Published by Avon on May 29th 2018
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
The Bourne Matrimonial Agency has one rule: Never fall in love with the client. A simple thing to remember...unless you’re a matchmaker with amnesia.
The Duke of Rydstrom needs a wife. Preferably one with a large fortune and a complete lack of curiosity. The last thing he needs is a meddling matchmaker determined to dig up his dark family secrets.
All Jacinda wants is to find a bride for a duke. How hard could that be? He’s handsome, enigmatic...and hiding something. She’s sure of it. Determined to discover what it is, she travels to his crumbling cliffside estate. Yet, by the time she washes up on his beach, she can no longer remember who she is or why the duke is so familiar to her. All she knows is that his kisses are unforgettable—and she intends to use every skill she can to discover what’s in his heart.
When Miss Bourne can’t remember what brought her to his ancestral home, Rydstrom intends to keep it that way. Yet as the days pass, his true challenge will be safeguarding his secret while resisting this woman who—confound it all—may well be his perfect match.
“Things should be kept where they belong.” Like matchmakers who lived in London and dukes who did not.
If things began to stray, there was chaos.
“At opposite ends? Yet, by your own words, these pillows”—she reached down and snatched it again—“and the iron horses are mated. Why not allow them to be side by side like your peas?”
“An object’s design is not to be consumed but admired. Those are bookends, one at either end. You would not have your ears on one side of your head, crowded together, would you?” He added this, hoping to quiet her.
This time it did not work.
“You are rather obsessed with my ears.” From her quadrant, she tilted her head to study him. “See? I do use them to listen. On occasion. You even said they were pretty. Do you really think so, or were you trying to unsettle me?”
Suddenly his mind was back in the corridor again, hands gripping, bodies flush, sheer panic transforming into a reckless desire.
He glanced down at the silver pillow. Only now he realized that it matched the hue of the counterpane on his bed. Then, he was helpless to notice the way she gripped it, the tips of her modestly manicured fingernails pressing into the silk.
An unrepentant surge of arousal tore through him. “Miss Bourne, would you return the pillow to its proper place, take your gloves, and then leave my study?”
In response, those lips curled again.
His palms began to itch, craving the delicate abrasion of cream-colored muslin, and the softness of the flesh beneath.
“You just looked down at my lips again.” She tsked. “A clear indication that you have, in fact, kissed me.”
“We’ve already discussed this.”
“And you didn’t deny it.”
“I am now.”
She shook her head, adamant. “It’s too late. Your denial is invalid.”
“Well, I am denying it because that, Miss Bourne, is the truth.”
She would not let it rest. He had not even concluded a week of his fortnight prison sentence with her and he was ankle deep in a swirling chasm of madness.
“So you say now . . .” She shrugged. “I do have one more question, however. Do you—”
“By all that’s holy! I can take no more. You refuse to give me a moment’s peace until your curiosity is satisfied. Then so be it.”
He crossed the empty path between the rugs—the first step on the hardwood echoing like the twelfth strike of a clock tower, the second muffled by the woven wool.
Crispin took her by the shoulders and lowered his mouth.
To celebrate the release of HOW TO FORGET A DUKE by Vivienne Lorret,
Avon Books are giving away one gift package containing a clothbound copy of Emma by Jane Austen,
a travel journal, and a packet of Forget Me Not seeds!
~~Reviewed by AnnMarie~~
How to Forget a Duke is the first book in the Misadventures in Matchmaking series by Vivienne Lorret.
Crispin is the Duke of Rydstrom and he is in need of a wife in order to be given a gift of £4000 by his aunt who thinks it’s high time he married. He desperately needs the money even though he doesn’t want a wife. Rather than go to the trouble of finding a wife himself, he decides to use London’s only matchmaking service, The Bourne Matrimonial Agency.
Jacinda Bourne helps her sisters to run the agency, although everybody believes that it is run by their uncle who happily puts his name behind their venture. If they can find the Duke a wife they will make a name for themselves and earn many more clients. In order to find the perfect match, they need information from him that he is not forthcoming in supplying. Jacinda decides to infiltrate his home and office to try to find any details she can about him instead. Of course, she is caught by the man himself, and after a bit of a scene, she quickly leaves. Little does he know at the time that she has come across a name that she needs to investigate with the aim of making sure he isn’t hiding any dark secrets.
Rydstrom visits the agency the day after only to discover from her Uncle that Jacinda has gone to Sussex and mentioned somebody called Sybil. Rydstrom puts two and two together and realises what Jacinda is up to, that she must have come across a letter in his home mentioning Sybil. He has to chase after her in order to stop her finding out who Sybil is.
He doesn’t catch up with her, instead, she ends up at his feet on a beach near his Sussex home after she is washed up to shore after a boating accident. She has no idea who she is, or how she got there as she suffered a blow to her head. Rydstrom being the Duke feels honour bound to take her to his home to recover and is shocked to learn she needs to stay there until fit to travel which the doctor says should take at least a fortnight! How can he possibly have her in his home when so much is at stake. Will she find out his secrets?
Jacinda and the Duke have a tempestuous relationship, she may have lost her memory but she is still the same feisty woman she was when she first met Rydstrom. She’s still inquisitive, and won’t be told what to do, and she still thinks that Rydstrom is absolutely gorgeous even if he does always have a scowl on his face when he looks at her. She gets on his very last nerve, not only because she is always going against his wishes and he worries about her finding Sybil, but he also is attracted to her and wants nothing more than to grab her and kiss her, if for no other reason than to shut her up! There can be no future for them, he needs to marry a wealthy woman which is why he hired her agency in the first place. Jacinda realises that as well, but it doesn’t stop her learning about the man behind the angry face and falling for him. How can this story possibly have a happy ending, and who is Sybil? You will have to read the book to find out, and I am sure you won’t be disappointed with what you read.
I loved this story even though at times I just wanted to slap Jacinda for being such a brat at times. She really doesn’t take no for an answer, or listen to what she is told. I thought maybe after her accident she might be a sweeter more amiable woman, but she kept all her sassy argumentative characteristics. It might have driven the Duke to distraction, but it certainly didn’t stop him falling for her. I really enjoyed watching them grow closer despite fighting the attraction they felt, and once they gave in to at least their passions, their lovemaking was sizzling hot. I will admit that the beginning chapters of the book were a little slow, but as soon as I got to where Jacinda was in the Duke’s home I was hooked and couldn’t read the book quickly enough.
I voluntarily reviewed and advanced readers’ copy of this book.