All You Need is a Duke (EBOOK)

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She needs to wed... And he's going to find her a husband.

When Margaret Carberry’s mother drags her upstairs at a ball, Margaret does not expect her mother to tie her to the bed and lock the door. Unfortunately, Margaret’s mother has taken it upon herself to declare Margaret compromised—whether or not Margaret wants to resort to such tactics to snare a husband.

Jasper Tierney, the Duke of Jevington, is surprised to encounter a half-clothed woman sprawled upon his bed. He is even more shocked to discover her identity. Margaret Carberry is renowned as an incorrigible wallflower, not a seductress, no matter how appealing her bare flesh is against his bedding. When Margaret declares she won’t go along with her mother’s scheme and will find a husband on her own, Jasper vows to assist her, lest Margaret’s mother concoct another method to arrange a compromising situation. Jasper is certain of one thing: he has no desire to marry.

As Jasper works to match Margaret to a fellow duke, the prospect of a forced marriage with her lacks its earlier loathsomeness. Perhaps he missed his chance for true bliss.



All You Need is a Duke is the first book in the Regency historical romance series, The Duke Hunters Club.


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Opening Sample


June 1820



The first rule of being a wallflower was to acquire a superb seat. 

            Margaret Carberry, daughter of the Scottish tycoon of the same surname and relation of absolutely no aristocrats, was no longer a novice at attending balls; her mother accepted every invitation. 

Margaret strode toward the quietest section of the ballroom, farthest removed from the musicians and dancers, just as she did at every ball. Juliet and Genevieve would be here, and she wove through the horde of partygoers with expertise. Women wore thin white gowns embellished with pastel ribbons and trimmed with lace, an obvious effort to counter the summer heat. Men flashed strained smiles, discernibly uncomfortable in their complexly tied cravats, jewel-colored waistcoats, and snug tailcoats, the latter a product of a season of feasting. 

            The second rule of being a wallflower was to not interact with anyone. Margaret didn’t need to see the expressions of the guests shift when they worried they might need to converse. Though the upper echelon didn’t tend toward timidity, few desired to be seen speaking with her.

Matchmaking mamas and proud papas no longer pondered whether they should drag their second and third-born sons to meet her, and Margaret no longer felt awkward attempting to talk with the ton; after all, the results remained the same. The crème de la crème frowned at the first lilts of her Scottish accent, and when they ascertained the identity of her father, they hastily excused themselves. Even those in possession of imposing debts deemed it preferable to endure uneasy encounters with their tailors and slash their servant number than jeopardize their respectability. 

The ton was suspicious of her presence at the occasional festivity, seeing it as indicative of an unnecessary downgrade of society, reminiscent of ideals that might be shared by the pitchfork-wielding peasants who once roamed the other side of the channel. Her father might be wealthier than many of them put together, she might have attended the same finishing school as other daughters of the ton, but that didn’t mean she belonged. 

Margaret would simply find a good seat, then chat with her dear friends. Even Mama wouldn’t expect her to find a husband at the last ball of the season. Margaret smiled, even though when she’d first attended a ball, her lips had hurt from the effort of feigning delight. Now she almost enjoyed attending these evening engagements.

The throng thickened, and Margaret placed her hand on her turban to hinder any instincts the feathers on it might have to flutter away. The only thing worse than wearing a feathered monstrosity would be to wear a destroyed feathered monstrosity. 

No matter. 

This was the last event of the season. It was almost over. 

Perhaps she hadn’t found a husband, but she wouldn’t be the first woman not betrothed after one season. Besides, Papa was hardly impoverished. Perhaps Mama would agree she didn’t require a second season, and that she could simply find a cottage in Dorset and live blissfully ensconced with her favorite science tomes. 

Violins hummed pleasantly. Margaret’s body lightened, and she quickened her gait. 

Suddenly, something wet cascaded down her dress, and a definite alcoholic scent invaded her nostrils. She furrowed her brow, but she hadn’t imagined it—icy liquid cascaded down her back. 


A champagne flute shattered below her feet on the Duke of Jevington’s polished pine floorboards, marring the elaborate chalk design, and Margaret bit back a scream. What had she done? Evidently, Margaret’s newfound experience at balls had not prepared her for avoiding toppling glassware. Liquid seeped over Margaret’s gown. 

            Double fiddlesticks.  

            She patted her back tentatively and dropped her gaze to the broken shards of glass, imprinted with an elaborate gold design. 

            Well, the design was currently less elaborate. 

