To Charm a Naughty Countess
by Theresa Romain
Genre: Regency-set historical romance
Tone: Romantic, passionate, lighthearted
Heat Level: Love scenes with euphemisms
Elements/Tags: Pygmalion story, virgin hero, widowed heroine
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publishing Date: May 6, 2014
Series, #: Matchmaker trilogy, book 2
Format: Mass market paperback, digital
CAN A RECLUSIVE DUKE…
Brilliant but rumored mad, Michael Layward, the impoverished Duke of Wyverne, has no success courting heiresses until widowed Lady Stratton takes up his cause–after first refusing his suit.
WIN LONDON’S MOST POWERFUL COUNTESS?
Caroline Graves, the popular Countess of Stratton, sits alone at the pinnacle of London society and has vowed never to remarry. When Michael–her counterpart in an old scandal–returns to town after a long absence, she finds herself as enthralled with him as ever. As she guides the anxiety-ridden duke through the trials of society, Caroline realizes that she’s lost her heart . But if she gives herself to the only man she’s ever loved, she’ll lose the hard-won independence she prizes above all.
Meet Author Theresa Romain:
Historical romance author Theresa Romain pursued an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on. She then worked for universities and libraries, where she got to read even more. Eventually she started writing, too. She lives with her family in the Midwest.
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His throat worked. “I am not yet certain whether I shall pursue Miss Cartwright. It may not be desirable that my life’s mate reflect all my own qualities.”
Not yet certain. After everything Caroline had invested. He rejected her aid and her choices, the purpose of this whole house party, as though they were no more significant than a bowl of soup that was not to his taste.
She noticed, detached, the way her skin heated as if slapped, then prickled with icy numbness. The blank before agony. Dimly, she felt surprise that a single phrase could matter so much.
And then feeling came rushing back, her ears roaring with all the noise of the crowds on Fishergate. She knew she must look as wrong as she felt. Michael had tilted his head in that curious way he had.
When she spoke, her voice was carefully quiet. “Your uncertainty surprises me.”
He lifted his brows, imperious as a bust of Caesar. “Why need you concern yourself with my actions?” After all, I am not concerned with yours was the unvoiced second half of that sentence.
Caroline drew herself up to her full height and peered down at him, taking advantage of her standing position to impress her point on his notice. “Because, Your Grace, my own reputation is on the line. On this house party, and on your engagement, depend my place in society as well as yours.”
The bust of Caesar knit his brows. He did not understand.
She bit back a sigh. “You made a fool of me once before, Michael. Yes, it was long ago, but if you choose not to marry now, after I have publicly aided you, the ton will remember. Their respect will turn to mockery.”
She hated even to say the words, true as she knew them to be. She had already lived through this once.
Her plan had begun so well: she would triumph over him, and herself, and the polite world. Not in any malicious way, but in a way that would give them all what they needed. Society would get its gossip about the change in the mad duke; Michael would win a rich dowry. And Caroline? She would come to understand him, and the means by which he had so long kept her fascinated.
Now, with every knot she untied, she snarled up two more. She must untie them all, though, and redeem herself. She must once again play matchmaker.
She could not remember when her heart had been in it less. How could it, when it was already spoken for?
Theresa is generously gifting all five of her books to one lucky commenter!
*Season for Temptation
*Season for Surrender
*Season for Scandal
*It Takes Two to Tangle
*To Charm a Naughty Countess
Open internationally. Please follow the Rafflecopter directions.
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