Jared Langley, thirteenth Duke of Reston, tumbles into a dilapidated fountain in an overgrown section of his ducal estate and awakens in 1816. Reston servants and local villagers think him a dead ringer for his namesake and rakehell ancestor—the seventh Duke of Reston, gone missing at the Battle of Waterloo. Unfortunately, Seven got mixed up with French spies out to assassinate the Duke of Wellington, and an unwary Jared ends up in their crosshairs.
Lady Ariana Hart has loved Jared Langley since she was twelve years old, until the night the rogue broke her heart. Given up for dead, her rakish neighbor makes a miraculous return from France—only he shows up a changed man and threatens to reignite all the feelings Ariana had long ago buried.
Jared is in a race against time. He must waylay the suspicions of his quirky servants and neighbors, get to Wellington before the French spies do, fix his fountain—before Seven shows up—so Jared has a way home, and definitely not fall in love with the beautiful Ariana Hart.
“5 Stars… Duke du Jour is just delightful reading, period! Filled with humor, some heartbreak, a lot of misunderstandings…this twisted tale of time will captivate readers from start to finish! Witness the nineteenth century come to life…this is one time travel read that no one could resist!…” —Tome Tender Book Blog
“5 Stars… I was charmed out of my boots!… so fast-paced, I wished it were longer…” —Book Talk with Eileen
“…magical characters that are full of warmth…you won’t want to put this story down until you turn that last page and then you simply may want more…” —Romancing the Book/Robin
“4 Stars… I loved this book. I was hooked from the opening chapter and the author keeps you guessing…I have not read this author before, but she definitely got a new fan…” —Wonderfully Weird Book Reviews
“5 Stars… This book has it all, action, romance, time travel, good guys, highwaymen, you name it, it’s in there. I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I was sucked in right from the beginning and didn’t want to stop…” —Dreams and Screams Bookaholics
“5 Stars… kept my attention from the opening pages right through to the end…entertaining, suspenseful and really well written…I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to any age group…” —eBook Discovery/Margaret W.
“4.5 Stars… This was a fun story…very clever…lots of fun characters…” —Author Liza O’Connor
“5 Stars… This is a great story…it’s fast-paced, love all the characters. I highly recommend!…” —Carol B./Net Galley Reviewer
“5 Stars… OMG, this book has just about everything a true lover of reading would want…” —LaGina Book Reviews
“5 Stars… I really enjoyed this book…Couldn’t put it down…The humour and witty conversations made me laugh…” —eBook Discovery/Munira V.
“5 Stars… Marvelous characters that will have you laughing and crying with them…danger, romance and intrigue, all add up to a book that you will love from the first to last page. Great fun, I can’t wait for the next book in the series…” —Petula Reads Romance
“5 Stars… This was my first book from this author and it won’t be the last…Full of intrigue and mystery and so many twists that keep you guessing till the end…I really enjoyed this immensely…” —eBook Discovery/Maria
Buy it today!
The library door crashed open, startling both Jared and Lady Wilder and sending them a full step back from each other. A flame-haired siren stalked through the door.
“Bullen said you were conducting your usual business in the library. I see you did not waste any time,” the siren said.
Jared stared into the most expressive green eyes he had ever seen and could actually follow the myriad of emotions funneling through them—relief, surprise, disbelief, anger, worry—and miraculously, the color altered a bit with each vibrant emotion. The emerald eyes eventually settled on fury and sparked with anger—at him. Undaunted, he could only stare.
The siren was breathtaking, not classically beautiful like Lady Wilder, but uniquely beautiful unlike any woman he had ever met. Sunlight streamed in through the windows lining the back wall, caught the blonde glints in her hair, and flamed her locks like a bonfire on a cold winter night. Yet, it was the green eyes that pinned him and held him in place. Dark emerald pools that seared his very soul.
