Katherine has always been the rebellious sort. At age 3, she bit her nanny for not feeding her, her favourite treacle tart- the woman had to get sutures. At age 8, she put toads and lizards in her maid’s bed- the poor woman quit the very next day. At 14, she kissed the gardener’s son in front of her maternal grandmother - just to spite the matriarch. The old woman got the vapours and had to be revived with smelling salts!
Now at 25, a veritable spinster, almost a matron, Katherine had no intention to marry. She loved the freedom her single status gifted her and her family were in no rush to send her off to her marital home, even if the ton and societal norms dictated so. Instead, at 25, Katherine had a salacious secret- one that none of her family knew, save her lady’s maid Emma. One that could ruin not only Katherine, but her family and friends as well.
Then walks in the recently titled Duke of Kendal. His life is orderly, calm and to the highest standards of the ton - just as a Duke’s life should be, just not as his father’s life was. Growing up in a deplorable state, with a family title but no money, the Duke’s family the Beaumonts barely had any money to put clothes on their children’s backs, let alone food on the table. His mother secrets worked in a seamstress’ shop to feed her children and hide the money from her gambling, adulterous husband. So growing up the Duke made a promise to himself. He would never tarnish his family name as his father had done. He would live up to society’s standards. Marry a blue eyed, blonde haired, boring chit and produce multiple heirs to carry on his legacy. There was no place for chaos and unpleasant surprises in his life. All was orderly.
Well it was... until he met Katherine. And then his life turned upside down.