Surrendering to the Mysterious Duke (Preview)

Chapter One

The day had been non-remarkable, indeed. But the evening after tea time had been full of excitement for Emily, getting dressed to see the opera known as The Beggar’s Opera, already highly successful in France and other cities too.

“Oh, I just love The Theatre Royal, Martha,” said Emily to her lady’s maid. “It is so opulent, and the richness of the songs and the feel of the place are really second to none. My heart feels as if it belongs in that place.”

“Right you are, m’lady.”

Emily could tell that Martha was not really interested by the way she curled up her lip and seemed to check the clock hanging on the far wall. Martha usually got tired at around six fifteen, and it was thoroughly understandable, because she was over fifty years old now.

“Martha, just fix the pins in my hair, and then I shall go down to meet my brother. I am sure he will be impatiently awaiting my arrival downstairs. And you know how he simply despises being late.”

“Yes, m’lady. Would you like the green or the blue pins?”

“Oh, a mix of both, in equal measures,” said Emily, smiling brightly with anticipation about going to the opera.

Emily enjoyed being spoiled by Martha. Martha had always been so gentle in the way she helped to dress her, or in doing her hair, and so elegantly too. Being twenty-one was an enjoyable age for a well-to-do woman in London, and it was on nights like this when high society would be at its finest and best behaved.

Emily took a last look in the mirror and clutched her matching purse. She was happy with the way she looked in her sapphire blue dress, a beautiful arrangement that her mother recently had made for her, signifying the height of fashion-ability during London season.

“I’ll see you later, Martha. Thank you for making me look lovely.”

“You always do, m’lady. And your blue eyes are brought out by the colour in the sparkling fabric, and the blonde in your hair looks simply wonderful now.”

“Thank you. Alright, I must be away now to see Luke. He will already be waiting at the bottom of the stairwell. Sometimes I do know him far too well.”

“Have a beautiful time, m’lady.”

Emily smiled broadly. “Yes, I know I will.”

Ms. Bragg was excited to greet her brother at the bottom of the stairwell. And he looked just as dashing in his black, well-pressed suit. His hair was combed well, and his blue eyes were shining brightly in anticipation.

“My dear sister, you are twenty minutes lacking, but you look as lovely as ever. Are you ready? The coachman is waiting outside. The Beggar’s Opera is said to be one of the most successful operas this coming season. This writer, John Gay, well, he is exceptionally talented according to The Herald Ledger.

“Yes, brother. I have heard much talk of it at The Guild Society. I am simply bursting to get there, and the weather is lovely tonight, and it’s not too cool, thankfully.”

Luke offered his arm to his sister, and the butler, Leroy, was already at the door, opening it and saying a kind farewell that they both enjoy themselves immensely.

Before long, the coach was skimming the long road, heading towards the heart of London to get the two siblings to the opera showcase in good time. It was a feeling like no other for Emily, the wonder of a new opera and the fanfare of the many who would be there, all dressed in their finest clothes, and with true smiles upon their faces at being at such a grand event.

Emily was glad to be in the crowd of people who went through the huge doors of the place. They were accented in a hue of yellow, and she could smell the vast array of perfumes that mingled in the air so well. There were many faces she recognised and many she did not. The women looked elegant and very fine in all colours, and she noticed a lovely peach dress on a woman of around her age.

As they walked upwards to their privacy of the balcony view, Emily thought she might like to enjoy this feeling forever. A mix of excitement and anticipation of the voices she would hear, and the congruence of herself mixed in with the larger audience at the grand event. She could barely wipe the smile from her colour-filled, painted face. It was a most magical feeling.

“Our seats are quite grand, brother,” said Emily, looking down at the closed curtain, centre stage.

“Yes they are. I am glad we are situated centrally because last time the view was quite a bit more skewed when we saw that Italian-themed opera.”

“I do hope it starts soon. I am so excited for it to begin!”

