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Duke Around and Find Out (The Wayward Yorks, Book 5) Ebook

Duke Around and Find Out (The Wayward Yorks, Book 5) Ebook

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In the heart of London, notorious rake and society scandal, Lord Leo Wyndham, finds himself entangled in an unexpected venture. Determined never to succumb to the chains of matrimony, Leo, known for his devilish charm and disregard for social norms, takes on the challenge of transforming the demure and overlooked Miss Arabella Hall into the toast of the ton. A wealthy heiress with a hidden past in service, Arabella, despite her beauty, languished in the shadows of high society. With a devil-may-care attitude, Leo embarks on a mission to showcase her allure, to thrust her into the spotlight.

As Leo delves deeper into his self-imposed mission, he finds himself ensnared by Arabella’s quiet strength and genuine spirit. Unbeknownst to him, his heart betrayed his aversion to commitment, and he longs for more than just a matchmaking triumph. However, Arabella, acutely aware of Leo’s reputation, remains oblivious to his growing affections. Convinced that he could only see her as a social project, she’s resolved to secure a suitable match for herself, all the while grappling with the stigma of her humble origins. Amidst the glittering ballrooms and scandalous escapades, a tale of unexpected love unfolds, challenging both hero and wallflower to defy societal expectations and embrace the possibility of a future they never imagined.

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Arabella Hall excused herself from the after-dinner formalities at the Duke and Duchess of Ruthven's first entertainment and hurried to her room. She quickly changed into another gown. The bodice on her new dress far too low for good company. The mask, and bold rouge on her lips, set the scene for what she needed to accomplish. She glanced in the mirror, nodding at her reflection. She appeared as a woman who was not herself, and should not raise any suspicions if she played the game correctly.
Lady Lupton-Gage would send her packing back to Brighton if she knew what she was about. But what choice did she have? Her brother, a nincompoop with very little common sense, needed her help and had sought her out in town, begging to be saved from certain death.
Not that she thought Lord Leo Wyndham, future Duke of Carnavon, would do as he threatened. He was nobility, a gentleman after all. He could not kill anyone without repercussions.
Arabella used the servant stairs, pleased that they were busy having dinner belowstairs while the family upstairs enjoyed their brandy and cigars and idle conversation in the drawing room. She wished to stay and celebrate Evie's success in town these past weeks, but one night would not hurt.
She needed to steal into Lord Wyndham's library during his scandalous party and burn the vowel of debt before he could use it further against her brother.
It took her only a short time to make the brief journey across Mayfair, the marquess’s house glowing with light and bursting with people trying to gain entry. All of whom were disguised in cloaks and masks. Was this entertainment so very risqué?
She had heard from her maid that it was, and yet, surely it could not be so very bad.
Little did Arabella realize how devoid of propriety the party was when she stepped into the foyer. Every room was filled with guests. The laughter, the cloying scent of perfumes that made her eyes water, was almost enough to send her turning about and leaving.
But she could not.
She pushed her way into the ballroom and, from the threshold, could see Lord Wyndham, the only one without a mask, toast his guests, urging the orchestra to play louder, the dancing to be more vibrant, the kissing…
People were kissing? In public?
Arabella schooled her features. Wearing a mask only covered so much of her face, and she was already feeling out of place and the odd one out.
What kind of party was this?
She knew Lord Wyndham to be a scoundrel, a man of loose morals and determined never to settle, but this ball, or whatever it was one called such an event, was like nothing she had ever seen.
It was no wonder her brother was so frightened of the man. He was unhinged.
She walked about the house. At some point, a guest handed her a glass of champagne, and she thanked them, not that she would drink it, but it certainly made her appear as if she were involved with the gaiety.
A closed door caught her eye, and moving toward it, she turned the handle, relieved to find it unlocked. She quickly whipped inside, and as she suspected, the room was the library. The large, mahogany desk and wingback chair behind it told her it was his lordship's private space.
With little time to lose, she raced to the desk and wrenched the many drawers open, searching for the vowel of debt her mindless brother had signed.
Why had he gambled what he did not have? "Stupid, silly clown," she mumbled before wrenching open another drawer with more force than was needed.
"Do be careful with the desk, my dear. It is an antique."
Arabella took in the man who had spoken. Her mouth moved, and yet no words came forth. What would she do?
She glanced toward the window and debated throwing herself through it as he came toward her, shutting each drawer before crossing his arms and staring at her with amusement.
Did he think it comical he had caught her? The man was even more peculiar than she thought.
"Care to enlighten me as to why you're trying to steal from me? I do not take kindly to thieves."
She swallowed, wet her lips, and did the only thing that came into her mind. She ran.

Main Tropes

  • Friends to Lovers
  • Rogue vs Wallflower
  • Regency Romance
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