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Love Letters From a Duke

Love Letters From a Duke

4.4 67
by Elizabeth Boyle

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He's at her service . . .

Though she can't afford the coal to heat her drafty Mayfair mansion, Felicity Langley still clings to her dream of marrying a duke—one she's had since her very first curtsy. After all, she's been promised to the very lofty Duke of Hollindrake for the last four years. Now all she has to do is meet him. But what Felicity doesn't


He's at her service . . .

Though she can't afford the coal to heat her drafty Mayfair mansion, Felicity Langley still clings to her dream of marrying a duke—one she's had since her very first curtsy. After all, she's been promised to the very lofty Duke of Hollindrake for the last four years. Now all she has to do is meet him. But what Felicity doesn't realize is that she has met her duke—he's the altogether too handsome man who Felicity has just mistaken . . . for her new footman!

By rights, Thatcher should immediately set this presumptuous chit straight and tell her he has no intention of honoring the arranged betrothal. But he's quickly smitten by Felicity's delightful determination, her irrepressible charm . . . and her breathtaking sensuality. Yes, she'd wed him in an instant were his true identity revealed—but Thatcher's vowed to marry only for love. So begins his deception and his conquest of this uncommon woman who doesn't believe in romance, but is about to find her heart and passion set aflame by the unlikely man she's sworn to resist.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

A young society dame with a flair for matchmaking does whatever it takes to ensure her eclectic family's well-being in Boyle's latest Regency romance. After four years of corresponding with her nearly betrothed, the beautiful and resourceful Miss Felicity Langley is poised finally to meet Aubrey, the newly titled duke of Hollingsworth-and gain the wealth to take care of her family's financial woes. What Felicity doesn't know is that her pen pal all along has actually been Aubrey's scheming, ruthless grandfather; the real Aubrey, meanwhile, has been serving as an army captain under the name Thatcher, having denounced his inheritance a dozen years before. Returning to Sussex, Aubrey learns of the duke's arrangement with Felicity and decides to break all ties with her. But when he meets her, as Thatcher, setting off immediate sparks, both face a secret dilemma: Aubrey torn between taking a stand and giving in to love, and Felicity between overwhelming passion and the long-distance relationship she believes will save her family. A terrific crew of supporting characters keep afloat the mistaken-identity plot, making this a full, satisfying read with emotion and laughs throughout. (Sept.)

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Love Letters From a Duke

Chapter One

Aubrey Michael Thomas Sterling, Marquess of Standon
b. 1780, third son of Lord Charles Sterling
Current residence: believed to be Bythorne Castle

Notes: Lord Standon poses a dilemma, for very little is known of him (though there are persistent and unsubstantiated rumors of youthful and rakish indiscretions). However, he must have reformed upon his elevation to the marquisate, for he is never mentioned in the society columns, the Gentleman's Magazine or any other reliable form of gossip. As such there is very little to recommend him other than the indisputable fact that he is the Duke of Hollindrake's heir.

—An excerpt from the Bachelor Chronicles

Mayfair, London
January 1814

"Oh, heavens, Tally, this is terrible news," Miss Felicity Langley announced to her sister Thalia, who was seated across the sitting room.

"What is it?" her twin replied, looking up from her sketch pad.

Felicity set down the copy of the Times she'd been reading and sighed. "Lord Garner died."

"No!" Tally got up from her chair by the window, and as she rose, her little black dog, Brutus, rose as well, stretching out his legs and yawning before he followed his beloved mistress as she crossed the room to see the account for herself. "A riding accident! How dreadful."

"Terrible luck," Felicity muttered as she dipped her quill into the ink pot and proceeded to strike Lord Garner's name from the open journal before her.

"Heavens, that's the fifth bachelor this winter to expire," Tally said as she watched her sisterdraw a series of lines through her careful reckoning of the now deceased baron's life and holdings.

"Actually the sixth."

After giving her head a few woeful shakes, Tally asked, "This Lord Garner, he was rather old, wasn't he?"

"Nearly forty."

Her nose wrinkled. "Positively ancient. You should have crossed him out years ago." The twins had just turned one and twenty not a fortnight earlier, and Tally especially considered any man not in his twenties to be nothing short of a Methuselah.

