By:  JK Romance  Completed
Language: English
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To escape an unwanted betrothal, Ava Marlowe runs away from home and hides in a quiet countryside only to soon meet Magnus, the most dashing, charming and kindhearted man ever exists. They get swept up in a passionate romance, but unfortunately Ava must face bitter rejection from his noble family. Despite her resolve to fight for love, she has no choice but to separate from Magnus when his ruthless cousin threatens to send for her father and her betrothed. As his family's patriarch, the Duke of Vermont has no other intentions than to preserve his family's honor, and it means he will do everything in his power to keep his gullible cousin from falling victim to a cunning seductress. But one fateful night, unlikely circumstances brings him together with her in a perilous ordeal. Against his wishes, he finds himself ensnared by the woman he despises the most.

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187 Chapters
Chapter 1
Peering through the blurred carriage window, Ava Sofia lost in her restless mind with the scenery flying by. The dark had softened to blue and the silvery mist appeared, soon the shimmering rays would rise from the horizon, bringing her a new day she never expected, yet she had to survive. Fate had its way of changing life in an instant. Her life had turned upside down in a matter of days. Not a week ago, she was a glowing bride-to-be, eagerly awaiting a new chapter of her life. She thought her happily ever after was about to begin. Now she was an anxious runaway. Surely a new chapter of life was on the way to come. But not in a way that she always imagined. It was not the first time things didn't come out as she expected, and not the first time the ugly truth was revealed to her. In her early years, life was just perfect. As a child, she had grown in the warmth of a family, been loved and pampered like a princess.
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Chapter 2
He was charming. Just like father and mother said, he was young and handsome. He was about average height, likely a fair inches taller than her, very well dressed, she had never seen a stylish man like him in the countryside. His face glowing when he smiled. He certainly had his attractions. Yet she noticed shades of dark circles under his eyes and subtle signs of tiredness.   The formal introduction followed and Lord Roger had no difficulty to charm them with his appealing personality. He greeted her with utter respect, not lingering his gaze to her longer than proper. He lit up the room with his laughter, made mother blush with his generous compliments. The entire night was delightful, she enjoyed the dinner and the conversation very much. Glancing at Lord Roger secretly when he was explaining something to her parents, an inevitable thought occurred to her. This was too good to be true. What made a man like him, a nobleman at his best, young, handsome, unquest
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Chapter 3
Suddenly the carriage stopped, seemed like they had arrived. Breathing in relief, she flew out of the carriage swiftly, not waiting for him to descend first and help her out. She couldn't abide a minute longer with him alone in the carriage. To her dismay, his touch and kisses were extremely unpleasant.   Later, they were mingling with the other guests, greeting each other, having conversations. Roger had come back to his sociable nature, but Ava couldn't help thinking about their ride home later. She should have brought Polly with them.    Some male guests asked her for a dance and she accepted their invitations. Anything to keep her away from Roger. Confused with her feeling, she wished it was just because of her lacking of experience.   Shortly after finishing the last dance, Roger took her elbow and led her away from the crowd. His hand grasped her waist possesi
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Chapter 4
For a moment, Ava was totally speechless. The next second, she stood rightaway. "You are wrong, mother! He tried to rape me. He hit my face, he called me whore!" She was thinking to tell mother he insulted her too, and Del, but she didn't want to hurt her feeling. Mother looked surprised. "Did he?" "Yes, and it was not just rough... or passionate like you just said. It was horrible, and violent, and..." she tried to find the right word. "Totally evil."   Desiree frowned at her last word and fell silent. Ava got a bad feeling that her mother didn't believe her.   "Mother" she started to pace back and forth across the room. "You should believe me. I'm not that naive that I don't know the difference between forcing and seducing. You have no idea what I've undergone just now..."   Finally, mother gave a reply. "We should tell your father. Tomorrow."   Soon after mother lef
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Chapter 5
Ava spent the rest of the day trying to convince her mother. She told her over and over again about the incident, making sure she didn't miss a single  detail. If mother could trust her even a little, maybe she would be willing to coax father to cancel the marriage.    She totally lost hope the next day. She had been restless all day. No longer having her usual appetite, she couldn't eat more than a few bites of toast. She couldn't sleep either, not when something very bad was coming upon her. She paced back and forth in her bedroom. Father and mother had gone in the morning. They didn't told any of the servants where they went or when they might be back. Last night after hours of relentless talk, Desiree finally said that she would try to talk to her father. Ava had high expectation that her father eventually would change his mind. Mother always had an irrefutable po
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Chapter 6
After a long, tiring hours in the jolting and swaying carriage, a quick stop at a little town to change hackney, and a little visit to a jewelry shop to sell her engagement ring, they were finally almost at the end of the trip.    Her lips touched a mischievous grin as she recalled the wicked satisfaction she had when she sold Roger's gift. The shop owner looked at her in suspicion, but took the ring anyway. He must have thought she was a discarded mistress or sort of that. She didn't care, the ring made an adequate sum of money she would need for the coming days. She was glad she had tamped the irresistible urge to throw it out of the window that night.   Across her seat, Polly was snoring loudly, left her alone with her thoughts. Despite her confidence in what she was doing, Ava was in a quandary. She knew she would always be haunted by Roger, forever bound to him by the unbreakable contract.
