As the Duke of Wycliffe, most people treated Nicholas’s authority as a foregone conclusion.
They did not look him in the eye and demand—the audacity of her, his mother would have said—to know why he’d arrived at his own blasted property.
Even if it was property he’d never wanted, property he’d gone out of his way to avoid until it had become painfully obvious to society that he wasn’t doing his duty. He couldn’t afford the beau monde’s scorn, not if he hoped to have a better session in the House of Lords than the previous Season.
That was what mattered. Not this unsettlingly wild and dark estate, and definitely not Felicity Fields’s lack of respect for him.
After spending so many summers here, he ought to know that Felicity was not like normal people. Since arriving at Tetbery as a child, she’d never left the estate. No trips to London for a proper Season, like her position should have dictated. His aunt had insisted upon seclusion after the death of the earl, and Felicity had paid the price for it.
Not that she’d ever seemed to mind. She said the first thing that popped out of her mouth and did precisely what she wanted, with no repercussions. He envied her for that.
But like this blighted estate he’d never wanted, Felicity was his responsibility now.
So things had to change. Starting with how she spoke to him.
“This is my estate,” he reminded her, matching her coldness with his own brand of disregard—lofty hauteur, perfected from years of reminding people who he was. “And it is, after all, the holidays. I wished to spend it with the people I care about.”
That was true, at least. He cared about Felicity—he just didn’t understand her.
“Then you should have stayed in London, or gone to Wycliffe Manor. Not come here.” She peered down the bridge of her nose at him, making him feel as though he were much, much smaller than he was.
It was clear she did not share his sentiment. He ignored the tiny twinge of hurt at that realization, reminding himself that he did not need her to like him to do right by her.
Meet the Author:
USA Today Bestselling Author Erica Monroe writes dark, suspenseful historical romance. Her current series include Gothic Brides (Gothic Regency romances), The Rookery Rogues (pre-Victorian gritty working class romance), and Covert Heiresses (Regency spies who are the children of a duke). She was a finalist in the published historical category for the prestigious Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Romantic Suspense, and her books have been recommended reads at Fresh Fiction, Smexy Books, Smart Bitches Trashy Books, and All About Romance. Her favorite things include coffee, profanity, comic books, and television. She lives in the suburbs of North Carolina with her husband, two dogs, two cats.
About the Book:
Death is just the beginning in this dark, emotional Gothic Regency Romance…
After the death of her beloved guardian, Miss Felicity Fields is left adrift, her future uncertain. Grief-stricken, she launches a plan to use the ancient art of alchemy to bring back to life the woman who was like a mother to her. The last thing this blunt bluestocking needs is the return of Nicholas Harding, the Duke of Wycliffe and rightful owner of her home on the wild coast of Cornwall. He stirs an unexpected passion within her, and Felicity has had enough change in her life.
When they were children, Nicholas never understood his aunt’s brilliant but unemotional ward, or her many strange scientific studies. He ought to take her back to London, so she can make a proper society match–except he can’t stop thinking about her. But with the line between life and death blurred by Felicity’s experiments, can he convince her that she’s no longer alone, and her proper place is by his side?
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