on November 18th 2017
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Their wedding was the event of the season...
A shy wallflower, Caroline hasn’t the faintest idea why the Duke of Readington chose her to be his bride. She could ask, but that would mean speaking to him…and truth be told she’d rather have a conversation with the devil. Her new husband may very well be one of the most powerful men in all of England - not to mention the handsomest - but he’s also cruel, callous, and has a heart colder than ice.
But it was never meant to be a love match…
Eric married Caroline for one simple reason: he wasn’t in love with her. Having seen firsthand how love can bring a man to his knees, he’s determined not to make the same mistakes his father did. Which is why he’s going to spend just enough time with Caroline to assure himself of an heir before he leaves her at his country estate and returns to London. At least that was the plan until a winter storm leaves them both stranded. Now every time Eric turns around he finds himself stumbling over the wife he never wanted...but is slowly beginning to desire.
….or was it?
As cold winds howl outside the manor, inside of it a duke’s heart is finally starting to melt as he finds himself falling for the one woman he was never supposed to love…but can she love him in return?
The Winter Duchess is a Regency holiday novella of approximately 30k words
“Here, give me your hand,” Eric murmured, and Caroline hesitantly allowed him to wrap her fingers around his warm, silky length. He groaned when her grip reflexively tightened and her gaze darted up to his, a line of surprise furrowing her brow when he seemed to grow even larger.
“It’s so hard,” she said wondrously. “I – I hadn’t any idea.”
Lady Wentworth had never gone into the exact details of lovemaking which was probably a good thing, for had she told her daughter what to expect Caroline doubted she would have believed her. That part of him was supposed to fit inside of her?
“I am terribly sorry,” she said fretfully, “but I do not see how this is going to work.”
The corner of his mouth twitched before he adopted a sober expression. “It will work, love. I assure you.”
“But…isn’t it going to hurt?”
“No. When done correctly, it should never hurt.” Midnight blue eyes glittering with dark, sensual promise, he leaned forward and whispered into her ear, “Unless you want it to.”
“I don’t,” she said hastily.
“Then you’ve nothing to be afraid of.” Devoid of any clothing, he climbed into bed beside her.
Taking a deep breath, she leaned back and centered her head on the middle of a pillow, trying to give herself the best view of the ceiling as possible. Limbs rigid, shoulders stiff, she stared at a wrinkle in the canopy and waited for her husband to do the deed. When he did not climb on top of her and immediately begin thrusting, she glanced at him out of the corner of her eye and frowned.
“Am I doing it wrong?” she asked self-consciously.
Lifting a loose curl from her neck, the duke twisted it absently between his fingers. “Truth be told I haven’t the faintest idea what you’re doing. Bracing yourself for an attack from the French?”
“No.” A blush heated her cheeks. “I was…that is to say, I am…I am ready.”
“Are you certain?” he queried. When she pressed her lips tightly together and gave a brisk nod, the corner of his mouth lifted in a roguish half smile that had butterflies dancing in her belly. “Well, by all means, let’s begin…”
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