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The Desires of a Duke: Historical Romance Collection
 


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The Desires of a Duke: Historical Romance Collection


  The Desires of a Duke

  Historical Romance Collection

  Darcy Burke

  Grace Callaway

  Lila DiPasqua

  Shana Galen

  Caroline Linden

  Erica Monroe

  Christina McKnight

  Erica Ridley

  La Loma Elite Publishing

  Copyright

  Copyright © 2018 by La Loma Elite Publishing

  Cover Image by Period Images

  Cover Design by The Midnight Muse

  All rights reserved.

  ISBN-10: 1-945089-28-8 (Electronic Book)

  ISBN-13: 978-1-945089-28-2 (Electronic Book)

  La Loma Elite Publishing

  All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the author, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the address below.

  [email protected]

  Contents

  Darcy Burke

  The Forbidden Duke

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Epilogue

  Books By Darcy Burke

  Acknowledgments

  About the Author

  Grace Callaway

  The Duke Who Knew Too Much

  Prologue

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Chapter 23

  Chapter 24

  Chapter 25

  Chapter 26

  Chapter 27

  Chapter 28

  Chapter 29

  Chapter 30

  Chapter 31

  Chapter 32

  Chapter 33

  Chapter 34

  Chapter 35

  Chapter 36

  Chapter 37

  Chapter 38

  Chapter 39

  Chapter 40

  Epilogue

  The End

  Books By Grace Callaway

  Acknowledgments

  About the Author

  Lila DiPasqua

  The Duke’s Match Girl

  A Historical Tidbit

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Epilogue

  Glossary

  Books By Lila DiPasqua

  About the Author

  Shana Galen

  Waiting For A Duke Like You

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Epilogue

  Books By Shana Galen

  Acknowledgments

  About the Author

  Caroline Linden

  When I Met My Duchess

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Books By Caroline Linden

  About the Author

  Erica Monroe

  I Spy A Duke

  Prologue

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Epilogue

  Acknowledgments

  Covert Heiresses

  Books by Erica Monroe

  About the Author

  Christina McKnight

  The Misfortune of Lady Lucianna

  Prologue

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Epilogue

  Acknowledgments

  Also by Christina McKnight

  About the Author

  Erica Ridley

  The Duke’s Accidental Wife

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Chapter 23

  Chapter 24

  Chapter 25

  Chapter 26

  Chapter 27

  Chapter 28

  Chapter 29

  Books By Erica Ridley

  Acknowledgments

  About the Author

  The Forbidden Duke

  Darcy Burke

  The Forbidden Duke

  Copyright © 2016 Darcy Burke

  All rights reserved.

  ISBN: 1944576002

  ISBN-13: 9781944576004

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

  Book design: © Darcy Burke.

  Cover design: © Carrie Divine/Seductive Designs.

  Photo copyright: Couple © Novelstock.com

  Photo copyright: Stairs © Stanisla
v Bokach/Depositphotos.com

  Editing: Linda Ingmanson.

  All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the author.

  Created with Vellum

  For Mr. Wright

  Thank you for making middle school survivable

  and for making the study of history such an important part of my life.

  Chapter 1

  St. Ives, England, February, 1811

  Miss Eleanor Lockhart stared at her father in open shock. “You have nothing left?”

  Davis Lockhart pulled at his sleeve, a familiar gesture that practically screamed his discomfort with this interview. “Not nothing, but not enough to support this household.” He turned apologetic, murky brown eyes on her. “And not enough to support you.”

  Nora stared at him from the recesses of the ancient settee, whose broken leg was propped up with a stack of books. He’d lost all his money—or almost all, apparently—to a bad investment scheme. “What was it again?” she asked, shaking her head.

  Father had always been a bit of a scatterbrain, but she hadn’t realized the depth of his ineptitude when it came to financial matters.

  He coughed. “A building situation in Sussex.”

  That sounded terribly vague. Unfortunately, she suspected he couldn’t provide a more detailed description, likely because he didn’t know one.

  “What am I to do, then?” She asked the question plainly, without emotion, despite the thundering of her heart and the fear spreading through her limbs as she contemplated what her future might be. With no husband and nothing but a scandal-laden past to her credit, Nora had few options.

  Father straightened and turned toward the window overlooking their small property on the edge of town. He leased the cottage and its surrounding garden. It was home—where Nora and her sister had grown up, where they’d plotted their exciting futures as countesses or duchesses, where Nora had returned, defeated, after leaving London in ruin in the midst of her second Season. It was where Nora had presumed she would live her spinster life, until such time as she had to find her own smaller cottage with the modest income her father left her. However, that was not to be.

