When Persephone Lancaster receives a marriage proposal from the ill-tempered Duke of Kielder, she refuses, and then reconsiders. The obscene sum of money he’s offering Persephone would save her family from ruin. With her characteristic optimism, she travels to the far reaches of Northumberland to wed a greatly feared stranger. Lodged deep in a thick forest infested with wild dogs, the Duke’s castle is as cold and forbidding as the Duke himself, a man with terrible scars on his body and his soul. But the Duke’s steely determination to protect his heart at all costs is challenged by his growing attachment to his lovely and gentle bride. With caring persistence, Persephone attempts to pierce the Duke’s armor and reach the man beneath. Yet he cannot tolerate such exposure, and his repeated rejections take their toll. But when grave danger arises, the Duke realizes he must face the risk of revealing his true feelings or lose the woman he cannot live without.
I can say that I am an official fan of Sarah M Eden’s – she can do no wrong writing historical’s. This time I wanted to check out more about the Duke of Kielder.
Adam grasped him by the throat once more and, his face an inch from Smith’s, growled out, “I am the Duke of Kielder. I am the law.”
“Adam?” “Yes, dear?” Dear? Adam sat stunned for a moment that such a word had come so naturally to his lips. “Please stay with me,” Persephone whispered. He didn’t know what brought on the impulse, but he leaned over and kissed her lightly on the forehead, lingering a moment longer than necessary. “If you will stay with me,” he answered silently.
He actually winked at Persephone as if to say, “I told you.” “You had better be suffering from an uncontrollable muscle tic,” Adam grumbled, still seemingly concentrating on the food on his plate. “Completely uncontrollable.” Harry’s smile belied his words. “Good. Otherwise I would think you were just winking at my wife.”
Adam crossed to her bed and pulled off the blanket. He reached her at the window and draped it over her shoulders. “Adam?” Persephone looked up at him, so obviously confused. “You should have come in when the wolves first started.” Adam made his way to the door. “Come in?” she repeated. “And curled up on the bed.” He stopped at the door and turned toward her, waiting. “You knew?” Persephone whispered, her face paling noticeably. “I . . . I thought . . . I thought you were asleep.” “Asleep?” Adam answered, with an ironic raise of his eyebrows. “That’s the problem.” “Problem?” “I can’t sleep.”
“I can do that, Your Grace.” The abigail apparently expected him to relinquish his duties. Adam silently shook his head, softly rubbing more blood from her ankle. “It is not seemly for a duke to be acting as a lady’s maid or a physician, Your Grace.” “Perhaps not.” Adam didn’t take his eyes from his task. “But a husband is charged with keeping his wife in sickness, is he not?” “Yes, Your Grace.” The maid sounded more confused than anything else. “Then I would venture that tending to my wife is perfectly seemly.” Lud, her ankle was terribly swollen, and tender, if her continued grimace were any indication. “It is highly unusual.” “And when has the Duke of Kielder cared what was usual?” The bones didn’t feel out of place. If anything, there might be a small crack. Persephone was fortunate in that, at least. “Yes, Your Grace.”
I love how intimidating he was – he could make the biggest man cower in a corner with his presence and threats. He way be grumpy an a sourpuss most of the time but when it comes down to it, he was entirely entertaining with his witty barbs. No one could tame this beast until Persephone came along -slowly getting him to soften which confuses him greatly as no one has ever truly cared for him like she does. It takes him a bit to warm up to the idea of him having feelings for her but in the end he finally admits them to Persephone.
“Our castle is in need of a good exploration,” he said. “I believe we should schedule one. Perhaps if you have no other plans for Christmas, you might do so then.” Artemis grinned and ran to where they stood, throwing her arms around Adam’s legs. “You’re the best duke that ever lived!” she declared. “Yes, he is.” Persephone smiled up at Adam. “Yes, I am.” Adam didn’t force down his grin. “The luckiest, at least.”
Adam pressed a kiss to her forehead. “Why did Hades go after her?” he asked in a low voice, his lips still brushing her face. She barely managed to keep breathing. “He must have loved her,” she whispered. Adam’s response emerged breathless. “He must have.”
“I am sorry, Persephone,” he whispered to her as she slept. “But I cannot let you go.”
“You will, once again, have to save me from myself. You have done that, you know.” “Saved you?” “My Persephone,” he whispered in her ear. “Do you know I would have come for you no matter how far you’d gone?” “Hades always came for Persephone,” she echoed his earlier explanation. He lightly kissed her again. “And she always returned home.” “Always,” Persephone repeated. “Always.”
A good regency read with a bit of a twist on the Hades and Persephone myth.