Dancing with an Enigmatic Duke (Preview)


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Chapter 1

England, 1813

The road down which the carriage pulled her to London did not inspire her with great confidence. She had hoped that Harcourt would have seen it fit to come and meet her halfway at least, but Emmeline was left to get herself into the city. The carriage driver her brother Harcourt had arranged would not deign to speak to her as she was an unmarried woman and she wagered the man had a grudge against the fact that she was from Scotland, even if she was as English as anyone else by rights.

Emmeline did have a slight accent, she had inherited her father’s noble bearing of height, and could little stand ignorance. She was in no mood to be trifled with and if the driver wanted silence, then he would get it. At least she did not have to listen to any bland rants that the English seemed to engage in, as if it were some sport to tout misery.

She could tell as they neared London. The roads became slightly less tedious and her driver’s mood seemed to improve. She heard him pick up a tune that she could scarcely make out the words to, but that sounded rather jaunty. She felt her own spirits lift as she saw the outline of the buildings against the sky.

It had been a long journey and she was tired. She had not seen her brother in many years, and Emmeline pondered what he would be like. She could only imagine an older version of the tiresome boy he had been when he left for boarding school.

The streets of London were a maze of stone and smells. She did not know where to look. It was certainly different to her estate. She longed to see home suddenly with a keenness.

The people who walked alongside the carriages showed no fear of being trampled as they dashed out in front of horses and wagons alike. Yells echoed off the stone walls at the antics of the people on foot, but things moved on anyway. It frayed Emmeline’s nerves, but the occupants of the other carriages seemed unmoved.

Emmeline was grateful when her carriage turned off the road and entered a gated estate. She held onto the handhold and looked out the carriage window with interest. She had not seen the London estate that her brother occupied. She held her estate and he his own. With their parents gone, it was inevitable that her brother would summon her, but Emmeline had been dreading it. Being summoned by her brother could only mean one thing. He was ready to wed her off. Emmeline took a deep breath as the carriage pulled to a halt.

The driver opened the door and helped her down. He looked thoroughly glad to be rid of her. She ignored him, favouring the tall man who had come out the doors to greet her.

“Emmeline, I hardly recognise you!” Harcourt smiled and grasped the hands she held out to him.

She returned his warm smile. “Well, it has been something of a lifetime. How has England treated you, dear brother?”

He released her hands and guided her towards the front doors of the house. A doorman stood holding the door open for them. Emmeline gave him a grateful dip of her head for his service as she passed through the door ahead of her brother.

Once inside, Harcourt said, “I have fared most excellently. My time at school has afforded me a good mind, and I can’t really complain too much. I should have sent for you sooner. I apologise, but I was getting things sorted.”

“Do not fret over it,” Emmeline said with a gentle pat on her brother’s arm. “What would a month or two change in the course of all this?”

Harcourt dipped his head to her. “I see you have grown much in our time apart, and not just in height. You are nearly as tall as me.”

“I had worried that it might dismay you that I have shot up as a tree overnight. Mother always despaired of it, saying it would cost me a husband, surely.” Emmeline folded her hands in front of her. Her hair was pinned up as well as she could manage it on her own and she worried as Harcourt’s eyes went to the door. “My lady servant was ill, and I thought it better that she not have to endure the journey. After all, I knew you would have someone to help me here, and there were very little in the way of introductions between Scotland and my arrival.”

Harcourt’s expression took on annoyance. “You should have written to me. I would have sent a servant to meet you, or made alternative arrangements.”

“It wasn’t necessary. See, I am here now and quite well. My hair might look a little frightful, but I think it is passing.” Emmeline straightened her back, bringing all her imposing height to the forefront. “Are we to bicker as children, or may I go and get refreshed? It is late in the day and it has been a long ride.”

He frowned. “Hold no ill will against me, Sister. I was thinking of your comfort. I can see that your strong will has remained intact despite the tempering of age.”

“I cannot deny that,” Emmeline said with a laugh, which she hid behind her hand as her mother had taught her to do. “Now, about that room?”

