The Duke’s Forbidden Rendezvous (Preview)

Eliza had never cared much for poetry, not the sort that the ton tended to prefer. She thought it was droll and repetitive, but for all her thoughts on it, she felt like someone had somehow transported her into the middle of some such similar ballad. Even as she all but floated down the corridor and out into the garden after dinner. The air was scented with springtime flowers, the soft sound of music still playing in the background, not a mere tinkling of harps but something far more otherworldly and beautiful, and she…well, she was the star of it all. 

How could she not be? 

All throughout dinner, Tobias had rested his hand against hers, his pinky softly stroking her outer palm as he’d laughed and conversed so freely with her family. More than once, she had caught the jealous stares that the girls who sat alone further down the table cast her way. Almost as often as their mothers had smiled at them over their glasses. 

To be betrothed to the Earl of Ashbridge, Lord Tobias Tremaine, was an accomplishment not even the highest member of the ton would sneeze at. And Tobias? Tobias was the sort of man that women only dreamed about. 

With dark eyes and hair somehow twice as dark, he seemed like he’d stepped out of some deliciously naughty novella that any lady wouldn’t dare to admit to hiding in their bedchambers—but Eliza had heard the whispers long before he’d so charmingly introduced himself to her at the start of the Season. She’d been nervous about inviting so many people to celebrate their betrothal, but her father had been insistent…and for once, she was glad that he had been. 

She felt like a princess. Like some far-off delicate creature that she’d only ever read about. 

Her lips tilted up, her hand pressing into her belly just above her skirts. The whole reason that she’d stepped out had been to calm herself and get a breath of fresh air in the garden. If she kept daydreaming like she was, she’d like as never make it back. 

The breeze rustled her skirts slightly as she turned on the path, meaning to cut back past the small bench that her mother had tucked away in the left corner, half-hidden behind the branches of the willow there, and stopping just short of doing so at the sound of hushed voices suddenly imposing on what had been the quiet of the night air. 

“She can’t know,” a voice whispered, almost harshly masculine and raw, even with as low-pitched in volume as it was. 

“There’s not a way around that!” another hissed, so low that Eliza almost had to hold her breath to hear it at all. 

There was something scandalous about stopping as she had, something nerve-wracking about standing just there out of sight of the two quarreling voices. But, short of turning on her heel and hurrying back the way she had come, Eliza didn’t know what else to do. 

And there was something about the voices that caught her attention, some detail so slight that it almost escaped her notice…

“You love me,” the second, feminine voice continued after a few moments of strained silence. “Don’t forget what you promised me, what I’ve given you. The rest doesn’t matter.” The sound of rustling fabric accompanied her words, and despite not being able to see the pair, Eliza could hear the second voice close the distance between them. “You love me…don’t you?” This time, the words were plaintive, a secondary, almost seductive note tinging them as well. 

“Oh, heavens.” Gone was the whisper. The two words were a strained groan as the man responded to whatever the woman had done. “You know I love you…” 

Again, she heard rustling fabric, and Eliza felt her cheeks heat at what must be happening just beyond the branches separating her from the couple. She took a half-step back, trying not to imagine too vividly what her imagination was conjuring up…but again, something about the voices stopped her before she could actually leave. 

“Daddy will take care of it,” the woman all but moaned, her voice finally breaking that breathy whisper it had held.

And Eliza felt reality like cold spring water right down the middle of her spine. 

Rosalind

Of course, there was something familiar about the female’s voice—it was her younger sister! 

She had been in a rotten state for almost a week, glowering at Eliza any time she had been forced to be in a room with her, and Eliza had barely seen her at all during dinner, but there was no mistaking the drawn-out way she said Daddy—the same way Eliza had heard her wield it like a weapon for years. 

“Rosalind…” The male voice confirmed her suspicion, though the way he all but growled her sister’s name was anything but what would be considered polite. 