Emily looked at the sea of people below, and some were scrambling (very properly) to get to their seats, and many were already duly perched in their positions, waiting for the brilliance of the opera to begin. Emily loved the orchestra and the sounds of the voices that were so dutifully trained in such wonderment and expertise.

“Oh, I see Duke Philip Keats. There, you see, two balconies from us, brother,” said Emily, her eyes moving to the left, instead of pointing, so as not to be altogether obvious.

“Oh yes. The Duke. Goodness, the rumours are quite madness about him. Haven’t you heard?” asked Luke plainly.

“Well, I must admit, Tabitha told me that he is somewhat rude, and that he has been a hermit of late, but then we were interrupted by Mrs Mallinger, who was speaking about her raspberry jam again. She had been dabbling to get the most prized recipe to place in the competition this coming August. She always seems to know how to ruin a perfectly good bit of gossip.”

Luke smiled at his sister. “Mrs Mallinger, oh good gracious, it sounds like a very non-interesting conversation … raspberry jam indeed. Yes, he (the Duke) has rarely been out for months actually. The man grew up in the country and then was involved in a scandal some ten years ago when he broke off an engagement the night before the wedding with Miss Charlotte Grey. Because of this, he has gained a reputation of being somewhat callous.”

“Oh my goodness, the bride to be must have been incredibly devastated. Imagine how she must have felt, the poor woman.”

Emily noticed that Luke’s attention was on the evening’s programme now. He had always enjoyed reading it whenever they were at an opera event. And so she looked at the Duke, not obviously, but with a hint of intrigue in her mind about who he might be, and regarding the workings in his mind and heart more personally. She also noticed how surly he looked, and how his jaw line was bold and quite manly. For a moment, she thought she may have even blushed as she looked at him, and was grateful that no one could see her peeking, and her brother was too wrapped up in reading page after page, from the beginning to outer cover.

“I think it’s about to begin,” Luke whispered, after a few minutes, pointing to the opening curtain.

“Oh yes,” said Emily, still spying the Duke from time to time and finding herself wanting to know more about him. She resigned herself to the fact that her dear friend would tell her more at The Guild Society, and when she could make sure they were far away from Mrs Mallinger, who always seemed to threaten everyone’s more private conversations.

The grandeur of the opera was moving, enticing, and exciting. The music played its perfect tune every time as the audience remained hushed through most of it, sometimes gasping at a plot twist or turn that came so wonderfully. And Emily had been feeling her own body move from the inside. Like a flurry of liquid or water cascading from a waterfall, it was the sheer wonderment of the music, and so Emily noticed her heart wanting to feel this way all of the time, and as much as was possible. 

Her body felt as if it was energetically humming as the music played, almost effortlessly, and each singer who sang graced the music by complementing it fully. She enjoyed the harmonies and the melodies, and sometimes the sharpness of the woman’s voice or the deepness of the man’s. She knew then that her own love for music would only increase, and that she would practice her grand piano skills more and more often. She could already play some of the greats including Tchaikovsky and Mozart, and she also enjoyed Chopin’s classics too. 

“Oh, it’s so good,” said Emily, with eyes brighter as she watched on.

“Yes, dear sister, it really is profoundly good.”

Emily was still puzzled by the thoughts of what might cause a Duke to call off a wedding. Her mind liked to try to work things out sometimes, and in a way, it cheated her now, taking her away from the wonderment she was supposed to be enjoying in its fullest capacity.

The poor woman, she heard herself say. She would have been absolutely devastated and ashamed to go out in the public eye.

Emily persuaded herself to leaving her thoughts be for the time being, and she let herself get lost in the beauty of the opera once again, delighting in the scene below and centrally. The voices were in unison now, and most of the players, the amazing cast were singing in harmony, the last directed number of the play. And then it happened, the curtain came down, and the applause grew louder and louder as the audience watched each of the cast members take a bow. The applause was so loud that Emily’s ears were still ringing when she and her brother reached the lobby.

“Oh, it was ever so wonderful,” she said, waiting in the long line to leave the enormous building.

“Oh, indeed it was. And the score of music was divine,” Luke added.