Harcourt tugged on a bell chord, which brought a female maid and a young manservant to the lobby with haste. The maid gave the manservant a disapproving look as he panted from his run to answer the lord’s call. “Yates, will you fetch any bags that Lady Callum may have? Roger should have left them on the steps for you.” The young man was off in a flash to go do as he was told. Harcourt rolled his eyes, to Emmeline’s amusement. “Jasmine, take Lady Callum up to the pink room. I shall wait here and inform Yates of the correct room to deliver the bags.”

The maid curtseyed. “Yes, Sir.” She turned toward Emmeline with a smile. “Right this way, Miss.”

Emmeline did as the maid bid, following her slim form up the stairs. Emmeline admired the French wallpaper and its lovely country scenes. The room she was led to was the second on the right.

Jasmine held the door open for Emmeline to pass through. She stepped inside the room and noticed immediately why her brother had called it the pink room. The wall was painted a soft pink. She had expected more of the elaborate wall coverings, but she rather liked the simplicity of it.

“Do you like it?” Jasmine eyed Emmeline curiously.

She nodded. “It’s quite lovely.”

“You have a beautiful accent, if you don’t mind me saying, Miss.” Jasmine dipped her head as if she had done something to be ashamed of.

Emmeline went over to the bed and sat down with a sigh of relief. “Thank you, and please do not be so bashful around me. I promise you that I am quite easy to get along with.”

Jasmine did not get a chance to respond, as the next moment Yates came into the room with a travelling bag in each hand. “Pardon me, Miss. But I came up as quickly as I could.”

“Just set them down anywhere,” Emmeline said, with a wave of her hand towards the dressing table. “I’ll go through them once I am rested.”

Yates did as he was told and left with a bob of his head. Once he was gone the maid offered, “I can stay and help you put your things away.”

“No, no.” Emmeline stretched her hands over her head. “I just want a bit of quiet and perhaps some tea, if it wouldn’t hinder the kitchen staff too much.”

Jasmine grinned. “Oh, I wouldn’t worry about that. Cook always has extra biscuits and hot tea on hand. Lord Pentworth tends to miss teatimes when he gets his head buried in business.”

“It seems odd to be around my brother after such an expanse of time apart,” Emmeline admitted in a whisper. “I suppose that is only natural.”

Jasmine approached her. “I suppose it is.” She leaned against the bedpost. “I heard that you were here for the season. That sounds exciting.”

“It is possibly true. My brother has not come out and said as such, but it does seem likely that he has brought me to London to find a match.” Emmeline frowned at the thought. “I do not know how exciting I find the prospect.

Jasmine gasped. “Do you not wish to marry, Miss?”

“It is not that. I just know the way such things work.” She smiled. “Fear not for I am quite resigned to finding a husband. I only hope that I get a chance to make the choice for myself.”


Emmeline had expected her brother to come to find her later in the day, but he seemed to have left her to her own devices. She took advantage of the lull in activity to read. There was a knock at the door. “Enter,” Emmeline called.

Jasmine slipped inside the room with a smile. “Good afternoon, Miss. Did you rest well?”

“Oh, yes.” Emmeline put her book aside on the desk. “I’m glad someone finally came to check in with me. I do not even know what time this household eats the evening meal and I was beginning to fret that I might be forgotten.”

Jasmine clutched her hands together. “Your brother would never stand for that. I actually came to offer my aid in helping you dress, Miss. The evening meal is in a couple of hours. Do you wish me to run you a bath?”

“That would be nice.” Emmeline longed for a warm bath after her long journey. Jasmine smiled and went to get the water ready.

Emmeline looked out of the window and pondered the city of London. Tall buildings broke up the horizon and steam rose up from some of them. Or was it smoke?

“Is this your first time in London, Miss?” Jasmine asked as she came back through the room.

Emmeline nodded. “Does it show that much?”

“Just a touch,” Jasmine whispered. She was a petite and feminine height that Emmeline envied. She wagered that Jasmine never had men look at her in bewilderment, especially the shorter members of the gender.

“Mother insisted that I came to London as an infant, but of course, I do not recall that.”

“I don’t think there’s many that would, Miss,” Jasmine offered with humour as she went back to the bath.

Emmeline decided she liked Jasmine. She seemed friendly and down-to-earth, not at all what she was expecting of a maid in the home of Lord Pentworth. Jasmine popped her head back in and waved for Emmeline to follow her. “Your bath is ready, Miss. Do you require assistance?”

