4The man with two dukedoms, who stared death in the face and won, faces his greatest challenge: love and marriage to a Tafrican servant in a time when the whole of Tlondon would shun them.
Series: (Scandalous Whispers of The Remmington Realm, 2)
Title: The Servant Duchess Of Whitcomb
Author: Vicktor Alexander
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN-13978-1-63476-279-3Pages304Genres:Historical, Interracial, Transgender/Intersex, Sci-fi/Fantasy, Romance, Regency, Military, Action, Intrigue
Scandalous Whispers of the Remmington Realm: Book Two
Orley Garrick is known throughout Angland not only as the man with two dukedoms but also as the hero who survived a brutal kidnapping at the hands of Nafoleon’s army, never once betraying the secrets of His Majesty. Still haunted by his memories, Orley pushes his crippled body to dangerous limits, all in an attempt to run from the demons of his past.
Until he meets Chester Boland, a maid in his friend’s household. Orley is besieged by desire for this gorgeous male woman, and by a connection he cannot ignore. But there are those within the Remmington Realm who take issue with the Duke’s choice—especially given Chester’s Tafrican lineage.
Having stared death in the face and won, Orley proposes they steal away and elope. However, before they can begin their new life, they uncover dangerous secrets that go deeper than they could ever imagine—involving those they trust the most.
Orley and Chester must discover exactly how deep these secrets run before their enemies make sure Chester is removed from Orley’s arms… forever.
CHESTER WOULD never understand the need women of the gentry had for all the frills and baubles just to have tea or luncheon with each other. As he stood in the room of Lady Exeter, he stared agape at the mess that had been made of the dressing room. Shaking his head, he stepped forward and began straightening and cleaning up the room, humming softly to himself. He was glad no one was about, as he would hate to assault their ears with his less than appealing singing voice. While he loved to sing, he knew he did not have the skill for it. His mother, Wilhelmina, had explained to him that just because the Lord did not give him the gift for song, it did not mean that he should not sing. It just meant he shouldn’t do it as a performance in front of others. He was quite talented in playing the pianoforte, however, though no one knew anything of that particular skill. It was his own personal secret. His maldy, Imogen, had told him more than once that his voice was beautiful, but was that not the requirement of every maldy and father, to encourage their girls over their beauty and talent?
“I wondered where I might find you.” A deep voice startled him out of his humming, and Chester let out a gasp as he turned and faced the Duke of Whitcomb, who leaned against the doorjamb watching him with a smile on his face.
“Your Grace,” Chester curtsied, lowering his gaze to the floor.
His Grace frowned as he stepped closer, leaning heavily on his cane. “Come now, Chester. I believe we can dispense with the title when we are alone, don’t you? We have kissed, after all. Don’t you think you should call me Orley?”
Chester was stunned, and he took a small step back, shaking his head. “No, Your Grace. I do not. It is not proper for me to address you in such a manner. You are a nobleman, and while you speak truth about our actions earlier, I couldn’t speak to you in so casual a manner.”
The Duke of Whitcomb took another step forward, and Chester stepped around an armchair, placing his hands on the back of it. He watched the duke carefully. Chester wasn’t afraid of what the man would do to him. He was a fairly good judge of character, and he couldn’t sense malice in the duke’s body language, but he didn’t trust himself where the Duke of Whitcomb was concerned.
As it was, his own body betrayed him. His dick grew hard, and for the first time in his life, he wished he was more prone to dressing as a male. He had never felt that way growing up. For while he was definitely all male, he was a woman, able to give birth, and he felt an affinity to females. He dressed in female clothing, and when he could afford cosmetics, he applied them to his face. He wore baubles and jewelry when the situation called for it. But were he wearing trousers or breeches, the bulge in his groin would probably be displayed much more prominently than in his maid’s uniform—a black linen frock with a white apron over it.
“Are you afraid of me, Chester?” the duke asked, his mouth—his gorgeous pink lips—turning down into a frown.