“Oh yes.”

Emily continued to smile as they waited for the people in front to billow out, but the pace was definitely at a snail’s pace, with people chattering as they walked slowly, discussing their favourite parts of the show they had just witnessed in all of its magnificence and vibrant colours.

Luke was now in deep conversation with a gentleman he knew through their papa, and Emily occupied herself with straightening her white gloves, knowing the air was probably cooler outside than when they had first arrived. And so, with her head down, she moved forwards, but leaned slightly right without realising, thus bumping into someone without meaning to.

“Oh, I am so very sorry,” said Emily, as she placed her head up to see who she had knocked.

As if by remarkable chance, she zoomed her sight forwards and met eyes with the Duke she had been watching earlier. “You should really watch where you’re going,” the Duke said abruptly, storming off to get somewhere more quickly.

Emily gasped and was quite shocked by his tonality and his words. She had never been spoken to in such a way before, and it made her feel slightly shocked.

How could someone who is supposed to be a gentleman be so rude?

She looked to her brother who was still in deep conversation with the family acquaintance, and he had not seen any of it. She wondered why he was so rude and continued to think of their accidental meeting as she climbed into the carriage and sat beside her brother to go homeward bound.

The beautiful sound of the hooves on the cobblestones was also like music to Emily. It was a delightful sound she had always savoured ever since she was a small child. Sometimes she would tell her brother to “be quiet” so she could listen, and he would tease her saying that it was a “silly thing to enjoy, especially for a boy.” And so Emily would state that she, in fact was a girl, and that it had absolutely nothing to do with him, and that he should just keep quiet. She would add a comforting “please” at the nanny’s interception of their conversation, but then become annoyed that another person was blocking the resoluteness of the sound.

After a time, Emily decided to tell Luke about what had happened at the opera. “Luke, I bumped into the Duke as we were walking.”

“Uh-uh.”

Her brother seemed to be in another world as if he was thinking strongly about something other than her words. It was a Bragg tradition, thinking about things and being in one’s own world. Her mother had said it was something that came down from their papa’s side of the family, as if they needed to live in a whole other world of their own sometimes.

“He actually said that I should look where I was going,” said Emily. “The Duke, Philip Keats.”

“Yes, I can imagine he did,” answered Luke, still seeming to be lost somewhere else within his mind.

Emily thought more about the Duke. His face was so handsome, even when he was angry or annoyed. That black hair and those hazelnut brown eyes. He was tall and strong, and his hair was styled so wonderfully well. She had not seen that in many men, or feel it to attract her so, and it made her feel slightly awkward that she kept imagining him, especially after his words were so gruff and unlike a gentleman at all. There had definitely been no nicety in his words.

Emily decided to close her eyes now, knowing that her brother was in his own realm of thoughts and possibly tired too, due to the lateness of the time of evening, being near eleven p.m. She would need to undress herself and let Martha sleep, for Martha would need to be up early in the morning to arrange clothes and other things for Emily, and getting into a nightgown was an easy enough task to do. For her bed would already be rolled down and everything set nicely as it always was, and she felt very lucky to live at their beautiful estate with servants who looked after them so well.

She would hear the opera music in her mind now, and resign to the gentle whispering of the hooves as they clicked so wonderfully, taking she and her brother home to the sanctity and sanctuary of their own beds, knowing full well she might never forget the chiselled face of Duke Philip Keats, the rude man who had so intrigued her.

Chapter Two

The Duke had got home by ten thirty, or thereabouts. The study was a place he enjoyed most of all, and for a moment he savoured in a drink, orgeat lemonade, a non-alcoholic beverage he liked to fully enjoy before retiring.

He had been reading for a time and was enjoying the work of Plato and Aristophanes.

