Dukes Are Forever (London Steampunk: The Blue Blood Conspiracy #5)

Dukes Are Forever (London Steampunk: The Blue Blood Conspiracy #5)

Bec McMaster

About the Author

What readers are saying about Bec’s thrilling steampunk romances…

“Ohhhhmmygosh THIS WAS AMAZING. I literally could not breathe for that last 10%. This book got me so tensed and emotional.” - Sharon on Amazon, The Mech Who Loved Me “The chemistry between Caleb and Ingrid jumps off the page. Sexy does not do justice to the explosion of love between them.” - Nikkia, Mission: Improper “Bec McMaster has such an intensity to her writing softened with the beauty she instills within the intimacy between her characters; I was hooked from the start and eagerly anticipate the continuation of this series…” - Theresa, My Lady Quicksilver Forged By Desire—RITA Finalist Paranormal Romance 2015

Of Silk And Steam—RT Reviews Best Steampunk Romance 2016

Hexbound—Historical Fantasy PRISM winner 2017

Soulbound—Historical Fantasy PRISM winner 2018 and overall PRISM Best of the Best The Last True Hero—Dark Paranormal PRISM winner

A compromising situation forced him into marriage. But has his wife been working for the enemy all along?

In a steam-fuelled world where vampires once ruled the aristocracy, a dangerous conspiracy threatens to topple the queen, and the Duke of Malloryn knows his nemesis has finally returned to enact his plans of revenge.

Malloryn can trust no one, and when incriminating photographs surface—of an enemy agent stealing a kiss from his wife—he is forced to question just why his wife, Adele, trapped him into marriage.

Is she an innocent pawn caught up in a madman's games, or is she a double agent working against him?

The only way to discover the truth is to seduce her himself...

Adele Hamilton may have agreed to a loveless marriage in order to protect herself, but that doesn't stop her heart from yearning for more.

Her husband promised her a cold marriage bed. He swore he'd never touch her. But suddenly he's engaged in a campaign of seduction—and the only way to keep her wits about her is to fight fire with fire.

The ruthless beauty has locked her heart away, but can she deny the passion that flares between them? And when the truth emerges, will she be the only thing that can save Malloryn's life?

Or the weapon his enemy will wield against him?

Chapter 1

It was a kiss like no other.

The touch of his lips burned her, his hand sliding over her nape and bending her body into his embrace.

Adele Cavill, the Duchess of Malloryn, drew back a hand and slapped the man, though her heart was suddenly racing and she knew for one desperate second, she hadn't fought him as hard as she should have. "Sir, you take too many liberties."

"I should like to take more," Lord Devoncourt whispered.

For a moment, she was almost tempted. Her lips still tingled. The sounds of the ball washed over her. "I'm no whore," she said firmly, "to cuckold my husband."

"No?" Devoncourt smiled, tracing her cheek with the back of her hand. "Then where is your fine husband? If you're such a loyal wife, why aren't you in his bed right now?"

Because I've never been in his bed. Adele bit her lip. Never been kissed. Never been held. Barely even glanced at as I sit at our dining table each morning and stare at Malloryn over the baked kippers and extravagant repast.

All her fault, of course.

She'd been the one to use the Duke of Malloryn's opposition to a recent trend amongst young blue bloods ruining girls for a single night of blood sharing to trap him into marriage. And she couldn't for one second deny she would do it all over again, if she had the chance. For the first time in years she was safe and protected from the blue bloods that'd mercilessly stalked the Echelon, hunting for those young debutantes that strayed from the glittering lights of the ballrooms.

With her reputation in tatters from one such incident, the only lord willing to take her as his thrall had been Lord Abagnale, a man who'd buried three of his previous thralls, and—it was rumored—had placed them in the grave himself.

Malloryn was her blessing, but he'd made it eminently clear that whilst she would bear his name, she would never bear his children or share his life. Indeed, she'd heard rumors of a mistress.

His bed, at least, wasn't as cold as hers.

He'd damned well told her to "make her own arrangements."

Those tempting fingertips cupped her cheeks. Adele looked up helplessly as Devoncourt stroked his thumb over her mouth.

"I think," he murmured, "your silence is answer enough."

His face lowered to hers, his warm breath brushing against her sensitive lips, bringing a sudden yearning to life within her breast. Not for the hidden meaning behind his words, but this.... She didn't think she could fight this, the careful tenderness of his touch. It ached in her chest, a longing to turn her cheek into his palm, to press it there and feel, just for one moment, what it was like to be cared for.

To be touched.

"I cannot," she whispered, because she'd made a promise in her heart to be true to her husband, a means of repaying him for the lie she'd told that had seen them married.

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