The Courtesan Duchess

Wicked Deceptions #1

 

How to seduce an estranged husband—and banish debt!—in four wickedly improper, shockingly pleasurable steps…

  1. Learn the most intimate secrets of London’s leading courtesan.
  2. Pretend to be a courtesan yourself, using the name Juliet Leighton.
  3. Travel to Venice and locate said husband.
  4. Seduce husband, conceive an heir, and voilà, your future is secure!

For Julia, the Duchess of Colton, such a ruse promises to be foolproof. After all, her husband has not bothered to lay eyes on her in eight years, since their hasty wedding day when she was only sixteen.

But what begins as a tempestuous flirtation escalates into full-blown passion—and the feeling is mutual. Could the man the Courtesan Duchess married actually turn out to be the love of her life?

 

Praise for The Courtesan Duchess

“The powerful passion in this riveting tale of betrayal and forgiveness will knock your socks off!”
– NY Times bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries

“This original and alluring novel is a very promising beginning to Shupe’s career.”
— Publisher’s Weekly

“One of the best debuts I’ve read in years. Joanna Shupe’s The Courtesan Duchess is fast-paced, compelling, and super sexy. You won’t be able to put it down.”
— Award-winning author Valerie Bowman

“Joanna Shupe is a wonderful new voice to historical romance. The Courtesan Duchess takes readers on a steamy ride from Venice to London, proving that some happily ever afters are worth waiting for.”
— NY Times bestselling author Jennifer McQuiston

“Shupe’s debut Wicked Deceptions tale is passionate and seductive. Her carefully drawn characters and their nicely, crafted, poignant love story engage the readers’ emotions and will have everyone anticipating the next book in the series.”
— RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

“RWA Golden Heart® winner Shupe launches her romance-writing career with a polished Regency-set historical that successfully merges engaging characters, steamy sensuality, and a dash of danger into one captivating romance.”
— BOOKLIST

“Joanna Shupe’s compelling story of an estranged couple brims with emotion and sensuality.”
— Bestselling author Miranda Neville

“From its first naughty page, be prepared to be swept away by Joanna Shupe’s The Courtesan Duchess.”
— Historical author Maggie Robinson

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Read An Excerpt

Venice, 1816

“Now I know why Winchester looked so damned besotted each time I saw the two of you together.” Nick sipped some liqueur and stretched out. “You are a woman capable of stealing a man’s soul.”

She hid her smile behind her glass, taking a small swallow of her drink. “Except it is well-known you have no soul to steal.”

“Is that what they say?”

“Among other things. You are still the occasional topic of conversation in London. I’ve heard about you for quite some time.”

He set his glass on the table and then leaned up on an elbow. “So much has been said about the depraved Duke of Colton over the years. Why don’t you tell me what you’ve heard, and I’ll tell you if it’s true.” Nick traced a long, elegant finger down her collarbone, and she shivered.

“That you had Lady Sherbourne and her sister in bed at the same time.”

He smiled, his teeth even and white. “True.”

“Along with their brother.”

“Not true.”

“You kept two mistresses at once, setting them up in houses right next door to one another.”

“Requiring the memorization of only one address. Quite convenient, in my opinion.” Nick reached out to twirl one of her red curls around his finger.

“It was rumored you were a regular patron at Theresa Berkley’s brothel, where she practiced her arts of flagellation on you.”

“Not a regular customer, but I have been inside once or twice, yes. One is curious about such things, you know.”

He was trying to shock her, but Julia wouldn’t be dissuaded. “Your brother’s wife. Was that true as well?”

Nick’s beautiful face twisted for the briefest moment before his usual insouciant expression returned. “Oh, my dear. Isn’t that what everyone wants to know? Did the wicked younger brother seduce his older brother’s wife, causing such despair as for the heir to have a fatal accident?”

He hooked a finger in the sleeve of her loosened gown and tugged, revealing the top of her right breast. The fabric hung precariously, where one deep breath would cause her breast to burst free from her stays and chemise. “That information, tesorina, comes at a price.”

 

© Joanna Shupe


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