The Not So Perfect Duke
(The Rakes of St. Regent's Park #5)
Approx: 77,000 words
Release date: November 29, 2022
Late Victorian Era Historical Romance
Cover art by Erin Dameron-Hill
Due to his father’s untimely demise, Damon Cranston is
thrust into the role of the Duke of Chellenham. His loathsome and debauched
father was too busy indulging in his vices and left the dukedom in shambles.
Damon turns to Althea Galway, co-owner of the Galway Investigative Agency, to
assist in unraveling the tangled mess. Since meeting Althea months ago, he
hasn’t been able to get her out of his mind, for he is captivated by her
intellect, compassion, and confidence.
Althea Galway has never been impressed by money or
title. Or by looks—although Damon, the devilishly handsome, golden-haired duke,
caught her attention at first glance. Arrogant and egotistical, he is called
Dorian Gray by society because of his reprobate reputation. But Althea senses
deep loneliness, perhaps even inner scars, and is compelled to find the
honorable man she believes is hidden behind the cool exterior.
Damon and Althea are swept up into a maelstrom of
revelations: a conspiracy involving the late duke and others from the privileged
class. Add a personal crisis into the mix, and finding a way to a shared future
together seems hopeless. But they cannot deny the scorching attraction between
them. Finding a way to make it all work will be a challenge. But it is one the
duke and the lady detective are determined to overcome.
FROM THE AUTHOR:
Hello! This book is all new material! I had lots of fun writing this, as Damon is quite the rogue. But ultimately, this book is about lost family found, how love can be transformative, and how various crises can make one stronger. Hey, love can
conquer all! :)
I have also started book #6 (working title, The Viscount of Shadows) and it will concern Oliver Wollstonecraft (grandson to Aidan, the hero of Love with a Notorious Rake-Men of Wollstonecraft Hall #3) Will there be more after #6? The potential is there, as Oliver has lots of cousins *wink* but I am taking this one book at a time. Cheers!
And there was the haughty, imperturbable duke. Why she kept
trying to see any good in him was beyond her typical sound reasoning.
Disappointed, Althea fussed with her notebook and pencil.
“Then, by all means, let’s keep this professional. What can
I help you with?” Althea replied using her business-like voice.
“I want you specifically to handle the case. Wenlock and
Watford sing your praises. And Allenby, obviously.” Damon reached into his coat
pocket and removed a small cloth bag. “The first payment. Twenty gold
“Money, though welcome, is not an inducement for me to
take any case. I will need more information first.”
“The money is a bonus for the stipulations that will be part
of this investigation. I want to be involved every step of the way, as Allenby
was with his situation. This is non-negotiable.”
Althea scowled as she disliked anyone establishing
conditions on her inquiries. “Won’t that interfere with your thoroughly
debauched lifestyle? How will you cope?” she replied sarcastically. Honestly,
this man brought out the worst in her, and Althea did not like it.
“Still interested in my private life? Do you wish to ask me
probing questions as you did in Allenby’s case?” Damon replied with mockery in
Althea shook her head, embarrassed at her statement. His
personal life was none of her business.
She was ready to apologize when he said, “I will make a pact
here and now. Throughout this case, I will live as a proverbial monk, be at
your beck and call, day or night. For the investigation, of course.”
“I will not ask for such a sacrifice from you, but I will
involve you should I take your case. What can you tell me?” She held her
pencil, ready to take notes.
“First. In the matter
of death. My father passed away late last night. I was called to his town house
at two this morning and have not been to bed since. I need you to send your
police surgeon to St. Thomas’s to assist with the autopsy. My father’s doctor
will be in attendance as well.”
“Was the death suspicious?”
Damon explained how his father was found as Althea furiously
took notes. Good Lord, these peers were a depraved lot.
“It could be a heart attack, as the detective alleged. How
old was your father?” she ventured.
“Fifty-seven. As far as I am aware, no heart problems. But
how am I to know? We were not close. We rarely spoke, let alone exchanged
private information regarding health or other sensitive topics.”
She looked up and met his gaze. Damon was watching her
rather intensely. “To be clear, you wish Doctor Buchanan to assist in the
autopsy. Is the mortuary doctor at St. Thomas’s aware of this?”
“Yes. And yes.”
“Is your carriage outside?”
Damon looked weary; no wonder with no sleep. Blast it all
for feeling concerned about his welfare and state of mind. Besides all the
other conflicting emotions he brought forth, he also awakened the protective
instinct within her.
“Doctor Buchanan is at my uncle’s precinct this morning. I
will write a note, and your driver can take it to him. What time do you wish
him to be there?”
“Two o’clock. Sorry for the short notice. My father’s
physician, Doctor William Breaks, will also be there. I want a complete report.
And I want Buchanan to thoroughly question Breaks as to the state of my
Althea continued to write her note. Without looking up, she
said, “It has been my experience that many doctors do not reveal their
patient’s personal health details unless compelled to do so.”
