THE DUKE WHO RAVISHED ME
By Diana Quincy
On Sale April 17 | Ballantine/Loveswept
Adam Fairfax, the Duke of Sunderford, happily enjoys a different woman (or two) every night—or he did, until his wards landed on his doorstep. Ever since Sunny took in the seven-year-old twin girls and their prim and proper governess, Isabel Finch, his love life has been a shambles. But, as time goes by, Sunny catches himself getting lost in Isabel’s haughty blue eyes, or following the curves beneath her unbecoming dress. An unexpected kiss ignites a passion that shocks him into realizing how thin the line between love and hate can be.
If Isabel’s hidden past were revealed, she could lose everything. Oddly enough, only when “Sinful Sunny” is near does she feel safe—or safe enough to speak up in defense of the girls. The duke’s decadent lifestyle is a disgrace, and clearly he considers Isabel a nuisance. Still, she can’t help admiring his sculpted cheekbones, strong-cut jaw, and tousled chestnut hair. When their lips meet, it’s almost as if he could kiss the secrets right out of her. Worse, she’s tempted to let him. . . .
Adam Fairfax, fifth Duke of Sunderford, was sprawled shirtless on his sofa contemplating twin pairs of enchantingly plump breasts when he was very rudely interrupted by his butler.
“Yes, what is it, Dowding?” Aggravated by the intrusion, Sunny reluctantly tore his attention away from the naked opera singer straddling him, as well as from her equally unclothed friend, who’d snuggled up to his side and was employing her tongue to do delightfully wicked things to his right ear. “As you can see, I’m engaged at the moment.”
“Indeed, Your Grace.” Averting his gaze, Dowding stood at strict attention, his expression one of dignified reserve. Only the blaze of red on each drooping cheek betrayed the servant’s discomfiture. “I apologize for the interruption, but there is something of an emergency in the front parlor.”
The duke flicked one of Lenora’s pert nipples with his tongue. Delicious. The opera singer tasted like strawberries. “Is it on fire?”
“I beg your pardon, Your Grace?”
“The front parlor. Is it going up in flames?”
“Oh.” Dowding doggedly kept his focus on the red velvet curtains framing the bow window behind the sofa, rather than the illicit activities on the satin upholstered furniture. “No, Your Grace.”
Sunny sampled Lenora’s other nipple. It was just as tasty. His erection throbbed with impatience. “Has a murder been committed there?”
“No, Your Grace, nothing of that nature.”
Sabrina, Lenora’s actress friend, slid off the sofa, coming to her knees on the Axminster carpet and settling herself between Sunny’s spread thighs. Ah, yes. He was hard and ready. A little relief would be just the thing. As soon as he could rid himself of his stuffy butler. Sunny had inherited the parsimonious prig along with the dukedom. A small price to pay, all things considered. At least, he usually viewed the situation thusly. At the moment, he wasn’t so certain.
He fixed an imperious stare on the man. “I see. No fire and no murder.” The woman on her knees undid the placket of his pantaloons. “Then there is clearly no emergency at the moment that cannot wait until morning.” The duke choked out these last words as Sabrina freed his prick and stroked it with an experienced hand. “You may leave us.”
Dowding cleared his throat. “It’s just that . . .”
He blew out an exasperated breath. The butler’s continued presence was having a deleterious effect on the stoutness of his erection. “Oh, for God’s sake. What is so important that you’ve seen fit to intrude upon me and my guests in my playroom?”
Dowding never ventured into Sunny’s den of iniquity, a chamber full of large comfortable furniture, ideal for reclining with guests, as well as strategically placed mirrors that added an extra layer of debauchery to these sorts of entertainments. The prude usually sent in John the footman, who was much younger and, therefore, far more likely to have the appropriate appreciative envy of the activities that occurred here.
“Your wards have arrived, Your Grace.”
Sunny blinked, certain he hadn’t heard correctly. “My what?”
“I haven’t got any damned wards.” He refocused on his opera singer, cupping her bouncy breasts in his hands, reveling in their soft, cushy feel. Women truly were heaven on earth. “This is obviously someone’s idea of a joke. Send them away.”
“The governess refuses to leave without seeing you.”
“The governess accompanying your wards.”
“Dammit,” he snapped. “Stop calling them that. I have no wards.”
“It’s past midnight, Your Grace. Shall I send your . . . erm . . . the children . . . away at this hour?”
Sunny sighed. There was nothing to be done for it. Even his withering arousal showed signs of giving up the fight. Dowding clearly had no intention of leaving until the matter had been dealt with. The duke set Lenora away from him and heaved himself to his feet, buttoning his pantaloons as he stepped around Sabrina kneeling on the floor before him. “How many of them are there?”
