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This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, organizations, and events
portrayed in this novel are either products of the author’s imagination or
are used fictitiously.
rules to catch a devilish duke
Copyright © 2012 by Suzanne Enoch.
All rights reserved.
For information address St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York,
Printed in the United States of America
St. Martin’s Paperbacks edition / October 2012
St. Martin’s Paperbacks are published by St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth
Avenue, New York, NY 10010.
There were some pieces of advice, Sophia White reflected as she clung to the overturned coach’s wheel in
the middle of the half-frozen river Aire, that one should
simply not ignore. Heaven knew she’d been warned
that this particular journey was a poor idea, and at the
moment she could certainly attest to the fact that her
friends had been correct about that.
Above her on the partly submerged left-hand side and
now roof of the mail coach, the driver seemed far more
interested in retrieving satchels of correspondence than
in the dozen people splashing about around him. “Stop
that and give me your hand,” she ordered, the rush of the
cold water leaving her breathless.
“I already lost the horses and the Christmas turkeys,” the driver grunted, his voice thready through the
wind and blowing snow. “If I lose the mail, it’ll be my
“But you can lose your passengers?”
“If I was you, miss, I’d stop arguing and swim to
shore like the others. It ain’t that deep.”
Shivering, Sophia opened her mouth to protest that
the top— or side— of the coach was much closer than
the shore, but a whipped-up wave of water poured into
her lungs. Coughing, she decided that the coachman’s
advice fell into the “should be followed” category. And
since she’d missed her chance to listen to her employer
S UZA N N E ENO CH
and all her friends who’d told her not to journey to
Yorkshire in the middle of December when she already
had an obligation in Cornwall in mid-January, this time
she needed to pay attention.
Her legs were numb, but with a deep breath she
pushed off from the coach and began a half-swimming
walk to the nearest shore. Chunks of ice dislodged by
the coach’s demise and the swift current pushed at her,
sending her flailing toward the solid section of ice beyond. Most of the men were already on shore; evidently
chivalry didn’t include fishing freezing women out of
chest-deep water during a snowstorm.
Abruptly beginning to worry that the water would
shove her under the jagged-edged ice and drown her,
Sophia clenched her chattering teeth, hiked her dragging, tangled skirts up around her hips, and pushed forward. A drowned turkey bumped into her bare thighs,
making her lose her footing. Her shoe lodged into a pile
of tumbled rocks, and with a curse she stepped out of it.
Her next footstep, though, found the bottom missing,
and she went down.
Icy water closed over her head. The slight amusement
she’d felt earlier at the pure absurdity of the moment
vanished along with her air. Oh, she should have stayed
in London. She should have listened to Lady Haybury
when that wise woman had told her she would find more
trouble than welcome in York. She knew that the Duke
of Greaves had only invited her to a holiday party because he liked to make a stir; asking to have the Duke
of Hennessy’s bastard daughter in attendance wasn’t an
act of kindness. But a chance to see an old friend, to
experience one last, magnificent holiday, would have
been worth it—though her plans would hardly matter if
Someone grabbed her shoulder and hauled her upright. Sophia gasped air into her lungs, her drenched
RU LES TO C ATCH A DE VILISH DUK E
hair draping across her face. She seized onto the arm
that had caught her and squeezed it while she fought to
get her feet back under her.
“Steady,” a deep voice ordered. “I have you.”
Even through the shock of the icy water she recognized the voice. “Your Grace?” she gasped, shoving her
drenched, twisted red hair out of one eye.
The lean, handsome face just inches above hers
looked at least as astounded as she felt. “Sophia? Miss
White, I mean. Are you injured?”
“No, Your Grace. Thank you for inviting me to
Christmas.” With her standing chest deep in rushing
water, the howling snowstorm blowing all around them,
it seemed a ridiculous thing to say, but being saved from
certain death seemed to have rattled her brain loose.
He flashed a brief grin at her. “Thank me later. For
now, hold on to me.”
