Welcome to the VBT & #Giveaway: Dukes by the Dozen Box Set. Featured today is an excerpt from Dueling with the Duke by Eileen Dreyer. A randomly drawn commenter will receive a $25 Amazon/BN GC via rafflecopter during the tour. Follow the blog tour by clicking on the banner image above. Commenting on blogs increases your chance of winning. Please only comment once per blog (unless it’s active conversations with an author, multiple comments from the same person will be deleted.)
Dukes by the Dozen
by Eileen Dreyer along with Alyssa Alexandar, Elizabeth Essex, Madeline Martin, Grace Burrowes, Gina Conkle, Ella Quinn, May McGoldrick, Bronwen Evans, Jennifer Ashley, Anna Harrington, Heather Snow, & Sabrina York
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.
Duke in Winter by Alyssa Alexander
February – The Difference One Duke Makes by Elizabeth Essex
March – Discovering the Duke by Madeline Martin
April – The Duke and the April Flowers by Grace Burrowes
May – Love Letters from a Duke by Gina Conkle
June – Her Perfect Duke by Ella Quinn
July – How to Ditch a Duke by May McGoldrick
August – To Tempt A Highland Duke by Bronwen Evans
September – Duke in Search of a Duchess by Jennifer Ashley
October – Dear Duke by Anna Harrington
November – Must Love Duke by Heather Snow
December – The Mistletoe Duke by Sabrina York
January – Dueling with the Duke by Eileen Dreyer
Genre: Historical Regency Romance Anthology
from Dueling with the Duke
by Eileen Dreyer
She had a face that was completely forgettable. At least that was the way Jamie had described her. A girl you might overlook if you weren’t careful, which Jamie had said would be a shame.
Jamie had been correct. If Adam had simply seen Jamie’s wife sitting at a desk, he would have walked right by. It was when she moved that she began to make an impression. She had a compelling grace, especially for a small woman. He would have expected her to, well, bounce like a small bird on a fence. She glided as if books rested on her head.
Of course, he thought almost smiling. A marquess’s daughter. She had undoubtedly balanced a goodly number of books on her head.
“How can I help you, Your Grace?” she asked, setting her glasses down on a table and rising to her feet. “I don’t believe we’ve met?”
“To my eternal regret,” he said, “we have not met before now. I should have begun at the beginning. I am Adam Marrick, Mrs. Grace. Jamie’s cousin.”
And there it was, he thought. The reason Jamie had fallen in love with Georgina Wyndham in the first place. That smile. Wide, bright, warm, all-encompassing, as if she embraced not just him but the world. Before he knew it, Adam was smiling back.
“He loved you very much,” he said.
Her eyes glittered with welling tears, but that smile held. “I know,” she whispered. “I loved him dearly. I am so very glad to finally meet you. He spoke of you as well, of course. You were quite his hero. Hussars, wasn’t it?”
She invited him to sit, where they enjoyed a bit of society over tea.
“Lully,” he blurted out, appalled at his own clumsiness. “I’m really here for her.”
His words were met with a rather stark silence. “Pardon?”
He nodded, setting down his saucer. “I am actually here to bring her some news.”
Again Georgie tilted her head. “Lully is four, Your Grace. What news could you have to give her?”
This wasn’t going the way he’d planned. He should have believed Jamie from the start. Maybe his reaction to Georgie wouldn’t have knocked him so off-center.
“I need to take her to Scotland.”
“I beg your pardon?”
He tried briefly closing his eyes. “She is needed there.”
She was staring at him as if he’d begun to bark like a dog. “In Scotland.” Suddenly she was getting to her feet. “Are you feeling perfectly well, Your Grace?” she asked. “I can call for the local physician. He is old, but….”
He should have known this would be her reaction. “No,” he said, There was no avoiding it. He had to get to his feet as well. “No,” he said, grabbing his cane and hoisting himself up, his knee protesting like an unoiled hinge. “I am not ill. I was coming to see you anyway. I promise. Not only because I wanted to meet the woman who had stolen Jamie’s heart, but because I made a promise to him.”
“That is lovely.” Her voice didn’t sound like it. “But not to the point.”
He nodded and took another breath. “There is news,” he repeated. “Jamie’s mother has died.”
“I’m sorry to hear that.”
She neither sounded nor looked like she meant it. Having known Jamie’s mother well, he couldn’t really blame her. “If we could sit…”
Giving him a chagrined nod, she sat after him. “How can that concern us?” she asked. “Jamie’s family made certain we knew we were not welcome.”
“Well, since Jamie is…gone, it means that Lully has inherited. I need to take her with me to accept.”
Adam didn’t think you could see fire in the color green. He certainly could now.
“Inherited? Inherited what? Jamie was disowned.”
“You cannot disown a title, Mrs. Grace.”
“She is no longer simply a little girl,” he said as gently as he could. “She’s a duchess.”
She seemed to glide up to her feet, rising to her full height, which suddenly seemed not so insignificant. Following to his own feet, Adam wondered suddenly how anyone could possibly think she was forgettable. She was Boedica, Titania, Maeve. He had the oddest feeling she was looking down at him, instead of standing at his shoulder.
And then she closed the conversation.