Book Title: The Earl’s
Author: Joy Lynn
Cover Artist: Martine
Release Date: September 8,
Genre: Regency M/M romance
Tropes: Rake/bad boy romance
Themes: Learning to live, self-discovery.
Heat Rating: 5 flames
Length: 55 000 words/ 198
It is a standalone story and
does not end on a cliffhanger.
One glance, and his past
life was history.
Leander Talbot’s life changed forever when his wife died.
He is now reluctantly venturing back into society, knowing that, as the Earl of Ockley, he
must marry again to produce an heir. But he can’t bring himself to the sticking point. Instead,
he spends his time evading the matchmaking mamas of the ton.
The dark and dangerous Duke of Arden is an infamous
libertine. It is said that he seduces innocents, and there are even more sinister tales
whispered of his predilections. Only the wild young blades who form his retinue know the
truth, but he is shunned by all save those wishing to court notoriety.
A chance meeting brings Leander into Arden’s orbit.
Ignoring the warnings about Arden’s intentions, Leander is drawn into a seductive world of
sexual indulgence. There, he finds the freedom he craves from his overbearing family. By the
time he suspects Arden might have ulterior motives, it may be too late to save his
reputation—and his heart.
Leander sighed slightly. He had immersed himself in work
and duty since Bella’s death, but it was only now he understood how removed from his
contemporaries he had become. Most faces here were unfamiliar to him. Take the character
in the corner—a dark complexion, his dress rich but careless in a way that proclaimed he
cared little for the opinion of society. Leander was certain he had never set eyes on him,
though the deference with which his circle of friends was treating him indicated that he was
a man of some standing. He took the opportunity to ask the servant who brought him a glass
“His Grace the Duke of Arden, my lord,” the man informed
The name was one with which Leander was familiar. It was
a name with which all of London and some of the more enlightened provinces were familiar.
Arden represented all that was decadent in the ton, his philandering ways extending far
beyond opera dancers and actresses to ladies of quality. And it was not only widows or
liaisons with married ladies, for it was said of him that he had ruined more than one young
maiden. The number of duels that he had fought and won, the drunken orgies at which he
presided, and his losses and gains at the gaming table had all assumed the proportions of
legend. There were still darker things whispered about him. Only the coterie of wild young
blades who formed his retinue knew the truth of these, but the intimations were there, and
Arden remained unrecognised by all save those wishing to court notoriety.
Leander became aware that Arden was returning his gaze,
his heavy-lidded eyes holding what appeared to be a gleam of amusement. As Leander
watched, Arden raised his glass in a mocking salute before putting it to his lips and tossing
back the contents.
Perhaps it was the champagne, perhaps it was the shock of
realising that his acquaintances now viewed him as a prig. Whatever the reason, some
demon prompted Leander to his feet. In defiance of all proper behaviour, he crossed the
room to Arden and introduced himself.
Those dark eyebrows raised briefly, a noble head was
inclined, and one of the young men clustered around Arden was moving from his seat,
offering it to Leander.
“So you’re Ockley.” The duke’s aristocratic fingers curved
elegantly around the stem of his glass and his dark eyes surveyed Leander as he sat. “I didn’t
think this to be your sort of place. I’d thought you more of a White’s man.”
The provocation was there. It was well known that Arden
had been pre-emptively blackballed by the respectable club lest any member lose their
faculties and propose him for membership.
“Indeed?” Leander said stiffly, his somewhat lamentable
temper aroused by Arden’s dismissal of him as a priggish bore. “And I thought you a legend,
sir. A cautionary tale used by protective parents to keep young cubs in line.”
Reaction rippled through the assembled ranks, but
Leander’s gaze was on Arden’s face. A smile touched his lips as he looked at Leander. “A
palpable hit, Ockley,” he murmured. His voice was rich and soft, with a hint of steel that
“Lea.” Henry’s voice broke in. He was not precisely floored,
but he was foxed enough to ignore all dictates of manners as he tugged insistently at his
brother’s arm. Knowing that if he resisted, Henry would only become more forceful, Leander
allowed himself to be raised to his feet. His brother had been the same since nursery
days—when he wanted something, he wanted it now, and it was usually attention he
craved. Leander directed a small bow towards Arden, whose smile had widened at the
spectacle Henry was making of them both, before following his brother’s urgent strictures to
About the Author
Joy Lynn Fielding lives in a
small English market town, where she indulges her passions for vintage aircraft, horse riding
and gardening (though not all at the same time).
Joy tends to wax lyrical about
the fascinating facts she discovers during her research for books. Thankfully, she has a very
patient Labrador who has a gift for looking interested in what she’s saying while he waits for
the food to arrive.
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