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Vanessa Fitzwilliam is in dire straits. Her father’s death a year ago left her with a crumbling manor and a handful of old retainers relying on her for support. When the Duke of Northbridge sweeps into her life with a surprise proposal, Vanessa is tempted—but the arrogant duke believes her to be something she’s not.
Hardened by the ravages of war, Northbridge seeks a wife who will provide him with an heir but make no demands on his emotions. The scandalously experienced Vanessa, neither clinging nor innocent, seems the perfect choice. But Northbridge isn’t prepared for her reluctance to accept him, or his own fierce reaction to her beauty.
To fulfill his desires, Northbridge is prepared to be ruthless, but can he bend Vanessa to his will? Or has the Duke met his match?