“You’ll have to pry me loose,” she stated, attempting
a return smile and instead inhaling more water. Coughing, she decided it would be wiser to be brave in silence, at least until they were out of the river.
Adam Baswich had jumped into the water to rescue
her, though he hadn’t known who she was. For someone as famously controlled as the Duke of Greaves,
the act itself was rather surprising. And certainly fortuitous. But at the moment, she just wanted to be out of
the freezing cold water. Sophia held on to his back, her
shaking fingers dug into his shoulders, as the group of
men on shore hauled in the rope he had tied around his
waist. Greaves was as wet as she was, but when she
tucked her frozen face into his spine he felt warm, and
his large frame stopped the wind from blowing snow
into her eyes.
“We have to climb up onto the ice to reach the shore,”
Greaves said, his voice strained. “Move around in front
S UZA N N E ENO CH
It took several attempts to get her fingers to uncurl.
“Try harder. This isn’t healthy for either of us.”
“I’m aware of that, Your Grace.” She clenched her
jaw. “Unlike you, I didn’t dive in on purpose.”
With her water-laden skirts tangling at her legs and
trying to drag her under water again, Sophia couldn’t
do much but not fight him as the duke simply hauled
her around in front of him. “I could never resist a damsel in distress,” he panted in her ear.
The fatigue and panic beginning to press at her faded
a little. “Yes, I’m certain I look quite irresistible at the
She was certain she felt his breathless chuckle against
the back of her neck. “You have no idea. And I apologize,” he said, then before she could ask what he was
apologizing for, he placed both of his large hands under
her rump and heaved her up onto the ice.
With a surprised wumpf she sprawled onto the hard,
frozen surface. She’d once seen drawings of the seals
on the beaches of the Orkney Islands, and Sophia was
certain she very much looked like one as she flopped
on the ice, gasping for air. A moment later the Duke of
Greaves hauled himself up beside her.
“I apologize again,” he panted, and reached over to
tug at her dress.
Wet material slapped against the back of her knees,
and she realized the gown must have been hiked up her
bare backside in a very unbecoming manner. “Oh, dear,”
she coughed out, pushing herself into a sitting position.
“If I were less frozen, I would likely be mortified. As it
is, thank you.”
A swift, surprised grin touched his mouth and then
was gone again as he stood to offer her both of his
hands. Disheveled midnight hair obscured the eyes she
knew to be a deep, ocean-colored gray, but he didn’t
RU LES TO C ATCH A DE VILISH DUK E
seem to notice either that or her scrutiny as he pulled her
to her feet. Her legs felt wobbly as a newborn’s, and she
sagged against him. And to think, she generally scoffed
at females who pretended weakness or light-headedness
in order to enlist the aid of a big, strong man.
“I’m so sorry,” she muttered, belatedly righting herself again. “But truthfully, if I’d fallen on you intentionally, I would have fixed my hair first.”
“Your hair is quite . . . spectacular,” he returned,
wrapping an arm around her waist and half lifting her as
with the assistance of the rope he plowed up the snowy
bank. “It’s your lips turning blue that has me more concerned.”
Immediately someone threw a heavy blanket over her
shoulders, and she wrapped it close around her. Sophia
shivered, certain the cold wind must be turning the
water that drenched her clothes and hair and skin to ice.
A snow-encrusted turkey scampered by squawking
loudly, the coachman’s assistant close on its heels.
“Poor thing,” she muttered, “learned how to swim
just to escape drowning, and it’s still to be someone’s
Christmas dinner.” It seemed a great deal of effort for
very little reward. In a sense, she was in the same predicament. She only hoped a holiday at Greaves Park
would be worth her efforts. The memories would have
to last her a lifetime, after all.
“I rank you freezing to death over a half-drowned
fowl. Evans!” The duke gestured at one of the dozen
dry men interspersed with blanket-wrapped ones along
the bank. “Get Miss White into a wagon and escort her
to the house. I need to see the rest of the passengers to
A tall fellow in a heavy coat, his floppy-brimmed
hat secured to his head by a thick woolen scarf, took
her by the shoulders. “Can you walk, miss?” he asked.