“It was quite the ordeal to get into this dress alone, so assistance would be wonderful.” Emmeline stood up and turned around so that Jasmine could get to the ties.

Jasmine clucked her tongue. “However did you manage to do this by yourself?”

“Well, I got the maid at the inn to help me very quickly.”

Jasmine giggled. “I wager that it is something she doesn’t have to do often.”

“She did look rather surprised by the request, but I had no lady-in-waiting to help.” Emmeline shrugged out of the dress as Jasmine finished loosening the ties. With Jasmine’s help, she quickly disrobed and headed towards the bath, sinking into the warm water and sighing with contentment. “This is worth the trip.”

Jasmine frowned and asked quietly, “Why did you have no ladies with you, if you don’t mind me asking, Miss?”

“Oh, Caeley, my lady’s maid, was ill. I did not want to make her undergo such a journey in her condition. She is looking after the household until I return, along with my housekeeper.” Emmeline took a cloth that Jasmine passed to her and began washing her arms. “You look surprised.”

Jasmine shook her head and then sheepishly said, “I just don’t know many nobles who would put the wellbeing of their staff above their own comforts.”

“I could have taken another maid along, but I am very particular about my company these days.” Emmeline gave Jasmine a smile. “I think I am accustomed to having things my own way.”

The maid dipped her head. “May I have permission to speak openly, Miss?”

“I thought you were doing a well enough job of that,” Emmeline teased. “Please do.”

Jasmine’s cheeks had turned pink from Emmeline’s words. “You said you were hoping that you got to pick your husband. Are you of the mind that Lord Pentworth may not allow you to do so? He seems a reasonable enough man as men go.”

“You probably know more of him than I do.” Emmeline paused her washing and sighed. “I only remember His Lordship from our time as children before he went off to school.”

Jasmine stood to the side, not interfering with Emmeline but there if she should need help. “I have only worked in his employ for a short time, Miss.”

“Then we are both in the same predicament, I fear.” She fell silent as she bathed. Jasmine stood by silently. Emmeline tried not to think about the woman, or her brother and his schemes. Instead, she thought of home. What would Caeley be doing? Finally, when she could tarry no more, she said, “I am ready to get out, Jasmine.”

“Yes, Miss.”

Emmeline shivered at the rush of cool air as she rose out of the warm water. Jasmine swiftly wrapped a large towel around her. “I’ll get your robe while you dry off, Miss.” She was swiftly out of the room before Emmeline could say anything.

While the maid was absent, Emmeline dried herself and wrapped the towel around her shoulders. When Jasmine returned, she draped the robe around Emmeline’s shoulders and took the damp towel from her.

“Fetch me the pale yellow dress out of my case, will you?” Emmeline requested. The maid had been a fair worker and a sweet soul thus far.

“Of course, Miss.” Jasmine led the way into the bedroom with Emmeline right behind her.

Emmeline tugged her robe around her tightly. “There is a terrible draught in here.”

“It might be the window.” The maid laid down the dress on the bed and hastened to draw the heavy drapes over the lighter curtains. “Is that better, Miss?”

“Some, yes,” Emmeline said with a shiver as she shed the robe. With Jasmine’s help, she was dressed as swiftly as one could expect with all the layers that a lady must wear. Emmeline felt more herself once she was dressed and seated in front of her dressing table.

Jasmine pinned Emmeline’s hair in place and smiled at her. “You have such lovely honey-coloured hair. Was your mother fair?”

“She was. I inherited her hair and Father’s stature.”

“You are very tall, but it suits you well, Miss.”

“Thank you. But a good deal of the men I have met do not hold that opinion. They want sweet, demure wives who can tilt their heads up sweetly to look at them through their lashes. It’s hard to do that unless I kneel with some of them.” Emmeline looked over at Jasmine as the maid laughed. She tried to stop herself but failed miserably, and eventually Emmeline joined her in the laughter.

Finally, Jasmine professed, “I’m so sorry, Miss. I didn’t mean to laugh so.”

“Nonsense, it was humorous. It felt good to laugh. It has been a spell since I have done that.” Emmeline gave Jasmine a bright smile in the dressing table mirror. “Please do not apologise for it.”