"Ancient or not, one cannot overlook twelve thousand a year."

Her twin shrugged, then glanced back at the paper. "An heir worth noting?"

"A lad of seven."

A tsk, tsk was her sister's only reply, for she knew this meant that the new Lord Garner would have to wait another ten years before he could even be considered eligible for inclusion in Felicity's infamous Bachelor Chronicles.

Not that any man in his right mind would want to find himself inside the pages of such a journal. The Bachelor Chronicles, as they'd been dubbed by her classmates at Miss Emery's school, was far from being the giggling, foolish musings of a title-mad young lady, but rather a meticulously researched encyclopedia of every eligible bachelor in the ton.

A volume of Debrett's could give you lineage and a family motto. The Bachelor Chronicles could tell you if the man had a penchant for drink and late night rambles through the wilds of Seven Dials. Mr. Billingsworth's guidebooks and histories would give you an effusive and flowery travelogue of the man's holdings and properties, but Felicity's encyclopedia of dilettantes and Corinthians revealed the true condition of the roof and whether or not the walls were buttressed by mortgages or mortar.

Dukes to barons, knighted gentlemen and even a few men of means were given her discerning perusal. Even second sons and distant heirs found their way into the Chronicles, because, as Felicity was wont to say, "One day a spare, the next an heir."

To accomplish all this, she spent the first few hours of each day scouring the Times, the Globe, and of course the Morning Post, as well as the latest volumes of the Gentleman's Magazine, the Ladies Magazine, and The Ladies Fashionable Cabinet, looking for information that would necessitate addendums or corrections to her Chronicles.

What she couldn't glean from the regular publications, she gathered by contacting Miss Emery's former students. A voluminous correspondence with these ladies, most of them having married into the loftiest families in society, gave her insights into her quarry that unfortunately never found their way into print.

"Tally, I am rethinking Pippin's future again," she said after she'd carefully blotted the wet X running across Lord Garner's entry.

"Oh, Duchess, not again," Tally protested, using her favorite nickname for her sister.

Felicity waved off her sister's objection. "I'm more inclined to see our cousin with Lord Elmsley than the Earl of Darlton. I've just been informed by the viscount's mother's second cousin's wife that Elmsley carries a bit of the romantic tragic about him, which would fit quite nicely with Pippin's current state—"

Tally groaned. Loudly. "Don't do this," she told her sister. "Leave Pippin be."

"Whyever for?"

"Because our poor cousin hasn't been the same since . . . well, you know."

Felicity heaved a sigh. "Her father's death was untimely to say the least, and the shocking state of his finances even worse, but I daresay it is high time that she—"

"Stop!" Her sister threw her hands up. "Sometimes I wonder if you even have a heart. I'm not talking about her father. I'm talking about him." Tally lowered her voice to a whisper. "Captain Dashwell."

"That pirate?" Felicity exclaimed. "I won't hear that name mentioned again. Not in this house. Oh, how I wish the devil would take him to the bottom of the sea! Pippin was such a sensible creature before that wastrel kissed her."

Four years earlier, during Felicity's first matchmaking endeavor, she, Tally, and Pippin had become entangled in more than assisting their teacher, Miss Porter, find her heart's desire with the rakish Jack Tremont—rather, they'd discovered themselves in the middle of an elaborate network of spies and espionage, and had stood in for Jack when their misadventures accidentally landed him in prison.

And that one night had changed their lives forever—ending with Pippin being kissed by a young American sea captain, Thomas Dashwell, as they exchanged gold for . . .