“Two, Your Grace. Twins, I believe.”
“Boys?” Please God let them be boys. He didn’t know the first thing about little girls.
“Girls, Your Grace.”
“Then obviously it’s a mistake.” Relief rippled through him as he reached for his shirt, which was strewn atop the billiards table. He could almost see the humor in it. “No one of sound mind would leave innocent young girls in the care of Sinful Sunny.” He didn’t care for the ridiculous moniker that some in society had attached to him, but a scandalous reputation had its uses.
He pulled the white linen shirt over his head and tucked it into his pantaloons. “Where did you put them?” He headed for the salon door. Pan, his fluffy white terrier, who’d been lounging on the fur rug before the hearth, rose and trotted after him, yipping at his master’s heels. “We might as well put this situation to rights posthaste.”
A visibly relieved Dowding followed him. “They are in the Blue Parlor, Your Grace.”
Sunny pulled the door open.
“But what about us?” The velvety voice came from behind him.
He turned back in time to see his naked guests taking a seat on the swing he’d had attached to the ceiling, an amusing contraption that had inspired delightfully inventive sex play on more than one occasion. Lenora and Sabrina settled in side by side, swinging gently to and fro, all curves and bare skin, their smooth milky legs crossed. His cock twitched with renewed interest.
“Surely you can think of a way to entertain yourselves until I return.” And return he would. Just as soon as he straightened out the mess in the Blue Parlor. “I shan’t be long.”
Sunny could barely find the Blue Parlor, which he used only for respectable gatherings such as the annual ball he hosted during the Season. The finest families attended, even the most exacting matrons; as debauched and practically beyond redemption as the Duke of Sunderford surely was, society forgave a man almost anything if he possessed an exalted title and obscene amount of money.
Sunny slowed as he reached two identical doors near the front hall, trying to remember which led to the Blue Parlor. While he deliberated, his pup ran an excited circle around him. He really couldn’t fathom where the animal got all of its energy. John the footman, at his post in the entrance hall, dashed over to open the door on the left, revealing the Blue Parlor just beyond.
Sunny strode in, his gaze skimming over clusters of blue velvet patterned chairs and sofas accentuated with bright red pillows. This was perhaps the grandest—and most cluttered—chamber in Sunderford House, with priceless masterpieces stacked one atop the other on the wallpapered walls, all the way to the ornately carved ceiling. He came to a stop in the middle and surveyed the quiet room.
He turned to Dowding, who’d followed him in. “This is the Blue Parlor, is it not?”
Dowding’s confused gaze darted around the room. “Yes, Your Grace.”
“Then where the devil are these supposed wards of mine?”
“SURPRISE!” two high-pitched voices shrieked in unison as a pair of wide-eyed little she-devils popped up from behind a high-backed stuffed chair.
Sunny’s heart jumped into his throat. “Hellfire and damnation!” he gasped. “What the devil is that?”
A complete standalone, The Duke who Ravished Me is book 4 of a series. I read it perfectly without having read the prior books.
The story of a Duke who unexpectedly gets saddled with twin girls and their governess, I absolutely loved it. Sucked into the plot from the very first page, Adam is almost an anti-hero. Someone you have trouble understanding, but easy to fall in love with anyway. Isabel is the governess who accompanies the girls to the Duke’s estate. She’s a fiery woman for her time, full of sass and smarts.
The Duke Who Ravished Me was a page turner. It was unexpected and refreshing to read. I was enthralled by it and found myself gasping at times. The author didn’t hold back at all, and created a unique regency romance. I would recommend to the historical reader looking for something different.
Duke is a man who doesn’t care what others think of him. He wants what he wants and tends to get it when he sets his mind to it. I like the whole “hate” that Adam and Izzy(Finch) had at the start when she and the twins arrived to live with him. But as the story continues some kind of friendship starts to develop and that transform into more.
I loved the whole plot and twist in the story – it was really refreshing I didn’t see it coming. And the part where he finally comes to terms with his affection for Izzy for what it is and her reveling secrets that she was so worried it would separate her from the twins; I was head over heels in love with both MCby the end of the book.
I truly recommend this book; it was a refreshing 4,5* read.
Review copy requested and reviewed on behalf of OMGReads Blog***
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Diana Quincy is an award-winning former television journalist who decided she’d rather make up stories in which a happy ending is always guaranteed. Growing up as a foreign service brat, she visited and lived in many countries including France, Bolivia, Panama, Peru, Egypt, Morocco, India, and Thailand. Diana is now happily settled in Virginia with her husband and two sons. When not bent over her laptop or trying to keep up with laundry, she enjoys reading, spending time with her family, and planning her next travel adventure.