Jared had torn free from Lady Wilder, but he gaped guiltily in a frozen stare, incapable and unwilling to break eye contact with the siren. He wanted to keep staring and lose himself in those amazing emerald green eyes, made even greener by the rich color of her gown.
The young woman was tall and slender with smooth, sleek curves at hip and breast. Strands of red gold curls had pulled free of her pale gold bonnet with its sassy emerald green trim and curled enticingly around her cheeks, marked by two bright flags of color. He felt his own cheeks flush hot when those amazing green eyes shifted downward and spied the traitorous ducal staff in full salute, then snapped back to glare at him.
“I brought your dog,” the flame-haired siren said flatly. “I feared you would forget to come for Harry. He missed you.”
An enormous mass of black fur bounded into the library and sent the squealing Lady Wilder back to Jared’s side. The immense dog promptly knocked them both to the floor.
The siren frowned her displeasure and headed for the chaise to make herself comfortable.
“Get him off! Get him off!”
Lady Wilder’s high-pitched shrieks almost burst Jared’s eardrums. He rolled her off him and reached for the dog’s collar. The massive black hound danced away, totally unaffected by Lady Wilder’s shrieks and slaps, and managed to squeeze in a few sloppy licks between her swings at the dog’s head, which would have been funny if Jared’s ears did not ache.
“Come here, boy!” Jared barked as he scrambled to his feet.
“Don’t you dare hurt him!” the siren shouted.
“You did that on purpose, Ariana! You little witch!” Lady Wilder screamed.
Ariana? What a perfect name for the flame-haired beauty.
“Don’t you yell at me, Lucilla Tartley! I am not responsible for Harry’s lack of taste,” Ariana shot back.
So Lady Wilder was Lucilla. Who was Harry? The dog?
Jared tried the name, and the black dog bounded over to him.
“I am surprised Harry even noticed you, now that Jared’s home,” Ariana told Lucilla.
Jared glanced down and noticed the dog sat patiently at his side, but only because his finger was hooked in the dog’s collar. Good Lord! The canine knew he was not the real Jared—or rather Seven. This could be a problem.
Indeed, Lady Ariana stared at him suspiciously now. “Harry’s not jumping all over you like he usually does.”
“I have been gone too long. He has forgotten me,” he replied, thinking quickly.
“Harry does not forget.” She eyed him more closely.
He turned toward Lucilla to avoid Ariana’s scrutiny. “Let me help you up.”
He reached out a hand, but Lucilla shrank back and shrieked, “Get that dog away from me!”
Jared walked Harry over to the fireplace and ordered, “Stay!” in his most ducal tone. Amazingly, the dog obeyed. Ariana looked less worried.
He crossed back to Lucilla and held out a hand, which she grasped and then pulled herself up and all the way into his arms until she had flattened herself against his chest.
“Ooh, Your Grace! You are so strong,” she gushed and nudged her ample breasts a bit right and then left across his chest. “But you shouldn’t hold me tight like this.”
Her octopus tentacles whipped out before he could step back. A sharp hiss echoed, and he glanced toward the door but caught only a glimpse of Ariana’s skirts as she whisked out of the library, the big dog on her heels. He squeezed free of Lucilla and darted after her.
“Wait, Lady Ariana!”
She paused at the front door. No glare, no recriminations, only a profound sadness in her eyes. An inexplicable urge overcame Jared to take her in his arms and comfort her with promises to make everything all better. He could not ever remember feeling such a primal protectiveness toward any woman.
“As a child, I always looked up to you,” she said gravely, “but I grew up a long time ago. Barwood’s ball helped with that.”
Chapson appeared at her side and swept open the massive door. She ordered the black dog to stay with but a raised hand, and she sashayed outside without a backward glance.
Jared stared after her feeling six kinds of guilty and miserable—and asinine, for standing there regretting things he had never even done. Who the devil was Barwood? And what the hell had happened at the chap’s ball? He needed to get back to that blasted fountain and fast, before he really did go crazy.
