Lord Ian Cabott looks over the crowded ballroom with a jaded eye. As the Duke of Dunsford he is expected to marry and provide continuity to his family. If only the debutantes weren’t so deadly dull or vapidly avaricious. His eye finally lights on Lady Baltrip, a widow with an interesting reputation, and he decides to skip the marriage mart and go straight for other pleasures. In the meantime, he must introduce himself to her ladyship’s companion, the youngest daughter of the former Duke of Ryland, Lady Fiona Turnbridge. She never dances, and rumor has it that she is eccentric. Surely she will not take offense at losing her companion to a waltz.
Fiona’s gift of precognition just turned the tables on her. For some reason, she is supposed to meet Lord Dunsford tonight. She has admired the nobleman ever since she learned that he was a skilled surgeon before inheriting his title. She will be grateful for that introduction later when her cat, Beeps, is injured.
Ian is shocked to find Lady Turnbridge at his doorstep, injured cat in one hand, a pistol in the other, as she demands his aid. He is a surgeon, and despite his sympathy cannot imagine what he can do for her feline friend. But the pistol has convinced him to try, and she proves an able assistant. Unfortunately, his assistance comes at a high price because the night is over and they have been unchaparoned. Her reputation is ruined. Ian is determined to do the honorable thing.
This rocky beginning is only the opening of The Duke’s Proposal, the final novel in the Ryland sisters trilogy. Readers who have been eagerly awaiting Fiona’s story will not be disappointed. The young girl who was raised in a brothel has turned into a charming and intelligent young woman who knows what she wants. Ian is the perfect man for her, even if she cannot see it, and he must convince her that marrying him is not only the right thing to do, but the only thing to do. He has his hands full.