Darcy Burke

Excerpt: The Duke of Distraction

Book 12: The Untouchables

“It’s time for you to marry,” Father said, surprising no one. Or so Sarah assumed. Anthony knew how desperately they wanted her to marry, and she had to think Felix did too. Of course he did. Sarah was the first person to complain about the pressure they applied.

“Past time, one might say,” Sarah murmured and tried not to send an exasperated look toward her mother.

“There’s no need to be saucy,” Mother said tartly.

“Why must Felix and I be privy to Sarah’s humiliation?” Anthony asked.

Humiliation? Sarah had been annoyed, mildly embarrassed even, but not humiliated. At least not until now. She tossed a withering stare at her brother. He had the grace to wince and look away.

“There is a reason,” Mother said before inclining her head toward Sarah’s father.

Father coughed. “Er, yes. We wondered if it might make sense for you, Felix, to wed Sarah.”

Humiliation didn’t begin to describe the emotion swirling inside Sarah and erupting in her cheeks. Surely they were about to catch fire.

She would have snapped at her father or mother or both, but words simply wouldn’t come.

Anthony stood. “You can’t ambush Felix like that!” At Sarah’s intake of breath, he added, “Or Sarah.”

Sarah didn’t bother sending him another acid glare.

Their mother pursed her lips at Anthony. “We’re not ambushing him. Felix is like family. He’s well aware of Sarah’s sad state.”

Oh, this was just getting better and better. Now she was in a sad state?

“Furthermore, Felix is in need of a wife. Your father and I discussed it, and we think this is an excellent match.”

Sarah couldn’t bear to meet Felix’s gaze, so she stared at the floor. Had the patterned carpet always had that odd mushroom shape next to the leg of the settee?

“I’m glad you discussed it,” Anthony said with a great deal of sarcasm. “You might have discussed it with Felix, however.” He looked toward Felix. “Did they?”

Now Sarah chanced a look at him. Felix shook his head. To his credit, he didn’t look surprised or annoyed or pale or anything other than what he’d appeared since she’d arrived: uncomfortable.

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