In Bed With The Duke - Энни Берроуз - Читать онлайн любовный роман

В женской библиотеке Мир Женщины кроме возможности читать онлайн также можно скачать любовный роман - In Bed With The Duke - Энни Берроуз бесплатно.

Правообладателям | Топ-100 любовных романов

In Bed With The Duke - Энни Берроуз - Читать любовный роман онлайн в женской библиотеке LadyLib.Net
In Bed With The Duke - Энни Берроуз - Скачать любовный роман в женской библиотеке LadyLib.Net

Берроуз Энни

In Bed With The Duke

Читать онлайн

Аннотация к роману
«In Bed With The Duke» - Энни Берроуз

'Vile seducer of women!'Of all the accusations Gregory, Duke of Halstead has ever had levelled at him, this is perhaps the most offensive and the least accurate. But as he has just woken naked in bed with no memory of the night before, next to a beautiful stranger, perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate!Innocent Prudence is just as shocked when she awakes! But as these strangers begin to unravel the plot behind the scandalous circumstances, she discovers the delicious consequences of finding herself in bed with…a duke!
Следующая страница

1 Страница

‘I am no seducer of innocents!’ Indignation had him vaulting out of the bed.

A crowd of interested bystanders were peering into his room with a mixture of shock and disapproval.

With a low snarl he stalked stark naked across the room and slammed the door shut on the whole crowd of them. Then he shot the bolt home for good measure.

He turned slowly, wondering just exactly what sort of female he had found in such a ramshackle inn, in such a dreary little town. And he took a good look at the girl who was sitting up in the bed, with the covers clutched up to her chin.

Contrary to what he’d half expected, she was a pretty little thing, with a cloud of chestnut curls and a pair of huge brown eyes.

Which was an immense relief. He might have lost his memory, but at least he hadn’t lost his good taste.

‘The poignancy and humour will make any reader a Burrows fan.’

—RT Book Reviews on The Captain’s Christmas Bride

‘[A] passionate and emotional tale readers will love.’

—RT Book Reviews on A Mistress for Major Bartlett

‘A funny, flirtatious, spirited romp.’

—RT Book Reviews on Never Trust a Rake

In Bed with the Duke

Annie Burrows

ANNIE BURROWS has been writing Regency romances for Mills & Boon since 2007. Her books have charmed readers worldwide, having been translated into nineteen different languages, and some have gone on to win the coveted Reviewers’ Choice Award from CataRomance. For more information, or to contact the author, please visit or you can find her on Facebook at

Once again, my thanks to the Novelistas for constant support, brainstorming when necessary, and cake.




Title Page

About the Author


Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

html#litres_trial_promo">Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen



‘Vile seducer of women!’

Gregory winced and pulled the quilt up over his ears. What kind of inn was this? Surely even travellers to such a Godforsaken backwater shouldn’t have to put up with deranged females bursting into their rooms and screeching at them before breakfast?

‘Oh! What wickedness!’

Pulling the quilt up round his ears clearly wasn’t a strong enough hint that deranged females weren’t welcome in his room. For the voice was definitely getting louder. Coming closer.

‘What is the world coming to?’

Just what he’d like to know, he thought resentfully, dragging his eyelids open and seeing the owner of the strident voice standing right over him, jabbing a bony finger at his face.

‘How could you?’ the bony-fingered, screeching woman shouted into his face. Right into his face.

Enough was enough. He knew that public inns were of necessity frequented by...well, by the public. But surely even here a man was entitled to some privacy? At least in his own bedchamber?

‘Who,’ he said, in the arctic tone that normally caused minions to shake in their shoes, ‘let you into my room?’

‘Who let me into your room? Why, I let myself in, of course.’ She smote her breast theatrically. ‘Never have I been so shocked!’

‘Well, if you will invade a man’s chamber what can you expect?’

‘Oh!’ the woman cried again, this time laying the back of one hand across her brow. ‘Was ever there such a villain? Truly, your soul must be stained black with depravity if you can treat the seduction of innocence with such levity!’

Seduction of innocence? The woman must be fifty if she was a day. And she’d invaded his room. Nothing innocent about that.

‘And as for you!’ The screeching woman’s finger moved to a point somewhere to his left side. ‘ trollop!’

Trollop? There was a trollop in his bed as well as a hysterical woman standing next to it?

A brief foray with his left foot confirmed that, yes, indeed there was another pair of legs in his bed. A slender pair of legs. Belonging, he had to suppose, to the trollop in question.

He frowned. He wasn’t in the habit of taking trollops to his bed. Nor any other kind of woman. He always, but always, visited theirs. So that he could retire once he’d reduced them to a state of boneless satiation and get a peaceful night’s sleep at home. In his own bed. Where he heartily wished he was now. For there wouldn’t be a strange woman in his bed if he’d stayed at home. Nor, which was more to the point, would anybody be daring to stand over him screeching.

