The Scottish DukeBook - 2016
New York Times bestselling author Karen Ranney returns with the first novel in a new series about dashing, charismatic dukes--and the women who tame them...
Though raised as a gentleman's daughter, Lorna Gordon is obliged to take a position as an upstairs maid at Blackhall Castle when her father dies. Alex Russell, the Duke of Kinross, is the most tempting man she's ever seen--and completely unattainable--until, at a fancy dress ball, Lorna disguises herself as Marie Antoinette and pursues an illicit tryst...with scandalous consequences.Months after his mysterious seductress disappears, Alex encounters her again. Far from the schemer the distrustful duke assumed her to be, Lorna is fiercely independent and resourceful. She's the one woman capable of piercing his defenses. But when danger threatens Lorna, Alex must prove himself not just the lover of her fantasies, but the man who will fight to protect her.
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“Turning her head to her right, she watched as lightning illuminated the lawn and the encroaching trees. The woods were so dark and so ominous that she sometimes had the thought that the trees pulled up their roots and made a slight step toward Blackhall each night. All the other plants, plus the undergrowth and saplings, obediently followed their elders. If the gardeners weren’t industrious enough, perhaps one day the forest would be right outside the window when she awoke. Instead of the turrets and the fireplaces of Blackhall, she would see only branches and leaves waving good morning.” (pp. 12-13)
“The bird that was her heart had escaped from its cage and was now fluttering wildly in her chest. She could barely breathe. The silly wig was being buffeted by the wind, but so were the windows. She could hear them shivering in their panes. / She loved a storm. She loved being out in it, regardless of the danger. She would sometimes tilt her head back to feel the rain baptizing her face. In those moments, she was as elemental as the first woman. Yet she’d never felt like she did right now. / He grabbed her elbow and pulled her farther away from the door to the ballroom.” (p. 24)
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