My Dearest Mother,
You have asked me give careful thought to the search I am about to conduct for a bride this Season. In that regard, I considered the best way to proceed would be to write down my expectations to help clarify my requirements. I am sending this letter to you so you understand I am serious in my search.
First of all, my future duchess must be above reproach in all things. No tinge of gossip whatsoever can surround her. I expect her to be poised, sophisticated and well versed in ladylike endeavors. She must know French, watercolors, embroidery, pianoforte, and how to run a household with equanimity.
She must, of course, bow to me in all things, and know her place as the Duchess of Manchester. No deviation from decorum will be tolerated.
A lovely visage would be welcomed, but not necessary. My bride will be gentle, kind, and know a woman’s place in society. She will countenance her duty, and not expect anything as untoward as love to disrupt a peaceful marriage.
I hope this treatise has helped you to appreciate my desires in selecting a wife. I look forward to the arrival of you and my sisters for the start of the Season.
Drake, Duke of Manchester.
P. S. I just received word that a Miss Penelope Clayton will be joining us for the Season this year. I am sure she will be a lovely woman, and bring peace and contentment to our household, most particularly to my lively sisters.
The Duke's Quandary by Callie Hutton
Drake, Duke of Manchester is searching the Marriage Mart for a perfect bride. He wants a woman who is poised, sophisticated, and worthy of the title Duchess. But most of all, he wants a woman who does not want the useless emotion of love.
Socially awkward Miss Penelope Clayton isn't meant for marriage. A serious botanist, she has no desire to wed, so being forced by her guardian to participate in the Season to find a husband is torture. She'll never fit in with the ton, especially if they discover she's been pretending to be a man within the scientific community.
As Drake's family makes over Penelope, turning her from naive bluestocking to enchanting debutante, he is put upon to introduce her to society and eligible bachelors. Despite dance lessons and new gowns, Penelope is the opposite of poised and sophisticated as she stumbles from one mishap to the next. Why then, does he find it so hard to resist her?
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