Sophia watched as the Duke of Greaves vanished
S UZA N N E ENO CH
into the blowing snow, becoming just another of the
bulky dark shapes hurrying around the growing cluster
of horses and vehicles. Undoubtedly there were other
foundering passengers waiting for heroic rescue. She
blinked. “Yes. I’ve thrown a shoe, but I can walk. Thank
Evans guided her to a wagon and without warning
lifted her into the back of the old vehicle. From somewhere he produced an additional blanket which he
tucked around her legs and feet before he clambered up
beside the driver. In a moment they were bumping along
the same road she’d traveled before the collapse of the
old stone bridge had interrupted the journey in a rather
“How far is it to Greaves Park?” she called, ducking
her nose beneath the edge of the blanket. Originally
she’d meant to leave the mail coach at the close-by village of Hanlith and then hire a cart or a hack to take
her to the estate. The ride now hadn’t cost her the expected shilling, but she would rather have been warm
“We’re nearly to the carriage road now,” Evans returned, twisting in his seat to look at her. “Not ten minutes past that.”
“How in the world did His Grace happen to be out
here? And with all of you?”
“His Grace rides nearly every day, whatever the
weather. We were in the village for onions and potatoes
and heard the commotion. It’s a lucky thing, miss.”
Oh, she agreed with that. And considering she
hadn’t had much expectation of kindness or even polite conversation once she arrived at Greaves Park, her
hopes hardly felt dashed by a dunking in the river.
She’d journeyed from London to Yorkshire for only
one reason— or two, she supposed—and that hadn’t
RU LES TO C ATCH A DE VILISH DUK E
changed. “Do you know if Keating and Camille Blackwood have arrived yet?”
“You’d have to ask Udgell about that, miss. I don’t
have much to do with the house.”
Even with the blankets, now that she was still and
not fighting for breath, the cold began to seep into her
bones. She needed to get out of her wet clothes, but that
would have to wait until they reached Greaves Park.
Resolutely she tucked her feet closer to her body and
concentrated on thoughts of how grand it would be to
see Camille Pryce— or rather Blackwood, now—after
Whether Greaves had invited her as a favor to his
good friend Keating Blackwood or because he thought
she would be a good way to stir up a bit of scandal for
his friends, she was supremely grateful to have been
asked to the Christmas holiday. After years of being
bounced from place to place, of simply waiting for her
fellow boarding school residents or supposed friends
to discover that she was the Duke of Hennessy’s illegitimate daughter, she’d finally found a true friend in
The fact that she and Camille had both been forced
into employment at The Tantalus Club only meant that
they had a connection neither of them would have otherwise expected. Yes, the club was scandalous because
it only employed lovely young ladies— some of very
good birth and all of them well educated—but that had
been Lady Haybury’s point when she’d opened the club.
Scandal drew customers, or members, or whatever they
chose to call themselves. They came, and they gambled
and ate and spent their money, and ruined women like
Camille and her had a place they could call a home.
And an income, and freedom enough to live however
S UZA N N E ENO CH
The club also granted them protection from the outside world—to a point. Or so she’d believed until just
under a fortnight ago. She shook herself. No thinking
about that now. It wouldn’t do her any good, and she
meant to enjoy herself while she could.
On the tail of her thought the wagon crested a small
rise and the valley beyond came into view. Peripherally
through the blowing snow she noted where wilderness
softened into a large formal garden, now heavily dusted
with white and fronted by a small frozen lake. On the
far side of that lay a substantial wood of oak and elm,
twisted and knotted by Yorkshire’s harsh weather despite the relative shelter of the shallow valley. At the
center of it all, catching and holding her gaze as it
emerged from the murky gloom of snow and twilight,
stood a light-colored, sprawling behemoth.
Dozen and dozens of windows gazed out from the
huge rectangular center section of Greaves Park and the
narrower east and west wings that rose from the snow at
either end, forming a tremendous, chimney-dotted H.
