Can love heal a wounded army officer who doesn’t believe it exists?
Lady Rachel St. Clair has witnessed how powerful love can be, thanks to the example her brother and wife set, and she won’t settle for anything less. At a house party, Rachel meets an officer returning from the Peninsular War and believes she may have found love, thanks to their clandestine midnight lessons in kissing.
Major Evan Drake, Marquess of Merrick, witnessed his father murder his mother and believes love doesn’t exist. He’s returned from combat wounded in both body and soul. When he meets Rachel he changes his mind about love, drawn to the raven-haired beauty’s spirit. Yet Rachel devastates him by rejecting him before he can declare his feelings for her, sending Evan into a downward spiral that almost ends in death.
Nursing her broken heart, Rachel continues her search for love the next Season, though her thoughts linger on those midnights with her marquess.
Will Evan be able to regain Rachel’s trust—and open his heart to love?
Find the answer in bestselling author Alexa Aston’s second book of The St. Clairs, Midnight with the Marquess.
Each book in The St. Clairs Trilogy is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order.
In the author's words . . .
This is the second book in my St. Clairs trilogy. In the first, Devoted to the Duke, Rachel is an impressionable girl who hasn't made her come-out yet. She witnesses her brother fall in love--and she is eager to do the same.
I didn't let her get her way. At least, not at first. Rachel is headstrong and beautiful and wants love too badly. I made her wait for it and allowed the hero (who doesn't believe in love) to teach her how to kiss.
I loved writing the banter between them and then creating the horrible misunderstanding that arises, which keeps them apart. As a writer, it's awful when you're horrible to your characters, and I made Evan and Rachel perfectly miserable. That made it all the sweeter to bring them back together to love.
The interesting thing was I created a perfectly charming man who courted Rachel. I believe if they would've wed, they would have had a great life together. Instead, Rachel chooses Evan in the end (as she should because they're soul mates). Naturally, that meant I had to write Merrifield his own story! You'll see Oliver find his HEA later in 2019.
Enjoy a sneak peek from Midnight with the Marquess
by Alexa Aston
Evan reached and took one of her hands in his. His touch made her forget to breathe for a moment. She gazed into his blue eyes, mesmerized by them.
“As far as kissing you goes, I will be happy to teach you,” he promised.
“When? Now?” she asked eagerly.
“Kissing is a part of flirtation,” he said. “You don’t quite appreciate it as much unless you build up to it. We shall start slowly.”
“You disappoint me, Evan. You’re putting me off.”
“Am I?” he asked softly and entwined his fingers with hers.
Rachel swallowed, suddenly feeling overwhelmed by merely holding his hand. She licked her lips nervously.
“Stop that,” he chided.
“Stop what?” she asked, clueless as to what he needed her to quit doing since she wasn’t doing anything annoying. “I’m not cracking my knuckles anymore,” she said defensively.
“You licked your lips.”
“What if I did?” she challenged.
“That’s a part of flirting,” he said.
“Most definitely,” he assured her. “It calls a gentleman’s attention to your mouth.” He stared at hers so intently that butterflies exploded in her stomach. “And it makes a man want to kiss you.”
“It does?” she asked breathlessly.
He nodded. “It does. So, that’s your first lesson tonight. If you do feel that spark with a man and want him to kiss you, you may lick your lips.”
Rachel did it again, testing him.
Evan laughed. “Stop. We’re going to work up to it.”
“How long will this take? The house party is only two weeks long,” she complained. “At the rate you’re moving, it will be Christmas before you even think to kiss me.”
His fingers tightened on hers, causing her to stop breathing again. Evan lifted their joined hands and pressed warm lips to her knuckles. A good kind of chill rippled through her. He released her hand and then his fingers lightly touched her wrist, turning her hand over so it faced palm up. Slowly, he moved his head toward it as Rachel watched in fascination. Just before his lips touched its center, he gazed up at her.
She swallowed. The heat in his eyes stole her breath. He lowered his gaze and brushed his lips against her palm. She thought they’d be warm but, instead, they were scorching hot. Then he pressed a long, lingering kiss directly onto her palm. Rachel was glad she wasn’t standing for her knees would’ve have given out and sent her tumbling to the floor.
Evan lifted his lips and stared at her. She couldn’t help but stare helplessly back at him.
Then his mouth touched the underside of her wrist. Rachel froze. He pushed up the sleeve of her dressing gown, his lips trailing up her arm. Odd sensations ran through her. He stopped at the crook of her elbow and pressed a final kiss there before sliding the sleeve back down.
“That’s your first lesson in kissing,” he said softly. “Kisses come in many forms and on many places. Not just your mouth.”
He placed her hand back in her lap as she looked at him wordlessly.
“Will you meet me again at midnight for another lesson?”
“Yes,” she whispered.
He leaned over and pressed a kiss to her forehead. Rachel closed her eyes, breathing in the scent of clean soap and warm man.
“Until tomorrow night,” he said and rose.
When he reached the door she called out, “Wait. Won’t I see you during the day?”
His smile melted her heart. “You’ll meet Lord Merrick tomorrow, Lady Rachel. He will be distantly polite to you. But it will be Evan, your tutor, tomorrow at midnight.”
End of Excerpt
Copyright © by Alexa Aston
Learn more by visiting the author's website. MIDNIGHT WITH THE MARQUESS available May 23, 2019 from Dragonblade Publishing.
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.
Midnight with the Marquess by Alexa Aston
Genre: Regency Romance
Heat Level: 5
Language Level: 2
Violence Level: 1
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