Can there be any greater challenge to London’s Ambitious Mamas than an unmarried duke? –Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers, April 1813
By all accounts, Simon Basset is on the verge of proposing to his best friend’s sister, the lovely – and almost-on-the-shelf – Daphne Bridgerton. But the two of them know the truth – it’s all an elaborate plan to keep Simon free from marriage-minded society mothers. And as for Daphne, surely she will attract some worthy suitors now that it seems a duke has declared her desirable . . .
Their ruse works like a charm – at first. But as Daphne waltzes across ballroom after ballroom with Simon, it’s hard to remember that their courtship is a complete sham. Maybe it’s his devilish smile, certainly it’s the way his eyes seem to burn every time he looks at her. It wasn’t the plan, but it seems she’s falling for the duke, for real. And amidst the glittering, gossipy, cut-throat world of London’s elite, there is only one certainty: love ignores every rule . . .