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The Reluctant Duchess

A Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


USA TODAY BESTSELLER • Perfect for fans of Mary Balogh and Eloisa James, Sharon Cullen’s seductive new historical romance ignites as a shy country girl and a hotheaded duke surrender to dangerous temptations.

Lady Sara Emerson was jolted out of her dull provincial life by her cousin’s murder. Now that the killer seems to be targeting her, Sara seeks help from the man who was once her cousin’s fiancé, Gabriel Ferguson, Duke of Rossmoyne. With his towering frame and fiery personality, Ross cuts an intimidating figure. Living under his protection, however, has its own hazards—like the sudden urge Sara feels to take their relationship in new, exquisitely inappropriate directions.

Dazzled by the social graces of his betrothed, Ross never noticed her shy, blushing cousin. Looking at Sara now, though, he’s drawn to her lovely eyes and calm disposition. Funny how a year away from the hustle and bustle of the ton changes a man. But Ross has no intention of allowing a woman to interfere with his plan to return overseas. He will simply capture the murderer and set sail once again. The problem is, with her beguiling lips and heavenly touch, Sara makes him never want to leave home—or his bed—again.

Look for all of Sharon Cullen’s delightful historical romances:
The All the Queen’s Spies series: WED TO A SPY  | BOUND TO A SPY

Praise for The Reluctant Duchess

“Riveting . . . The true depth of the characters is revealed through dialogue that eschews Austen-style witticisms for thoughtful discussion and quiet but determined clashes of will. Intense romance and intriguing mystery make this a tale to be savored.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Cullen allows the suspense to ebb and flow naturally between finding clues and hitting dead ends. She wisely uses the downtime to develop two strong main characters. Ross’s ability to see past Sara’s shy reserve and his admiration for her courage and strength will have readers rooting for the couple’s success. Highly recommended for historical romance buffs who prefer a little mayhem in the mix.”Library Journal (starred review)

“Many readers will enjoy this lively Victorian tale starring a protective hero and a quietly stubborn heroine.”—Anne Gracie, award-winning author of The Spring Bride

The Reluctant Duchess is a tale replete with sizzling tension and high stakes, as could only come from the pen of Sharon Cullen.”—Ashlyn Macnamara, author of What a Lady Requires

Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

From Publishers Weekly

Sep 28, 2015 – Cullen's riveting Victorian romance reveals a surprisingly forthright and intellectual heroine hiding behind a wallflower reputation. Lady Sara Emerson was accustomed to being overlooked while Meredith, her cousin, basked in the limelight of being betrothed to Gabriel "Ross" Ferguson, the Duke of Rossmoyne. Then Meredith was murdered, and the culprit was never found. Sara spent the following two years in the country, taking care of her uncle, while Ross gladly fled to India on an all-too-brief diplomatic assignment. When Sara starts receiving threatening notes, she travels to London to see whether Ross can help find out who's sending them. Ross tries to take over the investigation, but Sara insists on being involved; unused to people who push back against his instructions, he reluctantly agrees. Soon he realizes that he enjoys their spirited conversations and no longer thinks of Sara as "plain." After he demands that she stay with him and his mother so that he can protect her, their late-night talks quickly become romantic interludes. But Sara believes that she could never fulfill the role of a duchess: she detests the frivolity of London society and is long past her debutante days. The true depth of the characters is revealed through dialogue that eschews Austen-style witticisms for thoughtful discussion and quiet but determined clashes of will. Intense romance and intriguing mystery make this a tale to be savored.

Customer Reviews

Lovely and Well Written Tale

After the violent murder of her cousin, Lady Sara Emerson begins receiving letters from the alleged perpetrator. Not knowing any other way to solve the mystery of who is sending the letters, Sara seeks out her deceased cousin's fiance, Gabriel Ferguson, the Duke of Rossmoyne. When Ross discovers the goings on he takes Sara into his protection in order to get to the bottom of his lost love's murder. Sara is nothing like Meredith, but that doesn't stop Ross from noticing Sara for who she is.

Sara places her trust in the foreboding duke and even under the cloud of danger, their attraction for one another quickly comes to the surface and Sara being in danger is not something that Ross will accept. The loss of one woman was enough, the loss of Sara is just not a possibility. But there is someone out there who threatens their safety and like it or not, Sara and the duke must find out who it is.

The Reluctant Duchess is a lovey tale by Sharon Cullen. This well written story is compelling and intriguing. Both Rossmoyne and Sara are interesting characters full of life and personality. The mystery fuels their romance, the danger only adding to it. I enjoyed The Reluctant Duchess by Sharon Cullen and think you will too.

Loved It!

Sharon Cullen has become one of my favorite historical romance authors and this book is a shining example of why. The descriptive writing truly takes you back to the time in history that each of her stories visit. The characters are so vivid and realistic that you truly feel that you've traveled through time and are getting to catch a glimpse into the parlors and homes of the people in the books. I love the strength that Sara possesses, she's not a flighty, fainting woman, she's so strong and won't allow convention or anyone get in her way to finding the truth. She does show fear and vulnerability and you find yourself captured in the adventure, the mystery and the hunt. The love story is fascinating, two such different characters and worlds colliding and finding their way through the darkness, coming together to right a horrible wrong. It's truly the stuff that dreams are made of.

Try it -- You'll like it

I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book in order to review it.

This is my first Sharon Cullen novel, but it won't be my last. I really liked it.

Gosh, this one has it all. A handsome duke, a spunky heroine, a grisley murderer, love, discord -- you name it and it is in here.

Two years earlier the cousin of Lady Sara Emerson was viciously murdered. The murderer was never apprehended. Now, Sarah has begun getting threatening letters. She doesn't know where to turn for help because her aunt and uncle (parents of the cousin who was killed) have split up because of all of the trauma surrounding the murder. Finally, she decides to turn to her cousin's fiance - Gabriel Ferguson, Duke of Rossmoyne.

The duke does all he can to protect Sara, but it isn't easy because they are trying to keep the letters secret and parents, friends, etc. keep trying to take Sara out to different events.

Their journey to love is a sweet and exciting one.

Buy the book, you'll love it.

The Reluctant Duchess
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  • $4.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Historical
  • Published: Nov 10, 2015
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 274 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings