Chocolate, Tea And The Duchess by Brita Addams
Link To Buy: Nobel Romance Publishing.Com (http://bit.ly/cTdmoK)
Phillip Allard, the Duke of Thornhill, is caught in a compromising situation, not of his own making, with Lady Felicity Linden. He finds himself honor bound to marry the girl, who is twenty years his junior. Everything tells him if this course is taken, it can only lead to heartache, because Phillip has a secret. Without doubt, he fancies women but he also fancies men.
He finds physical fulfillment with a man at the Sapphire Club, but it's only for sex. When the liaisons end, Phillip meets the enigmatic and handsome, Alexander Chilton and what he discovers in the man's presence, changes his life. His need for Alex extends beyond sex, for when he's with Alex, he feels truly alive.
How does he explain this need to Felicity? He wants her as well. His explanation proves quite simple and poignant. Sometimes you might want a cup of chocolate in the morning and sometimes you might want tea. But there are other times when you may have need of both.
Will Felicity understand this and can Phillip live with a decision that is anything less than complete acceptance of Alex's in their marriage?
Chocolate, Tea and the Duchess
Phillip felt like shit. He'd returned home as the sun rose, dressed in day old clothing and reeking of sex, brandy and despair. He regretted going to the Sapphire Club, shame clung to him like a shroud. The dread of seeing Felicity was almost as profound as Haynes last statement as he left the room. "We are done. Go home to your wife, Phillip. Show her what I just showed you."
That would never happen. His ass burned and ached at this moment from his own introduction. There was no small degree of indignation, either.
Could he continue to live this life? Felicity was now a part of it, like it or not. They were bound together. Poor child had no idea what a bastard she had taken on.
He raked his hands through his hair for the hundredth time, trying to formulate a plausible explanation for his disappearance. By now, she surely knew he hadn't spent the night in the same bed as she, which might not seem so bad, if he didn't look so goddamn terrible.
In the end, rather than deal with the issue head on, he decided it wasn't any of her business. He wasn't going to change his life to accommodate a woman, no matter if she was his wife. He didn't want a wife, never wanted a wife, and that was the way it would be. Until he saw her, pretty as could be, smiling at him as though he'd hung to moon.
"Good morning, Phillip." Her voice was like a song, and she had not a hint of anger or revulsion in her eyes.
"Good morning, dear. Are you getting settled?"
"I have an appointment with Mrs. Landon this afternoon. We will go over the household accounts. Please be patient with me; I will learn to manage the household in due time."
"I have an efficient staff, Felicity. They will show you everything you need to know."
"Yes, so they have assured me. Is there anything I might get for you? You look as though you have slept badly."
Shaking his head, wondering how she could be so – sweet, given that he looked like hell and smelled worse. "I could use a bath."
Wrinkling her freckled nose, she said, "Yes, you could." She rang for Densham, then informed him of all the duke's needs.
Phillip tried to veer around her on his egress from the room, but she apparently had other ideas. She hooked her arm in his and went with him to his bedchamber, into his dressing room and waited until the bath was prepared. Then she dismissed the footmen, valet and butler. He had no idea what to do, but he knew he didn't want her to see the evidence of the thrashing he'd received. He also didn't know if he carried outward signs of what Haynes had done to him. He very much needed to be alone.
"Here, let me help you, darling." Her voice was like a spring breeze, pleasant, light and unassuming. She unbuttoned his coat and helped him remove it. Then she went to unbutton his shirt.
He put his hand on hers and said, "Please, I can undress myself."
"Is that why you employ a valet?"
There was more to this young girl than he suspected. She wasn't intimidated by him, which was, at this moment, much to his disadvantage.
"Please, I wish to take my bath in private. I will join you after I have readied myself for the day."
"Do you intend to have Glennon bathe, shave, dress and otherwise groom you?"
"Why, of course, that is the man's job."
"Well, I mean to do all those things for you, at least for today."
"You can't, Felicity. I won't allow it." He hated to show his temper, but his head was pounding, and she was being obstinate. He was used to people who jumped when he even thought of giving an order. She completely ignored him, bent on having her own way.
"I truly do wish to help you. Now please, allow me to remove these wrinkled trousers . . . ."
"Get out!" He could see the hurt on her face as the harsh words echoed in the small room.
She raised her chin, but acquiesced when he pointed in the direction of the door. In her own calm way, she turned on her heel and walked out, indicating neither anger nor disappointment. Simply hurt, which was the worst of all.
Can't get enough of Brita Addams then stop by all week long for more tasty tidbits from my featured author.