Jasmine smiled back at Emmeline in the mirror. “You are a kind soul, Miss.”

“I do not suppose that will aid me much in the coming season, but perhaps some grand figure of a man will see me for who I truly am.” Emmeline sighed picturing the chances of that happening as very slim. “Here I am going on like a yearling fawning over the new flowers in the field. Mother always said I was quite stubborn. I shall have to set my mind to prove her right.”

Jasmine nodded smartly. “I think you shall do just that. You seem a woman with a good head on her shoulders, Miss. You should be fine.”

She stepped back as Emmeline admired the hairstyle that she had created. “At least I will look wonderful thanks to your administrations. Will you be here through the season?”

“Yes, Miss. I had better help the kitchen staff. We’ve been a bit understaffed as of late.”

Emmeline nodded. “Of course. When will the evening meal be?”

“In about half an hour, Miss. Do you want me to show you where the dining room is? It is on the way to the kitchens, and I would not mind at all.”

Emmeline nodded. “That would be fine. Then I can take a walk around to prepare my body for the meal at hand.”


After Jasmine left her at the dining room, Emmeline wandered the corridors of the manor house. It was of impressive size, even if the ancestral castle in Scotland dwarfed it. Still, it was comfortable. She admired the artwork and passed time peering into rooms to discover their function.

She even met a couple of other staff members who were surprised at her interest in them. Emmeline shook her head as she walked down a particularly lovely hallway adorned with tables topped with planters of a fragrant evergreen plant whose name she did not know. She wondered if her brother was too busy to interact with his staff much or if he merely chose not to.

The Harcourt she had met today was not the young man who had left to go to school. He was not the same boy who had hidden her dolls or chased her around the large tree down by the stream. No, he was a different person altogether, and Emmeline was unsure of how to approach him.

“Ah, there you are, Lady Callum. His Lordship sent me to let you know that dinner would be served soon,” a male voice said behind Emmeline.

She turned to see a man she assumed to be the butler by his dress. His greying hair was trimmed and neatly combed and he held his hands behind his back, his expression thoughtfully awaiting her reply. Emmeline nodded. “I must have lost track of time. I shall head to the dining room forthwith.”

“I can lead you back if you should need, My Lady?” He bowed to her and held his hand out showing her the way.

Emmeline gave him a curtsey and smiled. “Thank you. That would be wise. I would not want to get caught down an errant hallway and keep my brother waiting.”

While the man seemed pleasant enough, he did not talk on the way to the dining room, except to direct her on which way to go. Emmeline grew tired of trying to speak with him. He was much too professional to converse with her as his fellows had.

All she managed to get out of the butler was that his name was Gerald. Emmeline resigned herself to looking at the paintings on the wall as they walked. She was grateful when Gerald slowed and bowed to her.

“Here we are,” he said. He grabbed one of the double doors that led into the dining room and held it open for her.

Emmeline offered him a thankful dip of her head and passed through. “Thank you, Gerald.”

Just as swiftly as the man had appeared, Gerald was gone, and the door clicked closed behind her. Emmeline was left alone facing the large dining table that was now adorned with the first course of food. She immediately noticed that Harcourt was not the only person awaiting.

Harcourt rose as did a man Emmeline had never seen before. She gave him a curious look. He was tall, tall enough indeed that Emmeline felt almost small in comparison. His long dark hair was tied back with a ribbon.

Harcourt waved his hand toward the newcomer. “Forgive me for not warning you ahead of time, Sister, but we have a guest. This is my dear friend Lord Torrington. We went to school together.”

He gave her a smile that Emmeline supposed must have been quite heart-breaking if she were a woman easily swayed by such things. His dark brown eyes held joviality that made Emmeline smile back at him. “Not at all, dear brother. Meeting your friends gives me insight into the man you have become.” Emmeline’s eyes stayed on the duke. “It is a pleasure to meet you, Your Grace.”

“And I you,” Lord Torrington said with a dip of his head. “Although, I do not know that I can take credit, nor would I want to for helping your brother become the way he is.” He gave Emmeline a wink, to her amusement.

