A Duke Surrender's His Heart on Christmas Eve - Lorraine Heath
Lorraine Heath always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals and computer code, but something was always missing. When she read a romance novel, she became not only hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She's been writing about them ever since, for both adult and young adult readers (as Rachel Hawthorne and Jade Parker and with her son as J. A. London).
Places to find Lorraine:
The Duke of Ainsley and Lady Jayne Walfort are the hero and heroine of WAKING UP WITH THE DUKE. Lady Jayne enchanted Ainsley the moment they met, but alas she was betrothed to another. But fate will play a role in bringing them together. This scene takes place before their story begins…
A DUKE SURRENDERS HIS HEART ON CHRISTMAS EVE
It was a mistake to come to Lord and Lady Walfort’s Christmas Eve ball. The Duke of Ainsley had known it would be, and yet he’d been unable to stay away. The couple had only recently married, and when his dear friend and cousin, the Marquess of Walfort, had asked him to attend the affair because his wife was nervous about hosting their first ball, Ainsley had been unable to come up with a believable excuse not to show his face.
So here he was, standing at the edge of the ballroom, grateful that he was known for dancing with only one lady before leaving. He merely had to determine with whom he should dance. A wallflower, perhaps. While he was not vain, he was well aware that a turn about the floor in his arms would elevate her and ensure that the following Season a few gents would take a closer look at her. The Duke of Ainsley was known to have unparalleled taste when it came to the ladies.
“Ainsley, have you seen Walfort about?”
His heart kicked against his ribs with the realization that the lady whom he most wanted in his arms was now standing before him. Lady Jayne Walfort, a beauty beyond compare with raven black hair and startling blue eyes. The feelings he held for her were unconscionable. She was his trusted friend’s wife. And yet he seemed unable to move beyond how desperately he yearned to have her for himself. He had from the moment he’d met her, but it had already been too late. She already belonged to Walfort.
“Afraid not,” he said. At least not since he’d seen the man slipping out for a secret assignation with his mistress. Why his friend continued to have a skirt on the side when he had this exquisite creature in his bed was beyond Ainsley’s comprehension. If she were his, he would never want for anything or anyone else.
Releasing a soft sigh, she gave him a gentle smile that speared his heart. “He hates balls,” she said quietly. “Agreeing to our hosting this one was my Christmas present.”
He despised balls as well, but if she were his, he would host one every night if it was what she wanted. But he would stand by her side throughout the entire evening. He would never do anything that would cause her to have to search him out.
“It’s a wonderful affair,” he told her. “All the greenery, the red bows and ribbons. So festive.”
Her smile deepened. “I love Christmas. It’s my favorite time of year, and my dearest wish is that by the next, we shall have a little one with whom to share it.”
He would give her that as well, if he could. What was he thinking? She was not his, she would never be his.
“That would please Walfort very much,” he said.
“I hope so.” A furrow creased her brow. “Although sometimes I’m not certain I’m the wife he wishes I was.” She shook her head. “I’m sorry. Not certain why I said that.”
“New bride insecurities, I’m sure. Quite common.”
She arched a brow. “What makes you an expert on how new brides feel?”
“Excellent point. I suppose I don’t really know. But I do know with absolute certainty that you are loved beyond all reason.”
Her cheeks flushed a lovely pink hue. “I suppose a woman can ask for no more than that.”
This woman could ask for anything and he would grant it.
“Are you going to dance?” she asked.
“I think not.” It would be unfair to dance with another when, on this night, he realized that he had surrendered his heart to her.
From New York Times bestselling author Lorraine Heath, comes the second book in a brand new series, The Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James, featuring three eligible bachelors...and the scoundrels that reside within each.
Born to the street but raised within the aristocracy, Drake Darling can't escape his sordid beginnings. Not when Lady Ophelia Lyttleton snubs him at every turn, a constant reminder he's not truly one of them. But after rescuing her from a mysterious drowning, he realizes she doesn't remember who she is. With plans to bring her to heel, he insists she's his housekeeper—never expecting to fall for the charming beauty.
While Ophelia might not recall her life before Drake, she has little doubt she belongs with him. The desire she feels for her dark, brooding employer can't be denied, regardless of consequences. So when Ophelia's memory returns, she is devastated by the depth of his betrayal. Now Drake must risk everything to prove she can trust this rogue with her heart once more.
Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N |
Check out the Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James series:
Check out what's up for grabs.
- 3 copies of Once More, My Darling Rogue & Deck The Halls with Love
- Please leave a comment or question for Lorraine.
- US shipping ONLY.
- Please fill out the Rafflecopter for entry.
**Don't forget to enter the grand prize giveaway!
Special thanks to Lorraine Heath for sponsoring this giveaway.a Rafflecopter giveaway