When Daphne Davernay awakened on her birthday to find her father brutally murdered, she lost everything that had ever mattered to her. Cast adrift, she found herself at the mercy of her guardian, the Duke of Cheney. He was a hard, intimidating man… and the only man that had ever inspired her to dream.
James didn’t know what to make of his ward. She was both maddening and adorable. Society ruled that there could never be anything between the two of them, but his heart longed to keep Daphne all for himself. Even as he fights his own desires, it soon becomes clear that someone else wants Daphne… dead.
“No, do not interrupt me. If I slaked both our passions tonight, you would regret it.”
“I would never regret it,” she hissed.
“Not tonight,” he admitted. “If I did my best by us, you would not have any regrets tonight, but come morning, you would. Your virtue belongs to your future husband.”
She began to cry again, big, silent tears that slid like diamonds down her cheeks. “James,” she moaned.
“I cannot marry you, Daphne,” he told her quietly.
“I always knew that,” she sniffed, struggling to find her control once more. “I was not highborn enough to-”
“Damn it, titles do not matter here,” he snapped. “It has nothing to do with that. What matters is that we must face the reality of who we are.”
Her breath hitched in her throat. He’d said who, not what.
“Who are we?” she breathed.
“You are my ward,” he growled. “And I am the man your father trusted to protect your honor. There can be no future for us.”