“Then write in your note if he doesn’t give details to
Buchanan that he will deal with my team of solicitors,” Damon snapped. “That
should compel him.”
Althea met his gaze, an eyebrow arching at his irritable
Damon rubbed his forehead. “I apologize.”
“Damon,” she said softly. His penetrating gaze grew heated
at her saying his name. “No apology is necessary. You said in your note that
your being here concerns life and death. Is there something else beyond your
father’s death you wish to hire the agency for?”
“Yes. It is rather complicated and does concern my late
“Then we will deal with your father’s death first. You’re
exhausted. Go home and sleep for a few hours. As soon as I have any
information, I will come to you. Will you be at 10 Clarendon Place?”
He rubbed his temple. “Yes, perhaps that is wise. And I will
be at the Brookton town house.”
“After your driver drops you home, he can deliver the note
to Doctor Buchanan, and I will take it from there. If you haven’t guessed, I
will take your case.”
“Thank you. I will try to catch some sleep and await your
arrival.” He stood and turned to leave, but halted. “I thank you for your compassion.”
He was gone, and Althea sat back in her chair. Never had she
seen him so vulnerable. It touched her deeply. She made a vow then and there.
To be more sympathetic in her dealings with him. To not allow him to infuriate
her or, worse—arouse more than her exasperation.
For she was correct, Damon Cranston, the new Duke of
Chellenham, was a danger to her heart.
THE RAKES OF ST. REGENT'S PARK SERIES
In a private meeting place, in an old bank office behind Colosseum Terrace on Albany Street, a group of gentlemen attended a gathering. It had nothing to do whatsoever with financing, investments, or stocks—unless you counted moral bankruptcy. The central rules of this club: no serious attachments to anyone, and the pursuit of one’s own pleasures, especially of the carnal variety, were to be of the utmost importance.
But weariness and boredom were setting in. Along with something more worrying: loneliness. A disquiet of the soul. These bad boy peers of Victorian London were damaged, hiding their inner torture beneath a thin veneer of devil-may-care dissoluteness.
It takes an exceptional group of women to capture the hearts of such men. To see past the outer shell. The ladies are determined to live and love in their own way, with no relinquishment of their independence and no compromises. How satisfying to find that deep down, these progressive men are in total agreement.
Blurb for PROTECTING THE DUKE (The Rakes of St. Regent's Park #1)
The fact that women couldn’t join the London Metropolitan Police was an injustice to Eleanora Galway. She found her way around such an obstacle: by forming a detective agency. When a note arrives from a duke concerning a mysterious and gruesome delivery, Eleanora agrees to investigate.
Despite the pursuit of pleasures by The Rakes of St. Regent’s Park, weariness and boredom were setting in. Along with stark loneliness. No one felt this more than Christian Bamford, Duke of Allenby. Once the Galway Agency arrives, Christian is fascinated by Eleanora and her razor-sharp deductive mind and bold confidence. She attracts him as no other woman has done before.
When Christian proposes assisting her with her inquiries, Eleanora initially balks. But the temptation of being in the darkly handsome duke’s company is hard to resist. Swept up into an adventure and a passion neither had counted on, the blending of unlikely lives, occupations, and societal standing seems insurmountable. But for the independent Eleanora and the progressive-minded Christian, nothing is impossible. Not even love.
Blurb for THE DUKE OF PAIN (The Rakes of St. Regent's Park #4)
The oldest and only remaining original member of The Rakes of St. Regent’s Park, Gideon Broyles, the Duke of Watford, has grown weary of his debauched escapades. Due to his wretched past, he often refers to himself as the Duke of Pain. He selfishly breezed through life with no thought for anything or anyone. All that changed when Gideon met Olivia Durham at an exclusive club. The passionate encounter has him reeling, as he never experienced these powerful emotions before.
Olivia also has a dark past. Hiding behind a fictitious persona, she provides a particular service to her clients. One that doesn’t involve physical intimacy, for Olivia cannot stand to be touched. In all her years at the club, no man has sparked her interest—until Gideon. Despite trying to ignore the intense feelings swirling between them, Olivia finds the darkly handsome duke hard to resist. When secrets from her past come to light, the complications become insurmountable.
There are multiple obstacles to overcome, including shared doubts about their capacity to feel—anything. For two emotionally closed-off people to find and accept enduring happiness? Gideon and Olivia must believe that love can conquer all.
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Karyn Gerrard is a multi-published author from the East Coast of Canada. She loves to write sensual historical and contemporary romances. Tortured heroes are an absolute must.
Karyn’s been happily married for a long time to her own hero. His encouragement and loving support keep her moving forward.
“Looking for a swoon-worthy read? You can’t go wrong with the lovely and emotional romances from Karyn Gerrard.” ~Vanessa Kelly, USA Today Bestselling author
"Karyn Gerrard writes very enjoyable, richly textured historical romances." ~Kate Pearce, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author