            A few matrons shot Margaret horrified glances, widening their mouths and furrowing their brows, in uncharacteristic disregard for the potential formation of wrinkles. 

            A footman hastened toward her, clutching a white handkerchief. He dove to the floor, gathering the glass shards.

            Some debutantes angled their torsos toward the commotion and smirked. Their puffed sleeves remained unmarred by any sudden liquid contact, and their embroidered fabric exuded an alcoholic scent-free perfection.

            Margaret’s stomach twisted. This ball was supposed to be enjoyable. And she’d ruined it.

            Someone grabbed Margaret’s elbow, and when Margaret turned, she saw her mother. 

“I saw what happened,” Mama said briskly. “How clumsy of you. I marched straight over.”

            “I-I’m sorry,” Margaret stammered, taken aback by her mother’s abrupt appearance. “I don’t know how—”

            Mama waved her hand in an uncharacteristic lackadaisical manner. “It’s of no importance, my dear.”

            Margaret’s mouth dropped open. Most things were of absolute importance to Mama. Making a good impression on the Duke of Jevington certainly ranked at the top of Mama’s desires. This was his ball, and he was unlikely to be enamored by the woman who’d transformed his glossy polished floor into a danger zone. 

            Not that the duke would be enamored even if Margaret hadn’t somehow accidentally toppled a glass of champagne. Even other wallflowers deemed Margaret dull. No duke desired to have a duchess who stumbled when she spoke and whose cheeks reddened at short intervals. The fact Margaret was apt to speak about facts with the same enthusiasm as others rhapsodized about lofty acquaintances was little solace.

“You must get dry.” Mama linked arms with Margaret, as if wary Margaret might desire to scamper toward the other dancers in her dripping attire to attempt a reel. 

They inched toward the exit as more people swarmed into the ballroom. Some people regarded Margaret curiously, perhaps wondering why Margaret had decided that pleasant music, dancing, and food were experiences to be abandoned, rather than savored. Others were occupied with craning their necks toward the wonders of the painted ceiling, complete with cherubs and cerulean skies, even if neither sight was frequent over Grosvenor Square. 

Finally, Margaret and her mother moved past the sturdy carved wooden doors and onto the glossy black-and-white marble tiles of the duke’s foyer. Margaret stepped toward the cloakroom. Leaving early was embarrassing, but at least they hadn’t spotted the duke; that had to be a triumph. The moment seemed deficient in glory, but Margaret raised her chin anyway. More alcohol dripped down her back, and she shuddered. 

            Mama pulled Margaret’s sleeve. “Let’s go upstairs.”

“Upstairs?” Margaret’s voice trembled.

Guests didn’t venture upstairs. 

“B-But.” Margaret halted. She felt ridiculous reminding her mother about societal rules. After all, her mother had taught them to her. 

Mama giggled, even though Mama never giggled.

Margaret narrowed her eyes. Her mother was acting most oddly. She may have longed for her mother to be less strict and dogmatic, but she certainly hadn’t expected Mama to transform into a woman who went about cavorting about the duke’s townhouse. 

“No need for you to be stodgy, dear,” Mama said. “If I say it’s appropriate, it is.” 

Mama had always seemed to be the epitome of appropriateness before. 

Margaret hesitated, but her mother yanked her toward an imposing staircase. Coldness not merely attributed to the champagne spillage slinked along Margaret’s spine. 

“We mustn’t go there,” Margaret said. “The duke’s accommodations are there.”

“Nonsense,” Mama whispered. “You cannot have champagne on your dress. It’s unseemly. Besides, the duke is in the ballroom.” 

Mama’s eyes sparkled, and her lips remained curved in a manner more commonly found in people attending comic operas. She proceeded purposefully up the marble stairs, sweeping the hem of her dress against the balustrade with such force that some of the bows on the hem of her gown unraveled. Clearly, Mama’s lady’s maid had not prepared for Mama’s energy.

Margaret shuddered at what Mama might do upstairs, where she might indulge in any snooping tendencies. Mama could hardly wander alone in the private corners of the townhouse.

Margaret glanced in the butler’s direction. Thankfully, he was consumed with guarding the door—not the things that happened inside the townhouse. Margaret sighed and followed her mother, sliding a laced glove hand over the banister. Gilt-framed paintings of various lovely landscapes, presumably of the Duke’s extensive properties, lined the stairs. Everything was beautiful, even if art enthusiasts were unlikely to clamber up the steps to scrutinize the paintings. Whatever other paintings were in the townhouse would be even more special. 