About Petie McCarty
Petie spent a large part of her career working at Walt Disney World — “The Most Magical Place on Earth” — where she enjoyed working in the land of fairy tales by day and creating her own romantic fairy tales by night, including her new series, The Cinderella Romances. She eventually said good-bye to her “day” job to write her stories full-time. These days Petie spends her time writing sequels to her regency time-travel series, Lords in Time, and her cozy-mystery-with-elements-of-romantic-suspense series, the Mystery Angel Romances.
Petie shares her home on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee with her horticulturist husband, a spoiled-rotten English Springer spaniel addicted to pimento-stuffed green olives, and a noisy Nanday conure named Sassy who made a cameo appearance in Angel to the Rescue.
Interview with Petie McCarty by Holly Hewson for TRS
HH: Thank you for talking with us at The Romance Studio. First, what can you tell us about your Lords in Time Series?
PM: First I’d like to thank you for letting me spend time with your loyal TRS readers today. The Lords in Time series started out with a movie that popped in my head one day and turned into a stand-alone time-travel Regency romance titled Duke du Jour, which centers around an ancient fountain portal that sends the present-day Duke of Reston back to 1816 where he’s a dead ringer for his great-great-great-etc. grandfather, the seventh Reston duke.
Though this was my first foray into historical romance, I did interject some of my normal Petie humor into the story. Well…maybe a little more than normal. As the story progressed, I fell in love with my secondary characters, Jared’s new best friends, and by the time I finished, I could hear Dexter and Bullen begging that their own stories be told.
HH: Where does Duke du Jour fit into this fascinating series?
PM: DDJ is the first book in the series, and the hero, Jared Langley, takes a tumble into the past. Arriving in Regency England and mistaken for the seventh Reston duke, gone missing since Waterloo, Jared is forced to take all the hits for the previous antics of his arrogant, libidinous gambler of an ancestor, which provides many light-hearted moments. He had given up on love years before, deciding no woman would ever love him for himself since all were more interested in his money and his title. All that changes when he meets the beautiful Lady Ariana, but he can’t stay in the nineteenth century and risk changing the future and erasing…well, himself.
HH: What will readers like best about Lady Ariana?
PM: Ariana is a certified bluestocking, well-educated under the auspices of her father who taught her to speak her mind and go after what she wants. She doesn’t want Jared Langley—the arrogant seventh Duke of Reston—however, since the blackguard broke her heart years earlier. Yet the Jared who has miraculously returned from the Waterloo battlefront is different than the cad who callously hurt her years earlier, and she must fight to keep from falling for him all over again.
HH: What will readers love about Jared?
PM: Romance readers love a damaged hero, at least this reader does, and Jared definitely has issues. He was forced to give up on love at an early age by virtue of being ignored by his parents and only attracting girlfriends who were interested in his title or his money. But he clung to his honor—all he had of his very own—which was only amplified by his research into the ducal dynasty of Reston.
He had been raised on his familial obligation of increasing the Reston fortune for his heirs, and was adept at investments, so when he finds himself back in the Regency era and discovers the Reston fortune on life support, he finally finds a noble purpose for his life. He can improve the lives of his Reston tenants while he’s stuck in the past, but he can’t risk staying to watch them reap the benefits of his efforts. He falls in love with his beautiful neighbor, Lady Ariana, but his honor forbids him to act on that love. He has finally found his place in the world and cannot afford to remain.
HH: What else can we look forward to in this series?
PM: Next up is Earl Away, the Earl of Dexter’s story. Scene bullets are laid out, and the first draft of this story will soon begin. “Dex” is Jared’s best friend or at least the best friend of the seventh Reston duke, but the young earl finds he likes the new Jared, fresh back from Waterloo, much better than the old wastrel Jared, and Dex has more than passing interest in that amazing time-travel fountain on the Reston estate. When Dex takes an accidental tumble into the fountain portal, he travels to the present-day—rather than tumbling further into the past—where he is mistaken for his great-great-great-etc. grandson, the tenth Earl of Dexter, who has gone missing and has a beautiful private investigator on his tail. A private investigator Dex falls in lust with at first sight.