“And so, when a person meets the half that is his very own, whatever his orientation, whether it’s to young men or not, then something wonderful happens: the two are struck from their senses by love, by a sense of belonging to one another, and by desire, and they don’t want to be separated from one another, not even for a moment. Love is born into every human being; it calls back the halves of our original nature together; it tries to make one out of two and heal the wound of human nature. Love is the name for our pursuit of wholeness, for our desire to be complete … and when one of them meets the other half, the actual half of himself, whether he be a lover of youth or a lover of another sort, the pair are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy and one will not be out of the other’s sight, as I may say, even for a moment … Love is simply the name for the desire and pursuit of the whole … So where it is a general rule that it is wrong to gratify lovers, this can be attributed to the defects of those who make that rule: the government’s lust for rule and the subjects’ cowardice, and nor when love is of this disinterested sort is there any disgrace in being deceived, but in every other case there is equal disgrace in being or not being deceived. For he who is gracious to his lover under the impression that he is rich, and is disappointed of his gains because he turns out to be poor, is disgraced all the same: for he has done his best to show that he would give himself up to any one’s ‘uses base’ for the sake of money; but this is not honourable. And on the same principle he who gives himself to a lover because he is a good man, and in the hope that he will be improved by his company, shows himself to be virtuous, even though the object of his affection turn out to be a villain, and to have no virtue; and if he is deceived he has committed a noble error. For he has proved that for his part he will do anything for anybody with a view to virtue and improvement, than which there can be nothing nobler. Plato, at The Symposium.”

He read Aristophanes point of view too. “Love is born into every human being; it calls back the halves of our original nature together; it tries to make one out of two and heal the wound of human nature. Each of us, then, is a ‘matching half’ of a human whole … and each of us is always seeking the half that matches him. When a person meets the half that is his very own, something wonderful happens: the two are struck from their senses by love, by a sense of belonging to one another, and by desire, and they don’t want to be separated from one another, not even for a moment. These are people who finish out their lives together and still cannot say what it is they want from one another.”

Staring into the open fireplace, he enjoyed the philosophers of old, even though the concepts would never be something that would entertain his own life, not really. He had been enjoying the peace and quiet now, especially after a time of listening to the opera and all of its rowdy musicality. He liked the duality of it, the loudness and fullness of the opera, compared to the resolute quietness of being at home. It was something he enjoyed and savoured, with the ringing in his ears still beckoning him to the marvellousness of the evening, and the quietness not bringing him to a more relaxed state, as if arguing with him to go to bed now, as soon as the after-effects had finished pulling him in the opposite direction.

He decided to read on. “Through her surrender, she lets go of his non-absolute version and connects with his soul essence and the Divine too. She gives herself completely to the divine will, and God takes her emptiness and fills her with fullness, love and divine insight, until this love starts to effervesce. She recognises her Flame, her Twin Flame within herself, and having found a wholeness within her, she is now able to move with her life peacefully and relatively pain-free, knowing that the day will come when her Twin Flame would also rise into knowing her, with the pair meeting, and recognising her as the counterpart who was sent by God to guide him to his own divinity. She never doubts that this will happen,; she knows that he is home.”

Twin Flames, it is an interesting concept.

“She holds the space for him and sends him all of her love, and she does so from afar. She prays for him and learns to be patient, knowing that he will come for her someday. She shines her light for him in all of her graciousness. To call him back. To sing to him with a soul song. When he’s ready, standing in his knowing, in his total and utter truth, in his boldness, he is fearless and determined, living from his love, a whole being on his own, just like she is now, and the pair of them with their hearts open and full of unconditional love and compassion. They must have it for themselves, for each other, for their extended families, for everything and everybody. In fact, they are God and Goddess, pure embodiments of the Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine, just like Jesus and Mary Magdalene were, and Venus, the Goddess of Love and Ares or Mars, the God of War in traditional understandings of more ancient prose.”

This truly is a mind-blowing text. Roger may well enjoy this, thought the Duke.

