Scandal And The Duchess (MacKenzies & McBrides #6.5) by Jennifer Ashley

Chapter One November 1885 When he was this drunk, there was only one thing to do. Steven McBride laid the rest of his money on the table and got unsteadily to his feet. “Divide it,” he said to the assembled men, his Scots accent slurring. “I cannae see my cards anymore, and you’ll have it off me anyway. Good night.” His friends and acquaintances, some as drunk as himself, either laughed or grunted and went back to their cards. Bloody Scottish upstart, he knew many of them thought. Some thought much worse than that—those who knew the story—by their dark looks. Army should have slung him out. Steven knew exactly why he was imbibing to his eyeballs on his leave, and why he’d come home earlier this year. Knowing why did not make it any easier to leave the card room, navigate his way down the stairs—who the devil had put the card room upstairs?—and stagger into the street. He looked up and down for his carriage, then remembered he’d hired a carriage to bring him to the soiree tonight. Steven vaguely remembered dismissing it, blast it all, telling the coachman he’d make his own way home
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