by Marguerite Butler
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From the moment he first meets uncivilized Frances Hatterly, the Duke of Ainsley's life becomes one scandal after another. Falling in love with her may cause the biggest scandal of all.
Frances Hatterly is thrilled to finally make her London debut. She means to indulge her passion for fashion and frivolity. But before she can even make her curtsey, she finds herself accidentally compromised by the most arrogant man she has ever met. Desperate to avoid being forced into marriage, she resolves to make herself as obnoxious as possible to drive him away.
The Duke of Ainsley knew he should never have agreed to help launch his friend's uncivilized sister Frances into society. After he is found alone with Frances, he must either marry the brat or find someone else to do so. But what sort of man would be willing to take the hoyden off his hands?
Ainsley must civilize Frances quickly, or risk losing more than his bachelorhood--he just might lose his heart.
Frances stepped back, hands on hips to study the windows. They were too high and inconveniently small. She might be able to fit through the middle one, if only she could reach.
"Here. Push that here," she commanded, pointing at the chest containing her soiled pelisse.
Ainsley raised an eyebrow. "Are you going to hide in it, Miss Hatterly?"
"I need something to stand on. I'm not tall enough to reach those windows."
He rose up to push the chest against the wall. She had a moment to admire his tight breeches. What an admirable physique he had with his broad shoulders and the muscular calves of a Corinthian. Such a waste for a man to be that graceful and that horrid.
She stepped up onto the chest and nearly wobbled off. It wasn't as secure a position as she'd hoped.
He steadied her with his hand. "You're not to fall and injure yourself."
"Thank you, I won't."
"That would be infinitely worse than being locked in, for even if we escaped, I'd need to seek assistance for you and everyone would know we had been sequestered together."
She scowled. "Horrid man. Hoist me up, then. I'm still not tall enough for this blasted window."
"Hoist you how?"
She flung her hands up in the air. "I cannot believe I'm saying this, but I would actually prefer to be locked in here with one of my brothers. At least they'd assist in trying to get us out. Hoist you how indeed! Lift me up, you nodcock!"
"You mean touch you?"
"Yes, unless you have a rope and winch hidden upon your person. Put your hands on me and lift me up like you were putting me on a horse."
"I knew you were fast. From the moment you came in here, I knew you were that way. You're trying to trap me."
She glared down at him from her perch. "If I wanted to trap you, I'd be doing everything in my power to keep us both in this room. Do you imagine I want to be ruined by the likes of you? What do you think will happen when they find us?"
"Oh, dear God."
"Exactly," she said grimly. "Now unless you want to find yourself yoked to me for life, put your hands on my waist and lift me up, fool."
"Very well. But I'm doing this under protest."
She rolled her eyes. "Noted." She was startled at the breadth of the large hands spanning her waist.
"On three," he said.
Frances counted to three and jumped as high as she could. At the same moment, Ainsley thrust her into the air.
She caught the edge of the window with her fingertips. "Got it," she crowed. "No, hold me up. I've only barely…almost…got…it."
Ainsley grunted and held her suspended. "Are you sure? Doesn't feel like you're holding your weight." He staggered.
"Be still! I'm trying to unlock…there!" She swung the window open. "Now lift me higher."
"What? Oof. Stop that. You almost kicked me in the face and you're stepping on my jacket."
"Sorry," she said sweetly and took another swipe at his head with her slipper.
"You're crushing my coat. For a small girl, you’re very heavy. Aren't you out yet?"
She'd managed to get herself up onto her forearms and began wriggling forward.
"What in God's name are you doing with that girl, Ainsley?" a horrified voice cried out.
"Aagh!" With a shriek, Frances fell taking Ainsley with her.
Confessions From Romaholics
I have to be frank, I didn't enjoy the book very much, this kind of humorous tale was too much for me. However, I have to admit that it isn't a bad book at all. The thing that was pleasant was the constant fencing with words of the two main characters. Frances Hatterly was raised around numerous brothers and it definitely shows! She is outspoken and has nothing that is required in a young lady who is about to make her coming out. In a word she is utterly uncivilized. For the Duke of Ainsley, who is quiet the gentleman, she is simply insufferable. They developed an instant dislike for each other. But unfortunately for them, they are discovered alone in the most ridiculous situation and for the most ridiculous reason! The only solution is marriage of course but each of them is determined to find another way out ...
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