Third in line for the series will be Vanished Viscount, Bullen’s story. Scene bullets are already forming, and Bullen will use the fountain portal to go in search of his friend Dexter who has been missing for far too long.
HH: What else is in the works for lucky readers?
PM: Par for Cinderella, Aidan’s story and the third book in the Cinderella Romances series, is scheduled for release this summer. Aidan Cross sneaks into Cypress Key, Florida to check on the site for his new five-star golf resort and discovers that no one in town wants to welcome his new project. Especially the beautiful spitfire who runs the existing and only golf course in Cypress Key.
After that, work begins on the fourth installment in the series—Cinderella on the Rocks. This fourth story belongs to Ian MacVicar, laird to his Highland clan, classmate to Aidan and the rest back at Princeton, and introduced with a big part in Par for Cinderella. Like his college mates, Ian has made his own fortune—his by distilling and selling world-famous Scotch and building a string of popular pubs spread across the British Isles—which he protects from gold-diggers intent on scheming their way into his life.
HH: Do you have any appearances, online or in person, this year?
PM: Starting this week, I’m appearing in an online Magic of Books Promo and Review Tour for Everglades, second edition, released February 1. 2018. Photojournalist Kayli Heddon is sent on an airboat safari for a photo essay and gets stranded deep in the Everglades with her ruggedly handsome guide. She is forced to learn some tough lessons — namely, trust means everything in the dangerous River of Grass and a skilled partner can make all the difference in her survival.
This story is fun because everything that happens to heroine Kayli Heddon in Everglades, happened to me at some time during my career as an aquatic biologist. Bug storms, surveying with gators nearby, doing donuts in airboats, honker-big spiders, leeches—everything but a hunky airboat guide. That cutie-patootie I had to write for myself.
And in April, I’m hitching a ride on a Goddess Fish Review Tour promoting Duke du Jour with reviews spread over four weeks. I hope your readers will check out both of my tours. This summer readers can count on a series promo tour for the Cinderella Romances once Par for Cinderella is released.
HH: What are you reading at the moment?
PM: I read the first book in Cora Seton’s series, Brides of Chance Creek, and got hooked. LOVED book one and now I’m starting book two. An eccentric Army general is intent on sending specifically picked military grooms for each his daughters to run the general’s huge ranch in Montana. I also just finished Valerie Bowman’s The Right Kind of Rogue, and that one immediately went to my Read-Again shelf. Also Angela Quarles’ Must Love series is absolutely THE BEST! I have adored and laughed my way through all four of them!
I’m a sucker for humor in my romance stories. Makes the book so much more memorable. Probably why Jennifer Crusie and Kam McKellar and Rachel Gibson are some of my favorite authors.
HH: What do you enjoy most about being an author?
PM: Seeing movies in my head and getting to put them on paper, where I can make the characters fall in love or run from love. I can do whatever I want. I also love getting to blow things up, start fires, have bad guys give chase, and have characters kidnapped to keep the story exciting.
HH: What goals have you set for yourself this year?
PM: Finish Earl Away, second book in the Lords in Time series. Start and finish Cinderella on the Rocks, fourth book in the Cinderella Romances series featuring Ian MacVicar, the big Highland laird readers meet in Par for Cinderella. Lastly, if time permits, start Vanished Viscount where Bullen leaps through the portal into the past to search for Dexter who hasn’t returned.
Thank you, Holly, for allowing me to spend time with your readers. I wish them happy reading or happy writing. And I would love for them to give one of my books a try. Especially Duke du Jour or Catch of the Day, with my favorite characters to write. I let my humor run loose in those stories.