The Duke read the words in his mind, still enjoying the crackle of the warm fireplace so fully … But until then, it will take some time. You will both have to learn to trust your heart’s pathway over the egoist sense of who you are. For the ego is the enemy here, and this is because it blocks the heart and all of its intrinsic knowing, including its wholeness via divinity. And yes, it will take self-growth and truth too. And much patience, courage, faith, and thorough dedication. Many cycles will occur, and you will have to release all your programming and conditioning, including your old persona full of ego. It will be painful and gradual, and it will be the most rewarding experience you ever had in your entire lifetime.

But you can do it. You actually have been chosen by God for this. In truth, it is your ‘separation’ period that makes all of the pain more obvious; one or both of you may even be courting another, or the wrong one who is not for you at all. Your true partner, who is your mutual soul, actually chose the other before you were born, in the heavenly realm, and as-was ordained by God. And it is to help you mirror and clear your shadows, and release anything else that may be blocking you from surrendering to true love and coming into full physical manifestation with your Twin. To be prepared, you both need to have been in at least one unfulfilling, co-dependent, unhealthy relationship with another, and this may not be a romantic soul mate, it might be a friend or even a colleague who was not for you in every sense of those two words. You stay stuck until you have learned your lessons with those others in your life, and are ready to break free from a world without love as the first and foremost agenda for your lives. 

But even in separation the Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine are really in it together, yes, all along. They are always and most definitely still exuding the same soul essence and divinity. Always in love, despite anything else, and unconditionally so.

It’s really all like alchemy, in fact. Life simply and perfectly is magic, and the clearer you are, the more you realise this truth in all of its virtue. Both you and your Twin Flame are divinely protected. At times of purging and healing, it will be easier to love each other from a bigger distance though, and to keep your connection safe, your souls will want you to stay singular during that time; until you are ready for sacred union, in God’s timing; in the order of divinity. You and your Twin Flames are angels on the earth, in disguise, and you came here together to help each other and be God’s children. Actually, you two are one soul angel, split into two before being born of this world, and at a significant time of evolution.

Your ultimate goal is Union. To become whole, first by yourself, your energy pure, merged with your counterpart’s in energy and in inner love, balanced in the feminine and masculine energies, and then also becoming one with everything. God/Spirit/Source/Christ Consciousness, in divine love, for all of eternity. Finally together, and you will create heaven on earth. You will shine your light on darkness, and transmute it with your love. You came here for love, ultimately. Finally in union, you will be safe. But your souls will ultimately guide you, and in time, you will learn discernment and alchemy, and learn to know yourselves. 

Whoever runs from the connection, which might be an emotional disconnect, whether you are together or apart, at times, you will feel like your soul is being ripped apart, quite literally. The pain will feel excruciating, because you are meant to be close, ultimately. And in the first instance, you will blame your Twin. You will even accuse them of anything you can think of to try talk yourself out understanding them or allowing them to be close. You may even close yourself off as well, sectioning yourself away to be away from them. This occurs because it hurts too much and you are terrified, and you have not yet seen the bigger, overall picture. Your souls planned to meet on earth, and to help each other purge, purify and stay in an essence of love, and liberate each other, sacredly, perfectly. And perhaps you have not yet understood that the whole relationship is a divine plan, and all for your highest good, as well as for your Twin’s, and actually for the entire world. And eventually, your love will unite you and expand out into the consciousness of the entire world over time. In all its pain and glory, meeting your Twin pushes you to the edge, where both of you, transcend beyond all of your limits, and this higher love shines through earnestly and so beautifully.

I wonder if Roger believes this. I cannot believe he is making me read it, really. It will be too much for his writing, most probably. Although, I dare say the ladies will love it. The whole idea of a match that God ordained, that is powerful in and of itself.

You’ll be in peace, in exceptional balance, and will not get triggered anymore, by anything really, not much. You will maintain your soul to a point of total self-mastery. You shall start mastering your highest life, your best self, and you will begin to do things that you love once again. 

***

The staff were already asleep, with only Leonard, his butler having waited up for him to get home and retire, greeting and serving the Duke with tired eyes.

The flicker of the warm fire was enticing him to be still, to go to his own bedchamber and get some rest, but there was a sound of the bell ringing.