Eliza felt the heat rush to her cheeks, her body frozen to the spot as that pesky mental imagery she’d been trying to stave off before hitting her again with a vengeance. 

But the face growling the words was one she shouldn’t have imagined there. The dark hair and dark eyes she knew so well. She had no reason to imagine him as the one saying the things to her sister that the man on the other side of the branches was…and yet…

Her heart quickened as she took a shaky step forward, trying to get closer to better hear that voice and assuage her sudden, irrational fear. 

He wouldn’t

It was just her imagination stirred by the scandal happening so close to her and those books she’d borrowed from Rosalind herself that inspired such improper thinking. 

But Eliza took another step forward. And another. 

On shaky legs, she rounded the branches to find a scene straight out of the pages of those novels. The voices had cut off because their lips were otherwise occupied, her sister’s dark blonde hair tousled by the hand held to the back of her head and one leg hitched indecently over the hip of the man she was practically climbing. 

They were so locked in their embrace that they didn’t see or hear her right away; their lips joined as passionately as it seemed their bodies were trying to be despite the layers of clothing separating them. 

But even for all the indecency of their embrace, Eliza couldn’t miss exactly who her sister was pressed against. 

His dark hair stood out against the blonde of hers, the very same hand that had caressed hers all throughout dinner wrapped around Rosalind’s thigh as he pulled her even closer to him. 

Tobias Tremaine. The Earl of Ashbridge. Eliza’s betrothed. 

Wrapped around her sister, Rosalind, and locked in an embrace that only a fool would imagine was anything but romantic. 

Eliza didn’t know if the strangled sound she made was more despair or shock. She knew that, regardless of what it was, it finally broke through the lusty glow that the two before her were wrapped up in. They had sprung apart as if someone had shouted rather than made as small a noise as Eliza had, their lips swollen and eyes wild as they rounded on her. 

“Eliza!” Tobias recovered first, his eyebrows climbing higher on his handsome face as he took a quick step forward. 

But his quick step forced Eliza to take one even quicker away, moving backward in her state, which, as it turned out, was dangerous. Her heels wobbled against the cobblestones as the drumming in her head grew, her breath coming quicker and quicker as she took another step back…and another. 

She could hear Tobias and Eliza both trying to speak to her, their voices raised, but she finally found the strength to do what she hadn’t been able to before rounding the limbs of that tree. 

She turned on her heel and ran. 

Or at least she tried to. 

She stumbled away from the pair of them more honestly, tears blurring her vision as she tried to pick up her pace with her skirts suddenly catching about her legs. Everything seemed set against her making it away from them, but she was determined to try. 

Rosalind and Tobias. 

The night no longer felt like a poem. There was no sweet scent to the air, and the happy music still playing from the dinner party seemed a mockery to what she had just witnessed, her heart thudding inelegantly against her ribs like a prized horse stuck behind the gate. 

Something grabbed at her wrists, hauling her forward, and she didn’t bother to question it. 

She could hear Rosalind calling after her, the sound of Tobias’ boots and Rosalind’s heels approaching—and all that mattered was that she get away from the pair of them. 

“C’mon, Miss Eliza,” a voice whispered hurriedly, all but yanking her off of her feet and past the entrance she would have taken back inside. “I’ve got you now.” 

Clara

Eliza had never been as glad to hear her lady’s maid’s voice. Nor as happy to follow her blindly into the servant’s quarters, the sound of Rosalind and Tobias rushing past echoing just as soon as Clara closed the door with them behind it. 

“Oh…Clara,” Eliza eked out, snot and tears making her words almost unintelligible. 

But it didn’t seem to matter. Eliza fell into Clara’s arms, her heartbreak punctuated by sobs that felt like they came from the very depths of her…and maybe they did. Her fairytale was over before it had ever really even begun.

Chapter One

It had always been said that old maids sweetened their tea with scandal. 

