He'll never be free...
Captured and tortured by the French, Christian Severn, Duke of Mercia, survives by vowing to take revenge on his tormentors. Before the duke can pursue his version of justice, Gillian, Countess of Greendale, reminds him that his small daughter has suffered much in his absence, and needs her papa desperately.
Until he surrenders his heart...
Gilly endured her difficult marriage by avoiding confrontation and keeping peace at any cost. Christian's devotion to his daughter and his kindness toward Gilly give her hope that she could enjoy a future with him, for surely he of all men shares her loathing for violence in any form. Little does Gilly know, the battle for Christian's heart is only beginning.
“What are your long-term plans, my lady? I ask both as Lucy’s papa and as the husband of your late cousin.” “My plans?” Gilly’s bread and butter turned to sawdust in her mouth when she saw the considering light in His Grace’s eyes. He’d ambushed her, the wretch, out here in the sunshine and beauty of a perfect summer’s day. Next Mercia would explain, politely, that he needed privacy with his daughter, and an extraneous cousin-in-law on the premises must needs be a temporary imposition. Well, damn him. Damn him and his elegant, scarred hands and his beautiful, soft voice and his lovely eyes and his kindness toward the child. Damn him for all of it. And especially for kissing her. Those gentle, nearly chaste kisses had been so…so… Gilly had lost sleep trying to describe Mercia’s kisses. One word kept careening into her awareness, no matter how stoutly she batted it away. Mercia’s kisses had been cherishing, as if Gilly were the reason he lived, the reason he’d bested demons and nightmares to return to her side. Which was balderdash. He’d meandered home from Carlton House through the park, and she was pathetic to make so much of a small late-night lapse between two tired adults. He regarded her now with an expression so far from cherishing that Gilly’s food sat uneasily in her belly. “We’ve only just arrived at Severn, Your Grace. Must we discuss plans and arrangements now?” “We must.” He picked up one of the sections of orange and held it out to her. “Please.” Please eat, or please reveal her hopes and fears, as manifest in the next year’s residential particulars? His blue eyes held an odd light, and Gilly abruptly wished she had the protection of her black silk shawl, for all the afternoon was pleasant. She took the orange section from him and popped it into her mouth. Across from her, the duke screwed up his thin lipped, elegant mouth in a grimace of impatience. “For the near term, you will stay here, my lady. We are agreed on that for the child’s sake. I’d like you to consider making your home with us permanently, though. You are in mourning, and I certainly intend to live quietly. You know this household, and I have no hostess, no lady to see to the maids and the housekeeper.” He had no one to see to him, as far as Gilly could tell, which apparently mattered to him not at all.
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THE CAPTIVE releases July 1, 2014