the best gemologist in the kingdom of Annabel, believed that no love could outshine the magnificence of a precious gem. Melisa devoted herself entirely to her craft and remained determined to stay single. However, just as she thought her path was clear, Duke Lewis Winterfelt, the kingdom’s most sought-after bachelor, proposed marriage to her through a formal contract
Though shocked at first, Melisa was intrigued by the Duke’s bold proposition. As she examined the details of the agreement, her analytical mind began to find the offer rather appealing. The Duke promised to provide her with a state-of-the-art workshop and a generous stipend for her gemological research. Besides, as the wife of a Duke, her social standing would rise significantly, allowing her gemological skills and knowledge to gain wider recognition
While evaluating the Duke’s proposal, Melisa started seeing the possibilities of this unlikely union. She found herself imagining how, together, they might build the kingdom’s premier gemological institution. The Duke’s resources and influence combined with her expertise would establish Annabel as a global center of gemological excellence. Their partnership could benefit not only her own ambitions but also advance her field in ways she had barely dreamed
Though logic suggested accepting the Duke’s offer, Melisa’s heart remained unpersuaded. She had never envisioned marriage for herself, always assuming she was destined to remain devoted only to her gems. Yet now, presented with the possibility of a true partner who could share in her passion, she felt herself being unexpectedly dazzled in a way no gem ever had. And she began to wonder if, perhaps, there might be room in her life for both precious stones and precious love
In the end, Melisa decided to follow both her heart and her calling. She accepted the Duke’s proposal but only on the condition that she would continue her work uninterrupted. The Duke gladly agreed, and they were married shortly thereafter. Under their leadership, the kingdom of Annabel became renowned as a center of gemological discovery and excellence. And in their own unlikely union, the Raven Duchess and the Duke found a love as rare and precious as the gems they studied.