Celeste Bradley - [Heiress Brides 03]

BOOK: Celeste Bradley - [Heiress Brides 03]
7.71Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Praise for
USA Today
bestselling author

Celeste Bradley

and her previous novels and series

SEDUCING THE SPY

“Thrilling up to the last page, titillating from one sexually charged love scene to the next, and captivating from beginning to end, the last of the Royal Four series displays Bradley’s ability to tell an involved, sexy story. If you haven’t yet read a Bradley novel, let yourself be seduced by the mistress of the genre!”


Romantic Times BOOKreviews

“Have you discovered the bawdy charms of Celeste Bradley? Laced with intrigue and adventure, she has quickly become a staff and reader favorite and with each book we just fall further in love with her characters. This is the final book in the superb Royal Four quartet, with her most dangerous deception yet!”


Rendezvous

THE ROGUE

“Once you’ve read a Liar’s Club book, you crave the next in the series. Bradley knows how to hook a reader with wit, sensuality (this one has one of the hottest hands-off love scenes in years!) and a strong plot along with the madness and mayhem of a Regency-set novel.”


Romantic Times BOOKreviews

“Bradley continues her luscious Liar’s Club series with another tale of danger and desire, and as always her clever prose is imbued with wicked wit.”


Booklist

“Celeste Bradley’s Liar’s Club series scarcely needs an introduction, so popular it’s become with readers since its inception . . . Altogether intriguing, exciting, and entertaining, this book is a sterling addition to the Liar’s Club series.”


Road to Romance

TO WED A SCANDALOUS SPY

“Warm, witty, and wonderfully sexy.”

—Teresa Medeiros,
New York Times
bestselling author

“Funny, adventurous, passionate, and especially poignant, this is a great beginning to a new series . . . Bradley mixes suspense and a sexy love story to perfection.”


Romantic Times BOOKreviews

“A wonderful start to a very looked-forward-to new series . . . once again showcases Celeste Bradley’s talent of creating sensual and intriguing plots filled with memorable and endearing characters . . . A non-stop read.”


Romance Reader at Heart

“Danger, deceit, and desire battle with witty banter and soaring passion for prominence in this highly engrossing tale . . . Bradley also provides surprises galore, both funny and suspenseful, and skillfully ties them all in neatly with the romance so as to make this story more than averagely memorable.”


Road to Romance

“A fantastic read . . . Bradley successfully combines mystery, intrigue, romance, and intense sensuality into this captivating book.”


Romance Junkies

THE CHARMER

“Amusing, entertaining romance.”


Booklist

“Bradley infuses this adventure with so much sexual tension and humor that you’ll be enthralled. You’ll laugh from the first page to the last . . . The wonderful characters, witty dialogue, and clever plot will have you wishing you were a Liar too.”


Romantic Times BOOKreviews

THE SPY

“Only a clever wordsmith can make this complex, suspenseful tale work so perfectly. Bradley pulls us into the wonderful world of the Liar’s Club and gives us a nonstop read brimming with puzzle after puzzle.”


Romantic Times BOOKreviews

“With its wonderfully witty writing, superbly matched protagonists, and intrigue-steeped plot, the third of Bradley’s Liar’s Club historicals is every bit as much fun as
The Pretender
and
The Impostor
.”


Booklist

“A must for readers of the Liar’s Club series and a good bet for those who haven’t yet started . . . I unhesitatingly recommend.”


All About Romance

“Ms. Bradley has an effortless style to her prose.”


The Romance Reader

“A Top Pick . . . the best of [the Liar’s Club] so far. Bless Celeste Bradley . . . She just seems to get better at it as she goes along.”


Romance Reader at Heart

THE IMPOSTOR

“Bradley carefully layers deception upon deception, keeping the intrigue level high and the tone bright . . . Readers will race through this delightful comedy of errors and eagerly anticipate the next installment.”


Publishers Weekly

“With delicious characters and a delectable plot, Bradley delivers another enticing read brimming with the mayhem and madness that come with falling in love when you least expect it. The devilishly funny double identities, witty dialogue and clever twists will captivate.”


Romantic Times BOOKreviews
(Top Pick)

“Don’t miss this second book of the Liar’s Club series. With humor, passion and mystery, it’s absolutely delightful in every way! I can’t wait for the next one.”


Old Book Barn Gazette

THE PRETENDER

“Totally entertaining.”


New York Times
bestselling author Julia Quinn

“An engaging, lusty tale, full of adventure and loaded with charm.”

—Gaelen Foley,
USA Today
bestselling author of
Lord of Ice

“Bradley certainly knows how to combine engaging characters with excitement, sensuality, and a strong plot.”


