The first title in the Bachelors of British Nobility series.
Miranda’s father has left her inheritance under the trusteeship of a Duke of England? Miranda can scarcely comprehend what happened. Did her father not realize this is the twenty-first century? She is certainly capable of managing her own money. More importantly, she needs that money to start the hat business she’s always dreamed of, and to keep her family together.
Worst of all, the Duke of Devonwood is an imperious, modern-day tycoon who insists he can manage her money better than she can.
If Miranda can’t prove herself indispensable to her step-family, they will desert her when they complete their planned move to England. She can’t let that happen, not only because she loves them, but also because they are the only family she has.
Miranda is not about to sit home in New York City and let some arrogant Duke tell her what she can do with her own money. Luckily, she’s determined, hard-working, and maybe a touch devious. She vows to do whatever it takes to foil the Duke…
Which may include skinny-dipping, flirting with his half-brother, faking illness, and befriending his half-sisters.
Which can not include falling in love.
The Duke of Devonwood doesn’t want more dependents. With an entire dukedom to run, plus his father’s second family to manage, he has more than enough people hanging on his coattails. But this headstrong American woman, Miranda, doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. In fact, she soon has most of his other dependents conniving with her—and against him.
He could handle the problem…if only she weren’t so enticing.
The Duke’s step-mother already has a bride picked out for him.
Someone may be stealing Miranda’s inheritance.
The Duke has his own secrets.
And the biggest problem they each face…is battling their own desires.
Reviews: “I really loved this book, I don’t know how many times I can say it, it kept me entertained all the way through.” Heather Andrews on Goodreads
“Definitely a fun read for lovers of romance!” Joy on Amazon
“The Duke of Devonwood by Carly Carson was a wonderful contemporary romance.” Mom of 4 on Amazon
Disappointment knifed through Miranda. What kind of man walked away from an erection and a willing woman? Well, to be honest, she wasn’t willing to actually have sex with Devonwood, at least not right at this moment. Maybe he sensed that.
Or maybe the duke wasn’t attracted to her. The knife twisted deeper at that thought. A thought she didn’t want to examine too closely. She was doing this whole game just to get the money she and Sharmie needed to carry on with their lives. Money that was legally theirs. So it didn’t matter if he wasn’t interested in her. She just needed to bug him enough that he wanted to send them on their way.
Therefore, she couldn’t allow him to simply walk away from her. She pushed herself to her feet.
The duke frowned at Miranda from across the room, his black brows drawn together fiercely. “Damn it,” he said. “I’m not doing this.” But something else burned in the back of his gray eyes. Desire. She could work with that.
She sauntered across the room, rose to her tiptoes and pressed herself lightly against his whole frame. One brief touch and then she stepped away. “Your body’s not saying no.”
“My body doesn’t have as much sense as that piece of paper you’re holding,” he snapped.
Miranda smiled, though she could feel that the smile didn’t reach her eyes. She didn’t exactly enjoy pursuing a man whose interest was, at best, superficial. “You know how to get rid of me,” she purred. She reached out and ran a finger down his shirt front, starting at his collar bone, traveling over one nipple, and further down over his hard abdomen. She shivered, and her own nipples beaded tightly.
He grabbed her finger, and moved it off himself.
“Enough!” he barked. “I told you last night, I have no intention of hooking up with someone who is in a position of dependency on me. That offends every standard of civilized behavior.”
She didn’t dare to touch him again. His voice was cold, his eyes furious, and his entire body stiff and pulsing with something unnameable that crackled fiercely all around him—a potent mixture of desire and fury and frustration.
But she did lean subtly closer, inhaling his scent– all hot male. “It doesn’t offend me,” she said softly.
His nostrils flared, his hands jerked out of his pockets, and he grabbed her. He yanked her close, and then his mouth came down hard on hers.
She didn’t have time to breathe a sigh of relief. She didn’t have time to breathe at all.
Her head fell back and one of his hands clasped it to hold her still. His tongue filled her mouth instantly, probing and sucking and pulling her into a dizzying whirlpool of desire. She pressed up against him as tightly as she could get. When that wasn’t enough, she rubbed her whole body against his.
He groaned, a deep sound that registered dimly. But it meant that those higher pitched whimpers were coming from her. She couldn’t stop them. She felt the crispness of his cotton shirt under her fingers, and then the rough silkiness of his hair as she raised her arms to wrap them around his shoulders. She clutched him tighter.
The truly alarming thing was the sense of rightness she felt in his arms. Just like last night, the physical sensations were overwhelming. But they were only part of the story. She wanted to be right here, with him, regardless of the fact that they weren’t going to have sex. His arms gave her a sense of security, and she wanted to give him the same sense of ease and pleasure, aside from sex. If he had worries, she wanted to soothe them away. If he needed advice, she wanted to be a sounding board.
Oh, she hadn’t known what she was doing when she started this. But she couldn’t stop it. One of his hands was on her butt, cupping her, kneading her, until he finally flattened his hand against her and simply pressed her against him.
Faintly, in the back of her mind, she knew she had to call a halt. In a few more minutes, they’d be naked and rolling on the floor. But she needed just a bit more. She opened her mouth wider, all but begging him to move deeper into her.
He obliged, and it was his breath she heard panting when he lifted his head. He stepped back from her, dropping his hands as if they’d been scorched.
“Your little ploy isn’t going to work,” he said, his voice hoarse.
“Ploy?” She fought for self-control, determined not to let him see the effect he had on her. “Maybe I think you’re the hottest thing since fire was invented.”
He stared down at her, his gaze scorching her. “As it turns out, we are combustible together. Who knew?” He ran one hand through his hair, that she’d thoroughly mussed. She didn’t think he was quite as calm as he was pretending to be.
“I knew.” She cast about for some kind of explanation to give him. God forbid he should guess at the emotions she was battling. “Power is such an aphrodisiac,” she finally said. Let him think that was what her response was about.
He barked out a short laugh. “That’s blunt. Luckily, I’m well-hardened against the charming ways of women. But I’ll enjoy watching your efforts.”
“Why are you so angry?”
“I told you I wasn’t interested. But you’re continuing to push me.”
The piece of paper with the budget on it crackled under her feet as she stepped back. “You sound like a virgin in a Regency novel.”
He shook his head. “Learn how to accept no for an answer.” Snapping his fingers at the dogs, he opened the French doors, and strode out into the garden.
Miranda proceeded more slowly out of the office wing. She should have expected that the duke, experienced at fending off wannabe brides, would not fall into her clutches like a ripe peach. She wasn’t discouraged though. She’d just have to work harder, be bolder, take more risks. If she were perfectly honest with herself, she was hurt that he wasn’t as affected by their kisses as she was. However, since she wasn’t planning to actually have sex with him, it had to be good that he was willing to call a halt before their kisses went too far.
She could set her next trap without worrying that the situation would get out of hand.