The unlit landing seemed foreboding, but a maid soon approached them at the landing, clasping a lantern. Margaret shrank back. They’d been discovered. 


Margaret shifted her legs, preparing herself for an icy stare and a firm word, the sort Margaret’s classmates had received at their finishing school, but which had never been directed at her. Margaret obeyed rules, even the unwritten ones. She knew better than to wander upstairs, even if the duke was not currently roaming the darkened corridors. 

This was when the maid would tell them to leave. Instead, the maid nodded at Mama. “This way.” 

Margaret blinked. Had the maid witnessed the incident and ascended another staircase? But maids were generally not present at balls. Perhaps a footman had informed her? Margaret furrowed her brow. 

The maid strode briskly, marching past sideboards and oversized blue-and-white porcelain vases that looked lavish even in the poor light, and Mama and Margaret hurried after her. Their feet sank into luxurious carpets that muffled their steps, but the odd silence didn’t soothe Margaret’s ever-faster beating heart. A beatific smile radiated on Mama’s lips, even though normally she might grumble that the maid’s speedy gait was unnecessary. 

Finally, the maid halted before a door. “This is it.” 

“Thank you.” Mama pressed something into the maid’s hands. “I’m afraid I’ll need your help.” 

The maid nodded gravely. “Of course. She’s quite large.” 

In the next moment, the maid clasped hold of Margaret’s wrists and dragged her inside the room.

“What are you doing?” Margaret blurted, struggling against the maid’s sturdy clasp. 

Confusion coursed through Margaret. Maids weren’t supposed to pull one into rooms. No one was supposed to do that. 

“Mama?” Margaret pleaded. 

Fingers shoved Margaret. Fingers that did not belong to the maid. Both the maid’s hands were clasped about Margaret’s wrists, like makeshift handcuffs. The lavender scent her mother favored floated about Margaret in unmistakable fashion. Mama was forcing her into the room. Mama wasn’t even prone to giving hugs, yet now she shoved Margaret’s back. 

“The bed’s to the right,” the maid said in a professional manner, as if she were explaining the room’s layout to a new guest who’d entered the proper way, with an invitation. 

“Please release me,” Margaret said in her most authoritative tone. “What on earth is happening?” 

“I’m ensuring your future peace and happiness,” Mama squealed. “Isn’t that wonderful?”

Margaret’s heart plummeted. 

An idea occurred to her. 

An abominable, atrocious and alarming idea. 

“Whose room is this?” Margaret’s voice wobbled, struggling against a suddenly dry throat, as if she’d entered the Sahara, and not an opulent room in rainy, damp England. 

“The Duke of Jevington’s,” Mama declared. “Your future husband.” 


Margaret squeezed her eyes shut. Unfortunately, when she opened them, the world remained the same as before.

“You’re jesting,” Margaret said. “You must be jesting.” 

Perhaps Mama had never jested before, and perhaps she’d involved this strange maid to assist in her joke, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t jesting. 

Surely not. 

Mama wasn’t actually going to stage a compromising situation, was she?

“The duke may have invited me to this townhouse, but that doesn’t mean he desires me to be installed on his bed,” Margaret said. 

Mama laughed and pulled the door shut. The maid set the lantern on a table with a clank. Golden light illuminated a coffered ceiling. The air smelled of cedar and citrus, a masculine scent that differed from Margaret’s own lavender smelling room. 

A rosette fell from her dress onto the expensive-appearing rug below. Not that the duke would know its expense. Margaret’s father made money, but a nobleman maintained his, and nobody was nobler than the Duke of Jevington. His ancestors had probably had the rug hauled from the Ottoman Empire during the Crusades, brought over the Alps with donkeys. 


Some women’s hearts might quicken at the thought of being the Duke of Jevington’s wife. Unlike most dukes, he was of a marriageable age; though unlike most dukes, he was unmarried. 

No doubt, Mama desired to change that particular fact.

The duke’s handsomeness was renowned, filling potential grandmothers with happy thoughts of symmetrical faced babies when they weren’t thinking of the man’s vast estates and convenient coffers of money. The duke had managed to remain uncaught, despite having a town house in Mayfair, giving him easy access to matchmaking mamas and their desperate debutante daughters.  

Besides, the Duke of Jevington wasn’t going to permit himself to be compromised by anyone. She’d met him before; he was the best friend of her friend Lady Metcalfe’s husband. She’d spent two highly uncomfortable weeks in the duke’s presence at a house party. Not that they’d even had a conversation, but surely, if the duke were for some odd reason to declare a passion for her, he would have had an ample opportunity to do so then. 

