The Unexpected Wife
(Children of Empire #3)
By Caroline Warfield
Publication Date: July 25, 2018
Genre: Historical Romance
When the Duke of Murnane accepts an unofficial fact finding mission to Canton on behalf of the queen in 1838 he expects work to heal him. He certainly doesn’t expect to confront his wreck of a marriage in such an exotic locale, or to find the love of his life. Zambak Hayden follows her brother to China to escape pressure to make a suitable marriage. When she finds the brother drawn into the world of greed, smuggling, opium, and corruption she resolves to both sort out the truth and to protect her brother from becoming prey to all of it—if only she could stop yearning for the one man she can’t have. Can love survive when troubles and war explode around them?
The door swung open to reveal a sunny little room filled with exquisite porcelain vases full of flowers. A gilded teacart held a decanter of golden liquid and brandy glasses.
Not a lady then.
The man leaning one elbow on the mantle studied a particularly fine porcelain tea jar decorated, Chinese style, with swimming fish. His deep auburn hair raced from memory directly to her heart. Lean and whip strong, she knew he stood a half head shorter than she; she knew it because she knew this man. When he turned with the gracefulness of a dancer to frown at her, joy expanded in her chest only to collapse as his frown deepened.
“What the hell drove you to this misbegotten start, Zambak Hayden? You’ve outdone yourself this time.” The Duke of Murnane, rigid with outrage, glared at her.
Zambak’s chin rose as quickly as her spine lengthened and her heart froze. One thought consumed her. “Does my father expect you to beat me or merely drag me back?”
The duke clamped his jaw shut.
“Well, Charles? Isn’t that why you have turned up here like some unexpected parcel?” No power on earth would make her look away.
He didn’t flinch. “Do you honestly think your father needs to send a peer of the realm half way around the world just to collect his disobedient children? He could have you trussed up in a cell on any ship in Her Majesty’s navy if he chose. The duke has more important things to do.”
Of course. The fate of England always comes before his children.
Award winning author Caroline Warfield has been many things: traveler, librarian, poet, raiser of children, bird watcher, Internet and Web services manager, conference speaker, indexer, tech writer, genealogist—even a nun. She reckons she is on at least her third act, happily working in an office surrounded by windows where she lets her characters lead her to adventures in England and the far-flung corners of the British Empire. She nudges them to explore the riskiest territory of all, the human heart.
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