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| The Hot Hunks of History |

Outlander series. And then, there is William Cavendish, the Duke of Devonshire (pictured above). This dark duke, in spite of his dapper appearance in this portrait, spent two years subjugating Ireland before returning and becoming prime minister. Of course, one man’s overlord is another man’s lord lieutenant, but from the Irish point of view, the Cavendishes were dark dukes indeed. For a fictional dark duke, you can always read my Regency romance Love on a Midsummer Night.

In this novel, the evil Duke of Hawthorne comes into the heroine’s bedroom in the dead of night, a knife in his hand. This Duke may not be crushing Highlanders or Irish clans beneath his boot, but he is a menace to more than just Arabella’s virtue. 58 | btsemag.com

Arabella would have slept all night had not the sound of her husband’s bedroom door woke her. She had not heard the door between their rooms open in years, but Arabella remembered well the first hideous year of their marriage, those nights when she never knew when Gerald would come until she heard that door. He would lie on top of her, his skeletal hands on her body, lifting her nightgown. She did not shudder at the memory, but lay still between the soft sheets of her bed, listening. Hawthorne stood over her in the dim light of the lamp. Arabella tried not to show the fear that instantly flooded her. “Your Grace, I fear you have lost your way.” “No, Arabella. I have found it.” Hawthorne made his way through the shadows closer to her bed. He was dressed in evening clothes, but his cravat was askew and his black coat thrown open. Arabella wondered idly why he always dressed like an undertaker. It was then that she saw the glint of the knife in his hand. Her heart was pounding and her throat was dry with fear. She swallowed convulsively and forced herself to sit up, bringing the bedclothes with her to shield her body from his eyes. “My lord, you will not kill me?” she asked. She swallowed hard, trying to stop the rising terror that swamped her reason. She breathed deep, gripping her wits so that they would not flee. Hawthorne raised the knife as if to show it to her, turning his eyes for one moment from her to it. “No indeed, Arabella. I am not the Moor, come to kill his Desdemona in the dark of night. But it occurs to me that I ought to see if you please me, before I vow to marry you. Mistresses and whores abound, of course, but marriage is for life.” She felt herself shaking beneath the covers of her bed. She thought frantically for what she might use to hold him off, what words might persuade him to lay that weapon down. Her death was like a shadow, a third person in the room come to claim her. Her terror rose to choke her or she would have screamed. Hawthorne stopped within a foot of the bed, laying his lamp down. He reached for her with the hand that did not hold the knife. She flinched, but his fingers only took up her honey-colored braid where it fell across her shoulder. He hefted the weight of her hair, fingering the

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BTS Book Reviews September/October 2014  

Your Guide to Great Reading - Featuring New York Times Bestselling author Dianne Duvall, plus columns, book reviews, featured authors, and m...

BTS Book Reviews September/October 2014  

Your Guide to Great Reading - Featuring New York Times Bestselling author Dianne Duvall, plus columns, book reviews, featured authors, and m...

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