Derek Winters, the dark, sinister Duke of Blackthorne meets his match with Miss Lily Benedict!
Destitute and determined to finally be free of any man’s shackles, Lily Benedict sets out to salvage her honor. With no choice but to commit a crime that will save her from her past, she enters the home of the recluse, Derek Winters, the new Duke of Blackthorne. But entering the "Beast of Blackthorne's" lair proves more threatening than she ever imagined.
With half a face and a mangled leg, Derek—once rugged and charming—only exists within the confines of his home. Shunned by society, Derek is leery of the hauntingly beautiful Lily Benedict. As time passes, she slips past his defenses, reminding him how to live again. But when Lily's sordid past comes back, threatening her life, it's up to Derek to find the strength to become the hero he once was. Can they overcome the darkness of their sins to find a life of love and redemption?
“I don’t give a bloody hell if it is the damn Queen of England for tea and biscuits, do not darken my door.”
She stared unblinking at the door. This was William’s brother? This foul-mouthed, mannerless brute? A more rational, sensible woman would be fearful of the beast who dwelled on the other side. However, she was long past fearing a snarling, petulant duke.
The butler, Harris, looked painfully at her, his expression conveying an absolute uncertainty of how to proceed. He tried once more with his employer. “I-it is about the g—”
“If you say it is about the girl, I’ll have you hung by your ballocks.”
Oh, that was really enough. Lily reached past the servant, and ignoring his shocked gasp, she pressed the handle.
She furrowed her brow. Humph. Well, she’d not anticipated that. Lily tried again.
“Harrison, if you jiggle my damn handle once more, I’ll myself remove your hand from you body.”
A small giggle cut into the end of the duke’s vile speech and Lily whipped her head to the right. A little girl in white skirts stood at the end of the hall. The widening of her cornflower blue eyes indicated shock at being discovered. Then the giggling imp ducked back behind the wall and disappeared.
Lily gave her head a shake. What manner of place was this? Angry, shouting men. Giggling, unattended children...and those same unattended children giggling at the shouting, angry men?
Poor Harri. The man appeared one more outburst from the duke away from casting up his mornings account. Alas, Lily should have learned long ago from her own experience that ordinary people were capable of extraordinary courage.