Seducing the Duchess
by Ashley March
Release Date: October 5, 2010
“For a moment, he couldn’t move. For a moment, he forgot he was the ninth Duke of Rutherford, cold and disciplined and born to uphold the honor of his forefathers – a man trained since childhood to resist his baser instincts, to resist the call of temptation.”
Three years have passed since Charlotte, Duchess of Rutherford, was devastated and heartbroken by the man of her dreams the day after their wedding. Instead of hiding away and dwelling on the pain, Charlotte has spent the last three years providing scandalous entertainment by carousing, gambling and posing for nude portraits. While revenge is one reason for such behavior, Charlotte main goal in acting in a very un-Duchess like way is to convince her husband to obtain a petition for divorce.
Philip Burgess, Duke of Rutherford, has finally had enough. Enough of his lovely wife sharing her charms with every man in England (except him). Enough of being the laughing stock of the ton. Enough of being the stoic, unfeeling Duke. In order to take matters into his own hands, Philip does the unthinkable – he storms into a gambling den, trusses up his wife like a Christmas goose and kidnaps her. Hoping three months in the country will provide him the right opportunity; Philip puts his plan in motion – seducing his Duchess.
Determined to win back the favor of his wife and make amends for the mistakes of the past, Philip tries everything he can think of to seduce his Duchess. But when all his efforts are thwarted, Philip has only one idea left – grant Charlotte the divorce she has been requesting for the last three years in exchange for coaching him on the qualities of a good husband.
Both Philip and Charlotte have their masks and walls firmly in place as each have been hurt by the other repeatedly. It is so hard for either one of them to cut the binds that restrict them and to show their true, vulnerable selves to one another. But there is not much else to do in the country except interact with those around you. So, little by little, the walls start to crumble and the masks slowly drop as Philip and Charlotte begin to respond to each other in a genuine way. It takes strength and courage to own up to one’s mistakes and as Philip and Charlotte see glimpses of these qualities in each other, they gently reveal their special love.
Here’s a scene where Philip takes off his mask and finally voices his emotion.
“When I am with you I must pretend I am content to merely be in your presence. When, in fact, there is nothing I want more than to kiss you, to touch you. To believe, if for only one moment, that you are truly mine. Not because you are bound to me by the laws of marriage, but because you desire me as much as I desire you.” He made a feral sound—almost like an animal in pain. “Even now, I must hold on to this chair. A flimsy piece of furniture, but it reminds me to be civilized. Because if I were not—God knows, neither your hatred nor your disgust would keep me from you.”
And here’s a scene where Charlotte allows herself to see her husband as man and not a Duke.
“A roguish grin crossed his lips, and Charlotte sucked in a breath at the sight of it. It transformed his face – gone was the ducal veneer, the aristocratic posing and the duty-bound polish. In its place was a man who could melt a woman’s heart with one glance of his liquid silver eyes, who could have her quivering and helpless in his arms just because he said her name in that dark, velvet-edged voice of his”
This is an emotional story of second chance love that will have you cheering on both characters. Philip and Charlotte are characters that I liked from the beginning, even though each of them acted horribly to the other in the past. But through her wonderful writing, Ms. March shows the readers the true, emotional reasons behind the wrongs of the past and the genuine interest of both Philip and Charlotte to find and hold fast to their own happily ever after.
This debut novel is one that everyone should enjoy! So give yourself a few hours of pleasurable reading . . . go buy the book!