Blurb: Grippingly suspenseful and romantic, CALL ME DUCHESS is one young woman’s stunning journey to find love in 1870s London while a dashingly handsome chaperone, a heinous villain, and her own lofty aspirations stand in her way.
Left penniless by their father, Marguerite Wiggins and her sisters must find husbands during the London season or find work as governesses by season’s end. Determined to become the next Duchess of Wallingford, Marguerite must make the difficult decision between following her heart or attaining her lifelong dreams and ambitions as a depraved rapist seeks to make her his next victim.
Ah, the London Season—how glamorous, how debauch!
Staring at his image in the gilded mirror on top of the marbled staircase, the nobleman adjusted his black mask over his eyes and smiled with approval while surveying the fine-looking picture he presented. As usual, his appearance was faultless. There was not a hair out of place. It was time to make his grand entrance, but he couldn’t help but linger a while longer as he looked over the banister at the massive ballroom below.
The magnificent Bentley House boasted the most exquisite of ballrooms, and tonight the festooned and tinseled room did not disappoint. What would the London Season be without the Dowager Duchess of Wallingford’s annual masquerade ball, held every year at the commencement of the Season?
He had looked forward to it for months.
His heart pounded with anticipation as he slowly descended the staircase, his keen eyes surveying the magical grandeur before him.
There she was now—the bejeweled and crusty dowager, dressed in black silk and lace, smiling at her doting son, the Duke of Wallingford. The duke’s escort, Lady Lorena Bonner, giggled and blushed while speaking to Lord Christopher Jackman, who looked more enamored by her than ever.
Entering the room, the nobleman recognized Lord and Lady Hardwood and their delectable daughter, Samantha, from last year’s Season. He accepted a flute of champagne from one of the numerous silver trays being passed around by uniformed waiters. He glanced at the dance floor and noticed the Countess of Salesbury waltzing with a young dandy while her aged husband watched silently. And was that not the exquisite Marchioness of Albester in lively conversation with the Earl of Deville? Where were their other halves? No doubt enjoying a lovers’ rendezvous in the terrace while their spouses conversed for all to witness.
The nobleman smirked, remembering how the four had scandalized the ton with their blatant behavior last summer. But that was last year’s gossip. He wondered what tidbit this year would bring.
The marchioness called him over, but he could not go and speak to her now. He pretended not to notice, for he had more pressing matters at hand. The nobleman was not interested in the guests he recognized. He was more fascinated by the guests he had yet to meet.
Looking to his side, he observed a large group of young ladies standing by the north wall. So many of them! Giggling and hoping they’d be noticed. This year’s pretty pickings—such beautiful, dainty flowers just waiting to be plucked. Where would he start? Knocking back the champagne with one quick gulp, he headed toward them.
The London Season—how glamorous, how debauch, indeed! The time of year when the upper crust departed from their country manors and brought their young daughters to London to partake in the marriage mart, all anxiously hoping the young debutantes would meet eligible bachelors from good families such as theirs.
He wondered which one he would rape tonight.
Bio:Born in Havana, Cuba, Maggie Dove is a happily married housewife and mother of two, who has lived in the U.S. since she was five. As the granddaughter of a famous Cuban writer and publisher, writing is in her blood. Her family owned one of the oldest newspapers in the Americas. She’s had twenty-six of her letters to the editor published in The Miami Herald. ANGEL OF WINDWORD is her first novel, and the first of the WINDWORD trilogy. CALL ME DUCHESS, the prequel to ANGEL OF WINDWORD and the story of two characters from her original manuscript, is set in 1870 England. At this time, she is writing her third novel, THE ENGLISH MARQUESA. The last of the Windword Trilogy is set in 1870 Spain and it also involves a member of the Kent family.