Eliza had long since learned that such a phrase applied to nearly everyone in the ton as well—and beyond. It was why her skin gleamed so pale in the mirror’s reflection, her hands shaky despite how tightly she clasped them to try and hide the fact. 

“Oh, everyone will be wanting to talk about you tonight, Eliza,” Clara murmured comfortingly. Or at least, it was meant to be comforting. 

It was exactly what Eliza feared, though. The talking. The tongues that would be wagging about her appearance, and not in the way that Clara was inferring either, but in a more tawdry sense. It was the very reason that she had avoided all socially important occasions since The Scandal in the first place. 

“Just look at you!” Clara continued, undaunted by Eliza’s staunch silence. 

But Eliza had been looking. She’d been doing nothing but staring at her own reflection while Clara fluttered about her, meticulously arranging the folds of her dress and the soft blonde curls that fell by either ear. 

“It’s such a lovely shade of rose, too, this dress. Your mother was right. It really brings out your eyes.” 

Rose. 

Floral smells turned Eliza’s stomach now. They had for a year. Even just thinking about them had her wrinkling her nose, her eyes narrowing as she fought the sudden wave of repulsion that that memory always stirred. But Clara, and Eliza’s own mother, were right about the coloring of the dress at least. It did compliment the delicate ivory of her skin so much better than some of the gaudier numbers that she’d tried on in the days before. 

Even the décolletage was modest and somehow elegant…and still did nothing to quiet the butterflies running rampant in Eliza’s belly. 

“All right, that’s enough of that,” Clara said suddenly, straightening from where she had been bent, arranging the fabric at Eliza’s hips. Her honey-colored eyes were bright with irritation as she straightened until she and Eliza were nearly nose to nose. “You can’t go the whole rest of the evening all Friday-faced. I just won’t let you.” 

Eliza’s stomach twisted her friend’s words like some far-away wind that didn’t quite touch her. 

“I am not Friday-faced,” she said peevishly, adjusting her own skirts and trying to use them to hide her still-quivering fingers. 

She didn’t know why she even bothered. Clara wouldn’t have missed it even a year ago, and she certainly wasn’t about to with as close as the two of them had become since the last Season. 

“You are, too,” Clara muttered, narrowing her eyes as she reached up to fix a pin holding Eliza’s hair. “Friday-faced and high in the instep to boot.” 

Eliza wanted to argue with her, but any reply she might have had withered and died on her lips as Clara moved, and she caught sight of her own reflection again. 

She was Friday-faced. Mournful. Sad looking. 

She looked downright peaked, even with her hair as nicely done and the pretty lace of her dress displayed like it was. 

“I don’t want to go,” she admitted in a small voice, her voice catching in the back of her throat as the truth finally made it into the open air. 

“Of course you don’t!” Clara didn’t even try putting on a brave face to try and make it seem better. “I wouldn’t want to either. But if you don’t go, you’re letting them win, you know. And besides. All of that was last Season. The lot of them will have to have moved on by now. There’ve been so many newer, more scandalous happenings, you know.” 

Eliza snorted, the sound sudden and unladylike. 

“More scandalous? Do you know that Minerva Litteling wouldn’t even make eye contact with me the other morning in the tea room? She quite literally turned in her chair to avoid having to acknowledge me. I don’t think it matters what new ‘happenings’ there have been. I’m still a pariah to the upper echelons of society.” The truth tasted as bitter as it sounded, Eliza’s nails biting into the soft flesh of her palm as her hands curled into fists. 

Clara frowned, her lips folding into a thin, irritated line. 

“A pariah when you needn’t be, Eliza. I still don’t see why you didn’t tell anyone what they—” 

“What I saw?” Eliza interrupted her friend with a laugh. “Can you imagine my father’s ire if I had? Or how I would be perceived then? Not to mention that it would be my word against Tobias’. He was such a devoted fiancé, you know, always speaking so highly of me…” 

Or he had. Until he’d suddenly ended their betrothal and married Rosalind instead—all within a fortnight, too; something that no one, not even Eliza’s own mother, had dared to look at too closely. 

