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Dukes By The Dozen - June Excerpt

April 12th see’s the release of DUKES BY THE DOZEN. What’s better than a dashing duke? A dozen of them! In this case, a baker’s dozen—thirteen of your favorite historical romance authors have come together to bring you more than a dozen tantalizing novellas, with one per month, for a year’s worth of never-before-released romances.

For the next 13 days I shall be sharing excerpts from each of the stories in this fabulous Boxed Set from the following amazing historical authors, Alyssa Alexander, Jennifer Ashley, Grace Burrowes, Gina Conkle, Eileen Dreyer, Elizabeth Essex, Bronwen Evans, Anna Harrington, Madeline Martin, May McGoldrick, Ella Quinn, Heather Snow, Sabrina York.

Her Perfect Duke

By Ella Quinn

June

Giveaway: One copy of Three Weeks to Wed

Lincolnshire, June 1819

Giles, Duke of Kendal, strolled around the Midsummer’s fair in Wintering, a small market town in Lincolnshire. His friend, mentor, and one-time guardian, the Duke of Berwick-upon-Tweed, had suggested Kendal take advantage of being a guest of the Duke and Duchess of Hull. The town was famous, at least in this small area of England, for its Midsummer’s night fair. Berwick had even gone so far as to suggest that Kendal might find something that would interest him, or perhaps it was someone that would interest him. If it was a someone, he hoped it was a soothsayer or fortune teller. Thus far in his life, he had not made the best of decisions. Or rather, he had accepted the decisions that had been made for him.

Except for Lillian. She had been the light of his life.

He gave himself an inner shake. There was no point in continually asking if he could have done anything differently. She was gone, and that was that. Or so Berwick had told Kendal more than once.

Determinedly, he turned his focus on the fair. The purpose this year—aside from local craftsmen and women making a bit more money and celebrating the longest day of the year—was to raise the funds necessary to provide a new roof for the church. Why did churches always require new roofs?

He had almost strolled past a booth with two elderly women selling lace and ribbons when the sound of light, musical laughter stopped him. Two females, one with silvery blonde hair and dressed like a lady, although not in the latest fashion. The other looked like every lady’s maid he’d ever seen, dressed primly in a dark gown. The women were inspecting the lace.

“This is extremely fine work,” the lady said. “Mannering, I think it would look lovely on my blue gown.”

“I agree, my lady.” Mannering held the piece of lace up, inspecting it. “It’s just what we need to make it special.”

“How much do you think we require?” the lady asked.

Mannering measured the lace with her arms as a guide. “If you like, you could also get some for your mother.”

“What a wonderful idea!” The lady smiled. “I can give it to her for”—a faint line appeared between her brows—“Her birthday and Christmas are too far away.” Then she smiled, a smile with no artifice, no calculation. Very much like Lillian had smiled, although different, too. It was the smile of an unaffected lady, not the child Lillian had been. “I shall just give it to her. Those are the best gifts.”

“That is a lovely idea, my lady,” one of the old women said.

Was the lady from here? She turned just enough for him to see that her brows and eyelashes were darker than her hair. One did not see that often in England. It was more common in Germany and Holland. Yet she was obviously English.

The lady and her maid concluded the purchase and went to another booth, where the lady found something else she needed and something else she could give to another. This time, as if she knew he was watching her, she glanced in his direction. Their eyes met for a mere second. It was long enough for him to see they were almost turquoise, the color of the sea in the Greek Islands. Then she blushed and dropped her gaze.

Kendal was entranced.

Wishing you all HAPPY READING! 

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