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The Disgraceful Duke by Barbara Cartland

The Disgraceful Duke

by Barbara Cartland

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Shimona was face to face with the notorious Duke of Ravenstone. She had imagined an older man with slanting eyes, arched eyebrows, a long thin nose and pointed ears. But as she looked across the room she saw not the devil she had anticipated, but a surprisingly young, extremely good-looking man.

He looked at her with an expression that made her body tremble and her heart pound wildly. Appalled by her own ecstasy, she blushed and turned from the Duke's penetrating gaze.

Shimona hires herself to pose as the bride of the nephew of the Duke of Ravenstone in order to help him gain his inheritance. It gives her a chance to gain some money to provide for her ailing actor father.
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Innocent and lovely Shimona Bardsley's father, the celebrated actor Beau Bardsley, has fallen desperately ill and yet he insists on persevering with the evening's performance as Hamlet at The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. A concerned Shimona accompanies him to the theatre where she overhears the notoriously disreputable Duke of Ravenstone, known as 'His Disgrace', offering her father the huge sum of five hundred guineas to find him an actress to play 'a part' for just two nights. Desperate to raise enough money to take her father to a warmer clime and thereby save his life, Shimona accepts the Duke's offer and finds herself reluctantly embroiled in a deception that her conscience finds hard to bear. Unchaperoned in the grand Ravenstone House in London with the devilish Duke and an imperious Clan Chieftain, Shimona is afraid, alone and in trouble. But soon, to her bewilderment and ecstasy, she finds that she is also in love.… (more)

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