Sep 26 2017 11:09am

Elizabeth Hoyt Excerpt: Duke of Desire

Elizabeth Hoyt

Refined, kind, and intelligent, Lady Iris Jordan finds herself the unlikely target of a diabolical kidnapping. Her captors are the notoriously evil Lords of Chaos. When one of the masked-and nude!-Lords spirits her away to his carriage, she shoots him . . . only to find she may have been a trifle hasty.
Cynical, scarred, and brooding, Raphael de Chartres, the Duke of Dyemore, has made it his personal mission to infiltrate the Lords of Chaos and destroy them. Rescuing Lady Jordan was never in his plans. But now with the Lords out to kill them both, he has but one choice: marry the lady in order to keep her safe.
Much to Raphael's irritation, Iris insists on being the sort of duchess who involves herself in his life-and bed. Soon he's drawn both to her quick wit and her fiery passion. But when Iris discovers that Raphael's past may be even more dangerous than the present, she falters. Is their love strong enough to withstand not only the Lords of Chaos but also Raphael's own demons?

Get a sneak peek at Elizabeth Hoyt's Duke of Desire (available October 17, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

“You are weary,” he said in that voice like smoke. “You should prepare yourself for bed.”

She looked at him speculatively—that wide, muscled back, the stubborn set of his jaw—and thought of the argument they'd had before in the dining room. Of the words she'd meant to say to him when she'd stormed through the kitchens.

“Actually I had something important that I wanted to discuss with you first.”

He stilled as if he knew what was coming. “What is that?”

She rose and crossed to the bed. A black banyan had been tossed across the end and she moved it aside to reveal the sketch book. She picked it up and opened it to the first page.

To a sketch of her.


For a moment she studied the sketch. It was done in pencil and the artist was very skilled. The single sharp line that edged her nose, the delicate shading on her bottom lip, the suggestion of light reflected off her forehead.

In the sketch she lay asleep and peaceful—and beautiful. Iris had never thought of herself as beautiful. That word was for the lauded belles of society. The women who walked into ballrooms and made conversations stop.

But in this sketch she was beautiful.

And in the corner were the initials, R.d'C.

Thiswas how he saw her.

When she looked up at him he was watching her, his crystalline gray eyes wary.

“I found this,” she began, “in your trunk. It's yours, isn't it?”

He inclined his head.

She stepped closer to him. “These sketches are very good. Who taught you?”

He swallowed. “My father.”

She nodded. “I saw his sketch book as well.”

At that his eyebrows snapped together. “What?”

“When I went into the ducal bedroom. His sketch book was there.” She inhaled. “I didn't like his drawings, but I like yours.” She glanced up at him. “Even if they all are of me.”

He didn't answer. He stood there like a solid block of ice and said nothing. If he hadn't been watching her, she would've thought he wasn't listening.

His very serenity maddened her.

“This entire book is full of sketches of me,” she said again, her voice tight. “Horseback riding, walking, dancing. Laughing and simply smiling. Profiles and full face.” She looked down at the book, turning the pages. “You had to have been following me. Following me for months. Why?”

He blinked. Blinked. “I met you at a ball in which I'd gone to meet with members of the Lords of Chaos. I...was worried for you.”

“Worried?” she threw up her hands. “Worried doesn't explain page after page of my face in your book.”

He turned, putting his back to her. “I found you an interesting subject.”

“Don't lie to me!” She went around his back to face him. His nostrils were flared, his mouth pressed into a thin line. He tried to back away, but she followed. “You made me think that you were indifferent to me. That I was a burden that you never wanted to take to your bed. When all along,” she whispered. “All along you had a sketchbook full of pictures of me. A man doesn’t do that because of worry or an interesting subject.”

By the time she'd come to the end of her rant she was right up against his bare chest, searching those icy eyes—except they weren't very icy at the moment.

Not at all.

She stretched on tiptoe and pressed the sketchbook to his chest, holding it there with the flat of her palm. “Tell me the truth, Raphael. Now. Tonight. No more evasions and lies. What is it you feel for me? Is it affection—or merely indifference?”

He finally moved then, snatching the sketchbook from her hand and tossing it to a chair. 

He wrapped one arm around her waist and fisted her hair with the other bending over her until she had to grasp those broad shoulders or fall. “Believe me, wife, the last thing I feel for you is indifference.”

Then his mouth was on hers, devouringher, his hot tongue demanding that she part her lips and let him into her depths. 

Copyright © 2017 by Elizabeth Hoyt.
Learn more about or order a copy of Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt, available October 17, 2017:

Buy at Amazon

Buy at B&N



Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times bestselling author of over seventeen lush historical romances including the Maiden Lane series. Publishers Weekly has called her writing “mesmerizing.” She also pens deliciously fun contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with three untrained dogs, a garden in constant need of weeding, and the long-suffering Mr. Hoyt.

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
Heather Waters
1. HeatherWaters
Oh, YUM. Love seeing heroines first realize that their husbands of convenience have true feelings for them, and I have to say that discovering a sketch might be the best way yet!
3. Kahintenn
I love this series and am looking forward to this book!
Post a comment