‘How could you repay me by behaving like this?’ The hysterical woman was still ranting. ‘After all I have done for you? All the sacrifices I have made?’

Her voice was rising higher and higher. And getting louder and louder. But even so there seemed to be a sort of fog shrouding his brain. He couldn’t for the life of him pierce through that fog to work out why there was a woman in his bed. He couldn’t believe he’d hired her. Because he had never needed to hire a woman. So how did she come to be here?

How, for that matter, did he come to be here?

And how was he to work it out with that harpy shrieking at him?

He put his hands over his ears.

‘You ingrate!’

No use.

He could still hear her.

‘Madam,’ he said coldly, removing his hands from his ears, since ignoring her in the faint hope that she might go away wasn’t working. ‘Lower your voice.’

‘Lower my voice? Lower my voice? Oh, yes, that would suit you just fine, would it not? So that your vile misdeed might be covered up!’

‘I have never,’ he said in outrage, ‘committed any vile misdeed.’ Nor used the kind of language that more properly belonged on the stage.

He pressed the heels of his hands to his temples. His throbbing temples. How much must he have had to drink last night to wind up in bed with a trollop he couldn’t remember hiring and be parroting the vulgar phrases of a woman who seemed intent on dragging him into some kind of...scene?

‘Get out of my room,’ he growled.

‘How dare you order me about?’

‘How dare I?’ He opened his eyes. Glared at the screeching woman. Sat up. ‘No. How dare you? How dare you walk into my room and address me in that impudent manner? Fling accusations at me?’

‘Because you have seduced my own lamb! My—’

Indignation had him vaulting out of the bed.

‘I am no seducer of innocents!’

The woman shrieked even more loudly than before. Covered her eyes and stumbled towards the door. The open door. Where she had to push her way through a crowd of interested bystanders. Who were all peering into his room with a mixture of shock and disapproval.

Except in the case of a plump girl he recognised as the chambermaid. She was gazing at him round-eyed and slack-jawed.

At which point he realised he was stark naked.

With a low snarl he stalked across the room and slammed the door shut on the whole crowd of them.

Then shot the bolt home for good measure.

He had a brief flash of his nurse, clucking her tongue and quoting that proverb about shutting the stable door after the horse had bolted.

No horse. He shook his head. A horse was about the only thing that didn’t appear to have wandered into his room while he lay sleeping.

Sleeping like the dead. Which made no sense. How had he managed to get to sleep at all? When he’d decided to rack up here for the night he’d suspected he wouldn’t be getting a wink of sleep. Other, similar inns in which he’d stayed had made a restful night well-nigh impossible. If it wasn’t travellers in hobnailed boots tramping up and down the corridor at all hours, or coaches rattling into the inn yard with their guards blowing their horns as though it was the last trump, it was yokels with lusty voices bellowing at each other in the tap. Over which his room was always inevitably situated.

Although this chambermaid had brought him to a room right up in the eaves. So the noise wouldn’t have been an issue. Had he been so exhausted after the events of the past few days that he’d slipped into a state resembling a coma?

It wasn’t likely. And it didn’t explain the muzzy feeling in his head. That felt more as though he’d taken some kind of sleeping draught.

Except that he’d never taken a sleeping draught in his life. And he couldn’t believe he’d suddenly decided to do so now.

He rubbed his brow in a vain effort to clear his mind. If he could only recall the events of the previous night.

He concentrated. Ferociously.

He could remember having a brief wash and going down for dinner. And being served with a surprisingly good stew. The beef had melted in his mouth. And there had been cabbage and onions and a thick hunk of really good bread to mop up the rich gravy. He remembered congratulating himself as he’d come up the stairs on stumbling across an inn that served such good food.

After that—nothing.

Could the overseer and his accomplice have attacked him on the way upstairs? Had they followed him and sneaked up on him, intent on getting revenge? He felt the back of his head but didn’t find any lumps or cuts. No sign that anyone had struck him with a blunt instrument. It was about the only thing they hadn’t used. They certainly hadn’t hesitated to use their boots when they’d managed to knock him to the ground.

Not that he’d stayed down for long. A feeling of satisfaction warmed him. He flexed the fingers of his right hand, savouring the sting of grazed knuckles. It was one thing practising the science in a boxing saloon, where due deference was always given to regular customers, quite another to rise triumphant from an impromptu mill with a brace of bullies who had neither known who he was nor fought fair.

But, still, that didn’t answer the question of why this harridan had burst, shrieking, into his bedroom, nor the female he’d apparently taken to his bed without having any recollection of so much as meeting her.