“N-no. Of course not, Your Grace. I just think one of us should think rationally. While I am sure you are used to having scores of ladies and maids throwing themselves at your feet for the chance to have a quick romp or dalliance, that’s all they are entitled to. And I may be just a maid to you, but I shall not be the light-skirts of any nobleman.” Chester lifted his chin at those words and stared at the Duke of Whitcomb in what he hoped was a look similar to the one his mother, Wilhelmina, had given to the Earl of New Brunswick when he had propositioned her similarly.
He was wholly unprepared for the hearty chuckle that left the duke’s mouth or the way the man clapped before bowing before him. “Bravo, Lady Chester. I am glad you are not given to believe you are somehow less deserving of respect than I, just because I sleep in a certain room of the estate and you happen to clean it. I have said for decades that it was all a crock. Only to those who would find my words amenable, of course, and wouldn’t bluster at my upsetting what they think is their God-given birthright.”
Chester had a lot to process and ask about, or even to point out what was right and wrong about His Grace’s statement, but his brain had gotten stuck on one word in the duke’s entire diatribe. Lady. He called me a lady. Why, he is mad!
Chester shook his head. “Your Grace. I am no lady. I am just a maid. One whose mother is Tafrican.”
He dropped his gaze to the armchair he stood behind, taking in the dark green fabric and gold stitching. His erection was long gone. The skirt of his maid’s uniform now fell effortlessly over his groin, and Chester should have been relieved, but as he looked at his light brown, almond-colored skin, all he felt was an extreme disappointment. This was just another blight against his chance at happiness.
Had he actually been born a lady, perhaps he might have caught the duke’s eye at a ball, and they could have danced in each other’s arms. Maybe the duke would have courted Chester for a few months before asking his maldy for his hand in marriage? But, if his station wasn’t enough, he was also born half Tafrican. While many members of the gentry found him and his siblings quite exotic looking, often wanting them to come and work in their homes for aesthetic appeal, sneers and looks of disgust were tossed his way as well.
No. Whatever foolish notions his kiss with the duke had sprung from earlier that morning, they had to be dealt with and cast aside quickly. Those dreams led only to heartbreak, and Chester was quite sure he wasn’t strong enough to handle it.
He was startled by the soft touch of large fingers tilting his head up, and he found himself staring into the Duke’s pale blue gaze. The Duke of Whitcomb stood over a foot taller than Chester, and his broad-shouldered frame looked as if it could completely engulf Chester’s own slender one. He resisted the urge to press against the hard body in front of him as he stared into the duke’s eyes.
“You are more of a lady than most of the debutantes and women of the ton, Lady Chester. While you may not have been born into a genteel family, that does not mean that you do not deserve the title, nor the respect, because you should have both.” The duke’s voice was low. Sincere. It sent a flush of desire straight through Chester’s body, pooling in his groin and setting his heart into a pounding rhythm.
Without thought, he lifted onto his toes and pressed a kiss to the side of the duke’s lips, then stepped back. “Thank you… Orley.”
The duke bowed. “It was my greatest pleasure, Lady Chester.”
About Vicktor Alexander:
Vicktor “Vic” Alexander wrote his first story at the age of ten and hasn’t stopped writing since. He loves reading about anything and everything and is a proud member of the little known U.N. group (Undercover Nerds) because while he lives, eats, breathes, and sleeps sports, he also breathes history and science fiction and grew up a Trekkie. But don’t ask him about Dungeons & Dragons, because he has no idea how to play that game. When it comes to writing he loves everything from paranormal to contemporary to fantasy to BDSM to historical and is known not only for being the Epilogue King but also for writing stories that cross lines and boundaries that he doesn’t know are there. Vic is a proud father of two daughters one of whom watches over him from Heaven with his deceased partner Christopher. Vic is a proud trans* and gay man, and when he is not writing, he is hanging out with his friends, or being distracted by videos of John Barrowman, Scott Hoying, and Shemar Moore. Vicktor has published numerous bestselling novels and has a WIP list that makes him exhausted just thinking about. He knows that he will be still be writing about hot men falling in love with each other, long after he is living in an assisted living facility, flirting with the hot, male nurses.