“It’d likely be a sight better than you’re perceived now,” Clara muttered. Even she didn’t sound like she believed it, though, her fingers once more busy making sure that all of Eliza’s curls were tucked away and stayed piled up on top of her head where Clara had earlier pinned them. 

“It would be the same.” Eliza sighed. 

Not better. Not worse. 

The rumors would have still been the same. For Tobias to jilt her so suddenly and publicly, it was only natural that it be assumed that she must have done something sordid to deserve it. Infidelity, promiscuity, or worse…Minerva was hardly the only old friend to refuse to be seen in public with her any longer. She was only one of many. 

“You couldn’t avoid it forever,” Clara said stoutly after a few moments’ pause. “Rosalind and that no-good husband of hers are throwing the ball, and you have to attend. You might as well make everyone choke on those society papers while you’re there.” 

Eliza’s eyes met hers in the reflection again, still wan and lifeless, despite Clara’s fire. 

Liza Thorn wouldn’t look so dejected. Liza Thorn would rise to the occasion, like Clara was suggesting, and remind Tobias, Rosalind, and every other hoity-toity member of the ton just what they were missing by writing her off so. 

But Eliza wasn’t Liza, no matter how much she wished that she was. 

She took a breath, slowly relaxing her fingers before her nails could actually puncture her skin. Not being Liza didn’t mean she couldn’t draw on some of that strength, though.

“Tell me I look pretty, Clara,” Eliza said softly as her friend stepped back away from her. 

She could see herself in that mirror, of course. She and Clara both. Clara was so dark next to her golden features, her dress a staid gray, and her hair pinned back sensibly rather than fashionably, though pretty all the same. 

“You look more than pretty,” Clara promised her, reaching forward and squeezing her hand only seconds before the gentle knock at the door reminded both of them that they were under time constraints. “And more than ready.” 

Eliza nodded, taking one last breath before turning away from the mirror. She caught only a glimpse of her oceanic eyes hardening, resolve filling out the dejected set to her shoulders as she followed after Clara out of her bedchambers to where she knew her mother and father would be waiting. 

“Don’t forget what to do with the society papers,” Clara hissed as she stepped to the side at the front door to let Eliza pass. 

The reminder caused Eliza’s lips to twitch, a hint of a smile playing about them as she made her way outside and to the family carriage, where she could already see her parents seated. 

“Step faster,” Oliver Marlowe groused, his gaze barely flicking over Eliza before his frown deepened all over again. It was a stark contrast to her mother’s warm smile of greeting, but then Anne Marlowe was always more welcoming than her husband. 

Eliza barely registered how cold it was. All of her father’s warmth had always been saved for Rosalind for as far back as she could remember. If he was pleased by how prettily she’d been made up, he was hard-pressed to show it. 

“You look lovely, dear,” her mother assured her as Eliza settled into the seat across from them. 

Her father grunted and quickly tapped on the carriage, forcing it into motion almost before Eliza had even gotten well and truly settled. “I should hope she’d be at the very least presentable,” he commented dryly. 

Eliza’s eyebrows rose slightly, but she didn’t offer any expression beyond that. The mere fact that he was commenting on her appearance at all sat ill within her. Like an over-baked souffle waiting to deflate, she could feel the disturbance coming that would force her to do so. 

And her father didn’t make her wait more than a few breaths more to offer it. 

“Lord Gilbert said he’d be attending,” Lord Marlowe announced importantly, a hint of satisfaction creeping in along his words. “He assured me that he would and that he would save his first dance for Eliza as well.” 

“Dance?” Eliza echoed dumbly. “Why should he save a dance for me? Who is this Lord Gilbert?” The questions escaped her before she could think to filter them, unease like a warning bell in the back of her head. 

