Welcome to the Drawing Room

Hello! I assume you are here desiring an audience with Lord Heartless? He is out at the moment but I anticipate his return at any time. Until then, find a comfortable chair, settle in, and enjoy a spot of tea. Browse through the available reading material, learn what you can of the heartless duke, and decide if you really want to meet him. Please leave your calling card in the form of a comment.

It was lovely to see you! Please stop by again.

***Please BEWARE*** If you have yet to read Heartless, certain aspects of the story may be inadvertently spoiled for you here. Please take care while exploring.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

~Getting to Know the Duke~ Excerpt from Deception

Lord Derringer's introduction takes place in Deception, where he dominates a few scenes. This is a scene between Deception's heroine, Aurora and her companion, where she is warned to avoid him as he would not make a suitable husband. Enjoy! 

“The one on his left,” Ellie continued quietly, “with the unfashionably long black hair is the Duke of Derringer. Beware of him, my dear. It is said he is a rake of the first order. There are, in fact, so very many unsavory rumors about him that I would hope you would avoid him altogether.”

“What rumors?” Aurora asked in spite of her dislike for harmful gossip.

Ellie pursed her lips for so long a moment, Aurora didn’t think she would tell her. “It is believed that he has killed two men in duels, ruined more than one innocent, drinks heavily, gambles only in the most disreputable of gaming dens, and keeps several mistresses. His grandfather, the first duke, made his fortune in piracy. It is said that he amassed so much wealth, the King, for fear of the man, granted him the dukedom in a bid to keep the man loyal to the crown. Lady Watson said that the present duke is involved in some illegal activities just like his grandfather. No one dares to ask him outright, or accuse him of anything, but the rumors abound anyway.”

To Aurora, none of it mattered. The man was a handsome gentleman, to be sure, and appeared every bit as dangerous as rumor claimed. Why, he wore nothing but black. Even his linen was black. To match his soul?

Perhaps that would be to her advantage. Many a man would think twice before tangling with a peer of such appearance and reputation.

She had to wonder, however, if such a man could be made to fall in love.

“Why is he accepted here?” Aurora asked curiously.

“Oh, his mother was bosom bows with Lady Sefton and he is very powerful for all he is only seven and twenty, nearly as powerful as his grandfather was. Lady Watson said none of it matters since the duke will die soon,” Miss Ellison told her young friend sotto voce. She was rewarded with a gasp at this little tidbit. “Apparently, his grandfather was killed by highwaymen when he was five and thirty. The second duke was four when he ascended to the title. He died in a boating accident when he was two and thirty, a year after his wife was found dead in their home near Folkestone. The present duke has held the title since he was seven.”

“But his father and grandfather died in accidents. Why would that suggest he will die young, as well?” Aurora asked, frowning.

Miss Ellison shrugged. “It is the way of gossip, I suppose. One will find intrigues where none exist.”

“Oh,” was Aurora’s enlightened reply.

The preceding is copyright (c) 2010 Laura J Miller. All rights reserved.

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