He turned slowly, wondering just exactly what sort of female he had found in such a ramshackle inn, in such a dreary little town.

He took a good look at the girl, who was sitting up in the bed with the covers clutched up to her chin.

Contrary to what he’d half expected she was a pretty little thing, with a cloud of chestnut curls and a pair of huge brown eyes.

Which was an immense relief. He might have lost his memory, but at least he hadn’t lost his good taste.

* * *

Prudence rubbed her eyes. Shook her head. She’d never had a dream like this before. Not as bad as this, at any rate. She had sometimes had nightmares featuring her aunt Charity, for despite her name her mother’s sister was the kind of cold, harsh woman who was bound to give a girl the occasional nightmare, but never—not in even the most bizarre ones that had invaded her sleep when she’d been feverish—had her aunt spoken such gibberish. Nor had she ever had the kind of dream in which a naked man invaded her room. Her bed.

He’d stalked to the door and shut it, thankfully, though not before she’d realised that the landlord was staring at her chest. Her bare chest.

Why hadn’t she checked to see if she was naked before sitting up? And why was she naked? Where was her nightgown? Her nightcap? And why wasn’t her hair neatly braided? What was going on?

The naked man by the door was ruffling his closely cropped light brown hair repeatedly, as though his head hurt. And he was muttering something about horses and gravy.



Her stomach lurched. She had a clear recollection of snuggling up against that man a few minutes ago. He’d had his arms round her. It had felt...lovely. But then she’d thought it was all part of a pleasant dream, in which someone was holding her, making her feel safe for once. Loved.

Instead he’d probably...

She swallowed. Heaven alone knew what he’d done to her.

And now he was standing between her and the door. The door he’d just bolted.

Don’t come near me. Don’t turn round. Don’t turn round.

He turned round.

Looked at her searchingly.

Appeared to like what he saw.

Started walking back to the bed.

She opened her mouth to scream for help. But the only sound that issued from her parched throat was a sort of indignant squeak.

She worked her tongue against the roof of her mouth, desperately trying to find some moisture so that she could call for help.

Though from whom? That landlord? The man who’d just taken a good look at her breasts?

Aunt Charity? Who’d come in here and called her a trollop? didn’t look as though she needed to call for help just yet. The man was standing still. Fists on his hips. Glaring down at her.

Glaring down from a face she suddenly recognised. Now that she was actually looking at it. And not at those broad, bare shoulders. Or the bruised ribcage. Or the... Well, she’d never seen a naked man before. She couldn’t help looking at that. Even though she knew she shouldn’t.

But anyway, now that she was looking at his face she knew she’d seen it before. Last night. In the dining room.

He’d been sitting in the corner, at a table all on his own. Looking dangerous. And it hadn’t been just the bruise to his jaw, or the fact that one eye had been swelling and darkening, or that he’d had the grazed knuckles of a man who’d clearly just been in a fist fight. It had been the cold atmosphere that had surrounded him. The chill emanating from steel-grey eyes that had dared anyone to try and strike up a conversation, or walk too closely past his table, or serve him with anything that didn’t meet his expectations.

She hadn’t noticed him observing her. But he must have been doing so. He must have somehow known she was in a room on her own and followed her up here, and then...

But at that point her mind drew a blank.

He hadn’t handled her roughly—that much she knew. Because she didn’t feel the slightest bit sore anywhere. Though perhaps she hadn’t put up much of a struggle. Perhaps she’d known it would have been useless, given the size of the muscles bulging out all over that huge, great body...

‘It won’t work!’

‘Pardon?’ The word just managed to crawl over her teeth.

‘This—’ The big, dangerous, naked man waved his arm round the room. Ended up pointing at her. ‘This attempt to compromise me.’

Compromise? What an odd choice of word. Besides, if anyone was compromised it was her.

She tried clearing her throat, in order to point this out, but he’d whirled away from her. Was striding round the room, pouncing on various items of clothing that lay on the floor. He bundled them up and threw them at her.

‘Get dressed and get out,’ he snarled. And then, for good measure, he drew the hangings around the bed, as though to blot out the very sight of her.

Which at least gave her the privacy to scramble into what turned out to be the clothes she’d been wearing last night. Clothes which had been scattered all over the room as though they’d been torn off in a frenzy and dropped just anywhere.

Which wasn’t like her at all. She was always meticulous about folding her clothes and placing everything she might need upon rising close at hand. It was a habit ingrained during the first dozen years of her life, when the ability to move out of a billet at a moment’s notice might have meant the difference between life and death.

Still, she wasn’t going to dwell on that. If ever there was a time to make a swift exit then that time was now. She needed to get decently dressed, as fast as was humanly possible, and out of this room before the gigantic, angry, naked man changed his mind about letting her go.