Someone outside calling at such a late hour?

The Duke automatically became annoyed, not wanting to be struck from his own reverie of peace and quiet. But, his curiousness got the better of him, and so he went to the door quickly with Leonard in tow, before the noise occurred again, possibly waking up his other servants.

He looked at his fob watch and waited as Leonard opened the door. It was midnight already. Unusually, he was greeted by an old woman on the step, and a young, scrawny girl who was with her. The old woman claimed that the girl’s name was Lydia and that she herself was the girl’s neighbour. She stated in haste how Lydia’s mother had recently died, which made Philip, according to the old woman, Lydia’s only living relative. And the girl, Lydia is quiet and hangs her head while being spoken of.

The Duke was shocked and annoyed at the same time. “What did you say?” he asked, wanting to hear it over again.

“The mother has recently died, and so you are the only living relative left for her. You, sir, are obliged to care for the girl.”

“But who are the girl’s parents? Surely you’re not stating that she is mine. And I would surely know if I had a child of my own, woman.”

The Duke’s words were slightly rude, and Leonard stood in awe, as if seeming to think of another scandal taking place after ten years of the household already having lived with one.

“Leonard, do not look at me like that. I do not have a daughter! Good-God man, surely you don’t believe that …”

Leonard loomed pale and tired at the very same time. “Oh no, sir. Of course I do not think anything of the sort. It has just been a very eventful day.”

“Indeed it has,” said the Duke, now looking back to the elderly woman and waiting for more answers.

“Your deceased brother’s wife. She passed away. Catherine Hardwell, bless her soul. This girl is your brother, Martin’s, daughter. Lydia is your niece, sir.”

The Duke knew that Martin had lived a relatively quiet life, and not being a noble; hardly anyone knew of him at all really. It puzzled him that this woman he had never seen or heard from before seemed to know so much information about Martin, stating how he met his beloved in the small village of Lavenham about ten years prior when Martin was living with his brother at the Duke’s country home. He had never heard the name before, Catherine Hardwell. And he knew his brother had been a secretive man, never really delving or letting anyone know of his personal life or tastes much at all.

The Duke paused as he looked at Lydia. She was quite literally the spitting image of his brother, and it shocked him to see the similarity of features that the young girl had, standing right there in front of him. She had a heart-shaped face, dark wavy hair, and hazel eyes flecked with what seemed beautiful gold.

“Well, it is very late in the evening. I cannot turn the girl away. Please leave your particulars with Leonard, so that I may contact you again, should the need arise.”

The Duke decided that he should work out the details of it on the morrow, and see if he could decide how he would move forwards with the entirely strange scenario he now found himself in. The only living relative to a young girl, said to be his niece.

“You must be tired, child. Are you hungry?” the Duke asked, noticing her small frame.

Lydia looked up, doe-eyed. “Yes, sir. I would enjoy some cookies and a big glass of milk, sir, if you don’t mind.”

“Yes indeed. Leonard will take you to the kitchen, and I shall speak with you tomorrow. Eat and then gain some rest; you do look very weary.”

“Thank you, sir; I appreciate all that you are doing for me.”

The Duke took himself to bed intrigued that the young girl had ended up within his household, the very same night he had begun wondering where his own life might be shifting to, especially after the scandal that had hung around for a decade. He realised that this might give him something new to do, a sort of challenge, but in a positive sense, where he might use his talents to help someone, and not break hearts. Sometimes he understood why he had become bitter and callous over the years. In reality, people had been so judgemental from afar, and without ever understanding his side, or the plight of his own story.

He began to think about his brother and how they had gone fishing together at the lake as children. For it had been a time of fun and adventure for them both.

His brother had called out to him. He had said, “Philip, Philip, look at what I have caught! Father says it’s a catfish. I think you might only catch a boot.”

“I will catch ten of those and one as big as your britches so you will be eaten up by it! And then I can come and visit you inside of the slimy creature.”