He’d probably relish the scandal even if Margaret’s mother ushered the entire ballroom of guests to gawk at Margaret on the bed. It was the sort of thing that might gain a man a high position in the coveted Rogues to Adore list Matchmaking for Wallflowers released each year.

Margaret pulled against the maid’s grip, but it had not lost its firmness. 

The maid sneered, but Margaret resisted the urge to cry.

It would be fine. 

It has to be. 

She would convince her mother and the maid to release her, pick up her rosette from the floor, and if the duke noticed a scent of champagne when he entered the room tonight, he would merely attribute it to a pleasant memory of the festivity. 

Margaret wasn’t going to allow herself to become the laughingstock of the ton. 

Not again.

Margaret raised her chin. “I demand to leave.” 

Mama stared for a moment. Her eyebrows and lower lip leaped in opposite directions, as if they desired to part.

Margaret refused to quiver. 

Then Mama gave a youthful giggle. “You’re not going to demand anything.” She turned to the maid. “Where are the restraints?” 


Margaret’s eyebrows jerked up. 

The maid pulled a long ribbon from her apron pocket. The ribbon looked appallingly sturdy, and Margaret pulled away. Her mother tightened her grip on Margaret. 

“You can’t tie me up,” Margaret said quickly. “Besides, no one will believe he compromised me. The plan won’t work.”

The maid smirked. Most likely she was fully aware of the nonsensicalness of the plan. Just how much money had Mama promised her?

“My sweet child,” Mama said. “I am very happy your innocence remains intact, but I assure you, people will believe you’ve been compromised if they discover you tied up.” 

Mama forced Margaret onto the four-poster bed and sat on her legs. Margaret writhed, but Mama was heavy, and the maid tied Margaret’s wrists to each bedpost. Sapphire-colored panels swept down regally, swathing her in sumptuousness. The bed would be considered luxurious under most circumstances, but Margaret shivered as her skin pressed against the duke’s blanket. She shouldn’t be here. Doubtlessly more of the rosettes sewn onto her dress were toppling off. 

“Shall I tie her ankles?” the maid asked. 

“What?” Margaret wiggled on the bed, attempting to free herself. 

“Don’t say ‘what,’ dear,” Mama said automatically. “I’ve been informed it’s quite coarse. ‘Excuse me’ is far preferable. There is an addition of syllables, but politeness is always the goal.” 

“Courtesy is not my current concern,” Margaret huffed. 

A strand of her hair fell from her updo.

And then another one.

And then another one. 

Margaret wished she were a pirate and had a large vocabulary of expletives to usher forth. 

“When the duke returns to his room,” Mama said. “He will find you.”

“And he’ll know he didn’t put me here.”

“It doesn’t matter. You’ll be discovered together. A witness will accompany me. I will be distraught.” Mama clasped her hands together, and her lower lip trembled. She then beamed, as if triumphant at her acting abilities. 

Margaret stared at her. “You’ve thought about this for some time.” 

“Daydreamed about it. And now, through some generous payments, it will be possible.” Mama gave a grateful glance to the maid and clapped her hands. “Oh, think of the wedding we shall have for you. All of society will attend.” 

“Because they would not believe that the duke and I would ever wed.”

“Your unpopularity will be a distant memory,” Mama said, her voice brimming with confidence.

Margaret frowned.

Mama was being impossible. Ever since Papa had made them rich, Mama had wanted to marry Margaret off well. Unfortunately, it seemed easier for Papa to invent something and create a whole company from it than for Mama to snare a titled son-in-law. Obviously, Mama shouldn’t be trying for dukes. Even the most experienced matchmaking mamas must waver at that goal.

“You’ll lose your position if you do this,” Margaret told the maid. “I’ll tell the duke.” 

“Her future is safe,” Mama said hastily, nodding at the maid. “Our townhouse can always sparkle more.” 

Margaret’s mother opened her velvet brocade reticule and extracted a jar. Mama removed the lid and a pleasant floral scent wafted through the room. 

“That scent will not calm me,” Margaret said.

“Dearest, it’s not your emotions I am concerned about.” 

Mama flitted through the room, moving from the canopied bed to the chaise-longue. 

Her mother scattered something, humming. 

Margaret widened her eyes. “Are you scattering rose petals?”  

“I would think it would look obvious,” Mama said. “All the better to make it romantic, my dear.” 

This was mad. 

