One Night with the Duke (Belmore Square #1) Read Online Jodi Ellen Malpas

Categories Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance Tags Authors: Series: Belmore Square Series by Jodi Ellen Malpas
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Total pages in book: 105
Estimated words: 97740 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 489(@200wpm)___ 391(@250wpm)___ 326(@300wpm)
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Read Online Books/Novels:

(Belmore Square #1) One Night with the Duke

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Jodi Ellen Malpas

Language:
English
Book Information:

It's 1814 and nineteen-year-old Eliza Melrose, daughter of a printing magnate, is about to be launched into London's high society - much to her distaste, the last thing she wants is a husband.

Eliza's 'misplaced' thirst for adventure, knowledge and the creative word is a bone of contention for her father, who battles endlessly to keep her curiosity and ambitions in check, for women are not meant to ask questions or give opinions in matters of business.

But then she meets the youngest son of the late Duke of Chester, a disgraced nobleman who is shrouded in mystery and proving quite impossible to resist...
Books in Series:

Belmore Square Series by Jodi Ellen Malpas

Books by Author:

Jodi Ellen Malpas



Chapter 1

The view from the drawing room window is not one that I am accustomed to. I don’t see the rolling countryside and crops growing aplenty. My favourite mare, the blackberry bushes, the cowsheds.

The smell.

I sniff, getting a whiff of the new aroma. It isn’t horse manure or grass, but instead an odd earthy smell. Bricks, mortar and paint. It’s the smell of our new house. A grand new house that sits beside many more impressive dwellings, looping the lush green gardens of Belmore Square, where a fountain, a few benches and rose bushes are all closed in by cast-iron railings beyond the cobbled road. There’s not a farmer to be seen for miles. Instead, here in London, we have affluent members of the ton strolling with no urgency, the fancy, gold-trimmed clothes of the gentlemen and the intricate lace-trimmed garments of the ladies providing an eclectic colour palette I’m not used to. Top hats, canes, and carriages. Money leaks from every brick, cobble and pruned bush. It’s another world, one I am not entirely certain I can fit into. Or want to.

It’s the start of a new season, and my very first. The politicians will do their work in Parliament and the businessmen will conduct business, while their wives update their wardrobes and plan their social calendars for the next few months. There will be parties galore, dinners, and gossip to be had. Now, I am a part of the circles I had only ever heard of. Not dreamed about but heard of. Perhaps even dreaded. I can’t say I’m all too keen on what I have experienced of London so far, and, worse, I am without the freedom I was once blessed with in our old life.

I grimace.

And I can hardly breathe in these fancy frocks.

On top of that, my inspiration is lacking, and I have absolutely nothing to write about, unless, of course, I should like to indulge in the unsubstantiated nonsense that father’s new business partner and financial backer, Lymington, Duke of Cornwall, thrives on. Which I don’t, and it is a good job, because I am not allowed to write for father’s newspaper in London.

I pout to myself, remembering the times I would take a story to Papa and he would sit in his chair by the fire smoking a cigarette, humming his interest. And his wry smile when he would say, every time, ‘You know, my dear Eliza, this is really rather good.’ Then he would dip, plant a kiss on my cheek and send me on my way. The fact that each and every story I penned and that was printed in Papa’s newspaper was credited to my brother, Frank, was a small price to pay. Recognition wasn’t something I sought, even if, admittedly, I would have liked it. It was more the freedom to write what I desired and not what I thought people would want to read. I wrote factual, informative pieces meant to educate people with the truth.

Alas, now Father’s newspaper only has space for censored news and advertisements, and Lymington doesn’t mind reminding Father, at any opportunity and sometimes without opportunity, that it is his name and backing that allowed my parents to buy the final plot on Belmore Square and build this sprawling, beautiful cage.

I am surely not the only young lady around these parts that feels suffocated. Or perhaps I am. The residents here are a peculiar bunch of humans, who do not seem to care for the world, but rather their position in it. The men must be successful, wealthy and loud. The women must be compliant, well turned out and unopinionated. Image is everything. Money is power. My father is now a very wealthy man, and, as a consequence, also very powerful. I’m not at all certain that I like power on my father. Being powerful seems to take up all of his time and makes him appear persistently exhausted.


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