Harcourt cleared his throat and indicated that they should sit down. Emmeline hastened to her chair, which a servant held out for her. Once they were all seated and served, Harcourt asked, “Did you have a good rest?”

“Yes. I meant to tell you that I found Jasmine to be a most helpful lady’s maid. She was quite lovely.” Emmeline picked up a piece of potato on her fork and took an inquisitive bite. The spices were milder than the cook at home used, but it was still quite good.

Lord Torrington looked over at her, but Harcourt was already speaking. “She is a good worker. Speaking of lady’s maids, I wanted to let you know that I have arranged for you to have help in preparing for the season.”

Emmeline did not know what to say, so she merely dipped her head in acceptance of her brother’s words. The mention of the coming season had dampened her good mood, but she tried her best to fight off the sense of gloom that settled over her. After all, it would not do to embarrass her brother in front of his friend.

Lord Torrington eyed Emmeline curiously. “Your accent is Scottish, is it not?”

“Yes,” Emmeline said with a blush. “My mother was from Scotland originally, but I am sure that my brother has told you all of this.”

The duke nodded as he sipped his wine. “He has told me some, but after years in England I am afraid he has lost that lovely accent that you still have ownership of. I had begun to wonder if he had just made the ancestry up.”

“Hold off there,” Harcourt said. There was no real anger behind his words, and Emmeline smiled at the two friends over the top of her glass of wine. They seemed very fond of each other Emmeline decided, as the two men bickered.

Emmeline looked back down at her plate and the meal of beef roast in front of her. She tuned out the men’s ribbing of one another, as a good lady should. After all, it was not her place to be in such discussions, even if they chose to have them in front of her. It was one of the pieces of advice from her mother that Emmeline found easy to take to heart, as she had little interest in the jabs they sparred with.

“Lady Callum, do you not think your brother could use a port in the Indian Ocean?” Emmeline looked up at the mention of her name. Lord Torrington and her brother were eyeing her with interest.

Emmeline lifted her shoulders helplessly. “Does he?”

“Lord Torrington is insistent that I bring my cargo ships, at least some of them, into his arena so that I might transfer his spices at a more affordable rate,” Harcourt explained. His eyes left hers and went back to Lord Torrington, who looked completely at ease as he leaned back in his chair with a smile. “However, as I also explained to Nash, I have quite enough business in the Caribbean for the time being.”

“Nash?” Emmeline repeated.

Lord Torrington chuckled. “Forgive your brother his manners. He is referring to me.”

“Oh,” Emmeline said with a frown. “Well, if my brother has his business well in hand, why would he benefit from bringing ships to the Indian Ocean, if you do not mind my asking, Lord Torrington?”

Harcourt was the one chuckling now. “She got that from our mother.”

“I do not hold an inquisitive mind against a young lady. It is a good thing to be keen upon understanding one’s world.” The duke breathed deeply as if pondering how to explain before he continued. “I think it would benefit your brother by opening up new avenues of trade. He would not have to take his whole fleet out of the Caribbean spice market, but it could be a good investment to stave off any potential slow times.”

Emmeline took a sip of her wine as she listened to the man’s explanation. “In theory that seems a good plan. However, are they not in the same market here at home? If the market slows in one part, it will slow all over. Should he not invest in a different market to ward himself against such things?”

“True,” Lord Torrington conceded. “The spice trade is generally a strong one, however. What I meant was if some blight or other should affect yields that his income would be protected by being in multiple environments.”

There was no flaw to that particular logic, so Emmeline merely nodded.

Harcourt sighed. “I simply do not think that I want to try to persuade my crews to move seas. Some of them have families in the Caribbean and would not be favourable to it.”

“Ah, the family man,” Lord Torrington said with a grin. “Some of them have families here at home as well. We could combine efforts and create a new company together, which would share the risks.”

“It does not seem much of a risk, if you are merely combining two fleets. Why would you need my brother’s ships if you have your own?” Emmeline sat back as a serving girl came to collect her plate, followed by another girl with a plate of greens coated in a sweet vinaigrette.

Harcourt motioned to one of the young women. “Would you ask them to bring dessert as well? We can serve ourselves.”