Margaret fought the temptation to scream. In all likelihood that would only lead her to have a gag placed in her mouth. Besides, this floor was empty, and the festivity had practically pulsated with noise.

Perhaps she could remove these clasps. It was unlikely, but right now, it was her only hope. 

“You want her clothes on?” the maid asked. 

“The answer is yes. Obviously,” Margaret exclaimed. 

“A tear will suffice,” Mama said. 

“Of course.” The maid ripped the bodice of Margaret’s gown efficiently.

“You don’t have to do this, Mama,” Margaret begged. “The plan won’t work. Not that this is the way to marry me off. And we can just leave. No one will know. And I’ll make more of an effort—I promise.”

Mama scrunched her lips together, then strode toward Margaret. 

Hope shot through Margaret. 

Perhaps Mama really would free her. Perhaps everything would be fine. 

Instead, Mama removed Margaret’s pins from her hair. She removed a comb from her reticule and smoothed Margaret’s hair.

Her eyes glimmered, and she pinched Margaret’s cheeks. “Much better. You look most improper, like you’ve just been ravished.

Then Mama turned and exited the room with the maid.

Margaret was alone. 

She’d known Mama had been eager to marry her off, but she hadn’t realized she would resort to this. Shouldn’t she have expected it? Hadn’t Mama bribed someone to assist her when the Marquess of Metcalfe had openly searched for a wife? 

Nausea tinged Margaret’s throat.

If only Margaret had worked harder to find a husband this season. The next time someone even vaguely suitable showed any interest in her, Margaret vowed to marry him. 

Most likely she wouldn’t even have the chance to do that. Margaret would be ruined once she was discovered on the duke’s bed.

Her heart trembled, and she surveyed her new surroundings.

Dark green fabric lined the walls, as if chosen to match the duke’s hunting attire. Heavy furniture from past centuries dotted the room. Regal busts of Roman emperors perched on the tables. Clearly, the person who’d placed them there had not anticipated that women might be dragged into his room by their matchmaking mamas. 

As beds went, this outranked others in sumptuousness. The pillow possessed a pleasant feather density, and the bed cords did not sag intolerably. The coverlet was suitably soft, and no wind wafted through the window. He had the proper number of pillows, and his bedding was appropriately soft. No doubt clouds could take advice from them. 

But despite the silky texture, Margaret’s heart still hammered, as if she were fleeing a criminal, and not lying on one of the most luxurious beds in Britain. 

Margaret despised dancing, but she hardly desired to spend the duration of the ball here. She thought longingly of the rows of food on the banquet table. Genevieve and Juliet would probably wonder where she was.

At some point the Duke of Jevington would enter the room, and everything would be horrible. 

Margaret continued to tug on her fastenings. 

Unfortunately, they showed no signs of moving. 



She needs to wed... And he's going to find her a husband. 

When Margaret Carberry’s mother drags her upstairs at a ball, Margaret does not expect her mother to tie her to the bed and lock the door. Unfortunately, Margaret’s mother has taken it upon herself to declare Margaret compromised—whether or not Margaret wants to resort to such tactics to snare a husband.

Jasper Tierney, the Duke of Jevington, is surprised to encounter a half-clothed woman sprawled upon his bed. He is even more shocked to discover her identity. Margaret Carberry is renowned as an incorrigible wallflower, not a seductress, no matter how appealing her bare flesh is against his bedding. When Margaret declares she won’t go along with her mother’s scheme and will find a husband on her own, Jasper vows to assist her, lest Margaret’s mother concoct another method to arrange a compromising situation. Jasper is certain of one thing: he has no desire to marry.

As Jasper works to match Margaret to a fellow duke, the prospect of a forced marriage with her lacks its earlier loathsomeness. Perhaps he missed his chance for true bliss.


USA TODAY Bestselling Author Bianca Blythe has written over twenty fun and frothy Regency-set historical romances, filled with wallflowers, spinsters, dukes, and rogues. On occasion, she also writes historical mysteries under the name Camilla Blythe.

Born in Texas, Bianca earned her bachelor's degree from Wellesley College and completed a graduate degree in her beloved Boston. She spent four years in England, working in a fifteenth-century castle. Sadly she never spotted dukes and earls strutting about in Hessians.

Bianca credits British weather for forcing her into a library, where she discovered her first Julia Quinn novel. She remains deeply grateful for blustery downpours. 

After meeting her husband in another library, she moved with him to sunny California. On occasion she still dreams of the English seaside, scones with clotted cream, and sheep-filled pastures. For now, she visits them in her books.