  “Your sister would surely take you in,” Father said without looking at her.

  Nora doubted it, not because Joanna wouldn’t want to, but because her husband, the vicar, would likely disallow it. Nora was a pariah, a loose woman who’d been caught kissing a gentleman who wasn’t her husband or her fiancé. She was not the sort of woman Matthias Shaw would invite to live in his vicarage.

  “I find that unlikely,” Nora said softly, her mind working even as her spirit was failing.

  “Perhaps Cousin Frederick’s wife will take you in.”

  Cousin Frederick who had died five years ago? He and his wife, the daughter of a baron, had sponsored Nora ten years earlier. They’d been kind and generous, and Nora had dreadfully and mortifyingly humiliated them with her scandalous behavior. They’d shipped Nora back to St. Ives immediately following her fall from grace with the explicit instructions that they would not be sponsoring Jo.

  Since Cousin Frederick’s death, his wife Clara had remarried, and Nora couldn’t imagine she would reopen her home to the woman whose behavior had utterly embarrassed her. Perhaps when the gates to the Underworld were coated in frost.

  Nora didn’t even bother responding to her father’s ridiculous suggestion. Instead, she tossed him a glower and gritted her teeth behind tightly closed lips.

  He smiled in return. Rather it was a pained stretching of his mouth which only underscored how much he disliked confrontation, especially with his daughters. “I suppose you could find a position as a lady’s companion or perhaps a governess.”

  He made the comment blithely, as if such employment grew on trees and were ripe for the picking. “Just how am I to do that?”

  His brow pleated, and his eyes darkened. “How am I to know? You’ll work it all out. You’re a smart gel, like your mother was.” His tone softened. He wasn’t a particularly sentimental father, but Nora knew he’d loved her mother and still missed her, though it had been twenty years since her death.

  Nora stood, intending to go and speak with her sister at once. Jo might not have any suggestions, but she at least possessed a sympathetic ear. The only one Nora had.

  The afternoon was cool and overcast, but Nora was quite warm from her walk by the time she reached the vicarage on the other side of the village. Jo’s housekeeper, Mrs. Kettler, showed Nora to the small sitting room to await her sister.

  A moment later, Jo entered, her dark brown hair swept into a neat style, her hazel eyes sharp and assessing. “I wasn’t expecting you today.”

  What she didn’t say was that her husband didn’t like surprises, particularly from Jo’s outcast sister. “I know. I needed to speak with you urgently. We can go for a walk if you’d prefer.”

  Jo’s brows dipped. “What’s the matter?”

  Nora saw no need to prevaricate. Jo knew their father’s flaws as well as anyone. “Father has lost his money in an investment scheme. He is moving to a small cottage on his brother-in-law’s farm in Dorset.”

  Jo’s eyes flashed surprise. “Indeed? I didn’t think Aunt Polly cared for Father.”

  Polly was Father’s younger sister, and they did not get on well. Nora and Jo had met her all of four times in their entire lives. “He’s going to live in a tiny cottage on the far reaches of their sheep pasture. I daresay she will avoid him as much as possible.”

  “Still, it’s kind of her to take him in,” Jo said.

  That was true. And while the cottage they were allowing Father to live in wasn’t large enough to accommodate Nora, perhaps they had room in their house. Furthermore, they had children. Perhaps they needed a governess. Nora nearly laughed at that thought. They weren’t the sort to have a governess. They lived in the country because they preferred a simple life.

  Jo gestured for Nora to leave the sitting room with her. “Let’s take that walk.” She went into the entryway, where she donned gloves and a hat. “Will I be warm enough?”

  Nora was wearing one of the few serviceable gowns she owned—a light wool—and nothing else for added warmth. “You’ll be chilly at first, but you’ll warm up.”

  Jo nodded and opened the door for Nora to precede her outside. “Are you going with him to Dorset?”

  The sun was now peeking through the clouds. Nora tipped her head down so that the rim of her bonnet shaded her eyes. “There isn’t room for me. I have to find another arrangement.”

  Jo stopped in her tracks, turning to stare at Nora. “You can’t mean—”

  Nora touched her younger sister’s arm gently. “No, I do not expect to live with you. I know Matthias would never allow it.”

  Jo exhaled, her expression pained. “I’m sorry.”

  “Don’t be. It’s my fault you’re married to such a stiff-neck anyway.” Because Nora’s ruinous behavior had ruined her chances for a Season.

  Jo frowned as she glanced back toward the vicarage. “Don’t say that. I know you see him as unforgiving and judgmental, which I agree are not the best traits for a vicar,” she said wryly. “However, he’s a kind husband. I could do far worse.”

  I could be unmarried like you.

 
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