“Oh, he’s a lovely man of your father’s acquaintance,” Lady Marlowe rushed to explain, smiling so brightly that it almost looked sickly on her face. “He’s a very wealthy businessman who your father’s been getting to know.” 

“An eligible suitor,” Lord Marlowe corrected sternly. 

“Potential suitor,” Eliza’s mother amended before catching her husband’s disapproving look and quickly lowering her eyes. 

Eliza hadn’t thought that the evening could get any more uncomfortable. The boning of her corset suddenly felt too tight, her ribs constricting as she tried to fight past the panic the words inspired. 

“It’s high time we moved past last Season’s nonsense.” Lord Marlowe spared Eliza only the briefest look of censure before looking pointedly back to his wife at his side. “We’ve both agreed you need a suitable match, haven’t we?” 

Lady Marlowe nodded stiffly, her eyes cutting timidly between Eliza and Eliza’s father.

Suitable. Suitor. Match

The words were like some mockery of the English language, loud and jarring in Eliza’s head as she turned to look out at the scenery flashing by rather than allow her father to see the emotions ripping through her at his announcement. 

It was the first social event of the Season, and already she felt like doing nothing more than ripping her way out of her nice, respectable rose-colored dress and screaming at the top of her lungs.

Chapter Two

Piercing green eyes stared out from a weathered face above the mantle. 

No matter where Ethan moved within the damned room, those eyes seemed to follow him, weighing and measuring, taking stock. Staring at it for too long a period of time was still painful, even two years after the old man had passed. 

The papers in his hands felt leaden, the accounts of the property like foreign gibberish for how long he had been reading over them. Every time he stumbled, those eyes seemed to narrow, a memory of his father’s impatient huff filling the air just over his left shoulder. 

“I know,” Ethan muttered to no one in particular, refusing to look at the green eyes staring down at him—or the empty space just over his left shoulder—as he ran a hand down the front of his face. “I know.” 

He shouldn’t have had any trouble making sense of the ledgers. He should have finished with them hours before even. Lord alone only knew he’d sat in this very chair, with papers of a very similar nature, for more years than he could remember while his father walked him through all the things he needed to mark down from them and adjust. 

The late Duke of Bellmore had been a meticulous man, preparing Ethan far before many would have considered it necessary to take over in his stead when the time came. 

Only it had come and gone, and Ethan felt no more prepared to take it over than he had at seven when his father had first started going over such business with him. 

A knock on the door to the study had him straightening the papers in front of him, busying himself with looking like he had just finished rather than been interrupted as Mr. Hawk stepped in, one arm folded over his midsection and his gray eyes hooded as he cleared his throat. 

“Lord Langford, Lord Henry Cavendish is—” 

“Here to see you,” a jovial voice interrupted the butler’s announcement. There was no societally correct pause after the announcement or even any pause at all. Without any apology, the tall man who had spoken all but pushed his way into the study past Mr. Hawk, his wide grin as infectious as the merriment dancing in his hazel eyes. 

Mr. Hawk’s lips thinned, his quick glance toward Henry Cavendish one of long-silent suffering before he looked back questioningly in Ethan’s direction. 

Ethan could only repress a smile as he nodded. “Thank you, Mr. Hawk,” he intoned formally. “I’ll be glad to see him.” 

Not that Henry had given him any chance to say no, but then he never had in all the years that they had been friends. 

Mr. Hawk nodded inscrutably, bowing slightly as he backed out of the room and closed the door behind him. 

“It wouldn’t kill you to let him do his job, you know.” Ethan sighed as he put the papers that he’d been failing to finish away once more for another day. 

“It wouldn’t kill him to stop standing on all that ceremony,” Henry responded carelessly as he threw himself into the overstuffed chair across from Ethan’s desk. “He’s seen me naked more times than I can count, after all.” 

