The Courtship Wars , Book 6
Ballantine Books
ISBN: 978-0-345-51009-9
March 2011
Historical Romance

England, Autumn 1817

The bloody battle of Waterloo in 1815 took the lives of many brave Englishmen mourned by their families and friends. Among the mourners is Miss Tess Blanchard, who lost her betrothed. Life moves on, however, and Tess is trying to put mourning behind her. One of her activities is fundraising for her charities. It's while putting on an amateur theatrical that she decides to experiment with putting feeling back into her lonely life. This leads to a life altering event—she's caught in a highly compromising position with her beloved Richard's older cousin, the Devil Duke himself.

When Ian Sutherland, Duke of Rotham first met Tess Blanchard at her come-out four years ago, he was immediately intrigued. When she and Richard became betrothed, he quickly put a distance between them. In fact, he deliberately set out to antagonize her. Their relationship continued to be a verbal battle from then on. But when he catches her kissing another man, he begins to show her what passion is. Both are startled at the strength of their reactions…until they are found and forced into a quick wedding.

Tess fights the idea—if she marries, she wants it to be for love, not to acquire a husband who will control her. She eventually relents, but bargains for a business-like marriage. Is some of her resistance to Rotham because of feelings of guilt over the physical attraction she has toward him, feelings so different from the tender ones she has for her childhood friend Richard?

Rotham grew up never knowing love. Perhaps he became a rake out of rebellion against his dissolute wastrel father. In any case, he's resigned to the marriage; he had to marry some day, and he greatly desires Tess. Will he ever learn the difference between love and desire?

There is no doubt about the strong chemistry between the protagonists in TO DESIRE A WICKED DUKE. Several sensuous love scenes prove that. But if love exists between them, neither knows or will admit it even to him or her self. To add to the suspense, we have subplots involving a haunted castle, and another courtship. The Loring sisters and other characters from earlier books are included in the cast, and there is a lovely epilogue to wind up the series. (I love epilogues, don't you?) Nicole Jordan fans will not want to miss this one!

As a bonus, the back of the book is scheduled to include an excerpt from book one in a new series to be called Legendary Lovers .

Jane Bowers