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An Ember for a Duke

An Ember for a Duke

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⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 40+ 5-Star Reviews

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Synopsis

Dreams of love are not meant for a lady’s maids. Until an acting fairy godmother, an annual masquerade, and a lost reticule lead to a life changing kiss. But will the mystery kisser ever find her?

Adeline has no family to speak of but is content working as a lady’s maid for a loving duchess. It’s not everything her heart wants, but she should be happy with enough, right? And it’s enough to do her job and make custom ordered reticules on the side. What will it take to open her heart to love and open her eyes to dream?

Luke, Duke of Stonecastle, and his family have been in mourning since their dear grandmother passed away. But this Christmas it’s time for joy, hope, and love. The plan is to host the annual masquerade ball that found both his mother and grandmother true love.

If only he can find the magically magnetic mistletoe woman… with the kindest heart and the softest, sweetest lips he has ever tasted.

Read An Ember for a Duke to be reminded that everyone deserves love.

An Ember for a Duke is the second standalone novella in the steamy regency romance series: Dukes for Christmas Fairytales.

Book 1: A Beauty for a Duke
Book 2: An Ember for a Duke
Book 3: A Slumber for a Duke
Book 4: A Flurry for a Duke
Book 5: A Villain for a Duke



What readers are saying:

"enjoyable, beautifully written romantic series" ~Amazon Reviewer

"Very short, sweet and romantic" ~Amazon Reviewer

"Delightful and original story" ~Amazon Reviewer

"If you like Cinderella, you'll love this magical twist. I highly recommend reading!" ~Amazon Reviewer





***
This is a digital product. As with all our digital products, there are no refunds or returns.

A steamy Cinderella story with a twist! Part of the Dukes for Christmas series all ⏱️short⏱️, 🍬sweet🍬, and 🌶️spicy🌶️ reads. 

✅ secret identities

✅ class gap

✅ found family

Chapter One Look Inside

1816, England
MISS ADELINE ZACHARY WAS alone in the world. Though if a person were to ask her, she would say she hardly noticed on the day to day.

And this would not be a lie. Although Adeline was an orphan and had no siblings, she had found a rather pleasant job as a lady’s maid, to a duchess no less. And a kind duchess at that.

But if one were to ask her nearing the Christmas season about said feelings, that loneliness might present itself just a wee bit more. And on this particular journey, on this particular day, in this particular carriage, the loneliness was just a touch weightier than usual.

It was impossible not to be confronted with family as she sat with the nanny holding baby Katie who was about six months old. Just old enough to be eating solid foods and just silly enough to be throwing such foods more than eating them.

There were times Adeline had wanted a family and a baby of her own. But such dreams were neglected over the years. It was not often that a servant would have her own family when she herself was so integral to the duchess’s success. Or duchesses. The plural form was more accurate to Adeline’s history. She had started out as lady’s maid to Lady Mary, who later became the Duchess of Wellingford. Then during her honeymoon, Adeline had worked for Margaret, who quickly became the Duchess of Somersby. And when Margaret took her honeymoon, it was decided that Adeline would stay to help Bella, who, marvel of all marvels, soon became the Duchess of Ennitt. At this rate, every lady to whom she was a lady’s maid would end up a duchess. Adeline smirked at the thought.

She loved her work. And returning to work for Margaret was perfect. Mary had found another lady’s maid through the dowager duchess, Ainsley, so Adeline stayed on with Margaret. Their personalities matched and she felt as though they could talk openly, sometimes, about some things. Her fiery tongue got the best of her at times, but she was usually able to reign it in with some foot hopping and shuffling. The foot hopping and shuffling were necessary. She was still a servant and had to remember her place in life.

But it was a delight to work with Margaret who embodied joy and generosity. Her spark for life was contagious. And now that she had a little baby girl, the squeals of laughter and giggles abounded. Adeline frequently saw Jonathan, the Duke of Somersby, pretending to be a monster or an animal of some sort to amuse the baby. Often, to brighten her day, Adeline would offer to hold the baby or play with her just to hear her giggle.

