Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂
The Duke I Marry is the third book in Cathy Maxwell’s Spinster Heiresses series and it promises to be another historical adventure into the romance pairing of Miss Willa Reverly and Matthew Addison, the new Duke of Camberly. We’re stoked to be sharing a super cute excerpt from the book today so check it out…The Duke That I Marry (Spinster Heiresses, #3) by Cathy Maxwell
Series: Spinster Heiresses #3
Also in this series: If Ever I Should Love You, A Match Made in Bed (Spinster Heiresses #2)
Publisher: Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: November 27, 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Once upon a time there were three young ladies who, despite their fortunes, had been on the marriage mart a bit too long. They were known as "the Spinster Heiresses"...
Is it wrong for a woman to want more?
Not if she is a Spinster Heiress. They do not settle. Any young miss would be very lucky to find herself promised to a man like the Duke of Camberly. However, Miss Willa Reverly has watched her friends marry for love. Camberly may be the prize of the season, but she will not be "sold" to any man. She wants his devotion or she wants nothing at all.
When is a Marriage of Convenience inconvenient?
Newly named to the ducal title, Matthew Addison is determined to discover the secrets behind Mayfield, the bankrupt estate he has inherited. He doesn't have time to coddle a headstrong heiress who is determined to ditch him over something as silly as "love." Little does he know that his questions will place her in jeopardy. Now he must do what he must to save them both.
Could it be that in running from danger they might be racing headlong into a truly unexpected fate: falling in love?
Order the Book:
The time had come.
The moment everyone had gossiped about. Willa was going to let Camberly have her because he was her husband. Giving in to him was her duty. She wasn’t truly his duchess unless they did the deed.
She experienced a pang of regret that she’d overheard his words to his sister about not loving her. Willa was practical. In spite of the marriage vows, she wouldn’t even have thought of love if it hadn’t been for Kate’s words.
Now, it seemed all she could think about. Love. Having a husband who loved her. Just as Soren loved Cassandra, and Leonie’s husband, Rochdale, all but worshipped her.
And yet, everyone envied Willa. Matt was a prize. She had become a duchess. The point game had gone to her.
So why did she feel sad?
It might have to do with the kiss in the coach. Her first kiss. She hadn’t known what she was about, but he had apparently liked it because he hadn’t stopped touching her since she’d kissed him. For most of the afternoon, when she had been with him, his hand had been at her arm or her waist, guiding her and moving her along until he’d swept her up and carried her to his bed. Willa sat up on the mattress. His bedroom furnishings were dark brown against ivory walls. The bed itself had been made for a giant. It had a massive headboard that was almost black with age. The bedclothes were a dull gold. Someone, most likely Annie or Matt’s valet, had turned down the covers.
Rather bravely, she said, “What do you want me to do?”
He’d tossed his jacket onto a nearby chair and was tugging on the knot in his neck cloth when her question gave him pause. An uncertain look came into his eye, as if he, too, was feeling his way. And then he answered, “Let me take down your hair.”
The request was unexpected—and she couldn’t imagine anything she would more dearly love. The weight of it had added to her building anxieties. “Yes, please.”
He smiled and pulled his neck cloth free to join his jacket before offering his hand. “Well then, stand.” She thought he meant the floor until he helped her balance on the mattress. This way, she was taller than he was. He wasn’t so intimidating this way. Was that his intent?
He began removing the pearltipped pins.
She held out her hand to receive them just as she did with Annie. The familiar arrangement helped her relax. “There are plain pins in there as well.”
“I will find them.” His touch was gentle, his expression intent. He reminded her of a sculptor she’d once observed working on his art. The ten sion between Willa’s shoulders and neck began to unwind. “I’ve wanted to see your hair down since the moment we first met,” he said.
“I have too much of it.” He smiled. “We shall see.”
Her gaze took in the room. This was obviously his domain. Just as she noticed when she’d visited Mayfield several months ago, there were signs of neglect and wear. A huge wardrobe took up a good portion of one wall. There was a washstand, a desk, chairs—all the usual items in a bedroom, including a privacy screen in one corner.
However, Willa’s personal effects were here. She was surprised. She had assumed she would have her own room. In fact, beyond his shaving gear, there seemed to be nothing else of Matt’s in this room. What brushes and small boxes and bottles were on the washstand belonged to her.
He had collected all the pearl pins and was now searching for the plain ones.
“I was thinking this was your room,” she said, “but my things are here.”
“This is our room.”
She looked down at him. “We’ll share the same room?” She had never heard of such a thing. Her parents had separate suites of rooms.
“You are my wife, Willa. You sleep by my side.”
“As long as our natural lives.” He pulled the last pin from her hair. It was as if that last pin held it all in place. Her hair tumbled down around her shoulders, flowing almost to her waist.
It was pure pleasure to have the weight of it off her neck. As she did every night when she took her hair down, she rotated her shoulders—and then stopped. Her breasts were at his eye level and they had his attention.
A warmth roiled deep in her lower belly and a curiosity in her mind.
His eyes had darkened with interest. He rested his hand on her waist. He raised his gaze to her. It was almost a sin for a man to have such dark lashes or such sparkling blue eyes.
“I want you, Willa. Do you understand exactly what that means?”
In this moment, it was as if they were the only two people in the world.
“I’m told to do what you tell me.” Her mother’s instruction didn’t seem daunting at all right now. “And I will, although I don’t know how good I will be at counting backward from a hundred.”
If she had popped him in the nose, he couldn’t appear more startled. “Count backward?”
Willa nodded, sinking down on the bed. She removed her kid slippers. It had bothered her to stand on the coverlet in them. “Mother suggested it. She said that way it will be all over before I know it.”
Matt burst out laughing. He sat on the bed beside her as if it was the most natural thing in the world. “Count backward?”
Willa wasn’t certain what was so funny. Should she not have told him? She nodded warily.
He caught her mood. “Please, I’m not laughing at you. I’m just . . .” He paused as if looking for a word and found it. “Charmed. I’m charmed to hear you say that. Your honesty, Willa, is a gift.” He leaned back, resting on one arm, and gently pulled her with him. “You were told to count to a hundred?”
“Backward,” Willa added. She caught her hair and pulled it over one shoulder so it wasn’t beneath her. His gaze met hers. He sobered. “My hope is that you are enjoying yourself so much, you can’t remember how to count.”
Her mother had not said anything about enjoyment. However, Cassandra had. “Is that why everyone claims you are a good lover?” An hour earlier she wouldn’t have dared to say such a thing. However, being with him—like this— seemed completely right. Why, they both were still dressed.
“Now the pressure is on,” he said in mock dismay followed by a selfdeprecating smile. “That ‘lover’ gossip is stuff and nonsense. They prattle on like that because they have nothing else to talk about. The only opinion I am interested in is yours and, together, we’ll find what pleases us both.”
That was a very nice promise. Especially the word “together.”
He stroked her hair, watching it flow through his fingers. “So lovely,” he murmured before lifting his gaze to meet hers. “Willa, kiss me the way you did in the coach.”
How could she refuse such a simple request? Willa leaned toward him. Their lips met.
And she was kissing him.
Spinster Heiresses Series
We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.
Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!