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The Creole Duchess - Duchess Series Book Three by Rue Allyn is a Best Books '23 pick #regency #historicalromance #ku #bestbooks #giveaway

Title: The Creole Duchess - Duchess Series Book Three


Author: Rue Allyn


Genre: Regency Era Strangers to Lovers Romance


Book Blurb:


A duke in disguise, a creole miss determined to get her own way, a curse, and two nations at war, is love even possible?

New Orleans Creole, Miss Celestine St. Cyr-Duval refuses to live under the thumb of some man chosen by her parents. Celie will do everything to keep freedom of choice for herself and others. But fate interferes in the form of a duke disguised as British businessman, Caleb Elmond. A relationship with Caleb would find approval with her mother, but both Celie and Caleb have secrets that put them on opposite sides of a great conflict and could destroy them both.

With the Battle of New Orleans looming, can these two strangers from warring countries compromise and protect each other, or will fear and betrayal end both their lives?



Caleb Elmond, the incognito Duke of Margris, first sees Celie St. Cyr-Duval at a public dance held in the Place Publique of New Orleans, during November of 1814.


Cal took no notice of the dancer, because standing on her right was a vision. He could not stop staring.


It was her eyes that drew him first, dark eyes possessed of a penetrating depth that could’ve frightened him had they not roused curiosity and desire in rapid succession. She had Raven wing hair, a warm ecru complexion, deep rose-hued lips, a delicate slope of nose, a slim figure that moved with a thoughtless grace, and that depthless stare.


He’d never seen anyone like her.


Cal shook his head. His heart and spirit ripped from his body, as if stolen. The feeling was totally alien.


He did not do awe-struck.


He had to regain his senses.


“Who is that?” Desire choked his words.


“Who are you looking at?”


“That woman directly across from us in the yellow muslin gown.”


“Ah, the celestial Miss Celestine St. Cyr-Duval,” his friend, de Ramona, murmured.


He was right. The woman was indeed heavenly to look at. He continued to stare. It was rude in the extreme, but he could not look away. Not until the tall man and the woman in the dancing area stood between Cal and the bewitching figure in yellow.


The obstruction infuriated him. He rose to his feet, determined to be able to see her, perhaps get close enough to touch.


An iron grip on his wrist halted him.


De Ramona looked at him with what Cal believed was pity.


“You have a bad case of lust, Elmond. The dances here can do that to a man.”


Was that the source of the strange racing and slowing of his pulse?


“I recommend,” his friend continued, “that you not approach any woman here, until you are certain you can control your passions.”


Cal narrowed his eyes, his fists clenched, and a fearsome desire to beat de Ramona to a pulp consumed him.


How dare the man imply that a Duke of ancient bloodline was incapable of restraint.


But then he does not know of my title, or much about my character.


That one thought kept his emotions in check—barely.


The man released his grip and took a step back. “Do you understand? I tell you this for your own good.”


Cal swallowed, trying to subdue the rage filling his throat. He failed.


He nodded, because he did in a somewhat raw manner understand. Then he made his way around the circle, to where he’d seen Miss St. Cyr-Duval.


Never in his life had control been so tenuous. He promised himself he would not speak to her until the madness faded. It had to be madness. Nothing else explained his behavior or his feelings.


He would stand too far away to touch but close enough to guard her.


From what he could not say.


In the center of the open area, the dark man wove, turned, leapt, and circled the woman who had joined him. He darted close then away, his body nearly grazing hers. He raised his arms in a mock embrace but did not touch.


Their gazes locked, and she began to match his movements. The music increased in tempo and volume.


The beat vibrated through Cal.


Other couples entered into the dance area. Gyrating and leaping with a wild fervor. Some in the crowd surrounding the dancers began to join in with similar passion.


He had to dodge many a dart and leap.


He tried to calm his heart but could not. The music had taken him over completely.


This must stop. But how? I don’t even understand the cause.


Cal finally arrived where he’d spotted Miss St. Cyr-Duval. At first, he could not see her among the jumble of colors swirling around him.


Then he found her.


His heart raced and madness rode him hard. He stood stock still staring at her and waiting for her to see him, to gaze back at him.


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What makes your featured book a must-read?


One reader called this book 'crazy good'. N. N. Light Reviews gave the story five stars and it is nominated for that review site's Best Book of the Year in its category.


Giveaway –


Enter to win a $45 Amazon gift card:



Open Internationally.


Runs December 18 – December 31, 2023.


Winner will be drawn on January 2, 2024.


Author Biography:  


Award winning author of historical romances, Rue Allyn fell in love with happily ever after the day she heard her first story. (She claims she was a precocious little brat who read at the age of two but could hear much earlier than that.) She studied literature for far too many years before discovering that writing stories was much more fun than writing about them. One of her greatest pleasures as an author is being able to read the story before anyone else. Rue is happily married to her sweetheart of many, many years. Insatiably curious, an avid reader and traveler, she loves to hear from readers about their favorite books and real-life adventures. Crazy Cat stories are especially welcome. You can contact her at She can't wait to hear from you.


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1 Comment

N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Dec 28, 2023

Thank you, Rue, for sharing your book in our Best Books of '23 Bookish Event!

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