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My Ruthless Beau, Dalliance and Dukes, Book 3 (Ebook)

My Ruthless Beau, Dalliance and Dukes, Book 3 (Ebook)

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In a society where duty outweighs desire, Lady Sara Cary was trapped in a loveless marriage to a man old enough to be her grandfather. When tragedy strikes, and she becomes a young widow, she's left destitute and alone. Forced to work as a ladies' companion, Sara resigns herself to a life of servitude until a lifeline appears in the form of loyal friends who help her reclaim her rightful place in society. Determined to right the wrongs of her past and rekindle the love she lost, Sara sets out on a courageous journey to win back the heart of the man she never stopped loving.

Lord Sinclair St. Auburn, now a wealthy and titled gentleman, seeks a suitable wife to secure his future. But the memory of his lost love, Lady Sara Cary, lingers like a haunting shadow. Betrayed and hurt by her hasty marriage, he harbors deep-seated resentment toward her, yet his heart still yearns for her embrace. As fate brings them together once more, Sinclair must confront his inner demons and decide whether to cling to the pain of the past or embrace a future that holds the promise of true happiness. Can he find it within himself to forgive Sara and seize the chance for a love that defies all odds?

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Lady Sara Cary's ability to speak ceased the moment her employer for the past several years told her she could remain living at her Golden Square town house for as long as she wished.
"Lady Howard, you cannot be in earnest. That is too kind and far too much charity. I could not possibly agree to such a situation," she said, unable to process such generosity.
Lady Howard waved her concerns aside as she stood and pulled on her gloves. "Do not be foolish, Sara. We're friends, and you do not need to call me Lady Howard in private. I want you to remain here. The house will otherwise be vacant, and I always think it is far better for a home to be lived in than not."
"But it is too much. As much as I thank you, I cannot be such a drain on your finances. I could never pay you back, Dorothy."
"You need not worry about the expenses. I shall keep up with those. Just as before, you shall receive a small income from me to keep this house in good condition; that is all I ask. Please do not worry about your finances. I can help you now, just as you helped me these past years. Let me be your friend. It will give you the opportunity to reenter society not as a companion, but as the dowager baroness that you are."
That was true, Lady Howard—Dorothy's—generous offer would allow her to rejoin the society she had once been part of, to go to balls and dinners, and not be concerned regarding her future. "I do not know what to say. I'm indebted to you forever for your kind heart." Tears welled in her eyes, and as hard as she tried to keep her emotions in check, they would not relent. She brushed a stray tear aside as she stood to bid Lady Howard a good day.
"No tears, Sara," Dorothy said, embracing her. "You have been my friend and companion, allowed me more freedom than I should have had, and in doing so, allowed me to fall in love with my darling husband. I can now offer you stability and security as my thanks. Please say you will accept what I'm giving you and accept it, enjoy it, and live as you ought to have done had the late Lord Cary done the right thing by you."
Sara nodded, unable to form a reply with the large knot in her throat. "Thank you," she managed to rasp out, linking arms with Dorothy and escorting her to the door. "I've been invited to the Flanders ball tomorrow evening. Will you be there?" Sara asked, hoping to have at least one ally among the ton.
"I will be there, yes, but we're traveling to our country estate the day after and will not be returning to town. Do you think you will be well enough to see out the Season without me?"
"Of course. Thanks to your generosity, I shall be very well now. And you ought to leave London, enjoy your travels as a newlywedded bride, and do not give me or London another thought."
Dorothy threw her a knowing smile that Sara could only dream of. A smile that told her of her friend's happiness, of a contented marriage full of passion and love. Sara had never known such a union, not even when she had been married to Lord Cary.
The man, fifty years older than she, barely had the energy to stand for more than five minutes, and was not romantically inclined.
She shuddered, grateful that their marriage had been of short duration, even if she had to suffer the marriage bed once a week.
"I will see you tomorrow night," Dorothy said, walking down the few front stairs of the town house before climbing into her carriage.
Sara waved her off and shut the front door, heading upstairs to her room. She supposed she could move out of the smaller apartment and make the main bedroom suite of rooms her own.
Ringing the bellpull for a maid, she soon instructed the staff to move her belongings into the larger room that overlooked Golden Square and informed them of the new arrangement.
She strolled through the house, a sense of contentment she had not felt in years pumping through her veins. How excellent Dorothy was in giving her this gift of independence and security.
How wonderful she could reenter society and enjoy her life. After all, she was only eight and twenty, too young in her estimation to be on the shelf. If Dorothy could find love at her age, perhaps so could she.
The image of Lord St. Auburn floated through her mind, and she frowned. The earl could be a thorn in her side. He had not favored her for years, and she often found him tight-lipped and scowling in her direction. He was still angry with her, and rightfully so. She was still furious with herself, but he did not know the truth. He did not understand how much she sacrificed for her family.
And now he would never know because he had not spoken a word to her in ten years, and neither would he attempt to. But that would be well enough; their past did not mean their future had to collide.
She would reenter society and make the best of her situation, find a gentleman who may love her as she deserves, and create a happy future for herself.
The past may have been cruel and unforgiving, but the future was looking bright indeed, and she would clasp her hopes with all she had and expect an excellent end to the Season.

Main Tropes

  • Enemies to Lovers
  • Past Love
  • Regency Romance
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