The Duke and the Bold Lady (The Ravens #1) Read Online Olivia T. Bennet

Categories Genre: Historical Fiction Tags Authors: Series: The Ravens Series by Olivia T. Bennet
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Total pages in book: 103
Estimated words: 94964 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 475(@200wpm)___ 380(@250wpm)___ 317(@300wpm)
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A broken Duke gets mingled with Lady Janice and the peculiar Raven family.

Duke Arthur will do everything to ruin his family’s name. He will bring the Dukedom, his father’s legacy, to ruins, even if it means risking his own life in the process. But then Lady Janice comes along…
Lady Janice is nothing like a lady should be. She goes out alone, she wears breeches and she doesn’t care about the ton and their gossip.
So when these two meet and end up falling in love, Duke Arthur has to make a choice between revenge and his growing love for Janice…

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************

CHAPTER 1

The sun had finally come out after a rainy morning and Janice grabbed the opportunity to go out.

* * *

Putting on a pair of breeches and boots, she traipsed down the stairs, shouted, “I’m going out!” and headed for the lane. She was glad that no one was around to see her leave. They’d just complain once again about her breeches. She already knew that it was a faux pas to wear them. But one just could not argue against the comfort of them as compared to her morning gowns – especially when traipsing about in the woods.

* * *

The ground was muddy and uneven, but she tripped along it quite nimbly. It had been some time since she’d stepped in puddles and imagined herself falling down into the reflected sky and she took advantage of every single one on the path.

* * *

What with everything that had happened lately, she needed to just let loose and relax.

* * *

She sighed, trying to shrug off the maladies of the last few days and leave them behind in the dirt. On Sunday, their very best racehorse – The Apocalypse - had thrown a shoe. The blacksmith, while seeking to repair the damage, had burned the horse’s knee. Mr. Grey senior was known to have a problem with drinking and was not usually the one to attend to the horses at Somerton Manor. But his son, Mr. Grey junior, who usually did, was off to Cardiff, attending the race that The Apocalypse was supposed to have won.

* * *

Her brother, Frederick, had made a significant wager with the local bon vivant, Richard Hemsworth, about it and now he would have to pay up. Unfortunately, he was a bit short of funds as they’d had to pay both the farrier who treated The Apocalypse’s burns and the blacksmith for his shoe. It was a dreadful pickle, and the mood of the entire house was affected by it.

* * *

Janice just needed some time to herself, away from all of it. She stopped suddenly, hearing a rustling in the bushes.

* * *

Hesitating, she wondered whether to investigate or not. Then she looked down the path and saw Richard Hemsworth approaching.

* * *

Fiddlesticks!

* * *

Without another thought, she dove into the bushes.

* * *

“I’m not hiding,” she whispered to herself, “I’m checking on whatever is in the undergrowth.”

* * *

She looked around, hoping that the grass would be high enough to hide her. She was covered in mud up to her knees, her hands were filthy and her long dark hair had come loose from under her cap, so it was hanging down her back. Her cotton shirt and heavy woolen coat were still fairly clean and kempt, however.

* * *

The rustling became crying, and she peered deeper into the tall grass to see what might be making that noise. She stilled, hearing Richard’s footsteps approaching, and didn’t move until the sound of them had faded away. Then duck-walking on her heels, she went further into the grass, searching for what was crying.

* * *

It sounded like a tiny animal, perhaps caught up in a muddy puddle and unable to free itself.

* * *

“Where’s your mother then?” she asked the crying sound, even as she felt a pang, thinking of her own mother, dead these many years. The pain of her passing ebbed and flowed. Some days it was as if she had just died, while other times, it was as if she passed so long ago that Janice could hardly remember her.

* * *

She got to her feet, to better negotiate the tall grass that was merging into trees. The lane on both sides was lined with tall marshy grass and on this side of the road, the marsh grass merged with an orchard that belonged to a Duke. He did not welcome trespassers, so Janice hoped that she was still outside his property line.

* * *

She finally spotted the animal on the other side of the embankment, close to one of the orchard trees. A tiny puppy, caught in a puddle of mud and struggling to free itself. The more it struggled, the deeper it seemed to sink. Janice gasped. If the puppy continued struggling for much longer, it would definitely drown in the mud.

* * *

“Oh no.” She began to slip and slide down the ridge as fast as she could. “Don’t worry little baby. I’m coming. I’ll save you and then we shall go and find your mother.”

* * *

Suddenly she heard voices and froze. They seemed to be coming from the orchard itself and Janice wondered if one of the duke’s workmen had seen her and was here to chase her away. Crouching down in the tall grass, while keeping an eye on the struggling puppy, she waited to see who would appear.


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