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Excerpt from DEVOTED TO THE DUKE by Alexa Aston

From bestselling Historical Romance author Alexa Aston comes a stunning new Regency Historical Romance saga!


BOOK SUMMARY

Book One in the exciting new St. Clair series has arrived. A lady with a dark secret refuses to marry the man of her dreams in order to protect him... but will he let her?

After returning to London from his Grand Tour, serious-minded Jeremy St. Clair, the Marquess of Sather, attends a ball and meets a luminescent beauty who draws him out of his shell. They share a searing kiss—her first—and though he never planned to wed, Jeremy desires to make this young woman his.

But his life takes an unexpected turn when he leaves her that night.

With his father’s death, Jeremy becomes the new Duke of Everton, and learns the former duke has left the St. Clair family almost penniless. Jeremy spends five years restoring the family fortunes but yearning for the auburn-haired beauty who understood him like no other before. One night with her was all he needed to remember her forever.

Lady Catherine Crawford has been inundated with offers of marriage and hasn’t cared for any of her suitors. She longs for love, seeing how devoted her parents are to one another. When she meets Lord Sather, she believes they are meant to be together. Yet her world collapses that night in a horrific carriage accident, killing her mother and seriously injuring both Catherine and her father. She retreats to their country estate and, once healed, cares her father and mothers her younger sister, Leah. But she's never forgotten about Lord Sather... and their kiss.

When Jeremy and Catherine meet years later, the sparks are still present—though Catherine has recently learned a dark secret about her past, making it impossible to wed Jeremy without ruining his reputation. Through a misunderstanding, the ton believes them to be engaged and she goes along with the engagement, hoping to find a way to break it.

Will Catherine’s secret be revealed—and will Jeremy accept her if it becomes public knowledge?

Heartbreak is in their stars... or salvation.


Amazon

In the author's words . . .


Writing is always such an adventure for me, and starting my St. Clairs series was no exception. I also love a challenge and opportunities to grow as a writer. Devoted to the Duke checked those boxes.

I’ve written fifteen medieval historical romances for Dragonblade Publishing and love creating dashing knights and the strong women they fall in love with. Then my publisher and mentor, Kathryn Le Veque, asked me to step away from that era and try something new—Regency Romance.

Suddenly, I found myself in ballrooms and garden parties in my head as I dreamed up my St. Clair siblings—Jeremy, Rachel, and Luke. These three are smart, charming, and always get what they want (They’re St. Clairs, after all!). I needed to find strong, irresistible characters for these three to fall in love with and get the HEAs they deserved.

Devoted to the Duke is the first in this series. I put Jeremy and Catherine together quickly and then brutally ripped them apart. Bringing them back together—with a devastating secret that could ruin their happiness—was great fun to write about! Fully immersed in this Regency world now, I quickly dashed off Midnight with the Marquess (Rachel & Evan) and Embracing the Earl (Luke and Caroline). I found I enjoyed writing Regency Romance so much that I’m working on three novellas that will be an off-shoot of my St. Clairs, one which gives a character who lost Rachel his own wonderful heroine to love and cherish.

I’ll be staying in the Regency world now as other heroes and heroines are calling my name, pleading for their stories to be told.

Enjoy a sneak peek from Devoted to the Duke

by Alexa Aston

Catherine’s heart slammed against her ribs as Jeremy St. Clair’s eyes met hers.

“I arranged with Morefield to claim this particular dance, Lady Catherine.” He offered his arm.

He was here. After all this time. Not a day had gone by that she hadn’t thought of this man. She assumed he knew what had happened to her family. After all, he was friends with Morefield. Charlotte had mentioned Jeremy a few times in her letters to Catherine. How St. Clair had become the Duke of Everton. That he’d wed. But Catherine knew nothing beyond that. She didn’t want to.

Yet here he stood in front of her, looking even more handsome and distinguished than he had when she’d first met him. She realized he was one of those men who would only grow better looking with age.

When she hesitated, he took her hand and placed it on his forearm and led her to the dance floor.

As they moved to its center, he said, “You may not remember me.” His arm went about her as he took her hand in his. “But I remember everything about that night.”

“I do, too,” she said softly and the music began.

They danced the first measures without speaking. She inhaled the clean, masculine scent that she’d never forgotten as she drank him in. She could see motion and color swirling about them but she focused solely on him. The solid feel of his shoulder as her fingers rested upon it. His hand splayed across the small of her back. Yet what good could come of this? He was married. Catherine almost wished Jeremy St. Clair hadn’t come back into her life for already her heart ached more than it had since losing Papa.

“I’m sorry about the accident,” he said. “I would have called to see how you were but my own father passed away that same night. By the time I returned from his funeral at Eversleigh, you were gone.” A shadow crossed his face. “I’ve regretted that ever since.”

“I’m sorry for your loss.” She paused, deciding to address what stood between them. “Charlotte and I correspond every month. She told me you’ve wed. Is your duchess here? I would enjoy meeting her.”

An odd look crossed his face. “Mary is gone,” he informed her, his voice void of emotion. “She gave birth to our daughter over a year ago and was lost in childbirth.”

Catherine thought she might faint and clutched his shoulder. “My deepest sympathies, Your Grace. As hard as it was for me to lose Mama and Papa, I cannot imagine losing a beloved spouse.”

His gaze locked on her. “I’m not here to talk about Mary, Catherine. I’m here to talk about us.”

“Us?”

“I have never felt a stronger connection with anyone than I did with you that night at the Wethersby ball. I tried to put you out of my mind but it was impossible. Tell me you’ve thought of me, Catherine. Tell me I’m not alone in my feelings for you.”

The dance ended. Reluctantly, he released her.

“I have thought of you often,” she admitted as they left the dance floor. “But years have passed, Your Grace. We are two very different people now.”

Everything he’d said thrilled her. It was as if all her dreams were coming true. Yet Catherine was aware of something that she hadn’t know all those years ago when he’d kissed her in the moonlight.

The circumstances of her birth. They reached the edge of the dance floor and he said, “I agree that our experiences have changed us. What has not changed are my feelings for you, Catherine. Nothing could ever change them.”

She refused to destroy him and his family’s good name. She would have to put an end to this.

“I was a very young woman when we met, Your Grace. I’m afraid we no longer suit one another.”

He grabbed her programme and struck through the name written beside the next dance.

She gasped. “You can’t do that.”

He gave her a wicked grin. “I’m a duke. I make my own rules.”


End of Excerpt

Copyright © by Alexa Aston


Learn more by visiting the author's website. DEVOTED TO THE DUKE available April 25, 2019 from Dragonblade Publishing.

The St. Clairs series books two and three are coming May 2019 and June 2019.

Each book in The St. Clairs Trilogy is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order.

Meet the Author

Alexa Aston’s historical romances use history as a backdrop to place her characters in extraordinary circumstances, where their intense desire for one another grows into the treasured gift of love.

She is the author of Medieval and Regency romance which brings dashing knights and loveable rogues to life, including The Knights of Honor, The King’s Cousins, and The St Clairs.

A native Texan, Alexa lives with her husband in a Dallas suburb, where she eats her fair share of dark chocolate and plots out stories while she walks every morning. She enjoys reading, Netflix binge-watching, and can’t get enough of Survivor, The Crown, or Game of Thrones.


Visit Alexa Aston's Website

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Devoted to the Duke by Alexa Aston

Genre: Regency Romance

Type: Novel

Heat Level: 4

Language Level: 2

Violence Level: 1

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