Can a rogue earl convince a stubborn bookseller their love is worth fighting for?
Luke St. Clair, Earl of Mayfield, has tired of his empty, carefree life and seeks to find a spouse he can love and cherish, much as his brother and sister have done. Ridding himself of his mistress and lover, he commits to entering the upcoming Season with an open mind. Before the Season can even begin, however, Luke meets an independent beauty who does more than interest him.
After Lady Caroline Andrews loses her beloved sister, she decides she needs a change of scenery and travels to Boston to visit her aunt, only to be stranded for three years when England and America go to war. Once the peace accords are signed, Caroline returns to London. Discovering that her father has died deeply in debt, leaving his daughter nothing, Caroline uses an inheritance from her aunt to open her own bookstore and tearoom. Needing to support herself, Caroline declares she will never marry. Falling in love with Luke St. Clair wasn’t in her plans, but Luke is convinced the spirited, independent Caroline is the one for him.
Will the rogue with a heart for children persuade the stubborn bookseller that fate demands they wed?
Each book in The St. Clairs Trilogy is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order.
In the author's words . . .
I liked writing about an Englishwoman who'd been stuck in the United States during the War of 1812. It was fun having her return to England and have a little American spunkiness about her! Her experience abroad gave her a different view on life and how she wanted to live hers.
I also enjoyed bringing this trilogy to a close, knowing that all three St. Clair siblings have found their soulmates.
Enjoy a sneak peek from Embracing the Earl
by Alexa Aston
Caroline gasped. “Everything’s gone!”
Without being told, Luke determined this was her sister’s room—and that her father had sold all the contents.
“How could he?” she said angrily. “I have nothing to remember Cynthia by. I don’t think he cared a whit for any of us. Papa only cared about his pleasure. His card games. His mistresses.”
Guilt filled Luke. Caroline could have been describing him a short time ago. Before he decided what was important in life and rid himself of things—and people—he didn’t want in his life.
“I must go to Mama’s room.”
They entered a large chamber, missing about half of its furniture.
Caroline went to the dressing table and opened a jewelry box. “Empty,” she said dully.
He could feel the waves of disappointment emanating from her and wanted to comfort her, deciding to speak of something he’d buried deep within.
“I’m sorry your father was so rotten, Caroline. I can relate—for mine was cut from the same cloth.”
She closed the jewelry box and met his gaze.
“My father’s life revolved around being merry,” Luke revealed. “He gave no love to his children. He would only partake in whatever gave him pleasure. That meant drinking to excess and bedding every available woman he could find. And gambling—the same as your father. When Jeremy inherited the title, the estate was almost bankrupt, thanks to Father’s losses at the tables. It took years for Jeremy to pull us out of debt.”
“I had no idea. I’m sorry, Luke.”
“We don’t talk about it,” he said. “It’s in the past.”
“I wish I could say the same,” she replied. “Having only come home and now being confronted with all of this is disheartening. I feel so alone.” Luke hated the hurt in her voice, all due to a despicable man, one just like his sire. To witness such a lack of love in Caroline’s life brought him deep pain.
“Jeremy became a father to me and Rachel once our father passed. I am fortunate that he and Cor lavished us with attention and love. I cannot fathom you returning to England and feeling so isolated, with no loving family members to turn to.”
Caroline shrugged. “I’ve been on my own so long. I don’t really know any other way.”
She went to the bedside table and picked up a small painting. Luke came and stood behind her, looking over her shoulder. He saw two girls on the cusp of womanhood and instantly knew them as Caroline and Cynthia.
Caroline gazed at the portrait for a long time and finally said, “This was painted just before Cynthia came ill that last time. I’d decided to postpone my come-out so we could do it together.” Her finger touched her own image. “It’s hard to think I was once this girl. A naïve, shy thing who kept her nose in a book, trying to learn as much as she could to impress a father who always ignored her.”
He placed his hands on her shoulders. “I like you better now. You’ve matured into a beauty that’s only promised in this portrait. You are outgoing and outspoken. Strong and determined.” Luke brushed his lips against her hair. “You have become a thoughtful adult, Caroline. One who will never act as selfishly as your father did. You will cherish your family and love them well.” She rested the portrait against the table and he heard her choke back a sob. Luke turned her in his arms and brought her close. Her fingers clutched his coat as she buried her face against him. Even through the material, he could feel the hot tears. He stroked her back, murmuring soft words to soothe and console her.
The heaving sobs subsided and she stilled. Luke relaxed his grasp on her without totally releasing her and Caroline lifted her tearstained face. Her gaze met his and his heart broke at the sadness he saw. Without thinking, he leaned down and kissed her, wanting to comfort her. That’s all the kiss would have been. Brief. Light. Reassuring.
Until she opened her mouth to him.
End of Excerpt
Copyright © by Alexa Aston
Learn more by visiting the author's website. EMBRACING THE EARL released June 20, 2019 from Dragonblade Publishing.
"This trilogy is so well written that I have all three back to back over the last four days. Thank you for the wonderful books." —Amazon Reviewer
"Alexa has provided an interesting tale of Luke and Caroline, finding each other; plenty of problems develop along their way to keep you turning the pages. What a wonderful and interesting read." —Amazon Reviewer
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.
Embracing the Earl by Alexa Aston
Genre: Regency Romance
Heat Level: 5
Language Level: 2
Violence Level: 2
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