For over a year, Miss Gwendolyn Parkes and the Duke of Sowrith have corresponded. At first an error, the letters quickly became something much more, a friendship forged on like minds and perhaps the hope of something more…
When Gwen is compelled by her employer to attend the duke at his Dartmoor estate, she is devastated to find her beloved friend cold and imperious, even if he is the most handsome man she’s ever seen – despite his scars.
Edward, Duke of Sowrith, has longed to meet Gwen. Arranging her passage to his estate, he is tongue-tied when confronted with her quiet beauty. All too aware of the twisted ruin of his face, he allows fear to hold him silent…until Gwen’s safety is threatened.
Finally together, they grow closer until it seems they can never again be apart – but can a commoner and a duke find a happily ever after?
Other books in the series:
SILK & SCANDAL (The Silk Series Book 1) - http://cassandradean.com/books/the-silk-series/silk-scandal/
SILK & SCORN (The Silk Series Book 2) - http://cassandradean.com/the-silk-series/silk-scorn
“Why did you write me?”
The quiet words gave him a degree of control. “I beg your pardon?”
Her tongue darted out to wet the plump flesh of her lower lip. “Why did you write me? Why did you write those letters?”
Stifling a groan, he cursed himself. Control yourself, man. “You were the one who made the error.”
“Yes,” she said. “But you didn’t need to write back.”
No, he hadn’t. Her letter had clearly been an error, addressed to her friend and full of the easy conversation of long acquaintance. He never should have read it, but he couldn’t help himself. It had been so full of life, so happy and joyous, and he’d wanted to experience that. “Because I liked them. Your letters.”
“What did you like of them?” A smile lit her face, a soft thing that seemed directed more at herself than him. “It was Etta, correct? She and her antics?”
A smile tugged at his own mouth, and he allowed it some expression but not enough to pull his scar. “No, I liked you. That is, I like you.” Heat rose along his neck.
“Oh.” A similar blush stained her skin. “Well. I like you, too.”
He couldn’t stop his smile then.
She drew in her breath.
Immediately, he wiped the expression from his face. He knew how he appeared when he forgot himself.
“Why did you stop smiling?” Confusion filled her voice.
Staring at the floor, he said, “I apologize. I know it’s grotesque.”
“What is grotesque?”
He dug his hands into the chair. “When I smile.”
“No. Edward, no—”
“Of course it is,” he said, and not even her calling him by his Christian name again lightened him. “I am scarred, Gwen. You cannot claim not to have noticed.”
“No, I have, I only—You smiled and I thought....You are so handsome, and when you smile, you are even more—” She cut herself off. A furious blush lit her cheeks.
She thought him handsome? A low boil started within him, and he could not tear his gaze from her lips.
Cassandra Dean is a best-selling, multi-published author of historical and fantasy romance. Her latest novel, SLUMBER, is part of Decadent Publishing’s Beyond Fairytales and features Cassandra’s take on Sleeping Beauty. Her next novel, SILK & SCARS, is part of her popular Silk Series, featuring Victorian Era lawyers and their happily ever after.
Cassandra is proud to call South Australia her home, where she regularly cheers on her AFL football team and creates her next tale.
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