“Weren’t they all?”
She eyed him askance. “Not all.” She turned back to the portrait. “He was a young man, I believe. Belgian. No, Swiss.”
Dutch. The painter had been lowland Dutch. With delicate features that caused the maids to giggle, a nasal but compelling voice, and an all-too-familiar way of speaking to his duchess.
He watered down the memory of the painter. Instead, he focused on the woman within reach. Thea’s black hair had been coiled into glossy ropes and pinned in piles atop her head. How many pins had it taken to tame her unruly hair? One hundred, maybe? He imagined pulling them out, one by one, and watching those ropes fall well past her slender waist.
“He was so athletic and fine,” she said, “and, she, so very young.”
“Duchess,” he spoke with a rough edge, “can we stop discussing the painter?”
She swiveled. “I had.”
She stood side by side with her younger self. The disparity was a blow to his gut. For the first time, he truly understood just how young she’d been. All it had taken was three years with him and three days alone, in the midst of the riot that had decimated London, to stamp out the innocence depicted in the portrait. He swallowed. Roughly.
Page Count: 229 pages
Publisher: Entangled: Scandalous (October 19, 2015)
Thea Worthington, Duchess of Wynchester divides her time between social engagements and playing her luck against fickle fortune. Yet every gamble is only a bluff—a means to hide from the pain deep within her, and the loss of a babe she never held in her arms. Now Thea's luck is about to run out. Her estranged husband has returned and seeks a reunion...
Plagued with guilt over what happened to his wife three years ago, the Duke of Wynchester has kept his distance. The duke is resolved to piece his family back together, especially now that he's discovered his beloved brother—long thought dead—still lives. But Thea's lovely, porcelain facade is on the verge of cracking...spurred on by the duke's brother's secretive, malevolent animosity.
With everything riding on her future, Thea plays a daring game of chance for love and her marriage...and this time, the dice are most certainly rigged.
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• The Dukes Daring Debutante, by Ann Lethbridge
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