on February 19th 2018
When Lady Philippa Hampton decided to look for love she finds it closer than she imagined but will her brother allow her to marry beneath her position? Find out in Thwarted by the Duke a sweet and clean Regency romance by bestselling author Charlotte Darcy.
Philippa has never been interested in love or courtship until her best friend married her brother. Suddenly she wonders about the years ahead and who she will spend them with.
As she sets out to find the perfect man she finds the promise of an exceptional dowry provided, by the wealth of the Morley Mills, brings out men with not just romance in their hearts but greed as well.
She cannot help but fall for the odd man in the bunch Crawford Reed. His family fortunes have dwindled but instead of doing nothing he trained to be an attorney.
Philippa finds herself at odds against family and friends and her brother the Duke is adamant she will not marry such a man.
When trouble befalls the Morley Mills an unlikely alliance is forged. Can Philippa marry for love or will the change in circumstances leave her heart broken? Find out in Thwarted by the Duke a sweet and inspirational Regency romance.
This is a complete standalone story but you can enjoy more of the characters from the Love at Morley Mills Series in these other books:
The Duke’s Apology
The Lady and the Lord
“You have surprised me, Philippa, for I have never heard you speak so before.” Constance Hampton stared over from her seat on the couch to where her sister was looking out of the drawing room window.
“No, but I am still a woman after all, am I not?” Philippa said in a flat tone.
“Yes, of course,” Constance said, and sounded a little distressed.
“Philippa, I am sure that Constance did not mean to upset you. And it is true, neither one of us has heard you ever say that you would wish for a husband before,” Rosemary, Philippa’s sister-in-law, spoke gently.
“Oh, forgive me, Constance. I should not have spoken so harshly.” Philippa turned back from the window and slowly made her way to join her sister and sister-in-law as they sat by the fire.
“There is nothing to forgive, Philippa.” Constance smiled at her sister. “And you must always feel that you can speak to me, to both of us. And about anything at all.”
“Yes, even if it is something as frivolous as the search for a husband,” Rosemary said and finally Philippa laughed.
“It is rather fearful, is it not? Look at me, look how silly I am being.” Philippa shook her head from side to side. “And I really have never wanted to look for a husband before now.”
“Because of your charity work?” Constance ventured cautiously, clearly still very wary of upsetting her sister again.
“Yes, it was always that. I always knew that the chances of finding a husband who would simply let me be myself, were very slim indeed, and so I taught myself long ago to stop wishing for it.”
“But something has changed?” Rosemary asked. “Perhaps you have met someone you think might allow you to continue in your work?”
“No, I have not yet met such a man.”
“But you have decided to look nonetheless?” Constance added.
“I think it is because Rosemary was so very fortunate to marry a man who did not have any plans to stop her in her tracks.”
“Yes, your brother is very good,” Rosemary said and smiled warmly. “And I do count myself very fortunate.”
“I suppose it opened the gates to thinking that I might be able to find someone similar for myself. The same kind of life, if you will.”
“I think that is a very good idea, Philippa. And I am sure there must be more than just Jude in the world who would be happy to simply let you be,” Constance said. “For I am already sure that Quincy would not seek to change me in any way.”
“Perhaps it is easier because you and Quincy Griffin were childhood sweethearts. He already knows your character so very well, that he would not seek to change it. I think it is very different when you are meeting a man as an adult. By that time, he has already decided what he wants for himself in this world, right down to the fine details of the behavior of his wife. You are very fortunate, Constance.”
“Yes, I am.” Constance agreed. “But there is no reason why you could not find somebody to suit you, my dear.”
Philippa smiled and felt somewhat diminished. Constance was the second youngest in the family, and already it seemed that she would very soon be married. Philippa, some years older, was reduced to taking advice from her.
“My fear is that, at five and twenty, my chances of finding a suitable match are already greatly reduced.”
“But the mills are thriving, in lieu of the great changes your brothers are implementing, and so I would imagine that Jude would give you a very healthy dowry.” Rosemary tilted her head to the right most thoughtfully.
“I have no doubt,” Philippa said and nodded. “But I do not always think that a large dowry is a way of securing a suitable match. Quite the opposite, in fact.”
“You fear that you would be prey to a fortune hunter?” Constance whispered. Philippa almost laughed at her sister’s attempt of secrecy.
“Perhaps not a fortune hunter exactly, Constance.” Philippa paused for a moment. “But perhaps I would attract someone who might not have ordinarily looked my way was I not possessed of such a dowry. I do not want my attractions to be increased in that way.”
“Yes, I understand that entirely.” Rosemary nodded enthusiastically to show that she did. “But there are still a lot of very sensible men in the world. Men who would make very fine husbands, but whose own estates would benefit from such an injection of funds. And those same funds would surely go towards keeping you very comfortably in the future as well, my dear.”
“You always have a sensible way of looking at things, Rosemary.” Philippa laughed. “I understand what you are saying, but I would be content to marry a man of little means as long as he was the right man.”
“That is commendable, sister, but a very hard life to lead I think,” Constance said gently. “And I would not like to think of you suffering in any way.”
“I did not mean to suggest that I am going to set my heart upon looking for such a man, just that the man I marry, if I ever marry, must be absolutely right for me.”
In her heart, Philippa knew that such a marriage would suggest to all around her, that she had simply settled for whatever she could get because her age was against her. And yet she knew that she was looking for something different in a marriage, something that would allow her to continue to have a place in the world and, not only that, but a voice also.
She knew that the chances of her finding a match in the way that Rosemary had, to a man who would allow her such latitude, were almost non-existent. But all her friends were marrying, or already married, and her days had seemed to become longer and longer with loneliness. The only days of worth were the ones in which she worked, meeting with other ladies of the county to orchestrate all sorts of charity drives and events.
Philippa had reached a stage where she did not want that to be all that there was in her life. While she most fiercely did not want to give any of it up, she did not want to find herself in the position of being the maiden aunt, a sort of unpaid governess to her younger sister’s children when they finally, undoubtedly, came along.
Philippa wanted somebody to share the world with, somebody to love and laugh with, to raise fine children with. She just could not bear for it to be at the expense of her own personality.
For the chance to win an ebook of Thwarted by the Duke just answer this question…
Charlotte loves the restrictions of the Regency era.
A chaste kiss, stolen when your chaperone’s head was turned is so exciting.
What do you love about Regency manners and restrictions?