Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Ravaging the Duke - Mayfair Series by J R Salisbury

the Duke
Series Book 2
J R Salisbury

Historical Romance 

the title from his murdered father, Alec finds just how dire things
really are. His father's gambling obsession left the family with
nothing but the entailed properties. The ton views him as a disgraced

now The Duke of Wexwood finds himself in need of a bride. One with a
substantial dowry. It needn't be a love match as Alec doesn't believe
love exists except in rare cases. He needs a woman who can help him
rebuild the dukedom.
Douglas is an American recently arrived back in England. She has
fulfilled her late father's wishes by returning with her mother. Now
she needs to find a husband. One who won't squander her dowry,
someone who'll see her as an equal.
by her cousin, the Earl of Norwood, Margaret and Alec come to an
agreement which quickly turns into a passionate romance. 
in the background are secrets—ones Margaret can't hide from the
duke. Secrets she brought from America. What will happen when Alec
finds out what she's hiding?

She'd never met a duke before. Margaret had heard stories, but the stories she'd heard were that of old men with horrid tempers. Instead, Wexwood appeared to be most handsome and well tempered. His closely cropped dark brown hair was complimented by a neatly kept beard. His clothing was immaculate and well tailored.
"Have you had a chance to see much of London?" Wexwood inquired, accepting the cup of tea from her mother.
"I'm afraid the weather hasn't cooperated well enough for us to see the great parks. I understand they are glorious."
"The weather should clear. Summer is usually nice, and yes the parks are magnificent. Does Boston not have large parks like London?"
"Nothing like the ones I've read about in London, Your Grace," she replied looking right into his eyes. They were a brown shade, though she was unable to determine exactly how brown. They appeared to be kind eyes, though Margaret could see sadness in them.
"I understand the theater is outstanding," her mother said as she sat down with her plate of goodies and tea. Her mother always had liked this aspect about English life.
"It is," the duke agreed. "In fact, I have a box. I understand there is a wonderful adaption of a Shakespearean play which is all the rage. If you ladies would like to attend tomorrow evening I'm sure Norwood could be persuaded to accompany us."
Norwood smiled slightly, nodding his head. "It would be my pleasure. That is if you ladies are interested."
"We'd love to see one of Shakespearean plays you English are so famous for," her mother replied. "Wouldn't we, Margaret."
"Yes, I'd love to attend."
The conversation drifted to London and other places the women needed to see. Margaret hoped the duke would accompany them to some of these sites. He seemed quite learned and appeared to enjoy his time in London.
Her mother however, saw it necessary to bring a more serious side to the conversation.
"I understand you have an art gallery yourself, Your Grace?"
"The place you refer to, Bailey Art Emporium belongs to my sister, the duchess of Evermont. Her late husband left it to her. I merely help oversee some of the business aspects for her."
"Isn't it unusual for a woman to own a business?"
"Not at all. At least not for someone of my sister's status. The late duke made sure she was taken care of. Then she and her husband, the duke of Evermont became reacquainted and married. Evermont has taken to overseeing a lot of that for her."
Her mother seemed to want to know everything there was about the duke, even though Norwood had been quite forthcoming in telling them of Wexwood's background.
"What of your own mother? Does she reside in London?"
The duke smiled graciously. "At present my mother is at the family estate in Kent. She loves Paris and I suspect she may revisit later in the summer or early autumn."
"Paris!" Mother exclaimed. "I've never been. I understand it is beautiful."
"It is," Norwood replied. "Everyone should visit at least once."
Margaret caught the duke looking at her. He seemed to have an amused look on his face. It made her wonder if he were thinking along the lines she was. That perhaps their mother's could become good friends and visit Paris together.
He turned to Margaret. "Have you ever been, Miss Douglas? To Paris?"
"No. The trip across the sea to England is the furthest I've been. So far..."
"Do you miss America?" He asked suddenly. Perhaps he was simply wanting to know how she was adjusting to such a great move.
"There are things I miss, yes. However, my mother and I shall be much better off living here than Boston."
He picked up his cup. "Yes, I do imagine the memories of your father are painful still."
"They are, but this is what he wished for us. I try to look at it as a great adventure, Your Grace."
He laughed. It came from down deep in his throat. "An excellent way to look at the unknown, Miss Douglas."

Margaret suddenly wished at that instant there was some way she and the duke could be alone, or at least less chaperoned. She felt the need to speak with him. To learn more about him. He was very comfortable to talk with, and just now had made her perfectly at ease. He didn't treat her as though she were just some dim woman with no opinion of her own. 

bestselling author J R Salisbury divides her time between the U.S.
and U.K. with her aging Yorkie, Rocco.
in the U.K. she finds herself shrouded in history, making an author's
imagination come alive.
R writes Victorian era and Scottish historical romance with perfectly
imperfect heroes and strong, sassy heroines.

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