Half a smile rounded out one side of Adeline’s lips as she recalled the memories.

When Adeline was honest with herself, she knew she had an excellent position. It was just those rare moments of delusion in which she thought perhaps she might enjoy a family of her own.

Sitting in a carriage for this long was sure to induce many a thought in any a person. Adeline thumbed the reticule she had made for herself. It was an eye-catching but necessary accessory. She had spent hours embroidering the exterior with a floral pattern of her initials, and she had spent even more time designing the interior pockets to fit what she might need at a given moment. The women were not only initially drawn to the floral embroidery, but they were delighted to see the custom design of the inside pockets to organize their knick knacks. It was a compliment to her that she had been commissioned by several ladies already to make one for each of them. And several was being modest. She had lost count of how many women were now carrying her reticules as accessories; she didn’t even know where all the commissioning requests came from. Servants through servants of more servants. Sometimes it was a direct or personal friend of Margaret’s. And sometimes the request was made directly to her. Rare. But it happened.

Pressing her head against the chilly window, Adeline gazed out through the frosted window as they headed to Glass Hall. It couldn’t be long until they arrived. Best think of where they were headed and start to prepare in her mind for the Christmas season. They were on their way to a Christmas party hosted by an old friend of the duke’s. It was just a few days before Christmas, and fortunately the weather was holding up for them. Adeline knew next to nothing of what to expect, save that there would be plenty of opportunities for her to dress Margaret, Her Grace, for various events. She hoped for Christmas goodies and perhaps an outdoor activity in the snow if she was lucky.

As the carriage jerked to a stop, Adeline realized they had just arrived. She could feel her body churn with nervous excitement. Christmas in a new setting was just what she needed. She didn’t want to dwell on any more somber thoughts about her future. Best to think of the present. And right now, it was time to get Margaret settled into her room and learn her new surroundings.

The carriage door flew open and Adeline was greeted with a blast of chilly air, along with several snowflakes that melted against her cheeks. Deeply, she breathed in the cool air and took a step down.

Well, she thought she did. Instead she missed the step completely and landed in an enormously oversized pile of snow. Why the coachman halted so near the snow was up for debate; regardless, from her prone position in the icy cold mass, the shock of the snow temporarily froze her eyelids shut. All she could hear was muffled laughter, from a woman, and then a voice that was a balm to her soul saying, “It’s alright. I’ve got you. Just let me get that snow for you.”

And attached to that balm for her soul were large warm hands that were a literal and immediate balm first to her waist, as they picked her up and set her on solid ground, and then to her face, as he began to brush some snow away.

Was love at first sound possible? If it wasn’t yet, Adeline found herself to be its first believer.

A voice rushed to speak, “Your Grace, allow me please. They need you inside. There’s an emergency.” The last three words were spoken in a hushed tone, likely not intended to be heard by Adeline.

His Grace? What kind of duke brushed snow off of an apparently clumsy lady’s maid? Surely he noticed that the duke and duchess were in the first carriage, and she had descended from the servants’ carriage.

“I was closest to her. I didn’t want to let her freeze there,” she heard The Balm explain to The Voice, as the packed snow still stuck to her face. Why she didn’t remove the snow caked on her face then and there was probably due to arm-paralyzing embarrassment. Better to hide herself from him anyway, especially knowing now he was the Duke of Stonecastle, their host.

“Of course, allow me to take care of her now.” The Voice reassured, but there was a hint of…what was that, disdain, in his tone?

Adeline waited to hear his footsteps crunching on the snow before wiping the snow from her own face. His Grace was gone, and only a blonde-haired beauty stood nearby inadequately stifling a laugh.

The blonde finally composed herself and said to her, “Bring the bags inside. Chauncey will show you the rooms.”

Jonathan and Margaret, the Duke and Duchess of Somersby, chose that moment to open the carriage door and greet the blonde, but not before Adeline noticed Margaret fixing a pin in her hair with a blush in her cheeks.

“Lady Antonia, how lovely to see you,” Margaret said to the snickering blonde.

