Fans of Mary Jo Putney and Sabrina Jeffries will fall for this delightful story of a high-spirited lady determined to marry for love—but betrothed to a tempting spy whose work has put them both their hearts…and their lives…on the line.
Misleading a Duke
Finishing school failed to turn them into proper society ladies. Now these four friends vow to remain single until they find suitors worthy of their love and devotion…
Betrothed to a man she has barely met, Lady Faith Landon calls upon her three best friends—the self-proclaimed Wallflowers of West Lane—to help uncover the secrets of her mysterious fiancé. Her suspicions are aroused when she learns that he has recently returned from France. Is he a traitor to his country? The truth is quite the opposite. Nicholas Ellsworth, Duke of Breckenridge, is a secret agent for the English Crown who has just completed a risky mission to infiltrate Napoleon’s spy network.
After his adventures, Nicholas craves the peace and quiet of the country and settling into domestic bliss with his bride. Until he discovers Faith’s deceptive investigation. How can he wed a woman who doesn’t trust him? But a powerful spark has ignited between Nicholas and Faith that could bring about a change of heart. Faith seizes her second chance to prove to Nicholas that they are a true love match but his past catches up with them when three French spies come to exact revenge. Surviving rather than wooing has become the order of the day.
In the author's words . . .
Q&A with A.S. Fenichel
Books & Benches: We're thrilled to welcome A.S. Fenichel to Books & Benches so we can get a little more behind-the-scenes info about Misleading A Duke. The title tells us so much, yet keeps us guessing, and by golly we want to know more! Let's hear from the author . . .
What excites you about writing?
I love to write. That’s not to say that it doesn’t take it out of me from time to time. There is nothing as satisfying to me as sitting down in front of a blank scream and having a story come to life. Imagine, there’s nothing and then lives, lands, houses, and a plot. And, it all comes from a wisp of thought, a cry on the wind. To me it’s a miracle. I feel very blessed to be able to tell a good story.
What makes Misleading A Duke special to you, or different from what you've written before?
Misleading A Duke has one of the strongest heroines I’ve ever written. The interesting thing is, you might not have seen that in Faith when you met her in The Earl Not Taken. Even she always thought of her friend Poppy as the brave one. However, when things get dicey and her fiancé’s espionage past comes back to haunt him, Faith is the super hero she needs to be.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I write the stories that come to me. I hope that readers will want to read them and so far so good. I do not write to trend or go out searching for something that’s never been done before, though I hope the way I tell a story is original. Since I’m writing romance, the reader can count on a happily ever after, but I hope the telling is unique.
I can only be me and write the stories as I see them in my head. The appeal is totally up to the wonderful readers.
Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
What an interesting question. I don’t really know. I’m not sure I believe there are people who don’t feel emotions. I know there are people who hide or bury their emotions, but they still feel them. Writing might be a great outlet for someone who doesn’t show what’s happening on the inside in real life. I’m not sure a sociopath would write a good book, or at least the book would have an unusual perspective.
Speaking for myself, I’m pretty emotional. I cry at a good commercial. However, I’m not sure that’s a prerequisite to being a good writer. If someone has a story to tell and that story is beating away strong enough that you’re willing to sit in front of a computer for a few months or longer to get it out, you probably have the ability to write a book.
Maybe tenacity is more prerequisite than emotion. ;)
Will you give us a little scoop on what's coming next?
I’m currently working on The Wallflowers of West Lane book 3, Capturing The Earl. This books draws readers into the life of orphan, Mercy Heath as she has to watch while the only man who’s ever interested her attempts to court her best friend Aurora. Since Mercy has no title or money and Wesley is an Earl, she has no hope of winning him. She knows she’s not worthy of such a man. (B&B Note: Book 3 releases January 26, 2021)
Books & Benches: This sounds like an utterly delightful series, and we expect a lot of readers are going to agree and cozy up with the new book this fall. Thank you for sharing a bit more about you and Misleading the Duke with our readers.
Enjoy an Excerpt from
Misleading a Duke
“Are you determined to be alone, or might I join you, Your Grace?”
