Evans, as a marriage of convenience leads to delightful pleasure—and mortal danger.
Lady Marisa Hawkestone’s nightmare is just beginning when she wakes up naked, with no memory of
the night before, lying next to Maitland Spencer, the Duke of Lyttleton—a man so aloof and rational he’s
nicknamed “the Cold Duke.” A scandal ensues, in which Marisa’s beloved beau deserts her. As a
compromised woman, Marisa agrees to marry Maitland. But on her wedding night, Marisa discovers the
one place the duke shows emotion: in the bedroom, where the man positively scorches the sheets
Taught from a young age to take duty seriously, Maitland cannot understand his new wife’s demands on
his love and affection. Marisa’s hot-blooded spirit, however, does have its attractions—especially at
night. In retrospect, it seems quite silly that he didn’t marry sooner. But being one of the Libertine
Scholars requires constant vigilance, even more so when the enemy with a grudge against his closest
friends targets Marisa. Now Maitland must save the woman who sets his heart aflame—or die trying.
Maitland Spencer, the Duke of Lyttleton, had always simply been her older brother’s somewhat
handsome yet standoffish friend. He’d never shown an ounce of interest in her, or her in him. She
looked him over. “Are you ill?”
Perfectly arched eyebrows lowered into a frown. “I’m very well, and you?”
“I’m stunned, actually. You’re flirting with me.”
“I wasn’t flirting. I was merely stating a fact.”
Of course he was. Literal was his middle name. “Then perhaps you can unhand me, sir,” she said, looking
pointedly at his large hands still firmly holding her waist, “unless you do have intentions of flirting with me.”
To her dismay, he did not take his hands from her; instead, they tightened and pulled her close, and he
gently moved her into an alcove, away from prying eyes.
“What if I decided I did want to flirt with you? Perhaps even declare my suit? Don’t look surprised—you
are one of the most sought-after debutantes this season.”
“Has Sebastian put you up to this? There is no need for him to pester me. I know who I will marry; I’m
simply waiting for him to ask.”
Maitland’s eyes roamed her face, stopping at her lips. “A beauty such as you should not have to wait. I
would decline him on principle. What would you do if I got down on bended knee here and now?”
Heat flared over her skin. Flustered, she didn’t know how to reply. What had come over His Grace tonight?
“I suspect I would think you in your cups, Your Grace. In all the years I have known you, you’ve never
looked at me twice.”
He pressed closer. “That’s not true, little one. It would have been inappropriate for me to notice you
until I knew my mind. I find that tonight I know exactly what I want.”
His eyes flared with something she’d swear was heat. Perhaps their dance earlier had affected him as
much as it had affected her.
“I’m not for the wanting, so you can stop this silly flirtation.”
“I have no need to flirt, little one. When I want a woman she is left in no doubt as to my intentions.” His
mouth trailed up her neck until he reached her ear. He softly added, “And they rarely deny me.”
USA Today bestselling author, Bronwen Evans grew up loving books. She writes both historical and contemporary sexy romances for the modern woman who likes intelligent, spirited heroines, and compassionate alpha heroes. Evans is a three-time winner of the RomCon Readers’ Crown and has been nominated for an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award. She lives in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand with her dogs Brandy and Duke.
Bronwen loves hearing from avid romance readers at Bronwen@bronwenevans.com
You can keep up with Bronwen’s news by visiting her website www.bronwenevans.com
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