Duchess of Moonlight by Sandra Sookoo (epub)
When two people stop trying to hide from the things that might break them, life falls into place.
Emma St. Clare —the Duchess of Winthrop—has lived the last ten years of her life hidden in a crumbling manor house in England’s Lake District, essentially as a ghost. Close enough to the Highlands of Scotland that she could be forgotten, she has been safe from her horrid husband and has enjoyed the solitude she shares with her ailing younger sister and a handful of servants. Now, her life is once more irrevocably changing with the advent of a rugged, handsome stranger, but she must risk it.
Mr. Alexander Burgess just wants peace and quiet. Retired from Bow Street, he means to travel to old family holdings whose ownership has now passed to him with the intent to disappear and relax, but when he arrives, he finds tales of a ghostly lady and a haunted manor. He doesn’t put much stock in the stories, especially knowing a missing duchess might have finally been located. And he is certainly not happy about having a troublesome—if beguiling—female underfoot.
As they both claim the property as home, tensions rise between them, but all is not what it seems. The duchess has been keeping secrets, and when he stumbles upon her sister whose health is failing, and hears her history, he thaws toward her, for they need protection. Forced proximity ignites the attraction between Alex and Emma, yet when an unexpected foe tied to his mission threatens them both, they have to work together and protect the dreams they never knew they wanted.