She’d driven past Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire once,
and Greaves Park made that magnificent building look
like a cottage.
The white and gray stone made the estate house
seem almost part of the snowstorm around it, emerging
and vanishing again in the changing light of dusk. In
fact, it reminded her of those silly gothic tales her friend
Emily Portsman kept in her room at The Tantalus Club.
A shiver only half from the cold ran down her spine.
“Don’t you fret, miss,” Evans abruptly commented.
“Mrs. Brooks, the head housekeeper, ’ll have you inside and warm and dry in no time.”
Perhaps Evans could read minds, or perhaps he was
merely accustomed to the overwhelmed awe of firsttime, half-drowned visitors to the estate. Either way, the
conversation drew her away from her own overwrought
RU LES TO C ATCH A DE VILISH DUK E
imaginings. “How many servants does His Grace employ?” she asked, her teeth chattering so badly she
wasn’t certain she made any sense at all.
“More than enough to see to everything you could
ever need, Miss White. We may be out in the wilds of
Yorkshire, but don’t you worry about that.”
Drat it all. She must have sounded like some pointynosed, spoiled prima donna. Which might have been
fun, except that she doubted her performance could
compare to the actual noblewomen who’d already arrived there. “I only meant that it must take a small army
to keep up such a grand house.”
Evans faced her again, his bundled-up expression
quizzical. “Near fifty then, I think. Udgell or Mrs.
Brooks’ll know better than me.”
She nodded, much preferring to be a curiosity over
some easily deciphered chit—even one who’d evidently
just displayed her bare, frozen arse to half of Yorkshire.
Finally the wagon stopped at the head of the wide, semicircular drive, and Evans hopped to the snowy ground
with enviable ease. Sophia couldn’t even feel her legs
any longer. That hardly mattered, though, because the
servant lifted her out of the back of the cart before she
could do any more than gasp her surprise. Evans carried
her up the trio of shallow granite steps to the massive
front door. Under other circumstances, with two other
people, this would have been terribly romantic, she was
The heavy oak door opened just as they reached it.
“Evans,” a reedy male voice intoned, “what have you
there? We are not a charitable estab—”
“This is Miss White, one of His Grace’s guests,” the
groom returned breathlessly, shifting his grip a little
around her knees. “The bridge finally let loose and
tossed the entire mail coach into the river. Drowned
nearly a dozen turkeys, and—”
S UZA N N E ENO CH
“Stop talking and follow me,” the absurdly tall, thin
butler interrupted, turning his back and heading for
the curved, mahogany-railed staircase at the rear of the
foyer. “Roger, find Mrs. Brooks immediately.”
A footman scampered off into the depths of the
house. Sophia nearly began a protest that she could
manage on her own, but she closed her lips before she
uttered a sound. It was a very grand, very tall staircase,
and at the moment she doubted she would have been
able to drag herself up to the first landing.
More servants fell in around them, and she began to
feel as though she were leading a parade of hot water
buckets, pillows, coal-filled bed pans, and what looked
like someone’s oversized night rail. The bed pan looked
especially blissful, and she could almost imagine how
the warm metal would feel against her chilled feet.
They reached a large bedchamber, and after a brief
conversation a short, rotund woman chased the male
servants and all but one other maid out and closed the
door behind them. “There we are,” she said in a warm
voice that didn’t much feel like it belonged in the large,
cold house, stripping the wet blanket from Sophia’s
shoulders and handing it to the second maid. “They
might at least have sent for the coach and kept you out
of that dreadful howling wind.”
With the blanket gone, cold air rushed in around
Sophia, and her already stiff muscles tightened so much
she creaked. She shuddered, then nearly fell to the floor
as Mrs. Brooks and the other woman began pulling at
buttons and untying ribbons. She was too cold even to
care when her gown fell into an icy puddle on the hardwood. Now the remainder of Yorkshire had seen her
bare arse. Together the two servants half dragged her
to the large, cast-iron bathtub and plunked her down
into the steaming water.