She untangled her chemise and pulled it on over her head. Reached for her stays. And considered. It would take some time to wriggle it into a comfortable position and do up all the laces. Better just to get her gown on and get out of here.

When she peeped out through the bed hangings she saw that he was sitting on a chair, stamping his feet into a pair of scuffed, rather baggy boots.

Which reminded her. Shoes. Where were her shoes?

There. Right by the door. Next to each other, although one was lying on its side.

She grabbed her stays and waited until the man—the no longer naked man, since he’d pulled on some breeches and a shirt—reached for his second boot. He didn’t look like the kind of man who’d sacrifice his dignity by hopping after her. So as he started easing his foot down the leg of that boot she made a dash for the door.

As quickly as she could, she thrust her feet into her shoes, and went to open the door.

It wouldn’t budge.

She tugged and tugged at it, but no matter how hard she pulled, or how frantically she turned the handle, she simply couldn’t get it open.

And the man must have got his second boot on. Because she could hear him walking across the room. He was coming in her direction.

In panic, she dropped her stays so she could tug at the handle with both hands. But she wasn’t quick enough. He’d come right behind her. Was reaching up. Over her head.

And drawing the bolt free.

The bolt. In her panic to escape she’d forgotten all about the bolt.

‘Allow me,’ said the man, opening the door and making a mockingly courteous gesture with one hand.

Before putting the other on her back.

And shoving her out onto the landing.

The beast. The rude, nasty, horrible man! He hadn’t even let her pick up her stays! Not that she really wanted to be seen running round an inn with her stays in full view in her hands.

But still— Her lower lip trembled. If she’d had a drop of moisture in her parched body she was sure tears would have sprung to her eyes.

She rubbed at them, but got no relief. The gesture only made the landing spin, and then sort of ripple—the way the surface of a pond rippled when you threw in a pebble.

And there was something else odd about the landing. It all seemed to be the wrong way round. True, she hadn’t spent much time exploring the place when they’d arrived, but it had been such an odd little space, up under the eaves, that it was bound to have stuck in her mind. The owner of the inn had made clever use of his attics, fashioning three rooms around three sides at the top of his property, with the head of the stairwell and a broad landing taking up the fourth side. Last night, when she’d come up the stairs, she’d had to go right round the narrow gallery which bordered the stairwell to reach her room. But now she was standing right next to the staircase, which meant she hadn’t been in her room just now.

But his.

Why had she been in his room? Could she have stumbled, sleepily, into the wrong room last night?, that wasn’t it. She distinctly recalled starting to get ready for bed and her aunt coming in with a drink of hot milk.

A sound from inside the room she’d just shared with a total stranger made her jump out of her skin.

She shouldn’t be loitering here. Who was to say he wouldn’t change his mind and drag her back inside?

With legs that felt like cotton wool, she made her way round the gallery. She passed the door to the room where her aunt and her... She shook her head. She still couldn’t think of her aunt’s new husband as her uncle. He was no relation of hers. It was bad enough having to share her home with him, let alone address the old skinflint as though he was family.

She stumbled to a halt in the doorway that stood open. This was her room. She was sure this had been her room. The bed was just where it should be. And the washstand. And the little dormer window with the seat underneath on which she’d knelt to peer down at the view. She’d been able to see along the road that led to the market square. Even from this doorway she could just spy the top of the market cross.

But—where were her things? Her trunk should be just there, at the foot of the bed. Her hatbox beside it. Her toiletries, brush and comb should be on the washstand.

Confused, she tottered round the landing to the back of the house, to the room her aunt and the vile Mr Murgatroyd were sharing. There was nothing for it. She’d have to intrude, even though they might be—she shuddered—embracing, which they tended to do with revolting frequency.

She braced herself and knocked on the door. When there was no reply she knocked again, and then gingerly tried the handle. The door opened onto an empty room. No luggage. No personal clutter on the washstand or dresser.

As if they’d gone.

She blinked a couple of times and shook her head. This must all be part of the same nightmare. That was it. In a minute she’d wake up, back in... Back in...

She pinched her arm—hard.

But nothing changed. She was still standing on the landing at the top of an inn, in a little town whose name she couldn’t remember. After waking up in bed with a naked man.

It couldn’t be happening.

Her aunt and her new husband must be downstairs. Paying the bill. That was it. They couldn’t have abandoned her. They just couldn’t have.

Her heart fluttering like a butterfly trapped in a jam jar, she turned away from the empty room and ran down the stairs.


Получить полную версию книги можно по ссылке - Здесь

Следующая страница

Ваши комментарии
к роману In Bed With The Duke - Энни Берроуз

Комментарии к роману "In Bed With The Duke - Энни Берроуз" отсутствуют

Ваше имя


Введите сумму чисел с картинки