A Duchess in the Dark

A Duchess in the Dark

4.3 9
by Kate McKinley
     
 

The first novella in Kate McKinley's erotic By Invitation Only series.

A DUCHESS IN THE DARK

Miss Daphne Hayward is on the hunt for a safe, honorable husband and she has set her sights on the perfect target. She plans a full-scale seduction that will bring him to his knees, and have him begging for her hand in marriage.…  See more details below

Overview

The first novella in Kate McKinley's erotic By Invitation Only series.

A DUCHESS IN THE DARK

Miss Daphne Hayward is on the hunt for a safe, honorable husband and she has set her sights on the perfect target. She plans a full-scale seduction that will bring him to his knees, and have him begging for her hand in marriage. But when she mistakenly slips into another man's bed, the passions that quickly ignite threaten to send her well-laid plans up in smoke.

Ashton Fitzgerald, Duke of Claymore has never been for want of a willing woman in his bed and his rakish ways have become legend in boudoirs and dark corners all across London. But not even Ashton can account for the powerful desire that surges through him when a mysterious woman pays him a clandestine midnight visit. As dawn breaks, his goddess flees before he can learn her identity. Now Ashton will stop at nothing to unmask the identity of the woman who bewitched him body and soul and make her his . . . forever.

12,000 words

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781455574278
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
12/03/2013
Series:
By Invitation Only
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
50
Sales rank:
65,747
File size:
187 KB

Meet the Author

KATE MCKINLEY writes Regency and Fantasy Romance. When she's not staring at her screen, dreaming up delicious heroes, she's a wife, mother and part-time assistant.