The young woman dipped into a quick curtsey and hurried out of the dining room. “Still rushing dessert?” Lord Torrington asked the question with a one-sided grin that only earned him a glare from Harcourt. The duke’s eyes flashed over to Emmeline. “To answer your question, after your brother’s sweet tooth interrupted the conversation, I do have a fleet, but he has far too many ships in the Caribbean for the output of the islands. We could use those extra ships to take on the cargo that my ships have to leave behind. Think of the profit wasting away in fields or storage. We do not get nearly as much in the local Indian markets.”

Emmeline cut her eyes over to her brother. To be truthful, Harcourt did not look opposed to what his friend was saying. “Then I wonder why he does not assent. That has to be a question left solely for him.”

“Hear, hear,” Harcourt chimed in as he raised his glass and took a sip of his wine.

Lord Torrington snorted. “I see the family resemblance now.”

Despite Harcourt’s instructions that they could serve themselves the dessert, two serving girls brought a cake. One carried the cake and one carried plates and utensils. Harcourt’s eyes followed them greedily as the girls sliced the cake up, placing a slice on each plate before passing the plates of dessert around the table. Harcourt took his plate with a grin. “It looks delicious.”

“I’m sure the cook will be pleased to hear that, Your Lordship,” the older girl said. Harcourt waved them away and they quickly took their leave back to the kitchens.

Much to Emmeline’s amusement, Harcourt pushed his plate of greens away and pulled the cake to him. It was Lord Torrington who remarked upon Harcourt’s dismissal of his vegetables. “How do you hope to raise fine strong children by teaching them to forgo their vegetables in favour of cake?”

Harcourt narrowed his eyes at his friend as he sliced off a piece of the cake with his fork. “I do not see any children at this table. Nor do I expect to see any until I get family affairs in order. So at least for the time being, I can indulge as I wish.”

“Family affairs meaning me, I suppose,” Emmeline said before she could stop herself. She instantly regretted it. The conversation had put her at ease, and Emmeline had let her guard down.

The men turned their heads to look at her. Harcourt spoke to her much as their father had when she had stepped her foot out of line. “As a matter of fact, Emme, you were exactly what I was referring to. It is my duty to see you properly married, and I intend to do so. However, I do wish to pursue my own marriage one day.”

Harcourt looked as if he might say something else, but a male servant popped his head into the room. “Forgive the intrusion, Your Lordship, but there’s a letter for you at the door. The gentleman insists that you take it personally.”

Sighing, Harcourt shoved himself up from the table. “It is probably that dratted Grissom. He is forever sending me correspondences, and I have to sign for them. Excuse me.” Harcourt left the room, and Emmeline felt as though perhaps he had taken the air with him, for she could scarcely breathe from the embarrassment of the way her brother had spoken of her.

“Harcourt lacks tact. However, his mention of the season makes me dread it all the more,” Lord Torrington said, as if he had picked the words right out of her head.

Emmeline eyed him curiously for a moment before she whispered, “I know what you mean.”

“Do you really? Does any woman?” Lord Torrington’s question brought her eyes up to his face. He was eyeing her with equal curiosity. He laid his fork down on his plate as if he were giving her his full attention. “It seems to me that most women I meet simply cannot stop talking about the season, with its balls and parties.”

Emmeline’s finger played with the base of her wine glass. “Perhaps, then, I am not like other women. I do not think that I will enjoy it much.”

“Why is that?” He asked the question with what seemed genuine interest, but Emmeline hesitated to respond. When she made no move to explain, he continued, “I do not look forward to it simply because my family, specifically my mother, has attempted to match me with every eligible lady that can be found. Mind you that is a lot.”

She eyed him for a long moment. “And yet you have found no match. Does the fault lie with the young women or with yourself?”

To his credit, Lord Torrington did not seem offended at the question. He smiled with a light laugh. “I would say the fault lies more with myself. I simply do not have the time or energy for it. My strengths need to be focused on business at present. But my mother has set her mind that she shall have her grandchildren within two years.”

“She does not give a young lady much time, does she?” Emmeline laughed behind her hand primly.

Lord Torrington agreed with a tip of his head. “She rather thinks that breeding should be done quickly. I sometimes wonder if it would be an injustice to visit her upon some poor woman.”