Ethan’s lips twitched, his chuckle only just barely restrained. “You can hardly count that being that you regularly refuse to wear undergarments or nightly attire when staying over, Henry.” Proper decorum when it came to nightly rituals, like all other things, seemed optional in Henry’s mind. 

“I can count whatever I like.” Henry laughed as he leaned back in his chair, one leg lifting to rest atop the other as he stretched out and made himself at home. “I told him that I could see myself back. I don’t even know how he knew I was coming up the steps. I swear the man has eyes in every corner of this estate.” 

Ethan wouldn’t be surprised. Mr. Hawk was a severe older man who took his job as the butler of the house very seriously—the complete opposite of his disarmingly charming friend across from him. 

“Isn’t it early for you to be making house calls?” Ethan asked instead of continuing the same vein of conversation, his own shoulders relaxing as he leaned back in his chair as well. Even if it was closer to dinner time for more civilized people, he would hardly ever accuse Henry of being such, no matter what titles he held. 

“I had a story to share with you,” Henry answered with a salacious waggle of his eyebrows. “Although considering the hour, some coffee or tea wouldn’t go—” 

Before he could finish, another knock sounded at the door, Mr. Hawk easing his way back in with a tray aloft in one hand with biscuits and mugs. 

“See! Eyes!” 

Ethan smiled as he shook his head, rearranging himself to sit more upright as Mr. Hawk put the tray down on the desk between them. 

“Two sugars and just a smidge of cream there, Mr. Hawk,” Henry continued amiably, righting himself with an unmistakably hungry look at the tray. 

“Of course, Lord Cavendish,” Mr. Hawk murmured. He bowed over the tray, portioning out plates and righting drinks as Henry angled himself to see, and be seen, past the older man.

“Anyways, Ethan, I was saying—this story—” 

“Is it a story I’m going to want to hear?” Ethan laughed, watching the color rise to his friend’s cheeks, and already imagining what fiendish inappropriateness was going to come. 

“Of course, you’re going to want to hear it,” Henry squawked in faux offense. 

Mr. Hawk shuffled from Henry’s side to Ethan’s, preparing Ethan’s tea without any question as to how he liked it and setting it in front of him with a good deal more care than he had Henry’s. 

Out of the corner of his eye, he could swear that the older butler seemed almost wary and distant as he hovered, slower to dismiss himself than Ethan remembered him being—but then again, he was older, and Henry was far from his favorite guest to wait on. 

“Will that be all, Your Grace?” Mr. Hawk asked as he straightened once more, hands behind his back. 

“Yes, Mr. Hawk, thank you,” Ethan said quickly, seeing the glimmer in Henry’s eye and speaking quickly before his friend could make another joke. 

Mr. Hawk nodded, hesitating for a moment longer. 

Ethan didn’t stop to question it, lifting his tea and taking a sip while the butler righted himself and bowed his way back out. 

“You were saying? This story that you swear I want to hear?” Ethan prompted as the door closed once more. 

Henry’s whole face shifted as he sank back into his seat. He relaxed considerably, but there was no mistaking the mischievous, excited undertone to his expression. 

“I told you that you should have gone with me the other night,” he drawled. “You were so worried about propriety and societal expectations, but I wouldn’t even be telling you this if you’d deigned to go with me instead.” 

Ethan groaned already seeing the direction that Henry was heading. “Not the Velvet Rose again.” 

“Oh, I’ve only been once before this, you great ponce.” Henry huffed. “And then I had to leave early, thanks to Merlotte’s exploits. I’m telling you, though, Ethan. This singer came out on stage—I can’t remember her name. Lux or Liz or something. I thought I was in love. I’ve never heard anyone sing the way she did, but before I could go dreaming up any proposals, this Italian vixen popped up and pulled me into a dance!” 

Ethan drank more of his tea, listening politely with a fond grin as Henry gestured exaggeratedly. 