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A Duchess in the Dark 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
BoekiesBookReviews More than 1 year ago
A Duchess in the Dark is now one of my favorite novellas. McKinley does such a wonderful job weaving this story that I hardly noticed it wasn't a full-length novel. It was perfect and I loved the epilogue. I have to say the story immediately drew me in. Usually in a story you have to wait until the middle or end for the steamy scenes, but A Duchess in the Dark starts with Daphne sneaking into Edward's chambers, or so she thought it was HIS chambers, to seduce him. Lucky for us it happens to be someone else who's a lot sexier. ;) The characters throughout this novella were wonderful and extremely well written. I enjoyed Daphne's character the most. She has a strong will and she goes for what she wants, which I think is an admirable thing when it comes to characters. Ashton Fitzgerald was the perfect love interest, but it's probably because he reminds me of a certain someone from Jane Austen's novels. In fact, I think one of the reasons why this novel was so well written is because you can clearly see the love for the Regency period, especially through McKinley's descriptions and story plot. Even the names of her characters were many that Austen used herself: Edward, Daphne, James, Fitzgerald. I think the only thing I would've changed about this story is Edward's revelation at the end. I would've liked to have seen it drawn out. Overall, I thought A Duchess in the Dark was a wonderful Regency story. I'm very excited to read more from Ms. McKinley.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*I wish it were longer..72 pages. It would have made a wonderful novel
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AustenStudent More than 1 year ago
Note: page references refer to an ePUB version. This is an elegant and provocative Regency novella by Kate McKinley, a new-to-me author that I read upon the recommendation of another author. It’s one way I often find new authors, and this one is a wonderful new discovery. Daphne Hayward is at a country house party at her sister’s estate, which I’ve found to be a notorious setting for illicit liaisons among polite society in historical romance novels, so long as the lady is not caught and the gentleman is discreet. She hopes to entrap Edward, a gentleman she believes would make the perfect husband. She’s been hoping for a proposal for two years now and she’s sure one is coming very soon. But she wants to move things along more quickly. So she visits his room during the night, climbs into his bed, and proceeds to have a lovely tryst. Trouble is, she doesn’t realize her grave error until she’s navigating the empty hallways by candlelight back to her bed chamber, and bumps into… Edward. This is a completely unexpected (and brilliant) plot maneuver that this reader never saw coming.   Meanwhile, her mystery lover turns out to be Ashton, the handsome Earl of Claymore, who believes he bedded his mistress in the night. At breakfast the following morning, he is stunned to discover that his mistress did not arrive at the house party after all, and the search is on for his mystery lover. Of course, some belief must be suspended because he believes this is the only woman for him but, you know, it is fiction. Suffice it to say, what follows is a romantic and sexy chivalrous courtship. I don’t want to give away too much as it would spoil the story. Kate McKinley has a lovely and sophisticated writing voice that drew me right into her story. I enjoy juicy plots of romantic and sexual intrigue set against an historical backdrop of supposed civility and proper manners. They bring to mind Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos and Lady Susan by Jane Austen, where the bored rich play sexual games to relieve the daily ennui of life without an occupation. Kate McKinley reminds me of Sabrina Darby, another favorite historical author, who also writes erotic historicals with a deft and clever hand. The stories are suggestive and sultry and the writing very rich and almost lyrical. This is an author I will definitely read more of. For those who like their romance on the more seductive side, fans of Monica Burns, Jenna Jaxon, and Jess Michaels will enjoy this. This is the first book in McKinley’s By Invitation Only series. Memorable moments: “The sensation was pleasant, but not at all what it should be. His lips were soft and pliant, but they lacked the warmth and vitality of her stranger’s fiery, unhindered kiss.” (p21) “Ashton felt desperate for the first time in his life. For once, he was in a situation he couldn’t control and it was acutely unsettling. He wanted a woman who didn’t want him back.” (p47) A fun and delicious treat.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
NinasLiteraryEscape More than 1 year ago
I haven't read a historical romance for a while now and I had almost forgotten why I was obsessed with this genre back then. I am very glad I decided to pick up this novella by Kate McKinley. It has reminded me of why I love this genre so much and I am pleased to say that it has renewed my love of historical romances. I thought Kate McKinley did a superb job with this five chapter novella. She not only excelled at bringing out lovely and vibrant characters, but also a fun and engaging plot that the reader can sink their teeth into. I adored the hero and heroine, Ashton and Daphne. I loved watching the chase take place and it was all the more interesting with all the sexual tension oozing off the pages. I loved Ashton for his devilish charm and dashing good looks, but most of all because he was a good and honorable man. Daphne was also a wonderful character. She was strong-willed and although she was vying for the wrong man's attention, I was glad she made the right choice in the end. I truly found this book to be beautifully written. To me, the story was well paced. Never at any point did the story feel at all rushed. Some readers may argue that the story is too short, but I myself found it just right. McKinley managed to weave a complete and fulfilling story in such few pages that I did not find myself complaining or unsatisfied with its shortness. Everything came together and wrapped up beautifully with a pretty bow on top. I was hooked from the beginning and loved how the story ended. The epilogue was an excellent ending to the heartwarming story and it was all smiles from me when the last page was turned. The story in itself was great, but the epilogue was the icing on the cake. Overall, A Duchess in the Dark was a great light regency romance with appealing characters and a fun plot that I thoroughly enjoyed and could not put down. I cannot wait to see what else Kate has in store for readers and it's for certain that I will be reading more of Kate McKinley's books. Full of wicked passion and delicious sensuality, A Duchess in the Dark is a story not to be missed by lovers of the historical romance genre. *I received a review copy from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review.
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
Oops, sometimes those devious little plots to ensnare Mr. Right go all wrong. Case in point, Daphne had her sights set on one man and she was determined to “force” his hand by using her feminine powers to seduce him one very dark night. Too bad she had the wrong room, or was it? Sometimes love finds you when you least expect it! Was he dreaming, or had his perfect woman given him a night like he wanted for the rest of his life? How could he even think that, he was a rake, a ladies’ man, but Ashton had definitely fallen and now he needed to find his mystery lover. Clever, cute and fun, A Duchess in the Dark by Kate McKinley could have grown up into a full blown novel, but this short and sassy historical romance did just fine for me! Ms. McKinley managed to condense all of the emotions, from the horror of such a mistake to the humor of it all. I believe she managed to bring out the best in the bad boy and teach the girl a lesson she won’t want to recover from! I received this copy from Forever (Grand Central Publishing)in exchange for my honest review!
sofialovesbooks More than 1 year ago
I am entirely sure about my thoughts on this book. Half the story was happening in the bedroom and I felt when I reached a certain point that the actual plot was not enough. But then unexpected things happened and I liked more and more the story. I loved the scene close to the end where Daphne realized who was the one who loved her and was the good guy and who was trying to take advantage of her. The true colors of the characters were revealed. A little wine always does a good job ;) The book is short and goes straight to the point. Daphne is a stubborn woman but she can admit that she made a mistake and I liked that.
WorldsCollide More than 1 year ago
Hot, steamy, and sweet, A Duchess in the Dark was a lovely historical romance novella. I absolutely loved this book. Daphne and Ashton were brilliant characters. Both were likable. Daphne was a lovely heroine who spirited and determined to get what she wanted. Though what she wanted changed over the course of the novella. Ashton was so sweet and adorable and perfect! Once he realized that Daphne was the woman who visited him, he was determined to win her over. And, he truly wanted what was best for her, even if she didn't think it was him. He was just wonderful. The romance was lovely. It was certainly hot, considering the first scene and their first real interaction was sex. That was definitely hot and steamy. But, it wasn't the whole of their relationship. They were truly sweet together, and their feelings for each other were obvious. I thought they were perfect together. I just want to mention one other character real quick. The man that Daphne originally wanted to marry. He started out seeming bland, but pleasant. Then, he showed his true colors and I wanted to punch him in the face. I was glad when he got what was coming to him. The plot was fast paced. I was hooked the entire way through. I really enjoyed the story and the ending was lovely. I can't wait to read the next novellas in this series. A Duchess in the Dark was a wonderful erotic historical romance novella. It was sweet, steamy, and truly enjoyable to read. Lovers of romance, it you want a quick, hot read, then you have to read this novella. *I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review