Dukes Prefer Bluestockings (Wedding Trouble, #2)

By: Bianca Blythe


Charlotte Butterworth may be on her first London season, but she already knows she will never marry. Nothing interests her as much as numbers, and numbers seem to be of absolutely no interest to anyone else. And then there’s...the secret.

Callum Montgomery, Duke of Vernon, can marry the best. He’s handsome and charming and perfect. In fact, he’s been betrothed to the darling of the ton since he was seven, even if he does keep on putting off the wedding.

When the roguish Duke of Vernon gains possession of some terrible, utterly shocking news about Charlotte, Charlotte needs to act quickly to keep the duke from revealing her secret.





DUKES PREFER WALLFLOWERS is the second book in the Wedding Trouble series. The first book is Don’t Tie the Knot and is about Hamish Montgomery and Georgiana Butterworth.





Prologue





Scotland

1798

Callum Montgomery, Duke of Vernon, had not always possessed a habit of perching on Lord McIntyre’s roof, but everything had changed since the incident.

Before the incident, Callum had still been able to sleep.

Before the incident, Callum’s parents had been alive. Callum might be only seven, but he knew parents should be alive. They were supposed to wave him off when he went to Eton for the first time, and his father was supposed to teach him cards.

Before the incident, Callum had lived in a castle with steep roofs. Lord McIntyre’s manor home was flat. Callum’s twin brother Hamish said that made the manor home less artistic, but Callum thought it made the roof better for climbing, even though the earl shouted at him whenever he caught him. Lord McIntyre said he cared about Callum’s health, but the earl’s interest did not extend to anything other than that Callum should remain alive.

Snowflakes fell, even though their shapes were not visible in the dark night, and Callum shivered. No matter. Outside was still the nicest place to be, even if the icy breeze shaped the waves below into tall, violent forms. Lord McIntyre was unlikely to spot him here. Most likely, his guardian was sleeping. Even Hamish slept.

Callum crept along the roof, crunching over the occasional slab of snow. Stars glowed above him, and in the distance he could see the outline of Montgomery Castle.

Lord McIntyre had told Callum that one day when he was older he might live in the castle again, but that Callum’s parents had been very bad and had spent all their money. He said it made sense that his parents had been bad, because Callum was a very naughty boy. He said Callum should be grateful he’d taken over Callum’s parents’ mortgage, and that one day, if Callum married his daughter Isla, Callum would be able to live in the castle again. Callum didn’t understand why the earl wanted his daughter to marry someone he hated, but adults could be strange.

A vague noise sounded in the distance, growing louder and more recognizable over the waves.

A carriage.

Callum wrinkled his brow. It can’t be. Carriages don’t normally drive here. The closest town was miles away, and this was winter. Patches of ice and snow still covered some parts of the roads. The cliffs were steep, and the servants said if a carriage ran off the road anyone inside would die.

And yet the sound of wheels grinding over gravel and of horses trotting seemed distinctly carriage-like.

Callum inched toward the edge of his perch and held onto one of the scary looking gables. The gable was decorated with tiny steps, even though the steps didn’t lead anywhere. Hamish said the steps didn’t need to lead anywhere to be pretty, but Callum thought decorating windows with steps was confusing.

The carriage looked more elegant than the ones servants traveled in. Servants traveled in black carriages, but this one had cheerful yellow wheels.

The horses stopped, and the great door opened. Someone hurried over the gravel and snow to greet the visitor. A lavender coat flashed in lantern light, and Callum drew back. Normally the butler greeted visitors, but no butler wore lavender and so much lace. Callum knew. He liked observing the household.

It’s the earl.

Lord McIntyre glanced around, and Callum drew in his breath quickly and pressed his body against the edge of the gable.

The earl opened the carriage door, and a lady stepped out. She wore a long dark coat trimmed with fur. Isla would have loved her coat, but Callum’s attention was drawn to her blond hair.