The Duke of Scandal (Dukes of Danger #2) Read Online Tessa Brookman

Categories Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance Tags Authors: Series: Dukes of Danger Series by Tessa Brookman
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Total pages in book: 72
Estimated words: 65532 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 328(@200wpm)___ 262(@250wpm)___ 218(@300wpm)
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“You’ll pay for trapping me into marriage.”

Lady Harriet is in a predicament. After the death of her father, her cousin has taken it upon himself to control her every move. Until during a fateful ball, she finds herself pinned between a dark garden wall and the body of the Duke of Wrexham – a cold rake notorious for his lack of commitment…
Duke Edward is a cold-hearted man who knows what he wants in life: A high-class match for his sister, and a tame Duchess for himself. But the virginal Harriet is anything but. And she proves it the moment her fiery kiss turns into a bite, and she disappears before he has a chance to speak…
When Edward’s sister disappears on her wedding day, Harriet offers her help. And just when he thought his life couldn’t get any more convoluted, a gossip column arrives at his doorstep with a shocking revelation:
He is engaged to the innocent Harriet… Unbeknownst to even him.

FULL BOOK START HERE:

CHAPTER 1

ERDINGTON ESTATE, MARCH 1814

“Oh, let’s not walk in the south gardens today, Rose. I can’t bear the view of the house at the moment,” Harriet protested.

She and Rose had just stepped out of Erdington Manor house onto broad, mossy paving. Erdington was Harriet’s childhood home. Rose had been her close friend since the two met at finishing school. That had been before the death of Harriet’s father and the entailment of Erdington to the closest male heir. The heir being Harriet’s distant cousin, Simon.

The terrace that they walked across led to wide, stone steps, flanked by carved balustrades leading down to the famous gardens. The once-famous gardens. To go with the once-famous house. But time had not been kind to either the Erdington estate or its masters.

“Nonsense, Harry. I love walking in the rose garden. The scent is incredible at this time of year,” Rose enthused.

“But the house looks so woebegone with all that scaffolding around it,” Harriet said.

“Then don’t look at it,” Rose shrugged.

She set off across the patio towards the steps. The two young women were night and day apart. Harriet was petite and fair-haired with full cheeks that flushed at a moment’s notice. Rose had straight dark hair cascading down her back and dark eyes in a pale, pretty face.

“I didn’t come all the way from Tedbury to sit indoors, Harry,” Rose said over her shoulder as she skipped down the steps.

Harriet grumbled but caught up with the other woman, leading the way down into the gardens. They were not the works of art they had once been, a century before when the manor had been in the hands of her great-grandfather. The rose beds were still spectacular, with the plants flowering in profusion and reaching across the gravel paths which were supposed to separate different beds. Statues of famous Worthinghams were splotched with mildew and becoming gradually entwined with ivy.

“Take a deep breath. Isn’t that wonderful?” Rose said.

“It is. I just don’t like the sight that I know is behind me,” Harriet replied.

Rose looked back over Harriet’s shoulder towards the house and made a sympathetic face.

“It is rather ugly. I don’t actually see any workmen though. Just the scaffolds.”

Harriet swung around despite herself. The workingmen employed by Simon had been hard at work when she had woken that morning. Their incessant hammering had actually woken her earlier than she had intended. But Rose’s arrival for brunch had been enough to forestall the ill mood such a rude awakening would usually bring about. Their time spent catching up after several months apart had taken her mind from the work completely.

“I had not noticed that they had stopped. Were they working during brunch?” Harriet asked, frowning.

“I didn’t notice either. I was more interested in being reunited with my best friend,” Rose said playfully.

Harriet smiled distractedly. “It is the middle of the day and the repairs are important. There is a veritable river flowing through the third-floor library from the leaking roof. This worries me. Rose, would it be terrible of me to want to speak to Simon to find out what is happening?”

Rose grimaced but linked her arm with Harriet’s.

“A terrible imposition. But let’s do it anyway. You will not be happy until the mystery is solved.”

She laughed and the merry tinkle of the familiar sound brought a genuine smile to Harriet’s lips. Rose had always had the knack of doing that, which was precisely why she did it. As they walked back to the house, their abortive stroll in the gardens ended, and Rose leaned close.

“Is it really bad, Harry? The…um…situation?”

She looked worried and Harriet had no desire to lie to her in order to spare her concerns.

“Simon and I do our best to keep it from Eleanor but…every day seems to bring fresh evidence of papa’s cavalier attitude to money. And the pit we are sliding into gets a little deeper,” Harriet said.


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