The Duchess and the Highwayman

4.75 out of 5
(11 customer reviews)

A duchess disguised as a lady’s maid; a gentleman parading as a highwayman.

She’s on the run from a murderer, he’s in pursuit of one.
Married off at a young age to a brutal nobleman, Phoebe, Lady Cavanaugh, longs for love—and enters into a risky affair. Framed for her husband’s murder, she flees wearing only a blood-stained chemise and is rescued by a handsome ‘highwayman’ who believes she’s Lady Cavanaugh’s maidservant.

Hugh Redding has his own reasons for hunting the man whose mission is to see the infamous and elusive Murdering Duchess hanged for murder. And Phoebe, the ‘maidservant with aspirations above her station’ might prove the very weapon he needs—once he teaches her how to behave like a lady.

Only when Phoebe mysteriously disappears does Hugh realise the real identity of the spirited wench he’d set out to tame—and the danger she’s in.

Burdened by the knowledge of his unwitting role in placing Phoebe in mortal peril, Hugh must now polish his skills as a gentleman, not only to save Phoebe from the gallows, but to win back her heart.

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Description

Mr Redding looked at her with amusement, not ready to let the topic go. “The way you’re blushing suggests you lost your only asset a long time ago.” He rose and took a few steps towards her. “No, don’t strike me when I was only going to take you up on your offer of a kiss.”

He stopped a foot from her but instead of swooping to kiss her, gently touched her cheek. His smile was very warm. “I like you, Phoebe. And the look in your eye suggests you more than like me. But are you really that bold? What if I called your bluff?”

Was she that transparent? Yes, she did like him, but it was ungentlemanly of him to say so and unladylike for her to show it. Indignation powered through her, and before she could stop herself, she’d slapped him soundly across the face before realizing the foolishness of her behavior when this man was the only person in any position to aid her.

Flinging around, she brought her apron to her face. “Jest like Mr Wentworth ye are! Thinkin’ ye can take yer pleasure just ‘cos I’m only a lowly servant, an’ no doubt thinkin’ ye can force me inter what I says no to.”

When he didn’t grab her, or shout, she lowered her apron to find him contemplating her.

He stood, resting against the back of the sofa. “It’s somewhat sobering to be compared to a blackguard like Wentworth.” He held up his palms in a gesture of supplication. “And I had rather taken your previous words to be an invitation.” He shrugged, and half turning, indicated the door. “You must be tired, Phoebe. And overwrought. Go and walk in the garden for a bit. The weather is fine and there is no one about. I have some work to do, not least of which is deciding what is to be done with you. I can’t send you back to Blinley Manor, can I?”

She was unable to hide her terror, which, for some reason made him laugh—although that was perhaps because she tripped on her overlong skirts again and was only saved from falling to her knees when he gripped her elbow to steady her.

“Deftly executed, Miss Phoebe. I see how anxious you are to reinforce to me how ill the dress fits you—indeed, a health liability. Now,” he waved her to the door, “off you go! Mrs Withins can give you something to eat which you might want to take into the garden.”

“You’ve had luncheon, sir?” she asked, only realising her mistake when he looked at her, curiously, and replied, “I dine at two.”

Of course, he’d hardly expect her, a mere servant, to join him. Phoebe lowered her eyes. She’d have to make sure she didn’t make a similar mistake that might cost her the freedom she was at such pains to protect.

11 reviews for The Duchess and the Highwayman

  1. 5 out of 5

    admin

    “The plot is fast-paced and the heat level was to my taste. A good read in my opinion.” ~ Amazon reader

  2. 5 out of 5

    admin

    “A very outstanding read! I could not put the story down for a moment as it was very gripping! Anyone who reads the story will want to know: guilty or innocent? Again the laws of the old were always for the men but this brings to mind that women have a voice!” ~ KC

  3. 5 out of 5

    admin

    Entertaining and suspenseful with a bit of spice included. Interesting characters that changed to fit their circumstances. Unexpected twists and turns in the plot.” ~ S Owen

  4. 4 out of 5

    admin

    “This novel was more of a mystery, than a regency love story. it was very well told and had a few spicy surprises.” ~ Dagmar

  5. 5 out of 5

    admin

    “This was the most original and different romance I have read in a very long time. Great heroine, very believable, fine hero, really nasty villain. Hard to put down,” ~ Amy

  6. 5 out of 5

    admin

    “Didn’t want to go to sleep before finishing. Not your typical regency romance novel but twists and turns and surprising developments that bring love together and break them apart but back to each other.” Kindle Customer

  7. 4 out of 5

    admin

    “Bold characters, believable situations, some good feminism apt to the time-frame. Very much enjoyed this book, the absence of typos and mis-spellings very refreshing.” ~ N. Little

  8. 5 out of 5

    admin

    “Loved it, had me hooked from the beginning.” ~ M.P.

  9. admin

    “This love story has so much going for it – strong characters, friendship, “building of trust, a common enemy and of course, a beautiful second chances romance.” ~ Amazon reader.

  10. admin

    “A heart pounding read!” ~ Amazon reader.

  11. admin

    “I loved how the author gave us an exciting opening scenario and then smoothly and effortlessly built the story up to an exciting and riveting climax. Wow!” ~ Amazon reader.

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