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Chapter 7
Uhhh" the old man's rough groan awakened them both from the lull. "Oh" Ava turned back to the accident victim.    "Are you all right, sir?" The man leaned back behind her, trapped her with his strong hands. His breath brushed her neck, soothing her damp skin and his warmth surrounded her. His tanned hand was rough and muscular. His shirt sleeves were folded up to his elbow. Seemed like he was a working country man. A farmer or a blacksmith possibly.   "I'm okay" the old man snorted in annoyance "My right legs just hurt a little."   Ava felt a gentle pat on her shoulder and she turned her head back swiftly. "Excuse me, miss" He bestowed her the most dazzling smile, Ava didn't know which one brighter, the sunshine or his smile. "Do you mind moving a little, I need to see his injury..." "Oh..." She blushed, then moved aside. "Of course."  
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Chapter 8
Ava blushed at the way he praised her beauty. All her life, she had had more than plenty compliments to indulge her vanity, but never she felt like this before. Just a little words could make her warm as if she had caught a fever.   Struggling to keep her mind clear, she thought about what he just told her. He said he had been living here all his life. So he was a country man like she guessed.   "Where do you live, sir?" She would find out more. She braced herself to see him.   "Magnus" he gave her the winsome smile again. "Just call me Magnus."   His name was unique. "Magnus" she repeated, loving the sound of his name in her voice.   "Where do you live, miss?"   "Berry Lane near the hill." She completely forgot that he didn't answer her previous question.   "You live with your parents?"   "No, I've been living with m
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Chapter 9
They began to circle each other, eyes alarmed.   "And who is this mighty enemy of yours?   Magnus smirked. "Actually, he is not really an enemy..." He stepped to the side just in the right time when the captain advanced with a sudden thrust.   "A brother?"    "Kind of..."   "Ah! Sibling rivalry I see. An all time classic life story. Brothers are the greatest rivals. What's he like?"   "Exceedingly fast and merciless. And extremely confident."   Magnus slid forward to seize an opening but the captain was fast despite his age, he pushed Magnus' weapon off.   "What's his weakness?"   "I don't know. If I do I had already defeated him long ago."   "Is he as tall as you? As big as you?"   "He is about my he
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Chapter 10
"You didn't know who he is?!!!" Lady Byrne screeched frantically. Magnus had escaped shortly after a little polite talk, leaving Ava to cope as best she might on her own.   "My goodness! He is Lord Magnus Hyde, his family has owned this land for hundred of years. The ruling duke is his cousin. Lord Magnus is third-in-line of this little empire." The lady continued in bold enthusiasm.   "Theirs are one of the leading noble families in England. They are possessors of many estates and rich farming lands. They are incredibly wealthy. My dear Ava, you have caught a prince and you didn't even know it!"   With every word tumbling from the lady's mouth, Ava felt her heart sank. She didn't want a prince, an heir, a nobleman with all the glorious grandeur. She wanted Magnus as a man, either a farmer, a soldier, or another commoner... a man she could lay her hope on, a man she could make her own. Now that she found that he was actu
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