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The Daring Duke
The 1797 Club, Book 1
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Durée : 8 h et 51 min
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The wild and charismatic Duke of Abernathe is the kind of friend anyone would wish to have. He even formed the 1797 Club, consisting of 10 men who would all be dukes. But he has full-throatedly declared he will never marry and no one understands why. But Miss Emma Liston doesn't care why. A longtime wallflower with an absentee father who is a scandal waiting to happen, she needs to marry. Now. She decides to take a wild chance and ask the help of her friend Meg's brother James.
Imagine a universe where, on November 5, 1605, Guy Fawkes's Gunpowder Plot was successful. The explosion resulted in a schism that split the British Prime Universe into two more planes of existence: one that went forwards in time (clockwise), and one that went backwards (counterclockwise, or widdershins). On All Hallows Eve every year, the bonds between these multiverses are strong enough to pull a body from one plane of existence to the other.
Viscountess Felicity Barbridge escaped a violent marriage with her life because she was willing to make desperate choices. Now those choices are back to haunt her, as is the object of her girlhood obsession, Asher Seyton. Asher was never anything more than a servant's son, but he's elevated himself through an education and is now a respected solicitor. He only returns to his childhood home to help with a financial issue, but when he realizes Felicity is being threatened, he's driven to stay and help.
Bryony Shaw has never before thought of leaving Baltimore and her safe place in service, but things change for her when she is forced to become the nanny of her employer's son, Edwin. Finally finding the courage of her convictions, she confronts them about their lack of care. An orphan herself, she knows the pain of feeling abandoned and cannot bear the thought of such a young boy feeling that way, too. But what follows, nobody would ever have expected.
Elise had her reasons for walking away from Lucien, reasons he doesn't understand. Back in Society, she's now financially desperate and is even considering becoming someone's mistress. But Lucien keeps appearing at the most inopportune moments and it's only a matter of time before the desire between them explodes. Time will tell if Lucien will be able to see past his lusty drive for revenge. And if Elise can convince him she's worthy of more, despite the past.
Isabelle Landry is beautiful, wealthy, and courted within the highest echelons of Massachusetts' society. But every man her Mama thinks a suitable match, she finds dull and often repulsive. She longs for a simpler life, one where her worth has nothing to do with her annual income or her vast inheritance. A new friend gives her the confidence to follow her own path, and she answers an advertisement, praying it might change her life forever.
Miss Celia Fitzgilbert's grandfather has decreed she must marry a man with a title or he'll never reveal her mysterious father's identity. But her engagement to an Earl was already broken, leaving her steeped in scandal. She has all but given up until the reclusive Duke of Clairemont returns to Society and sweeps her off her feet, a potential solution to all her problems. But things are not so simple for the duke. Aiden is not comfortable with his position in Society, perhaps because he is a fraud.
Widow Rosalinde Wilde is on her way to her beloved sister's wedding when an unexpected storm waylays her at an overcrowded inn. There she meets a tempting stranger who sweeps her into a night of unforgettable passion. Grayson Danford never expected a night with the irresistible Mrs. Wilde, but she was a welcome distraction from the unpleasant duty of breaking up his brother's impending nuptials. He's shocked when he discovers his passionate lover is none other than the sister of his brother's intended.
Criminal Jack Blackwood has plenty of problems, from his complicated relationship with his brother to the plethora of men coming to dethrone him as king of the underground. What he doesn't need is a rich, bored gentleman showing up to try to join his gang. Worse, he doesn't need that gentleman's sister, Lady Letitia Seagate, chasing after him demanding he keep her brother safe. If only the lady weren't so damned intriguing.
When Claire found out a devastating secret about her family, the famous Woodley clan, she ran straight into the arms of a criminal and disappeared for years. But now she's desperate to escape his clutches and get back what he's stolen from her: her child. She turns to longtime family horse-master Warrick Blackwood, knowing his secrets can get her close to her target.
The youngest son of the Woodley clan, Gabriel has been obsessed with bringing his missing twin sister home since she disappeared over two years ago. His drive has forced him to block out all else, including any feelings he may have for the beautiful Juliet Gray. But when she is brought to London by Gabriel's mother, avoiding the desire she inspires becomes impossible.
Josie Westfall spent a lifetime feeling alone and bullied and an unfortunate incident involving her best friend's brother, Evan, only made things worse. Still, when she and her mother are invited to the wedding he will be attending, they can't exactly refuse. She hopes to avoid him, but instead they are thrown together and she is shocked to find that she actually begins to like the man she's thought of as an enemy for years.
Jude Samson has worked for the Woodley family for such a long time that he is seen as a brother. But he has very unbrotherly feelings toward the youngest of the clan, Lady Audrey. When they find themselves off at the family's country estate, long simmering desires will come to the forefront and Jude won't be able to stop himself from taking that one, oh-so-forbidden taste.
Mary Quinn is almost at the end of her rope. After two years under her sister and brother-in-law's protection she may soon have to return to her terrible father's house if she cannot find a husband. In her desperation, she bumps into Edward, Marquis Woodley.
Two years ago, Isabella Harrington defied her parents and society, and ran off with her lover to Milan. They thought they'd conquer the world at the gaming tables. But her dream of happily-ever-after led to nothing but debts and a shattered heart. Abandoned and left on her own in a foreign city with little but her wits and skill, Isabella managed to survive. Survive and thrive, commanding the cards until she won enough to send for a very particular matchmaker.
When Christopher “Kit” Collins’ father dies, he is devastated, but he must swiftly take on the title of Duke of Kingsacre and all the responsibility that comes with it. Including the care of his very young, illegitimate half-sister, who is now his ward. He is very upset when he discovers the governess his father hired for the child just before his death is Sarah Carlton. Sarah is equally disturbed by the arrival of her new employer, as she and Kit once had an unpleasant encounter when she was at her lowest point.
Robert Smithton, Duke of Roseford, is known for his lusty appetites and his cold, cold heart. Still, thanks to his title and his fortune, everyone wants him, and he’s bored of it all. He wants something, but he cannot place what exactly that is. Until he meets Katherine, the Countess of Gainsworth.
Hugh Margolis, duke of Brighthollow, has been keeping a secret that eats him up inside. His beloved sister was seduced and nearly ruined by a wicked man. The trauma sent her into exile, and to protect her reputation, he never did anything about it. But now, the "gentleman" is back in Society and recently became engaged to another lady.
Matthew Cornwallis, Duke of Tyndale, once loved a woman, but she died in a tragic accident he felt responsible for. Since then, he’s been playing pretend that he isn’t broken inside, even as he’s seen as London’s most sought after bachelor. He decides to drown his sorrows at the notorious Donville Masquerade where he encounters an alluring stranger who he spends the night with.
Lucas Vincent may be the Duke of Willowby but he’s never acted as such. He’s been too busy working for the war department as a spy. But years of dangerous work has finally caught up to him, and he was involved in a violent attack that nearly killed him. Diana Oakford was raised by a physician who served the King’s war department, and she knows better than most the dangers that job entails. She was also trained in healing, so when she’s asked to come and assist with Lucas’s recovery, she has a hard time refusing.