Exclusive Excerpt from Elizabeth Hoyt’s ‘Not the Duke’s Darling’
On December 18, the first novel in Elizabeth Hoyt's new Greycourt Series, Not The Duke's Darling, is being released and we have an exclusive excerpt!
About The Duke's Darling from Amazon.com
New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Hoyt brings us the first book in her sexy and sensual Greycourt Series!
Freya de Moray is many things: a member of the secret order of Wise Women, the daughter of disgraced nobility, and a chaperone living under an assumed name. What she is not is forgiving. So when the Duke of Harlowe, the man who destroyed her brother and led to the downfall of her family, appears at the country house party she's attending, she does what any Wise Woman would do: she starts planning her revenge.
Christopher Renshaw, the Duke of Harlowe, is being blackmailed. Intent on keeping his secrets safe, he agrees to attend a house party where he will put an end to this coercion once and for all. Until he recognizes Freya, masquerading among the party revelers, and realizes his troubles have just begun. Freya knows all about his sins-sins he'd much rather forget. But she's also fiery, bold, and sensuous-a temptation he can't resist. When it becomes clear Freya is in grave danger, he'll risk everything to keep her safe. But first, he will have to earn Freya's trust...by whatever means necessary.
“Miss Stewart,” a deep voice said next to her.
Freya fancied that she could feel the reverberations to her bones. “Your Grace.”
She turned to find that Harlowe had seated himself in a chair pulled up beside the settee she perched on. He was at a perfectly proper distance. No one could look askance at the fact that he’d sat down beside her. But the point that he was talking to her might cause comment. She was the hired companion and chaperone. She wasn’t supposed to be noticed at all.
She didn’t want to be noticed.
And he was well aware of it. There was a gleam in his startlingly blue eyes as he murmured, “I find myself curious, Miss Stewart. I don’t think you are what you seem to be.”
“Are any of us?”
He shrugged. “Perhaps not.”
She smiled, aware that it was closer to a grimace. “What dire secrets do you hide, Your Grace?”
“How do you know I hide any?”
“Intuition?” She tilted her head, studying him, and picked her words carefully. If she mentioned Greycourt, the game would be given away directly. All the same she was tempted to do it. Instead she settled on something more vague. “You’re a gentleman past thirty, widowed, but in the two years since you gained your title you’ve not bothered remarrying.”
“I wasn’t aware that lack of a wife is a suspect state,” he drawled.
“It is for a gentleman who holds such a lofty title. Shouldn’t you be searching for a young, nubile maiden? One you can tie to your side and who will bear for you your heirs? Duty to the dukedom surely demands it.”
His lips curved cynically. “Are you acting as a pander for the Misses Holland?”
“No.” Her reply was curt. No, this man wasn’t for Regina or Arabella. He was a powerful man—a dangerous man. The woman who married him would have to be not only strong but stubborn, able to hold her ground. Not that she would wish marriage to him on any woman, of course. “I would not recommend you to any young girl.”
“Should I be offended?” His eyes were so blue it was hard to look away.
“Yes.” She lifted her chin. “You are not good enough for them.”
He was very still, and only the tightening of his jaw gave away his ire before he said caustically, “And am I good enough for you, Miss Stewart?”