My One and Only Duke
Book 1 in the Rogues to Riches series
A funny thing happened on the way to the gallows…
One minute, London banker Quinn Wentworth is facing execution. The next, he’s declared the long-lost heir a dukedom. Quinn has fought his way up from the vilest slums, and now he’s ready to use every dirty trick he knows to find the enemy who connived against him.
There’s just one tiny problem…
Jane Winston, the widowed, pregnant daughter of a meddlesome prison preacher, crosses paths with Quinn in jail. Believing his days are numbered, Quinn offers Jane marriage as a way to guarantee her independence and to provide for her child. Neither thinks they’ll actually have a future together.
They were wrong.
He’s a wealthy gutter rat out for vengeance. She’s a minister’s daughter who must turn a marriage of desperation into a proper ducal union. Are they doomed from the start or destined for a happily-ever-after?
Enjoy An Excerpt
Quinn Wentworth has escaped the hangman’s noose only to find a ducal title slung around his neck. He married Jane thinking they had no future, but fate has other plans. Now, when he ought to be bringing his enemies to justice, he’s instead besotted with his duchess…
Having no alternative, Quinn went about removing his clothes, handing them to Jane who hung up his shirt and folded his cravat as if they’d spent the last twenty years chatting while the bath water cooled.
Quinn was down to his underlinen, hoping for a miracle, when Jane went to the door to get the dinner tray. He used her absence to shed the last of his clothing and slip into the steaming tub. She returned bearing the food, which she set on the counterpane.
“Can you manage? I’m happy to wash your hair.”
“I’ll scrub off first. Tell me how you occupied yourself in my absence.”
She held a sandwich out for him to take a bite. “This and that. The staff has a schedule, the carpets have all been taken up and beaten, Constance’s cats are separated by two floors until Persephone is no longer feeling amorous.”
Quinn was feeling amorous. He’d traveled to York and back, endured Mrs. Daugherty’s gushing, and Ned’s endless questions, and pondered possibilities and plots, but neither time nor distance had dampened his interest in Jane one iota.
Her fingers massaging his scalp and neck didn’t help his cause, and when she leaned down to scrub his chest, and her breasts pressed against Quinn’s shoulders, his interest became an ache.
The water cooled, Jane fed him sandwiches, and Quinn accepted that the time had come to make love with his wife. He rose from the tub, water sluicing away, as Jane held out a bath sheet. Her gaze wandered over him in frank, marital assessment, then caught, held, and ignited a smile he hadn’t seen from her before.
“Why Mr. Atherton, you did miss me after all.” She passed him the bath sheet, and locked the parlor door and the bedroom door, while Quinn stood before the fire and dried off.
“I missed you too,” Jane said, taking the towel from him and tossing it over a chair. “Rather a lot.”
Quinn made one last attempt to dodge the intimacy Jane was owed, one last try for honesty. “Jane, we have matters to discuss. Matters that relate to my travels.” And to his past, for that past was putting a claim in his future, and Jane deserved to know the truth.
“We’ll talk later all you like, Quinn. For now, please just take me to bed.”
She kissed him, and he was lost.
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