MENTOR: Tina Moss
MENTEE: Nancy S. Goodman
TITLE: PASSION OF THE DUKE
CATEGORY/GENRE: Adult Historical Romance
WORD COUNT: 94,000
After Lady Victoria’s abusive, opium addicted father scars her face, she must brave the ridicule of society. An encounter with Tristan, Duke of Avery, proves that not all men would judge her on looks alone. Yet, Tristan possesses his own dark secrets after the death of his family. They must overcome their inner demons and her father’s plot to destroy their love, if they are to find a chance at happiness.
Hope had yet to be beaten out of eighteen-year-old Lady Victoria Aldridge. She still believed true love floated in the whispers on the dance floors of the ton’s overcrowded ballrooms. She dared to dream of her own, prayed for happily ever after, like the ending of the fairy-tales she read to her sisters.
Her hands shaking, she discreetly tugged at the skirts of her pale pink ball gown, and checked the sweep of hair over her brow as Viscount Fairley escorted her to the floor. All through the bowing and curtsying, the intricate steps and the sway of the music, Victoria needed to believe this man might be the one who could save her. Like the stories of old, she held on to the notion that love conquered all, no matter how often she’d been disappointed.
Tonight she’d made a special effort, willing herself to accept the viscount’s hands upon her waist and shoulder, to try and enjoy, not merely suffer, the closeness of his body. To relax and dance.
Unfortunately, nothing had changed.
For no matter how brief the contact, the touch of the viscount’s hands during the dance moves, even through satin gloves, took all of her strength not to flinch.
How was she to meet a man and fall in love, if she couldn’t bear to have him touch her?