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The Lord’s Desperate Pledge
(The Duke’s Pact Book 3)
A Steely Lady and a High Stakes Lord
Book 3 in The Dukes’ Pact Series—six dukes take dire steps to force their heirs to marry, while those heirs fight just as hard to remain bachelors. A sweet regency romance.
Lily Farnsworth is a resourceful lady. As well she should be, her father has spent years dragging the family’s estate from the edge of ruin and she’s always had to make do with little. A proper season and the gowns to go with it seem entirely out of reach. That is, until Lily discovers she has a particular skill at piquet. Pound by pound, she gathers the funds to pay her own way. Her aunt is delighted to play host in her modest London house and squire her niece to parties. Everybody is certain that one season will be enough to see Lily married well and with the means to help her sisters.
Hayes Summersby, Viscount Ashworth and heir to the Duke of Dembly, may be in line to inherit a great estate, but that estate has recently tottered on the brink of collapse. He’s only rescued it through his skill at a card table. He’s a renowned gambler and he’s got firm opinions about it—the foremost being that women do not have the steady nerves for large bets. That is, until Miss Farnsworth challenges him in Lady Blakeley’s drawing room.
An uneasy acquaintance is born and neither party would much mind never again setting eyes on the other. Hayes may be drawn to Lily’s looks, but he has no intention of marrying just yet, which suits his friends in the dukes’ pact. Lily may be struck by Lord Ashworth’s person, but she does not aim as high as a dukedom, and even if she did, the lord is far too arrogant.
Despite their mutual dislike, it will not be so easy to escape one another. As Lady Montague connives, and a certain Mr. Shine schemes, Lily and Hayes will find that their acquaintance has turned from uncomfortable to deadly.
Neither of them knows who will win the final hand.