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The Earl of Bristol, Duncan Maddox, has returned to London after years of familial imposed exile. As the second son, he has led a life filled with frivolity, leisure, and a healthy dose of debauchery. Now his older brother has died, leaving the family’s flailing legacy in Duncan’s unwilling arms.
At the behest of his uncle, Duncan is advised to do the one thing that could provide instant fortune and respectability – he must marry. But there is only one prospect who meets the unique requirements to solve all the Earl’s problems – the lovely Miss Ambrosia Tisdale. But securing the prudent daughter of a Viscount’s hand proves to be more challenging than this scandal ridden second son of an Earl has bargained for.
With scandal, extortion, treachery, and even love itself threatening to keep him from his goal, will Duncan succeed in compromising Miss Tisdale?
Enjoy an excerpt:
James tapped his finger to the cleft in his chin. “So, I am to assume that you need financial prosperity, respectability, honor, and security virtually overnight? That is your dilemma?”
Duncan chuckled at the absurdity of the situation. “In so many words, yes.”
He shrugged. “Should be simple enough.”
Duncan laughed outwardly now. “Simple? You call that simple?”
James arched an eyebrow. “Such a quandary is hardly original to noble men like us.”
“How do you figure?”
“Your predicament is nothing new. Men of our station have been combating that very issue for years. And the solution is hardly novel. I’m quite surprised someone with your acumen hadn’t thought of it earlier.”
“Clearly, I am ignorant, so please-enlighten me.”
“You need to marry.”
Duncan deflated. “Is that all?”
“Well, you couldn’t just marry anyone. She must be rich, but not noveau riche. And her family must be prominent. She needn’t be from a ducal house necessarily, but with rivaling status in its age and reputation. And since you’re such a cad, your wife will need to be the picture of morality. We’re talking the personification of righteousness-no skeletons in the closet, no relatives from the other side of the blanket, no scandals amongst third cousins. The gossip rags must have nothing on her or her family.”
Duncan felt his nostrils flair. “Yes, simple indeed. So, where exactly do you suggest I find this rich Lady Madonna?”
A slow smile crept up James’ face. “You’ve already met her.”
Confused, Duncan thought for a moment. Then he smacked into the great stone wall of realization at just what it was his friend was implying. “Miss Tisdale? You’re suggesting I marry Miss Tisdale? The Miss Tisdale who you just finished telling me is waiting for the perfect husband–who no doubt has far more prestige and fortune than I? You’re cracked.” Duncan turned and started walking back towards the curtain.
About the Author:
Jessica writes likes she speaks, which has a tendency to be fast paced and humorous. Jessica is heavily inspired by sweeping, historical romance novels, but aims to take those key emotional elements and inject a fresh blend of quick dialogue and comedy to transport the reader into a story they miss long after the last page is read. She invites you to visit her at JessicaJefferson.com and read her random romance musings.
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