Theodore Penarth, the Duke of Hampton newly, returned from the Battle of Waterloo wants nothing more than to relax at his hideaway, a Fort on the edge of his estate. But his mother, the Dowager Duchess, has other ideas, one is to secure the family line with an heir and a spare. Without Theodore’s knowledge, she arranges an afternoon tea party on his behalf and invites certain eligible young ladies and their mamas to attend.
But she reckoned without the strong will of Lady Annabel Darlington. Much to her parents’ dismay, Lady Annabel has no intention of marrying now or in the foreseeable future.
Reluctantly and for the sake of social etiquette, Theodore attends the tea party, although he is determined to keep the young ladies’ visits short and sweet. To his astonishment, he watches a vision of loveliness in blue satin curtsy before him. Stunned by Annabel’s beauty, Theodore tries to engage her in conversation and gazes into startling violet eyes, only for those eyes to swallow him whole and spit him out. Undeterred, he draws her into a conversation, but as she replies, he sees terror flash across her eyes. Theodore often saw that look on the battlefield. Now intent on getting to know her better, he invites her out for an afternoon drive in his high flyer phaeton, but she refuses that and all his other requests to meet. What happened to this lovely woman? What battle has she won or lost?
Could he protect her, would she continue refusing him? Little does he realize the height of passion, or the depth of terror that lay before them.
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