Published by Loveswept on April 17th 2018
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
An impulsive kiss between a libertine duke and a mysterious governess sparks a blaze of desire—and intrigue—in this breathtaking Regency romance from the award-winning author of Spy Fall.
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. . . .
The opening scene of The Duke Who Ravished Me…
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?”
For the chance of winning a digital copy of The Duke Who Ravished Me just answer this question:
One of the cardinal rules in romance is that the hero should not be intimate with another woman — starting from the moment he meets the heroine, even if he doesn’t like her very much upon meeting her. Is it important to you as a reader for the hero to be faithful to the heroine even before he falls in love with her?
The Duke Who Ravished Me is the fourth book in the Rebellious Brides series by Diana Quincy.
Adam Fairfax, the Duke of Sunderford was brought up with a mother and father who showed no affection to each other, let alone him. His father was very strict and brought Adam up with many rules, regulations and beatings. Since his father’s death, Adam has made the most of his freedom and that includes holding orgies in his home, and pretty much being a manwhore! He is less than pleased when one evening while entertaining two women in his ‘playroom’ he is called away from them only to find a prim woman with two little girls in his home. The two little girls he is informed are his wards, and the woman is their governess. He didn’t even know about the girl’s existence, and when he finds that he is the one responsible for them he is fuming.
Isabelle Finch is the girls’ governess and she can’t believe that anybody in their right mind would want Adam to be guardian over two innocent young girls. His reputation precedes him and Isabelle is as horrified at their circumstances as Adam is. But horrified as they both are, they need to make the most of the situation, and Isabelle is determined that the girls will always be treated well.
I have to admit that I really did not like Adam when I started reading this story, he made it so obvious that he didn’t want the girls around, and did everything he could to try to get somebody, anybody else to take them. All he wanted was to carry on his life of debauchery and not have his sex life messed up. I am happy to say that over the duration of the story, thanks in part to Isabelle, but mainly because of his wards, Adam sees that there is more to life than what he had been living. When he finds himself attracted to his plain jane of a governess he is just as shocked as she is. And she is equally as shocked to think that she could have any feelings towards a man like him! Could they have a future together, it doesn’t seem likely with him being a Duke and her just being a lowly governess?
I really enjoyed this story and how believable Adam’s transition was from a rake to a caring guardian. It didn’t happen overnight, and it was novel to have the governess not being a goddess that he would give up his orgies for at first glance. Their relationship and his relationship with his wards was slow growing and because of that, it was lovely to read. As for the little girls, they were darling, I just wanted to reach into the book and give them a cuddle. I was a little surprised to realise that they were 7 years old, I felt as if they were much younger during most of the story. Still, no matter their age, they were lovely little girls that Adam couldn’t help but adore (eventually). There was also a twist to the tale that I honestly didn’t see coming which I loved. All in all, this was a most enjoyable read!
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers’ copy of this book.