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Read Online Books/Novels:

The Ice Around My Heart

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Marian Tee

Book Information:

A young ordinary girl falls for a rich, handsome duke. If this were an ordinary love story, she would have been his bride. Instead, she becomes his mistress.

In taking the eighteen-year-old Mary Ashton with him to London, Rathe Wellesley – the 5th Duke of Flanders and England’s #1 Heartthrob – knows that his most cherished woman would become the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons.

Even so, Rathe is unable to keep himself away from her.

Mary used to think she had the power to change the duke’s outlook on love. But when someone starts spreading lies about her, making Rathe and the whole world believe that she’s too young for him—

When she looks into Rathe’s eyes now, she fears that no matter what she does, the duke will ultimately choose…to leave her.

Books by Author:

Marian Tee Books

Chapter One

Even seated at the back of the class, Mary still didn’t feel comfortable, doing her best to slouch as low as possible in her seat. It was utterly imperative she didn’t draw any attention to herself. Right now, most of the girls seemed to be talking about—

“Did you see the feature on him last night?” The words were spoken in a dreamy tone, which just about everyone used when describing England’s #1 Heartthrob. “He was so beautiful. And the way he didn’t smile at all?”

“I know what you mean. It’s not like those American men who keep grinning all the time. At least the Duke of Flanders knows when to be dignified.”

“Good thing he didn’t have that cheap American tramp with him.”

The gagging sounds and nose wrinkling that followed made Mary slowly cover her face with her notebook. To distract herself, she checked her iPhone, clicking on the CCTV app that Rathe had installed. The application was like being given keys to the Duke of Wellesley’s empire, with access to cameras installed in all his offices and estates around the world, his private jet, and his favorite cars.

Mary scanned the list of channels in the app, clicking on the one with the most recent activity detected by the camera’s motion sensors.

A second later, the display showed the enormous bedroom she shared with Rathe, helpless longing filling Mary at the sight of her lover. She could stare at him forever, and she doubted she’d ever lose interest.

He had just come through the bedroom door and was working on his cuff pins, removing them one by one. Dressed in a sleek dove-grey suit, he looked every inch the powerful, wealthy duke he was – a man so impossibly used to authority he was able to issue commands with a mere lift of his brow.

Her heart slammed against her chest as Rathe faced the camera, revealing his entire profile. His face was classical in its perfection, his eyes vividly blue, his cheekbones so nobly high it made the duke appear like a sculpture come to life.

Mary’s throat began to dry as she watched Rathe take off his coat and toss it to the love seat across their bed. The snowy white shirt he wore underneath was of thin silk, emphasizing the well-defined muscles of his arms and chest.

When Rathe slowly started working on the buttons of his shirt, Mary pressed her legs together, an involuntary reflex as she felt moisture begin to gather between her thighs.

On her phone, Rathe had released the first two buttons already, revealing a magnificent expanse of chest.


This was like a private striptease, and the thought turned her mind into mush.

Around her, the girls were still talking about Rathe, discussing every little thing about him, from the style of his hair to his taste in food. It felt surreal, knowing how all of them would happily give half of their lives just to see him in person.

And yet here she was, able to see Rathe undress himself in the privacy of his bedroom.

Their bedroom.

Her eyes drifted back to her phone, which showed Rathe halfway done in unbuttoning his shirt. Why was it taking so long for him to undress, Mary wondered uneasily. It was as if he really was doing a striptease—

Her eyes widened.

A moment later, and she was busily typing on her iPad, sending a message via FaceTime.

Mary: You know. Don’t you?

Her eyes moved back to her phone, and she saw Rathe pause before retrieving his phone from his pocket. When his face softened as he read her message, it was like seeing the sun starting to shine, a marble statue becoming flesh and blood.

That. Smile. Mary swallowed. She didn’t care if his fans seemed to prefer him cold and unsmiling, didn’t care if they thought him as impossibly cool because of his reserve. For her, a smiling Rathe was the most beautiful sight in the world because it was proof he was…happy.

She almost jumped in her seat when Rathe suddenly looked straight at her through the camera. His gaze burned so brightly, like a blue flame that could penetrate past the distance that separated them.

She watched him type on his phone, her heart speeding up when she heard her iPad beeping a moment after.

Rathe: Did you enjoy the show?

Color stole into her cheeks at the question.

Gah. So. Wicked.

Her iPad beeped another time.

Rathe: Want me to continue?

She bit her lip in hesitation. The wetness between her legs was answer enough, but it was just so embarrassing—

Rathe: I won’t continue if you don’t want me to.

Her gaze strayed back to her phone, her heart skipping a beat at the sight of Rathe smiling ever so wickedly at her, his fingers frozen at the button of his shirt.

Slowly, her fingers started to move.

Mary: Yes, I want to.

Rathe: As you wish, little pearl.

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