The Duke’s Temptation
(Men of Circumstance Book One)
(Men of Circumstance Book One)
A Duke. A Runner. An Earl.
Three men, each born into different circumstances. Each fighting to overcome their own adversity.
All striving to change their past.
Gabriel St. James, Duke of Wesbrook, desires any birthright other than being the son of a hideous man. Unfortunately, Gabe knows the exact moment he became like his father—a night that has haunted him for seven years. Resigned to his future, he is unprepared when his illegitimate—and more importantly unbeknown—young daughter appears on his London doorstep. With no one to care for her but him.
Lady Elizabeth Blakely has loved only one man—her brother’s longtime friend, Gabe St. James. Not even his rakish and, oftentimes, wicked behavior dissuades her. Yet it all seems hopeless as he continues to overlook the woman she has become.
When Elizabeth learns Gabe is in need of assistance with his daughter, she seizes the opportunity. Gabe, less than thrilled with the situation—mostly due to his fierce desire for his best friend’s sister—has no option but to concede. Besides, a more sinister threat lurks; someone is blackmailing Gabe with his darkest secret. Through it all, Gabe vows to resist Elizabeth, no matter how tempting.
Sometimes it’s better to surrender . . .
Gabriel St. James, the sixth Duke of Wesbrook, locked his gaze on the lady—if one could even call her that. Having never dealt with this particular kind of lady before, he was not acquainted with the proper protocol.
Truth be told, he shouldn’t be so taken aback by the situation. He was, after all, his father’s son, and therefore destined to live the same debauched life. It still burned that after years of struggling against it, in the end, he’d had no choice but to grudgingly accept his place within the family line of scoundrels. His father had made sure there was no alternative.
He narrowed his eyes on the vision before him. To have his debauchery presented in such a fashion was something else entirely. Something he wasn’t certain he could withstand. He couldn’t deny that he gambled more often than not, consumed his fair share of liquor, and was a rake of the first order, but there were some lines he refused to cross. He’d vowed to never fully become his father.
That obviously failed. Not even he could dispute the proof standing there. The very evidence that confirmed he was more like the previous duke than he thought.
As much as he desired it, he could no longer ignore her—all thirty-six inches of her. Despite his confusion, there was no doubt the pixie-faced, three-year-old standing before him was his daughter. His illegitimate daughter.
There, he’d done it. He finally found a word to describe her. Daughter.
Fury pumped through his veins and caused his hand to tighten on the all-too-brief letter that had arrived with her. How the hell could he not have known he’d fathered a child three years ago? Denial might have been his gut reaction but in actuality there wasn’t a need for him to validate the information. He knew it was true. Her features might be feminine, but almost every scrap of her proclaimed she was a Wesbrook. From her wavy ebony hair that gave a hint of unruliness, to the way she raised her tiny chin under his scrutiny.
If that wasn’t enough to give credence to the girl’s lineage, her eyes said the rest. Penetrating blue eyes—a blue so rich it reminded him of the field of cornflowers growing wild on his estate—surrounded by lashes as dark as the night. Only one person had eyes like that.
Cecilia Fairchild, the child’s mother . . . the woman he’d almost married.
Addie Jo lives in the same cold winter and hot summer area of Minnesota where she was born and raised. Sharing in the raising of her three extremely rambunctious boys is her very understanding husband that so graciously enables her to fulfill her dream of writing. Keeping Addie Jo company while she writes (besides her wonderfully loud children) is her yorkipoo, Bella, who is never far from Addie Jo’s side.
Addie Jo has a bachelor degree in accounting. When not writing, she can most likely be found reading anything that has a great romance involved. When she ventures from behind a book, she enjoys photography and spending time with her family.
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