So allow me to present...the cover!
I give you the Blurb...
Grace Clarke is no longer willing to accept the position of "poor relations." Her sister has married well and taken her under her wing, so with her new connections, it ought to be a breeze to find a wealthy, titled gentleman to help elevate her station in life. Of course, she never expects for him to find her. Especially not in such a compromising position. But once she gets over her humiliation, she discovers that the duke next door is far more than just a duke. He's a man that sets her heart--and other parts of her--aflame.
Evan Gilford, Duke of Somerset, has spent the last fifteen years trying to avoid his destiny: marriage. But he can't ignore his duty anymore, not with his guilty conscience nagging at him all the bloody time and a betrothed waiting to become his duchess. So he returns to London, only to discover that he has a new and rather enchanting neighbor who soon makes him question where his loyalties lie: with his family or his heart.
And Now...an Excerpt!
It was times like these Grace was grateful she wasn’t musically inclined. If she were, she imagined she’d be having a worse time than she was at this very moment. Goodness, but these poor girls were horrific musicians—if one could even call them that. According to the program, they were playing a piece by Haydn and Grace was certain the composer was turning circles in his grave. It sounded as if a bunch of barnyard animals had gotten into a row.
Chloe put a hand on top of Grace’s in an effort to still her fidgeting. Grace cast her sister a sidelong glance that said, If you had let me stay home, you wouldn’t have had to put up with me. Of course, Chloe couldn’t be bothered to look at her, so she probably didn’t pick up on the silent message, but still. They’d argued about this earlier in the day when Grace had begged to be allowed to stay home. Granted, it wasn’t like her, despite not being terribly fond of musicales. She normally didn’t like to miss an opportunity to meet an eligible gentleman, but ever since her walk in the garden with Evan, she couldn’t seem to think of anyone or anything else. He was forbidden, of course, but it didn’t stop her from daydreaming about him. Or pining for him. And it certainly didn’t stop that swirling in her belly that made her want to toss up her accounts.
The music came to a stop, and the audience applauded politely despite how dreadful it had been. Grace glanced down at her program again, praying it would say the concert was over, even though she knew very well they were nowhere near the end. When she looked back up, her gaze landed on the small group of people who had arrived late to the event. Her stomach plummeted, and her heart sped to a frighteningly dangerous speed. Heat infused her cheeks, and everywhere else for that matter. Why did her entire body feel aflame?
She snapped open her fan and began to wave it frantically in front of her face as the party, which included Evan and his betrothed, took their seats a few rows back.
Blast this heaviness in my chest! Was this what love felt like? Or was it merely infatuation? Goodness, if this was only infatuation, she was doomed if she ever fell truly in love. Perhaps this was why their society looked down upon love matches. What if everyone walked about with racing hearts and churning stomachs all the time? The city would be in a state of total chaos, wouldn’t it?
Should she dare a glance behind? Just to see where they were sitting. Surely no one would notice. She placed her fan in her lap and then rubbed her hands down her dress as the musicians started the next piece.
“Would you stop fidgeting, Grace,” Chloe whispered through clenched teeth.
Grace stilled her hands, though her whole body felt as if it were running a race. “Sorry,” she whispered back. And then she did it. She dared a backward glance, only to be met with Evan’s piercing blue gaze.
Good heavens! He was looking at her, blast him. And he had the audacity, sitting there next to his fiancée, to wink at her. But not just any wink. This one was accompanied by a wry smile that sent Grace into even more of a dither than she’d been in previously. What did it mean anyway? Was it a wink of friendship? Or was it more? Was he being flirtatious?
No, he wouldn’t dare. Not with his fiancée sitting beside him. Heavens, what kind of man would that make him?
About the Author...
Jerrica Knight-Catania knew from an early age that she was destined for romance. She would spend hours as a young girl sitting in a chair by an open window, listening to the rain, and dreaming of the day Prince Charming would burst in and declare his undying love for her. But it wasn't until she was 28-years-old, tired of her life in the theater, that she turned her focus toward writing Regency Romance novels. All her dreaming paid off, and she now gets to relive those romantic scenes she'd dreamt up as a child as she commits them to paper. She lives in sunny Palm Beach with her real life Prince Charming, their Princess-in-training and their aristocat, Dr. Snuggle.