“That’s not right, Philip. It is Moby Dick the whale that I would need to climb into. That would be an adventure for when Father takes us to the ocean!” said Martin.

“Yes, and we shall both go into him and live there forever. We can climb to the inner eyes and watch the sharks and fish, oh, and the jellyfish too. We shall have such a blessed time.”

The Duke remembered the evening. His father had told them the beginning of Genesis, and he and his brother had revelled in the idea of the story from a creator who was called God.

His father’s eyes had lit up, and they had sat in front of the warmth of the fireplace together.

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth…”

At parts, the boys had nodded off, and their father had continued with sheer faith in his heart that it might still sink in.

“Oh, Father, what a truly wonderful story, but it is far too long,” Martin had said.

“And that is only the beginning,” agreed Philip.


“Surrendering to the Mysterious Duke” is an Amazon Best-Selling novel, check it out here!

Duke Philip Keats is never going to be satisfied with opening his heart up to love again. Ten years ago, he broke an engagement, and his life has been the talk of the town ever since. When his nine-year-old niece is left orphaned, the Duke has no choice but to take her under his wing. However, since he cannot raise her alone, he decides to sacrifice himself and get married to provide a mother figure for young Lydia. But he did not bargain for his new wife to be as lovely as she is and so hard to resist. Will the Duke manage to forget his past and give in to a burning love with Emily?

Emily Bragg has not only lost her parents, but she is also becoming penniless because of her brother’s poor investments. She has no choice but to marry Philip Keats even though her life will look miserable next to an icy, isolated man. To her surprise, she will win the Duke niece’s heart, and she will get to see another side of the Duke, which makes her intensely drawn to him. Will Emily find true happiness, as well as pleasure next to her mysterious husband? Will she be able to resist her growing lust, or will she surrender to his mystical beauty?

A story filled with love, passion, intrigue and twists and turns that will leave you breathless. Phillip and Emily cannot stop fantasising about each other, craving intimate moments together, but the Duke’s dark past will not allow Emily to trust him that easily. A forced marriage turns out to become a strong desire and a passionate love. Will Emily and the Duke heal their wounds together and give a chance to love and to be loved?

“Surrendering to the Mysterious Duke” is a historical romance novel of approximately 80,000 words. No cheating, no cliffhangers, and a guaranteed happily ever after.

Get your copy from Amazon!

17 thoughts on “Surrendering to the Mysterious Duke (Preview)”

  1. I am not certain how I feel about this story yet — it hasn’t hooked me yet so I hope reading more will do that.

  2. For the first time I am reading a historical romance that actually includes writings from previous centuries! Worthwhile, and relevant for all time.
    Looks like it’s going to be a good read. A lot of angst, soul searching and epiphanies. Can’t wait to read on!

  3. The classic stuff might have gone into an appendix along with a glossary and author’s note. The setup is interesting. I look to see how Emily Bragg has to marry Philip Keats. Keats is a surname. I don’t recall a placename such as His Grace Philip Keats, Duke of Erehwon.

      1. I still like the setup for the actual story. However, I seriously recommend that the story be completely reworked. I believe the 3 stars I left may have been too generous. You have a beautiful cover and a nice setup in that the heroine accepts the arranged marriage. That is not the usual twist and should make for a interesting story had you developed it as fully as it deserved. The quoted material should have indented margins if you must include it in the text. Actually it should and must go into an appendix. Only sketchy quotes from the material should be in the main text. Readers who want to sludge through the actual material can go to the appendix. Most readers want to get on with the story. Please put in a month of preparation and redo the story! I have read much better from you! (So I know that you can do it!)

        1. Thank you very much for your honest feedback, my dear Gayle. I really appreciate it. You’re right, and I will keep your comments in mind for my future stories. I hope you have a lovely day! 😊

  4. From what I have read so far this story sounds interesting, looking forward to reading the rest and see how it unfolds

  5. I very much enjoyed your part of your book I am 76 years young but I must admit to being an avid reader looking forward to reading the book I do love regency romances etc ISOBEL GILCHRIST

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