Hump Day Hunk with Elyse Huntington
If you have read my author bio, you will know that I have a tiny obsession with rich and powerful dukes. So I present to you My Dark Duke.
Name: James Cavendish
Title(s): Duke of Trent (plus a raft of other lesser titles which you don’t need to worry about because he is a DUKE)
Income: Richer than Croesus (think the combined wealth of Donald Trump, the Queen of England and J.K. Rowling . . . maybe throw in the Rolling Stones too)
Hair: Dark brown, long enough to tie back in a queue (no wigs for this man!)
Eyes: Brown (can be warm or icy or just plain wicked)
Mouth: Extremely good at kissing
Personality: (Positives) Can be very charming and has a wicked sense of humour. Is a loyal friend and brother. Extraordinarily skilled at seduction.
(Negatives) Can be ruthless if crossed. There is a rumour that he was involved in his wife’s death. Does not trust women.
The following excerpt is from one of my favourite scenes in the novel, where James has just discovered that the masked person he had been fencing with had turned out to be the heroine, Alethea.
‘If you were in a duel, you would be as dead as the proverbial doornail by now, Your Grace.’ The lady gave him a guileless look.
‘A lady is always right.’ James didn’t bother to state the obvious: that he would not have duelled with a woman and would therefore have had no cause to be distracted. ‘Just so we can decide on the winner of this bout, should we proceed for another point?’
Lady Alethea chewed her lip. She looked hesitant. As well she should be, thought James. She knew he had far more experience than she did, no matter how talented she was.
‘If you don’t say yes, I will begin to think that you are afraid of losing, my lady.’ James was not above being underhanded in these sorts of matters. He believed he knew her character well enough.
She set her jaw stubbornly. ‘I am certainly not afraid,’ she uttered immediately, proving him right.
He hid his elation, keeping his expression perfectly blank. ‘Well, in that case, let’s make this more interesting, shall we? Let’s have a wager.’
A look of suspicion joined the frown. ‘What sort of wager?’
‘If I win . . .’ Inspiration suddenly struck and he smiled wickedly at her. ‘You will freely bestow upon me an article of clothing.’
She gaped at him, her incredibly black eyes rounding like saucers. It was all he could do not to drag her into his arms and kiss her senseless. ‘A . . . an article of clothing?’
James almost laughed out loud. A lesser woman would doubtless have swooned. Not her. ‘Do not be concerned, I promise it won’t be anything too scandalous.’
‘Your Grace, this conversation is scandalous enough,’ she answered pertly. ‘But I accept.’
I am currently working on an erotic novella set in the Regency period about an earl’s daughter, Lady Arabella, who has been given to the Duke of Avalon as settlement for her father’s enormous gambling debt. What Arabella doesn’t know is that Avalon had manipulated the card game in order to claim her for his own. Here’s a little snippet of the story when they first meet.
Arabella’s eyelids fluttered, and her lips parted, but it was another moment before she spoke. ‘What . . . are your intentions towards me, Your Grace?’ she asked softly. He could see that she was trembling, but she lifted her chin, her clear gray eyes meeting his.
Castor experienced an odd feeling in the vicinity of his chest. Admiration, he thought, unwilling to admit that it could be tenderness. He walked up to her, close enough to touch her if he chose to. He saw her draw in a breath. ‘My intentions, Lady Arabella? I’m afraid my intentions are of the most dishonourable kind.’
My Dark Duke
Since his notorious wife died in mysterious circumstances, rumours about James, the handsome Duke of Trent, have scandalized society. Now, he must marry again – but finding an eligible woman willing to overlook his past won’t be easy.
Defiantly single, Lady Alethea Sinclair has already turned down six offers of marriage. She prefers living on her own terms and refuses to answer to any man. Yet when Alethea meets the seductive and enigmatic Duke she finds herself strangely drawn to him.
Intrigued by Alethea’s defiance of society’s expectations, James is instantly taken with the willful beauty and soon they are enjoying a playful flirtation. And when circumstances force them into a comprising situation, he does the honourable thing and marries her.
But adjusting to the constraints of marriage doesn’t come easily to the rebellious Alethea and, despite their growing feelings for each other, the Duke’s troubled past keeps getting in the way. Can they learn to trust each other and give love a chance before it’s too late?
A steamy Georgian romance about desire, the importance of staying true to yourself and the power of the past to cast a shadow on the present.
About the Author:
Elyse spent her childhood years in Borneo. She moved to Australia when she was a teenager and was an avid reader of romances. It was her love of historical romance that led her to write My Dark Duke, which finaled in the Romance Writers of Australia Emerald Award contest in 2014.
A lawyer by profession, Elyse is a self-confessed compulsive buyer of any books featuring dukes. She also loves reading stories featuring alpha billionaires – undoubtedly because they are the embodiment of modern-day dukes. Elyse spends her free time (and perhaps a little too much of her not-so-free time) fantasising about wickedly handsome heroes and the strong heroines who ultimately tame them.