The Duke of Dark Desires
The Wild Quartet # 4
The Wild Quartet # 4
By: Miranda Neville
Releasing December 30th, 2014
Wanted: Governess able to keep all hours…
Rebellious Julian Fortescue never expected to inherit a dukedom, nor to find himself guardian to three young half-sisters. Now in the market for a governess, he lays eyes on Jane Grey and knows immediately she is qualified-to become his mistress. Yet the alluring woman appears impervious to him. Somehow Julian must find a way to make her succumb to temptation … without losing his heart and revealing the haunting mistakes of his past.
Desired: Duke skilled in the seductive art of conversation…
Lady Jeanne de Falleron didn’t seek a position as a governess simply to fall into bed with the Duke of Denford. Under the alias of Jane Grey, she must learn which of the duke’s relatives is responsible for the death of her family-and take her revenge. She certainly can’t afford the distraction of her darkly irresistible employer, or the smoldering desire he ignites within her.
But as Jane discovers more clues about the villain she seeks, she’s faced with a possibility more disturbing than her growing feelings for Julian: What will she do if the man she loves is also the man she’s sworn to kill?
“Let me make myself plain, Mother—”
He never got the chance. At that moment, Captain Lowell and the Misses Osbourne arrived and Julian lost control of events.
“Come in and greet His Grace, my loves,” his mother said. “Your brother’s become a great man since you last saw him.”
They stood in a row, looking nervous. Good. He’d see if he could turn alarm into fright.
“Ladies,” he said, coming forward the better to loom over them, and staring down the considerable nose he’d inherited from his father.
Two of them, younger versions of their mother, curtseyed with reasonable poise. The middle sister, whom he’d last seen as a tiresome little girl—and tried to ignore—scowled at him. The image of the late, unlamented Osbourne, she appeared to have inherited her father’s opinion of her half brother. Good. She might be an ally in foiling their mother’s plans.
“It’s a joy to see all my children together under one roof again,” Julia said. She turned to her new husband with a winning smile. “Did you have the girls’ luggage brought in, Elijah?”
“You’ll tell your servants which rooms your sisters are to have, yes, Julian?”
“Mother! You can’t leave us here,” said the plain sister. What the devil was her name? Fiona? No, Fenella. “The duke doesn’t want us and we don’t want to stay.”
“Quiet, Fenella.” Julia turned to her son. “Will you tell your sisters that now you are a duke, you refuse to care for your own flesh and blood?” She sighed gustily. “It grieves me you should be an example to my poor girls of the terrible things that good fortune and high rank can do to a man.”
Julian had forgotten his mother’s ability to induce guilt like no one he had ever met. His resentment swelled even as his resolution weakened.
“You father would be shocked to see you grown so proud,” she said sorrowfully, and he knew he was a dead man.
Although this is the fourth book in the series, it can be read as a standalone. Julian is charming and most definitely not a proper duke, as he repeatedly assures Jane Grey. Jane Grey is more than the governess she claims to be, but fits the role quite nicely. Their story is slow building, but well worth the time. I kept wondering how long their secrets would stay hidden and how badly their relationship would be damaged once they were revealed. Julian's sisters are great and I hope to have the pleasure to read their stories someday.
eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
MIRANDA NEVILLE grew up in England before moving to New York City to work in Sotheby’s rare books department. After many years as a journalist and editor, she decided writing fiction was more fun. She lives in Vermont. She loves hearing from readers and may be reached through her website.