Booklist
(starred)

“Bursting with adventure and sizzling passion to satisfy the most daring reader.”


Romantic Times BOOKreviews

“A charming heroine and a dashing spy hero make
The Pretender
a riveting read . . . [E]ntertained me thoroughly from beginning to end.”

—Sabrina Jeffries,
USA Today
bestselling author of
After the Abduction

C
ELESTE
B
RADLEY

S
H
EIRESS
B
RIDES
S
ERIES

Desperately Seeking a Duke

The Duke Next Door

A
VAILABLE FROM
S
T
. M
ARTIN

S
P
APERBACKS

. . .A
ND
L
OOK FOR
C
ELESTE
B
RADLEY

S
O
THER
R
OMANCE
S
ERIES

THE LIAR

S CLUB

The Pretender

The Impostor

The Spy

The Charmer

The Rogue

THE ROYAL FOUR

To Wed a Scandalous Spy

Surrender to a Wicked Spy

One Night with a Spy

Seducing the Spy

A
VAILABLE FROM
S
T
. M
ARTIN

S
P
APERBACKS

Duke Most Wanted

Celeste Bradley

NOTE:
If you purchased this book without a cover you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher, and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”

This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, organizations and events portrayed in this novel are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

DUKE MOST WANTED

Copyright © 2008 by Celeste Bradley.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. For information address St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010.

ISBN: 0-312-93970-1
EAN: 978-0-312-93970-0

Printed in the United States of America

St. Martin’s Paperbacks edition / May 2008

St. Martin’s Paperbacks are published by St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010.

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

This book is dedicated to my sister, Cindy. Through life and loves and kids and gardens, you are always there. I love you
.

I’d like to acknowledge the fortitude and beyond-the-call patience of my wonderful editor and friend, Monique Patterson. Sorry about the stress, sweetie! I’d also like to thank my assistant, Darbi Gill, for pushing while Monique pulled. Somehow Pooh made it out of Rabbit’s door
.

Prologue

Once upon a time, on a lovely spring day in the English countryside, three tiny girls played side by side by side—cousins and future competitors.

The eldest, Sophie, watched an insect crawling across the path, squatting awkwardly so that her hem dragged in the dirt. The middle, Phoebe, sweet and unrestrained, chased a butterfly. The youngest, Deirdre, even then a stunningly beautiful infant, grabbed Sophie’s bug and ate it, ignoring Sophie’s howl of protest.

Their mothers, Sophie’s a frustrated and resentful widow, Phoebe’s a kindly but overworked vicar’s wife and Deirdre’s, an ethereal and unwell beauty, sat watching them from the shady blanket left over from their picnic.

Sophie’s mother, who was cousin to the other two, not sisters as they were, slapped irritably at something with too many legs that encroached upon her skirts. “Disgusting idea,” she muttered. “I abhor eating outside.”

Phoebe’s mother, the only woman whose hands showed the wear of actual toil, gently removed the offending creature and set it free in the grass. She smiled to see her daughter playing so joyously. “Insects or no, I think it’s delightful to sit at all.”

Deirdre’s mother fanned her pale cheeks and smiled as well. “I don’t get out enough these days. And it’s lovely to see the girls play together.”

Sophie’s mother eyed her own daughter for a long moment, then let her eyes rest on the very pretty daughters of her cousins. No one had said a word so far, but it was obvious that Sophie wasn’t going to be the beauty of the three.

No one had mentioned the Pickering trust, either. Yet how could they not be thinking, even now, that their daughters had a chance where they themselves had failed so miserably?

Oh, one sister had found a wealthy enough man, though not a duke by any means. The other had settled for a vicar! She herself had not done much better, for though her late husband had left her settled fairly if she pinched her coppers, she was no higher in life than she’d started!

No, it was up to the next generation. Sophie’s mother frowned, gazing at her child’s knobby knees and awkward movements. She’d even inherited the Pickering nose!

Was that the sort of girl a duke most wanted?

I, SIR HAMISH
Pickering, being of sound mind but ailing body, do make my last will and testament.

I’ve climbed as high as a man can, despite having twice the brains, wisdom and fortitude of the layabout aristocracy. Yet, a woman can wed as high as her looks will let her, up to a duchess if she may.

BOOK: Celeste Bradley - [Heiress Brides 03]
7.71Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Hunger by Knut Hamsun
Dark Screams: Volume Two by Robert R. Mccammon, Richard Christian Matheson, Graham Masterton
The Remnants of Yesterday by Anthony M. Strong
Mind-Body Workbook for PTSD by Block, Stanley
Demon Girl by Penelope Fletcher
Revelations by Laurel Dewey
Mindset by Elaine Dyer
Shadow Wrack by Kim Thompson