Whereas he, who had acknowledged his demons but refused to fear them, was now petrified with terror. And all because the one thing he swore would never happen had come to pass.
Daphne read: ‘The rake formerly known as Earl Clyvedon has finally seen fit to grace London with his presence. Although he has not yet deigned to make an appearance at a respectable evening function, the new Duke of Hastings has been spotted several times at White's and once at Tattersall's.’ She paused to take a breath. ‘His grace has resided abroad for six years. Can it be any coincidence that he has returned only now that the old duke is dead?’Daphne looked up. My goodness, she is blunt, isn't she? Isn't Clyvedon one of Anthony's friends?
He's Hastings now, Violet said automatically, and yes, I do believe he and Anthony were friendly at Oxford. And Eton as well, I think. Her brow scrunched and her blue eyes narrowed with thought. He was something of a hellion, if my memory serves. Always at odds with his father. But reputed to be quite brilliant. I'm fairly sure that Anthony said he took a first in mathematics. Which, she added with a maternal roll of her eyes, is more than I can say for any of my children.Now, now, Mother, Daphne teased. I'm sure I would take a first if Oxford would only see fit to admit women.Violet snorted. I corrected your arithmetic papers when your governess was ill, Daphne.
Well, maybe in history, then, Daphne said with a grin. She looked back down at the paper in her hands, her eyes straying to the new duke's name. He sounds quite interesting, she murmured.Violet looked at her sharply. He's quite unsuitable for a young lady of your years is what he is.
Funny how my ‘years,’ as you put it, volley back and forth between being so young that I cannot even meet Anthony's friends and being so old that you despair of my ever contracting a good marriage.
Daphne Bridgerton, I don't—I’m sorry, too, he said with great feeling. Most of the time they’re a dreadful nuisance.
Kate had to cough to cover up her small gasp of surprise.But at least you were not comparing me to Gregory, he said with a dramatic sigh of relief. He shot her a cheeky, sideways look. He’s thirteen.
Kate caught the smile in his eyes and realized he’d been bamming her all along. This was not a man who wished his brothers off to perdition. You’re rather devoted to your family, aren’t you? she asked.His eyes, which had been laughing throughout the conversation, turned dead serious without even a blink. Utterly.