Colt Kingsley unexpectedly becomes the Duke of Kingston when his older brother is thrown from his phaeton and killed during a storm. Miss Aurora Fulton is a servant of her guardian when the Duke of Kingston petitions the court to gain her as his ward at his Mother's request. The Dowager Duchess wanted to take in her dear friend, Patience's daughter, and introduce her into society. Antics ensue and Aurora shows up abused and injured, Colt, ever the unfeeling Major in the King's Army, helps care for her and the two fall in love. The catch is, Colt doesn't want Aurora to be tied to an old man, but cannot stand another suitor to talk to her. Aurora enjoys tweaking Colt's temper and it backfires. A hidden figure enters Colt's life from the past and helps save the day after evil tries to drive them apart. Will these two ever be able to come together with the favor of the ton?
I am obsessed with romance and love, my brain filled with submissive heroines and dominant protectors, with loyalty and passion in their hearts. I will not allow anyone to coerce me, guilt me, or shame me, into being like them.
Here Colt has to help Rorie himself because his mother was away at a house party and he gave all the female staff the day off since there was supposed to be no one on the grounds except him.
The HOUSE of KINGSTON
Colt took the small gold and jewel handled dagger and placed the razor sharp blade between his teeth as he grasped the sleeve at her wrist with his big strong hands and rent the sleeve from wrist to shoulder with one swift motion. Aurora jumped slightly as the ripping sound startled her. Her eyes were wide as she watched his face with the blade gripped between his teeth and thought wildly how handsome he looked as he took her other sleeve and tore it from wrist to shoulder like the first.
Colt was striking with dark hair in disarray around his face, blue eyes like ice, and his features chiseled and tanned like a pirate. With his loose white shirt, Aurora could tell his tan traveled under his shirt from where it was open at his throat. Shiny black boots, black trousers, and that white shirt with the sleeves rolled up to reveal tanned and thickly muscled forearms, he fit her mental image of a pirate perfectly in this moment.
He is the most beautiful man I have ever seen, Aurora thought. She giggled suddenly causing Colt to cast her a strange look. “I was just thinking that you look like a pirate,” Aurora blurted out. Oh, I am losing my mind, she said to herself, I hurt, I am tired, and I am starving. I am too exhausted to show proper modesty, she thought. I should be dreadfully embarrassed but I hurt so much I cannot even care.
Colt raised an eyebrow at her comment but said nothing as he had been caught quite off guard. Then Aurora laughed. A laugh that was rich and low and silky, that heightened his senses and he could not help but smile back. Chuckling, he said, “I do, do I? What is it then? It is the shirt is it not?”
“Yes, and the hair too. It is very wild and pirate like in my mind."
“Well, I was not expecting you today so I suppose I did not dress or ready myself for company very well…hold on to your dress, I’m going to cut the shoulder seams."
Aurora grabbed the front of her gown and held her arms up over her bosom as Colt ran the knife through the seams and the entire dress fell slack except where she held it.
“Thank you, Colt. I appreciate your help, I do.” Aurora flashed him a beautiful smile. Then the smile faltered. “I just wish I could have done this myself."
“At your service, Miss,” he said with a bow and a smile, “now get into that hot water, it will make you feel better.”
Colt turned to the door and paused to speak to Lena quietly and sternly. There was iron in his voice when he said, “Tell no one of this, you know how people are. Charles says that you are a gentlewoman and an unmatchable quality ladies maid. Has Weston shown you your chamber?"
"Yes, it is lovely, Your Grace."
"Good. Be sure to rub that cream into the bruises every couple of hours. I had not expected it to be so bad. The water has cooled some and I will send Fritter to bring up a fresh kettle. I am concerned about that cut. Without a doctor nearby or Mother or Mrs. Mayberry here, I will need to see it after her bath. I think she will fall asleep after she's eaten and I will send up some wine to relax her and ease the pain. I will be back soon to see how she is."
Aurora watched Colt talking with her maid at the door of her chamber and noted that he was courteous to his servants and treated them well. He turned his back to her for a moment and as he turned she felt his eyes upon her, but she could not discern his glance. She felt strangely comfortable sitting there with her shredded dress and shoulders, arms, and back bare under his gaze. All she knew as he turned and strode from the room, was that while the fire had not yet warmed the still chilly room, she had a pink flush heating her cheeks.