VEIL OF HONOR (Scandalous Scions: Book 6.0)
Bridget’s downfall at the hands of a duke forces Will to save her.
Lady Bridget is determined to marry well, to a man not of the great family.
When the Duke of Taplow takes advantage of her, William Wardell, heir to the Marquiss of Farleigh and great family member, is forced to marry her himself to save her reputation…which also happens to remove the family pressure upon him to wed and get himself an heir.
The agreement only brings more strife into their lives for they are both stubborn, willful and most definitely not the marrying kind…
Veil of Honor is the sixth book in the spin-off series following the historical romances of Scandalous Sirens. Scandalous Scions brings together the members of three great families, to love and play under the gaze of the Victorian era’s moralistic, straight-laced society.
Reader Advisory: This story contains frank sex scenes and sexual language.
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If you are familiar with the previous series, I am sure you fell in love with the huge family like I did.
EXCERPT FROM VEIL OF HONOR
COPYRIGHT © TRACY COOPER-POSEY 2018
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Will realized he had got to his feet and was heading for the other end of the long table, before making a conscious decision to do so.
He gripped the back of the empty chair next to Bridget. Mairin had left before dessert had been served.
“May I?” he asked, tugging at the chair.
Bridget looked up at him. “Of course,” she said quickly and held the satin of her gown out of the way as he pulled the chair out and sat. Everyone else at this end of the table was engrossed in their own conversations, so he could safety turn his back on them and face Bridget properly. “You didn’t come to last year’s gather,” he pointed out.
Her very small smile stayed in place. “I think you might be the only person who noticed.”
“Did you stay away because of me?” he asked, and could feel his jaw drop in surprise. Why on earth had he blurted that out? Yes, he had wondered why she stayed away, but hadn’t been interested enough in the answer to separate himself from whatever woman he was keeping company with to cross the room and ask her on the dozens of occasions they had seen each in ballrooms and parlors during the season.
Bridget lifted one dark brow. Her pert nose lifted, too. Her eyes, which were as dark as her hair, speared him. “That is your first question, Will? Whatever happened to ‘why aren’t you married yet?’”
He winced. “I’ve become predictable. That’s not good.”
Her smile grew. “You have always been completely predictable, Will. How many hearts did you break, this year? How many barrels of brandy did you empty?”
“I enjoyed myself immensely, too,” Will shot back.
“So did I,” Bridget replied firmly.
Will hesitated. “You did?” he asked, surprised. Enjoyment had been missing in Bridget’s life for many years now. He had watched her pull away from the family and draw in upon herself a little more with each passing year she remained unmarried. Two years ago, she had been upon the brink of despair.
Now, she professed that her season had been enjoyable.
Bridget’s brow lifted. “I did and I will forgive you for looking surprised by that, Will. I didn’t expect it myself.”
“Who is he?” he demanded, as his gut tightened. “Is he a good man?” he added, awkwardly, aware that his voice had risen.
“He is,” Bridget told him. “A duke,” she added, her smile burning a little warmer.
Will smoothed the linen cloth in front of him, removing a minute wrinkle, working at it. “Then I am pleased,” he said, his voice rough. He forced himself to ask, “How long before an announcement will be made?”
“I hope, shortly after Christmas.” Her smile became incandescent.
“You are spending Christmas with his family, then,” Will breathed, putting it together. “Formally meeting the family…that is a good sign.” Perversely, the tension in his chest grew tighter. What was wrong with him? This was good news. The best news, especially for Bridget.
“Thank you, Will,” she murmured. Then she leaned closer to him. He caught a hint of her scent. Something other than the flowery bouquets most women liked to splash behind their ears and on their wrists. It was subtle and it was very pleasant. Mature, sophisticated. “I see you are still defying your parents, too, Will. Unwed at thirty and no heir to mollify them…they must be beside themselves by now.”
Will’s gut tightened and his heart thudded. “I’m too selfish to settle down,” he said shortly. “No one would have me, if I cared to ask.”
“Not that you care to ask, in the first place,” she finished.
“Do you love him, Bree?” Will asked softly.
“Why do you ask that?”
Will clenched his hand into a fist under the table. What on earth was bothering him so much? Why did he care if she loved the bastard? “I…think you deserve no less than a true love match,” he said stiffly.
“Liar,” she chided him. “We’re both selfish, Will. You always have been and I have learned to be, in the six years since I came out. Society has a way of souring one’s outlook on life.” She grimaced. “I will marry the duke and give him a son, then I will be able to relax and be happy. Finally.”
The bitterness in her reply did not lessen the tension in his body. Will got to his feet, unable to sit any longer. “I will be the first to congratulate you once you do,” he assured her, “as I am aware of how difficult it is to be happy, these days.”
He stalked back to his place at the table, where the brandy and cigars waited, and wished he’d never left it.
Wow, as soon as I started Tracy Cooper Posey’s first book in her new spin off I was hooked.
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She is a go to author for me when I need a fix of historical romance.
Also of Interest/Related Series
Have you caught up with the original “Scandalous” series? Scandalous Sirens features the parents of the Great Family; Elisa & Vaughn, Natasha & Seth, Annalies & Rhys.
Or you could try the Arthurian period historical series, Once and Future Hearts.