Love Letters From a Duke. Copyright © by Elizabeth Boyle. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Boyle has always loved romance and now lives it each and every day by writing adventurous and passionate stories that readers from all around the world have described as “page-turners.” Since her first book was published, she’s seen her romances become New York Times and USA Today bestsellers and has won the RWA RITA® and the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Awards. She resides in Seattle with her family, her garden, and her always-growing collection of yarn. Readers can visit her at www.elizabethboyle.com, or follow her own adventures on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.  www.avonromance.com www.facebook.com/avonromance 

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Love Letters From a Duke 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 67 reviews.
Daphsmomma More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this book. The story rolled on from This Rake of Mine. That book was pretty much the beginning of this series. This one is about Felicity. She has her heart set that she will be the Duchess of Hollindrake. But that may not be the case since she is falling in love with her new footman! O but this book is just amazing, Elizabeth Boyle knows how to keep you turning the pages. I could not put this book down. I love her writing and will continue to buy her books.
NannyW More than 1 year ago
This is a fun book to read. Felicity finds creative ways to get around obstructions placed in her path. No money to rent a house, just read the legal notices & find a house held up in estate settlement and borrow it for a while. She has determined that being married to a Duke will solve her finanical problems. The new footman seems to always arrive late for work, but she can't fire him since she does not have the funds to pay him any wages until she marries, and really, he is so handsome in father's old livery. She trys to not like him, but something about him keeps drawing her closer. She can not fall for him, in order to find good husbands for the rest of her family she must marry the Duke. Why does the Duke of Hollindrake not come by, they have been exchanging letters for years, or have they? The cook drinks, but since she makes REALLY good scones they overlook her little problem, they can't afford to pay her either. It is touching, funny, fast paced, rainy afternoon book. You will not want to put it down until you find out how it ends.
RomanceReaderForever More than 1 year ago
I loved this!! It was my first Elizabeth Boyle book and I quickly bought her other ones. This is the first mistaken identity book I've read where I thought the author totally pulled it off. From the second Felicity answers the door in her red woolen socks, I was sucked in. And I stayed there until THE END. I loved the characters. I could so see Felicity's vulnerability under her "I'm going to marry the duke and take care of everyone" facade. This was skillfully done. It's difficult to portray this in a character but Elizabeth Boyle did it splendidly. It wasn't a false bravado that Felicity sported but rather a dogged determination that had a touch of desperation to it. I loved the chemistry between Felicity and Thatcher and can't understand why a couple of people didn't feel that. I not only felt the physical chemistry, but I felt a genuine liking of each for the other, something that doesn't happen in a lot of romances. It was especially amusing that Felicity didn't want to like him and kept trying not to. I had not read any of Boyle's other books, yet I had no problem following this one, so for me I would have to say it definitely was a standalone book. Reading the earlier books later was quite a delight, really. I knew what was in store for Felicity and that made me smile. Yes, the supporting characters were sometimes a little whacky, but honestly, no more whacky than my family members (or yours, probably). And anyway, this is fiction. If I want to read something with no imagination, that doesn't demand any leap of faith, I'll read non-fiction. This story was fast-paced and I never knew what was going to happen next, yet as it happened, it was like, Of course! Why didn't I realize that was coming? I love it when an author surprises me and everything fits perfectly into the story. I laughed out loud several times during this book, and that's important to me. Even if a book has me crying during the dramatic parts, I expect to laugh somewhere along the way, or it's not for me. I loved it. What more can I say except I'll be looking forward to her forthcoming stories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hard read to get through . Most of time i was waiting for the good parts and they never came
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A fun read. Greatly enjoyed this well written and humorous, romantic book. The story is great, characters delightful.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read it in mere hours. Couldn't put the book down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
best story of mistaken identity in a long time
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great writing - romance and wit. Such a great way for Felicity to meet her Duke. Can't wait to read Tally's story.
EdeeBook More than 1 year ago
I hesitate to give this 4 stars - but the story was so cute I couldn't help but read and read until it was done. Lovers of historical fiction should enjoy the intricacies of this amusing tale.
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LadyScarlet More than 1 year ago
A fun romantic romp! What's not to love about a Duke playing a Footman!
MerriW More than 1 year ago
I have read a number of Elizabeth Boyle's books and purchased this one after reading a free excerpt at the end of another one of her works. I enjoyed this as an addition to my collection of her works on my Nook Color. Better yet, it was also on sale. Give yourself a treat with some downtime reading a nice love story that has a twist.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book. Just reading how the duchess and Thatcher interacted from the very beginning the reader just knew it was true love. To read their story and see how it developed it was great, Boyle knows how to write a good love story. You also read how stubborn people can be when they know its love but try to deny it. Great read.
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