The two gave a short embrace, shorter than normal for Margaret at least. But soon they began chattering about the weather.

As Margaret turned to survey the carriages, her eyes rested on Adeline. “Oh dear, Adeline. Are you alright? You look a fright.”

Margaret strode over to her and brushed some residual clumps of snow off her lapels.

“I’m fine, Your Grace.”

“Your lips are turning blue. Let’s get you inside.”

“I’m quite alright. Thank you.”

Margaret’s eyes narrowed slightly and her smile tightened. “Let’s get you warm. Come along. We shall find Chauncey. He is a wonderful butler. I always feel welcome here.”

“I believe you are welcome everywhere you go, my dear.” Jonathan came up beside his wife, and Adeline watched him place a hand on Margaret’s back.

“Let’s all go inside. The footmen can see to the bags. As they usually do,” Jonathan eyed Lady Antonia as he took baby Katie from the nanny.

The family, plus Adeline, walked into Glass Hall.

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Customer Reviews

Based on 5 reviews
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B
Becky
Cinderella romp

Basic plot:
After a mysterious mistletoe kiss, a duke uses a dropped reticule to search for her identity

Give this a try if you want:
- Regency (1816)
- Christmas time novel
- fairy tale retelling – Cinderella
- masquerade
- a dropped reticule instead of a glass slipper
- instalove
- class difference
- novella length
- lower steam – 1 scene which is pretty average for a novella but it’s on the light side.

My thoughts:
Cinderella is such a classic romance tale! It does have our mains falling in love almost immediately but the uncertainty of identities keeps us readers on our toes. Those that are looking for a quick, winter romp with a masquerade should give this one a go.

N
N.C.
Good read

What a fun read. This is the second book in this series, and both are short, quick reads. They are perfect for reading at lunch, or anytime you have a moment and need a smile. Luke, the duke of Stone Castle is hosting a masquerade party at Christmas in hopes of helping his family after the death of their beloved Grandmother. The masquerade party has a special meaning for the family as it was at one that both his parents and grandparents both met and fell in love. He would love to do the same. Adeline Zachary would be homeless if not for the kindness of others. She has been the lady's maid for Mary, Bella and Margaret. All have gone on to become Duchess! She now works for Margaret and her family. She is looking forward to the Christmas events at Glass Hall. She is shocked when they arrive, she falls into a snowbank only to be laughed at by one of the guests. Then is saved by the most handsome man she has ever seen. Surly he knew she was a servant? When Margaret tells her to go to the ball and enjoy herself, she is shocked to go by herself. Oh, my now what could happen at a masked ball when two people from different worlds are attracted to each other?? Adeline gets her first kiss from a stranger. I didn’t feel this was so much a Cinderella story as one about class difference. I loved the way the villain was handled. So much fun to read. For a short story it had a lot going on, Chaucey the butler and his strange behavior, some misunderstanding and a wonderful snow man. This is a steamy read for those who would like to know. Don’t miss either of these two books, they are great. I don’t usually read short stories but I’m glad I gave these a chance. I received an ARC from the author and would like to thank her. This is my honest opinion and am freely giving it.

J
Jo
FAST READ

The unlikely and unthinkable plot is so very sweet. Adeline is a lady's maid until she meets Luke. In this second book of short stories, the two are instantly drawn to each other. A very fast read, sweet story and hea all great items for the very busy readers. Don't expect a lot of detail or content background just go with the flow. Enjoy the brief journey into hea you won't be disappointed.

L
Lyn Meredith
Loved the story

I loved Adeline and Luke’s story, it was so much fun. This novella is well written. It includes a mean girl and butler which end up not causing too much trouble for the couple. Looking forward to the next book in this series.

A
AJ
Lovely Cinderella story where dreams are for everyone

A lovely 'Cinderella retelling' Christmas regency romance. I am falling in love with this novella series, Dukes for Christmas Fairytales. This story encompasses that love is for everyone and dreams do come true - a true romance at heart. I loved Luke and Adeline, and how they get to know each other and their chance at love is always meant to be.