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Secrets of a Wedding Night

Secrets of a Wedding Night

By: Valerie Bowman | Other books by Valerie Bowman
Published By: St. Martin's Press
Published: Sep 25, 2012
Price: $7.99
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Secrets of a Wedding Night by Valerie Bowman - Romance>Historical Other

Secrets of a Wedding Night

Valerie Bowman


Young, widowed, and penniless, Lily Andrews, the Countess of Merrill, has strong opinions on marriage. When she spots a certain engagement announcement in The Times, she decides to take action. She will not allow another hapless girl to fall prey to a man—particularly the scoundrel who broke her heart five years ago. Anonymously she writes and distributes a pamphlet entitled "Secrets of a Wedding Night," knowing it will find its way into his intended's innocent hands...


Devon Morgan, the Marquis of Colton, desires a good wife and mother to his son—someone completely unlike Lily Andrews, the heartless beauty who led him on a merry chase five years ago only to reject him. When Devon's new fiancée cries off after reading a certain scandalous pamphlet, he vows to track down the author and make her pay. But when he learns it's his former fiancée Lily, he issues a challenge: write a retraction or prepare to be seduced—to find out how wonderful a wedding night can be...

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London, April 1816
Boom. Boom. Boom.
The blows on the door echoed through the foyer. Lily heard them all the way in the study where she was poring over the dismal household accounts for the hundredth time.
"I demand to see the countess," a deep male voice thundered.
Lily stopped scribbling. She glanced at Leopold, the scruffy brown terrier who sat curled on a worn cushion at her feet. "Demand? Good heavens." She shook her head. "Which one of my so-called admirers is at it today?"
Returning her attention to the ledger, she mumbled, "Who knew? Apparently, twenty-two-year-old widows are all the rage this Season. That is, twenty-two-year-old widows reportedly worth a small fortune."
Leopold cocked his head and barked. Lily bit her lip. "Or it could be a debt collector."
Evans appeared in the doorway. Lily regarded her old friend with a weary sigh. "So, which is it? A fortune hunter or a creditor?"
"My lady, Lord Colton is in the white salon. He insists upon seeing you."
Lily sat up straight. "Colton?"
"The Marquis of Colton," Evans clarified, clearing his throat.
Leopold yipped as if he recognized the name. Evans gave the dog a dubious glance indicative of the strained relationship the two had shared over the last several years.
Lily rubbed the feathered tip of her quill against her nose, her brows knitting together. "Hmm. This is an interesting development."
She was grateful Evans had been awake to answer the door. Her butler had an unfortunate penchant for falling asleep at the most unexpected times. Though she suspected the racket had roused him.
Plopping the quill back into the well, she stood and smoothed her palms down her worn, gray skirts.
"Tell Lord Colton I'll be in momentarily, Evans." She nodded, enjoying the jolt of anticipation that leaped to life in her belly.
Devon Morgan, Marquis of Colton, in her house. Well. Of course she'd relish a distraction from the depressing house accounts, but there was something else. She'd relish the distraction from the simpering fops who'd been appearing on her doorstep smelling of too much sweet cologne and desperation. Lord Colton might be trouble, but there was nothing desperate about him.
She clapped her hands and her canine companion fell into line behind her. She and Leo whisked up the back staircase. Lily squelched the little smile that popped to her lips. Oh, yes. She knew exactly why Lord Colton was sitting in her salon. Though she hadn't expected to see him quite so soon.

  • A quarter hour later, Lily made her way down the main hallway, past the tattered carpets she couldn't afford to replace. She'd changed from the threadbare dove-gray gown into the darker morning dress she saved for company.
    She drew in one last deep breath and pushed open the double doors to the white salon with both hands. She let the doors close behind her while her gaze scanned the room. It was beautifully decorated with delicate rosewood chairs, sterling silver candlesticks, and lovely antique vases filled with fresh flowers. The only room in the house so well appointed. Another concession to appearances.
    Lily squared her shoulders. The confident smile she had pasted on her face belied the nervous knot of anticipation that roiled through her belly. She folded her hands serenely—a trick her mother taught her long ago—and made her way into the room.
    Lord Colton sat in an embroidered chair, facing the window, his profile to her. He'd turned his head at the sound of her entrance. His countenance was a study in barely controlled anger. But years of breeding could not be denied. He rose to...
  • Secrets of a Wedding Night
    By: Valerie Bowman
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