with a black scowl. It was what Prudence did best—look like a wrinkled prune. She was quite interested in knowing just how single her childhood friend was.
“You are right, Duchess. It has started already. Unfortunately, there will be quite a few hearts broken, I’m afraid, at least for a while.”
“Are you betrothed?”
“No, not at all. I simply meant that I’m much too engrossed in catching up on current events. A lot can happen in two years. I don’t have the time nor desire to put myself out on the marriage mart.”
“I understand. You need time to settle in.”
J. R. Salisbury is the historical romance alter-ego of contemporary romance author Jamie Salisbury
Writing romance stories with passion and sass, Jamie Salisbury has seen several of her books soar to #1 on Amazon. Her novella, Tudor Rubato was a finalist in the 2012 RONE awards. The cover won for Best Contemporary Cover. Now in 2014, her novel, Life and Lies was nominated for a RONE in the Erotica category. Her books are self published .
Music, traveling and history are among her passions when not writing. Her previous career in public relations in and around the entertainment field has afforded her with a treasure trove of endless story ideas.