by Teresa Medeiros
At the tender age of seven, Sterling Harlowe, the seventh duke of Devonbrooke, was virtually sold to his coldhearted uncle to pay off his own father's gambling debts. Sterling won his uncle's title in the bargain - but lost the playful spirit of his youth. Dubbed "the Devil of Devonbrooke," Sterling's exploits have earned him a reputation as a notorious rake. And when his mother dies, he is determined to take possession of her home - even if he must remove his mother's ward, Laura Fairleigh, to do it. But while he is returning to Arden Manor, a riding accident knocks Sterling unconscious - and when he awakens, his memory is gone.
Laura Fairleigh has turned down more marriage proposals than she can count - for no man compares to the noble and handsome man of her dreams. But when her benefactor dies, Laura learns that the woman's prodigal son, the infamous duke of Devonbrooke, plans to return to Arden Manor. Laura has never laid eyes on the duke, but his reputation precedes him - and Laura is determined to keep him from casting her and her young siblings into the streets. Her only hope is a stipulation in the will that says if Laura marries by her twenty-first birthday - a mere three weeks away - the house will be hers.
Laura prays for a miracle - prayers that seem answered when a morning walk yields a remarkable discovery; a mystery man with the face of an angel and the body of Adonis. Best of all, he seems to have no memory of who he is - or more important, who he's not! Desperate, Laura does the unthinkable. She lies. Not only does she tell the mystery man that he's her fianc? she convinces him that he possesses all the qualities of the man of her dream! As she nurses her "betrothed" back to health, Laura thinks her problems are solved. That is, until she realizes that her handsome stranger and the duke of Devonbrooke are one and the same - and that the man she has convinced to act like a pussycat is really a dangerous panther.
As the wedding night approaches, there's only one way for Laura to atone for her deception - she must win the heart of the Devil himself to save both their souls. . .
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