It was at that moment that Harcourt came in. “That Grissom is at it again. I swear, the things he sends me through correspondence could be all settled with one quick word at our next meeting.”

“Some people like the written word,” Lord Torrington said.

Harcourt sat back down and took a sip of wine as if to settle his nerves. His eyes came to rest upon Emmeline, much to her dismay. “I do hope that you have not set your mind against finding a husband this year, Sister. It really is for the best of everyone involved.”

“I am not against finding a husband,” Emmeline assured him.

Harcourt obviously took her words as a complete agreement to be obedient, as he nodded along with her.

Emmeline let the men pick up their conversation about trade as she toyed with the chocolate cake in front of her. She was suddenly quite homesick, but it would be some time before she saw the hills of Scotland again. Emmeline drew in a soft breath, and she eyed her brother. He was indeed very much a stranger.

“Dancing with an Enigmatic Duke” is an Amazon Best-Selling novel, check it out here!

When Emmeline was summoned to London by her brother, the Earl of Pentworth, she never expected that she would have to fight for her right to choose her own match. She quickly realizes that he is willing to sell her off to the first man who offers. She knows she has to act fast! The answer to her problems comes when she makes an elaborate plan with her brother’s closest friend to pretend to be courting. Having the future Duke interested in her will certainly make her more attractive to other potential suitors. What happens though when this unexpected friendship blossoms into something greater, possibly a match made in heaven?

Lord Nash Torrington is beset by matches that his mother insists are splendid, but all he really wants is to focus on his business endeavors. However, it is obvious that his mother will not be satisfied until Nash is properly married off whether he likes it or not. When his best friend’s beguiling sister arrives in London, Nash sees a golden opportunity that might just solve both of their problems. Things don’t always go according to plan though and he finds himself surprisingly stricken with Emmeline’s wit and unique beauty. Will he be courageous enough to declare his true feelings?

Waltzing across ballroom after ballroom together, Emmeline and Nash will quickly find it hard to believe their courtship is a scheme. Will they be able to make their dreams come true and marry for love?

“Dancing with an Enigmatic Duke” is a historical romance novel of approximately 80,000 words. No cheating, no cliffhangers, and a guaranteed happily ever after.

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15 thoughts on “Dancing with an Enigmatic Duke (Preview)”

  1. Your story is nicely set up—young women, being ‘put on the market’ by a brother consumed with business. Does he NEED her to marry for HIS financial health? Why does he have his friend Nash present at this first family dinner—-is he hoping for a match between the two? Or is he so uninterested in his sister that he does not want a private meal with her? Of course, Nash DOES seem a nice young man……it will be interesting to watch as the story unfolds

  2. Your story is well set up: young woman whose brother intends for her to marry ‘forthwith’—to get her off his hands, no doubt. Nash, an interesting character to be brought into the story so soon—-is he being set up with Emmaline, or is Harcourt so uninterested in Emmaline that he does not want a private first dinner to reacquaint himself with his sister? And why is Nash urging a partnership with Harcourt—who needs it-Nash or Harcourt per Nash’s insight into his situation? Readers will become involved quickly in this story.

  3. The beginning of the story is enough to draw you in so that you want to know more. I am hooked and I want to find out if Emmerline and the Duke are fated to be together. Since she is an independent lady, I am curious as to how she and her brother will deal with each other. I want the rest of the story.

  4. Truly enjoyed the preview for “Dancing with the Enigmatic Duke” and will find it hard to wait for the full publication. Thanks for the initial peek.
    AJ R

  5. Ooo…the plot thickens…
    Why this mereger of 2 shipping fleets?
    What’s the real reason for Harcourt wanting Emme married( seems rushing but not in an obvious way?
    Is Lord Torrington a wolf in sheep’s clothing??
    Hmmmmm…..Will have to read this to find out , yes??!!

  6. I thoroughly enjoyed the preview of Dancing with an Enigmatic Duke.
    I can’t wait to read this novel. My favorite read is a romantic historical novel and I feel this is going to be one I will read more than once.

    Thank you for the preview.

  7. A fast moving story and dialogue with interesting character interaction. Seems intriguing. Just wonder though, about the plumbing or lack of it at that period. Would you talk about running a bath?

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