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THE DUKE’S BRIDE, Regency Brides #1

A fiercely loyal lady, along with her brooding duke come head-to-head in a battle of wills! An unforgettable regency romance from New York Times Bestselling Author Joanne Wadsworth.

He must steal a lady…then steal her love.

Desiring a man and never being noticed as more than his best friend’s little sister has Lady Ellie Trentbury finally consigning herself to the truth. She must move on, and preferably with a man who lives far away from her home in London where she need never be reminded of the duke who stole her heart. An elopement with an honorable American shipping merchant sounds perfect.

The Duke of Ashten has no choice but to bound into his best friend’s carriage when he discovers little Ellie is inside and intent on eloping with a man to Gretna Green who she barely knows. He can’t allow her to make such a terrible mistake, yet convincing her might mean giving into his desire for the golden-eyed enchantress who has followed him around since he was a lad.

Her pouty lips and bountiful charms can no longer be ignored, only convincing her of the truth of his intentions will mean jeopardizing both his sanity and a lifelong friendship as well.

The Duke’s Bride, #1
The Earl’s Bride, #2
The Wartime Bride, #3
The Earl’s Secret Bride, #4
The Prince’s Bride, #5

Exclusive excerpt:

Ellie had always wished for such a moment as this, and since this might be the only opportunity she ever had with Ashten, she placed her gloved hand in his and showed her ready acceptance with her actions.

“You are far too trusting.”

“You would never hurt me.”

“Let’s hope not.” Gently, he turned her hand over and finger by finger, tugged on the soft silk until he’d removed her glove then done, dropped it onto the bench beside him and brought her palm to his mouth. With one warm and incredibly soft kiss against her skin, the midnight blue of his eyes twinkling bright, he asked, “Are you ready?”

“Is there anything I need to do during this disrespectful kiss?”

“No, not a thing.” As the opening notes of a waltz floated toward them, he rose and drew her to her feet, then slowly, carefully, he pulled her into his arms.

“I can’t believe we’re about to dance.”

“And kiss.”

“Yes, that too.” She placed her gloved hand on his shoulder, her ungloved hand still held firm in his. Never had she ever danced this close to a gentleman before. Six inches was the required etiquette, and there was less than three inches between them right now. “You look dashing, as if you’ve dressed for this ball tonight, then chose to remain indoors.”

“Since we’re being honest, I was extremely tempted to come.” He swept her around the inner circle of his gazebo, his hand firm on her waist and his limp barely noticeable. “Did you have to dance”—he cleared his gruff throat—“with quite so many men tonight?”

“Yes, but I much prefer dancing here with you right now.” Her legs wobbled. Was Ashten truly going to kiss her? Perhaps he was simply testing her, to see if she really did have a suitor she intended on eloping with. If he was, then she’d have to take great care.

“There’s an allure to a disrespectful kiss. Do you want to know what it is?” He leaned in closer, his breath whispering across her lips.

“Tell me.” She sucked in a breath, her heartbeat thundering in her ears.

“It’s called the danger that awaits with the conclusion of that kiss. Does one simply stop, or does one continue with a second disrespectful kiss?”