A DUKE IN SHINING ARMOR – Loretta Chase
ISBN Print: 978-0-06-2457638-7
ISBN E-Book: 978-0-06245739-4
Minutes before her wedding ceremony, Lady Olympia Hightower, wearing her wedding gown and veil, escapes the ceremony by exiting through a window. She had agreed to marry the very handsome Duke of Ashmont, one of three friends known as their dis-graces. Her marriage will secure the future for her five brothers, as her spendthrift father, an earl, cannot. Lady Olympia is older than most matrimonial choices, bookish, and while attractive, wears eyeglasses. After all her years as a wallflower at her London seasons, she wonders why Ashmont asked for her hand. Her panicked actions are bizarre even to herself, except perhaps the brandy one of her brothers gave her affects her.
Hugh Ancaster, seventh Duke of Ripley, is also one of the dis-graces and a best friend to Ashmont. He sees the bride fleeing and chases her meaning to bring her back for the ceremony. Highly inebriated, Olympia won't follow his orders, and as she delays the inevitable, Ripley see the opportunity to prank Ashmont. (Remember their dis-graces have reputations for such behavior.) Yet he cannot abandon Olympia to travel on her own, so he guides the bride to her aunt's home. Unfortunately, when they reach the aunt's manor, she is gone on a visit to Scotland. The few hours in Olympia's company has affected Ripley with appreciation for her intelligence and desire for her body. He wants her himself, but how could he steal her from his best friend?
Olympia's flight brings on an amazing set of difficulties, misunderstandings, problematic family dynamics, and dangers for both Olympia and Ripley, especially when Ashmont learns with whom his bride ran away. Neither man knows how they ignored the provocative miss in all her seasons. Now neither wants to give her up.