eBook Details

An Heir of Deception (The Elusive Lords, Book 3)

Series: The Elusive Lords , Book 3.0
By: Beverley Kendall | Other books by Beverley Kendall
Published By: Season Publishing
Published: Apr 24, 2012
ISBN # 9780983800620
Word Count: 100,000
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Available in: Epub

Categories: Romance>Historical Regency Romance>Historical Other

Description
A man devastated by love

After three years of carousing and debauchery, Alex Cartwright, heir to the Duke of Hastings, has put his life back in order. Having embraced sobriety for two years, he has no intention of revisiting the past or risking his heart again. But the return of the very woman who introduced him to the darkest side of hell brings not only the painful, haunting memories of bittersweet love and abandonment, but the son he never knew he had...

A woman silenced by secrets

Threatened by the revelation of a secret that could destroy her family’s place in society and forever tarnish a dukedom, Charlotte fled England on her wedding day five years ago. Now, although it appears that secret is safe, when Alex discovers her other secret—their son—Charlotte has an altogether different battle ahead. She must now fight one love to hold onto the other—the man whose touch still makes her burn, for the child who is her very world.

 
Reader Rating:  starstarstarstar (4 Ratings)
Sensuality Rating:   liplipliplip
 
Editorial Reviews:
From Library Journal - Starred Review
"What drives this surprisingly deep novel are its revelations and their aftermath... Highly recommended for historical romance fans." ~ Library Journal, starred review
From Courtney Milan
"Despite being overloaded with a million things, I just spent the afternoon reading An Heir of Deception. I loved it. Beverley gave me that lovely aching feeling in my gut for Charlotte and Alex. I really think this is her best book yet, and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next." ~ Courtney Milan, New York Times bestselling author.
From Romance Novel News - Recommended Read
"An Heir of Deception is a romance with heart. It is angst-ridden, deeply emotional and compelling. I could not put it down, and it left a smile on my face for hours." ~ Romance Novel News, Recommended Read!
Excerpt:
She is back.

Alex descended the front steps toward his carriage, his pulse pounding a staccato beat. After two years of sobriety, he wanted--no needed--a drink. He needed enough to wipe her image clean from his mind. Which meant he'd have to consume the whole damn bottle. But thankfully not a drop of alcohol existed at his residence. Today he was safe, temptation of that sort well out of reach.

Though not impossible to acquire should his resolve crumble, a voice inside him taunted. Alex ruthlessly quashed it. He'd come too far and worked too hard to be dragged down by that particular vice. By her.

Why the blazes had she come back? A damned eternity would have been soon enough to have to see her again.

Is she back for good? Is she married?

The questions crept insidiously into his thoughts, catching him unaware. Once, years ago, he would have sold his soul--and at times thought he had--for any news of her. How often had he lain in his bed and prayed she'd come back to him or wished he would wake up to discover his wedding day had just been a dream? A nightmare. Today the thought that only a few miles separated them made his blood run cold.

She is so damn beautiful.

Though unwanted, the observation was in no way a compliment to her. It was simply a statement of fact. And if he dared flirt with facts, he would have to concede she was even more beautiful than before. At nineteen, she'd been a flower on the brink of bloom. Well, she had bloomed and was certain to be a danger to the gentlemen in Society. No doubt she was a danger to men everywhere. Lord how he wished those four years, ten months and three weeks hadn't been so kind to her.

Suddenly, the plaintive cry of a child rent the quiet of the March midday. Just about to bolt into his carriage, Alex stilled, his gloved hand resting on the cold metal door of the barouche. Angling his head in the direction of the sound, he noted for the first time a hackney coach parked a fair distance behind his in the circular drive. No doubt her transport. And it appeared she hadn't come alone.

Without stopping to consider the injudiciousness of his actions, but compelled by a force beyond his control, Alex tossed the envelope onto the seat of his barouche and started toward the carriage, unsure of his purpose or what he hoped to learn.

He passed the idling driver without a glance, his mind preoccupied.

Whose child was it? Not that any of this mattered to him. It did not.

Despite his denials, he found himself peering into the dark green interior. Ensconced in the back was a woman, and tucked at her side sat a young boy, whom she spoke to in quiet, soothing tones.

"Is there something wrong with the child?" He was fully cognizant that he had no business asking the question and that the answer was none of his concern. None of that seemed to matter.

The woman's head snapped up at his voice, revealing a breathtakingly beautiful face belonging to a young woman of no more than seventeen or eighteen years. With brown spiraling curls peeping from beneath her bonnet and a complexion that resembled his own tanned several hours in the sun, it was apparent she was of mixed blood. A mulatto.

"No sir, we is--are waiting for his mama," she replied in an accent that proclaimed her American origins.

She had a child.

Although Alex had prepared himself for such an answer, upon actually hearing it, he stiffened, his breath escaping between his lips in an audible rush.

Swallowing hard, he stared at the boy who sat crowded against the girl, a fisted hand rubbing his eyes as if he'd just awakened. Then the boy tipped his head back to gaze up at him. Alex staggered back a step, his stomach feeling as if it had plunged clear down to his toes.

When he was five, his mother had commissioned a portrait of him and his older brother, Charles. Vivid in his recollection were the three lashes he'd received that day from his father for some small infraction. It had never taken much for him to raise his father's ire--it still did not. The portrait borne of that unhappy incident in his young life hung in the gallery at Windsor Place, the duke's seat and country estate. The child who peered up at him now, his blue eyes still drowsy with sleep, his hair a mop of blond, looping curls, could have been the six-year-old boy in the portrait.

The child peering up at him could have been his brother Charles.
Reader Reviews (1)
Submitted By: doddle on Jan 2, 2013
I was really looking forward to this story in The Elusive Lords series, and was very pleased. It was nice to see a happy ending for these two characters. The plot felt a little forced, but overall all it was a satisfying story. I also appreciated the setup for the new series.
 

An Heir of Deception (The Elusive Lords, Book 3)

By: Beverley Kendall
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