Ravaging the Duke (Mayfair Series #2)
by J R Salisbury
Genre: Historical Romance
Inheriting the title from his murdered father, Alec finds just how dire things really are. His father’s gambling obsession left the family with nothing but the entailed properties. The ton views him as a disgraced duke. Alec, now The Duke of Wexwood finds himself in need of a bride. One with a substantial dowry. It needn’t be a love match as Alec doesn’t believe love exists except in rare cases. He needs a woman who can help him rebuild the dukedom.
Margaret Douglas is an American recently arrived back in England. She has fulfilled her late father’s wishes by returning with her mother. Now she needs to find a husband. One who won’t squander her dowry, someone who’ll see her as an equal. Introduced by her cousin, the Earl of Norwood, Margaret and Alec come to an agreement which quickly turns into a passionate romance. Lurking in the background are secrets—ones Margaret can’t hide from the duke. Secrets she brought from America. What will happen when Alec finds out what she’s hiding?
Ah, those aristocrats in dire need of padding their coffers!
I do always enjoy those plots, as they are always entertaining and full of surprises. Ravaging the Duke is really no different and it was truly a lovely read!
I really enjoyed both main characters Alec and Margaret, though they came together easily I have to say; it was what came after that was the most fun for me. They both had complex backstories, and even with that tended to be really great people.
For me, what made it great was the fact that we did not focus too much on them getting together in the first place, but on them building their marriage and relationship whilst dealing with exterior forces.
I loved that the classic historical romance was not so classic after all and focused on the bits that often happen after the last page. That really stood out for me.
Ravaging the Duke was book 2 of a series, and TBH I did not read book 1. I will have to go back and check it out. So I cannot tell you if there was a crossover but I can confirm that you can read the book as it felt like a standalone for me. I read it quickly and easily and I did not feel at all that I was out of the loop on some things.
So there you have it, if you are in the mood for a lovely romance, then I am going to recommend Ravaging the Duke to you all. For me, these are always the books that I gravitate towards when I had a long stressful day and I need something to get my mind off things and relax.
I am very sure you are going to love Ravaging the Duke as much as I did and I would love to hear from you, once you have read it.
“Where is it we’re going?” She asked wanting to change the subject.
“You’ll see. It’s a place I like to go when I want to be alone. No one knows of it. Not even my valet.”
“Oh my. Do you go there often?”
“I have spent quite a bit of time there since all this mess with my father occurred. You see I always knew I’d be duke one day, just never like this.”
She reached over and touch her gloved hand to his thigh. “I think you’re handling the matter with grace and dignity, Alec. You’re making a concerted effort to bring the dukedom out of ruins. More than a lot of men would have done. With our marriage it shall begin to thrive once again.”
He gathered his reins in one hand and took her smaller hand in his. “I’m so lucky to have found you Maggie. You are exactly what I need in my life. Always.”
“And I you, Alec. I can’t wait to start our life together.”
“It won’t be long.”
They walked along for a few minutes until they came across another path. This one smaller. Alec knew he was playing with fire, but he wanted her to not only see the place and experience it’s tranquility, he wanted to make it their private place when they visited Kent.
“Follow me. I will tell you the path narrows. I’ve tried to keep it cut back as best I can without alerting others that this is where I go.”
“I’ll be fine. You just lead,” she replied smiling.
Slowly they wound their way through the wooded area. The path was narrow, just wide enough for one horse. He said nothing, though his mind was running wild with thoughts. Thoughts of lust and making Margaret his today. He quickly shook that idea from his head. Where had it come from. He needed to go slow with her, save the best until last. When they were man and wife. Finally they reached a small clearing. He stopped, dismounting from the gelding. He tied the animal to a tree before turning his attention to his betrothed.
Margaret however was already on the ground, having slid off the saddle herself. He smiled at her independence. Most woman would have waited to be properly assisted. She just took upon herself not to wait.
She handed him the reins. He led the mare to a nearby tree and tied her as well. He then turned his attention to Margaret, taking her hand in his.
He led her to a small clearing at the edge of the tree line. It overlooked the estate and manor house. He heard her gasp at the sight.
“It’s something isn’t it? I came here as a child and tried to imagine what it would be like to be in my father’s position. Lord and master of all that I saw.”
“It’s beautiful, Alec. I’m surprised no one’s ever done anything with it.”
“I doubt my own father ever came up here. Though he loved to ride, he didn’t like going off the main paths.”
“Pity. It’s such a spectacular view. I can see why you come here.”
“Yes. I can sit here unseen by anyone. It’s always given me great comfort to come here,” he replied. Under one arm he carried a blanket he’d attached to his saddle. Nothing unusual about it, he always brought one when he rode. “Would you like to sit for a while?”
He unfurled the blanket just inside the trees. They could still sit and look out at the countryside below them. Alec however wanted more. He took Margaret’s hand and helped her sit down. Then he joined her, sitting close enough their bodies touched.
Alec had to remember to breathe. This woman had a electrifying effect on him. He couldn’t explain it but she wasn’t going to be an ordinary wife. He knew that from the day he first saw her.
He peered down at her and smiled before turning his attention back on the landscape before them. He tried to point out the various outbuildings and gardens, giving her a small history of each. His heart and cock however weren’t into it. He needed more. He needed to taste her.
His lips met hers and she willingly opened to him. Her mouth opened and he pushed his tongue inside. She met him and the two explored the other. Alec wanted more and ran his hand along her breast.
He took his hand and forced one breast from her corset. He pinched the deep pink nipple between his fingers, his lips kissing her creamy skin.
Gently he guided her to lay down on the blanket as he continued to kiss her neck and breast. He took her nipple in his mouth and sucked. She squirmed at the sensation. The lady wanted more.
His hand founds it’s way between her legs as he spread them wider. He ran his fingers up her inner leg causing a long sigh to come from her. He spread her damp folds apart, tracing them as though to remember everything about her. She was wet with want and need. Did he dare?
He inserted a finger into her channel. She was so hot and tight. Alec inserted a second and waited for a moment. He began to move his fingers in and out of her. To his surprise she raised her hips to meet him.
“Alec…” She moaned.
“Are you alright? Should I stop?” He asked as he quickened his pace.
“Don’t you dare quit.”
About the Author
Amazon bestselling author J R Salisbury divides her time between the U.S. and U.K. with her aging Yorkie, Rocco.
When in the U.K. she finds herself shrouded in history, making an author’s imagination come alive.
J R writes Victorian era and Scottish historical romance with perfectly imperfect heroes and strong, sassy heroines.
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