Henry could accuse him of being a ponce all he wanted, the Velvet Rose was the sort of place gentlemen didn’t go—certainly not those wishing to avoid the gossips. His eyes darted to the portrait of his father over the mantle again, imagining the lectures he would have gotten if the late duke had even known he’d considered such a thing. 

“You can dance at a ball, you know, Henry.” 

Henry exhaled exasperatedly. “Not the way that we danced. The women there…Ethan…They don’t know social constraints. The whole place…it’s like stepping out of society and into…into freedom!” His friend stumbled for the right words, finally declaring what he settled upon with such conviction that Ethan actually paused. 

Nothing else he could have said would have had the same impact. 

Societal constraints and the pressures of the expectations so heavy on his shoulders were all he had wished to escape recently. 

“You make it sound like some sort of fairytale.” Ethan snorted, pushing away that inkling of interest that had wormed its way into his head with his friend’s words. 

“Not a fairytale.” Henry chuckled deeply. “Or at least not the sort I was allowed to read growing up…” 

“Not all of us can afford to be caught in such a place.” Ethan hated how unresolved he sounded, as if he were actually hesitating to say it at all. It was the last reason that should have mattered, he knew, but it was the only one that kept repeating over and over again in his head. 

Like a hound on a scent, Henry sat forward, the corners of his lips curling in satisfaction as his grin grew. “That’s the beauty of it, though, isn’t it? No one gets caught in such a place.” 

Ethan rolled his eyes, changing the subject…but his friend’s words lingered like cigar smoke—thick and invasive. 

Ethan fought so hard to keep things above board and himself above reproach…but he had to admit a certain fascination with the exploits that his friend talked about. A certain yearning for a return to those days when his father had still been alive, and he had been allowed to recklessly accompany his friend on such escapades. 

When he’d been so carefree, nights spent wrapped in cigar smoke and the embrace of an exotic woman had been all too common…and he missed them now that he found himself deprived of such things. 

How long had it been since he’d allowed himself the sinful pleasure that only the juxtaposition between a woman’s thighs could bring him? How long since he’d indulged in a night where love could only be measured between one climax and the next? How long since he’d even allowed himself to look at a woman long enough to desire such a thing from her? 

Longer than he cared to admit. Which was why, he knew, he was so eager not to think about it. 


“The Duke’s Forbidden Rendezvous” is an Amazon Best-Selling novel, check it out here!

Eliza Marlowe, once the epitome of elegance, now shunned after a scandal, resigns to a life of spinsterhood. Yet, fate has other plans when her father brokers a union with Lord Harrington—an aging man with a soul marred by scars, destined to lead her into a future more perilous than ruin itself. Unbeknownst to Eliza, the scorching heat of desire is rekindled within her when the enigmatic Ethan, a duke with a magnetic presence and secrets steps into her world, igniting a firestorm of passion that threatens to consume them both…

Will she choose the safety of conformity or risk everything for a chance at true love?

Amidst the stifling expectations of his impending dukedom, Ethan Langford longs for a life beyond the confines of duty and responsibility. When he crosses paths with Eliza, a woman deemed unsuitable by society’s standards, everything he knows is shattered. Drawn to her fiery spirit and hidden depths, Ethan is torn between his obligations and the irresistible pull of love, unable to resist the intoxicating allure of their forbidden desires…

Can he find the courage to follow his heart, even if it means risking everything he holds dear?

As scandal grips the corridors of power, Eliza and Ethan find themselves pawns in a game orchestrated by the villainous Lord Harrington, whose machinations threaten to tear them apart. Yet, they discover a beacon of hope in each other’s arms. Can they overcome the sinister machinations that jeopardize their bond, or will they succumb to the villain’s nefarious schemes, sealing their fate in a tragic twist of fate?

“The Duke’s Forbidden Rendezvous” is a historical romance novel of approximately 80,000 words. No cheating, no cliffhangers, and a guaranteed happily ever after.

Get your copy from Amazon!

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