Sneak Peek Wednesday: Along Came a Lady by Christi Caldwell

Along Came a Lady
(All the Duke’s Sins #1)
by Christi Caldwell
Publisher: Berkley Books
Publication date: Aug. 24, 2021
Genre: Historical Romance

Rafe Audley lives to thwart his father, the Duke of Bentley. The ne’er do well who abandoned his children claims he wants to make up for his failures, but Rafe only cares about protecting the people of his mining community and providing for his three siblings, who’ve been his sole responsibility since childhood. So far, Rafe has turned away the duke’s man of affairs, solicitor, and other interlopers, until the clever duke sends the unlikeliest of people to convince Rafe to join English High Society—a bold and intriguing woman.

Edwina Dalrymple has never failed a charge. She’s quite adept at successfully transforming young women of the gentry and daughters of newly minted lords to take their place in society. Taming a bastard son of a duke will be child’s play, plus this job promises to enhance her reputation within the ton. All she has to do is fetch the wayward Rafe and groom him to be presentable to Polite Society.

As the tenacious teacher and her domineering, stubborn, refuses-to-be-taught pupil engage in a fiery battle of wills, their chemistry ignites and the true lesson becomes clear: opposites attract and hearts must be heard.

 

 

Excerpt…

“Are you going to drink it or cradle it?” he asked, changing the subject. Rafe lifted his tankard, clarifying his question.

Edwina raised the steel cup to her lips and inhaled. Her pert nose wrinkled, and her face pulled in a grimace, and with that, Rafe managed another smile since he’d caught sight of his brother in all his happiness. “It smells horrid.”

 

Holding his tankard out, he clanged the ring against hers in a mock toast; challenging her.

 

He thought for a moment she intended to reject that challenge, he should have known better.

 

Taking in a deep breath, Edwina raised a glass, tipped it back, and chugged.

 

Deeply.

 

The long, graceful column of her neck moved rhythmically and quickly as she downed the contents of her drink.

 

“Whoa, you are not supposed to consume it quite so quickly,” he instructed, hastily reaching across the table, and resting a hand on the fingers cradling her mug.

 

Edwina set it down with a little splat, and then ever so gingerly, dabbed at the corners of her mouth. “That is…rather horrid stuff,” her shoulders and chest lifted as she hiccoughed, and he grinned.

 

Mr. Ward immediately reappeared and eyed Edwina’s empty tankard approvingly. “I knew I was right about this girl,” he said proudly. “Knows her spirits, she does.”

 

From over the top of the innkeeper’s hand, as he poured, Edwina caught Rafe’s eye.

 

“Do not say anything,” she silently mouthed, perfectly annunciating each syllable.

 

“I wouldn’t dream of it.” Rafe followed that assurance with a wink.

 

“What is that, Mr. Audley?”

 

“I was just saying to the lady I couldn’t dream of a more splendid ale,” he expertly substituted, and the already tall innkeeper grew several inches under that praise. Bustling off, Mr. Ward went to refill the tankards of the table of nearby patrons.

 

“You’re not horrified.”

 

Her tankard still in her hands, Edwina dropped her elbows on the table and leaned across the small, cylindrical surface. “That was your intention and plan.”

 

Rafe’s cheeks went warm.

 

Edwina’s eyes rounded. “Why…why…you are blushing, Mr. Audley.”

 

“That is p-preposterous,” he sputtered. “I would never do anything like… Like…”

 

“Blush?” she winged up an eyebrow and edged forward another fraction so that their elbows touched. “You needn’t worry,” she whispered. “Your secret is safe with me. The men and women who work for you will never learn about your blushing.”

 

And that brief good humor, ended with that reminder; the reminder of his brother’s new role. And their father’s determination to control Rafe’s life.

 

 

 

Meet Christi Caldwell

USA TODAY Bestselling author CHRISTI CALDWELL blames Judith McNaught’s “Whitney, My Love!” for luring her into the world of historical romance. While sitting in her graduate school apartment at the University of Connecticut, Christi decided to set aside her notes and pick up her laptop to try her hand at romance. She believes the most perfect heroes and heroines have imperfections, and she rather enjoys torturing them before crafting them a well deserved happily ever after!

Christi makes her home in southern Connecticut where she spends her time writing her own enchanting historical romances, chasing around her feisty seven-year-old son and caring for her twin princesses in training!

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One Thought on “Sneak Peek Wednesday: Along Came a Lady by Christi Caldwell

  1. I have had a good time with this author and love seeing the showcasing of this one.

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