Faith called from only a few feet behind him. He must be losing his training for her to have sneaked up behind him without notice. “Is there something you wanted, Lady Faith?” She stepped closer. Several curls had freed themselves of her elaborate coif and called out to Nick to touch them. “It is a lovely garden.” She glanced around and smiled.
“Yes. Geb has taken bits from all his travels and placed them in his home and this garden. I think it brings him comfort.” Faith’s golden eyes filled with sorrow. “Do you think Mr. Arafa is lonely here in England?”
“It is never easy to live amongst a people not your own.” Nick considered all the time he’d spent in France, Spain, and Portugal and how much he’d missed the rainy days in England and people who understood his humor. “The Wallflowers are very fond of Mr. Arafa. We have not entertained much, but I will see that he is added to our invitation list. Perhaps a circle of good friends will make him feel more at home.” She’d placed her index finger on her chin while she considered how best to help Geb.
He needed to be free of this woman. “You didn’t say what it was you wanted, Lady Faith.”
Frowning, she walked forward and down the path. “Must I have a reason to walk in the garden with my fiancé?”
Leaving her to her own devices and returning to the house flitted through his mind, but it would cause gossip and he was curious about her reason for seeking him out. “We are hardly the perfect picture of an engaged couple.”
“No. That is true. I wanted to apologize for any undue strain I may have caused you by trying to find out what kind of character you have.”
“Is that your apology, or shall I wait for more?” he said when she didn’t elaborate.
She stopped and puffed up her chest. Her cheeks were red and fire flashed in her eyes. “Why must you be so difficult? Even when I’m trying to be nice, you find fault. The entire situation was mostly your doing. If you had been open and honest, that would have been an end to our query and none of the rest would have been necessary.”
Even more beautiful when she was in a temper, he longed to pull her into his arms and taste those alluring lips. He was certain just one tug would topple all those curls from the pins that held her hair in place and he could find out if they were as soft as they appeared. It was maddening. “I hardly see how it was my fault. You and your friends spied on me and involved Geb, which is unforgivable.”
As soft and lovely as she was, a hard edge caught in her voice. “I suppose, then, you will not accept my apology. I see. Well, in that case, I’ll leave you to your solitude.” She turned to walk away and stopped, eyes narrowed into the darkness beyond the gardens, which were surrounded by tall evergreens.
Following her gaze, Nick saw nothing, though the hair on the back of his neck rose. “What is it?”
“I felt eyes on me, as if someone was watching.” She shivered and continued straining to see in the shadows.
“I’m sure you are imagining things.” He dismissed her worry. That hateful glance fell on him before she plastered false serenity on her face.
He preferred the disdain to the untruthful agreement. Why he should care when he wanted nothing to do with her, he didn’t know. “Shall I escort you back inside, Lady Faith?”
“You are too kind, Your Grace, but I can manage the journey on my own.” With a curt nod, she stormed away from him toward the house.
Unable to look away, he admired the gentle sway of her hips until she climbed the veranda steps and went inside. Lord, how he longed to hold those hips and slide his hands up to that slim waist, and so much more. He shook away the wayward thoughts before he embarrassed himself with his desires.
One thing was certain, Faith Landon would be his undoing.
Excerpt Copyright © A.S. Fenichel. Shared with permission for blog tour.
Meet the Author
A.S. Fenichel gave up a successful career in New York City to follow her husband to Texas and pursue her lifelong dream of being a professional writer. She’s never looked back.
A.S. adores writing stories filled with love, passion, desire, magic and maybe a little mayhem tossed in for good measure. Books have always been her perfect escape and she still relishes diving into one and staying up all night to finish a good story.
Multi-published in historical, paranormal, erotic and contemporary romance, A.S. is the author of the several series, including Forever Brides, Everton Domestic Society, Wallflowers of West Lane and more. Strong, empowered heroines from Regency London to modern-day New Orleans are what really excites A.S., and that’s what you’ll find in all her books.
A Jersey Girl at heart, she now makes her home in Southern Missouri with her real-life hero, her wonderful husband. When not reading or writing, she enjoys cooking, travel, history, puttering in her garden and spoiling her fussy cat.
Learn more at asfenichel.com.
Genre: Historical Romance/Regency
Publisher: Kensington/Lyrical Press
Content Note: 5 Hearts (steamy, but not super steamy)
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