In The Cancan Dancer and the Duke Charise, my heroine, has a huge secret. One she can’t let the hero, Ethan, know. She manages to keep her mouth shut, despite certain events (that will remain undisclosed), until she is exposed.
Keeping secrets is usually not a good thing, but sometimes it is necessary. In her case, she originally had no intention of her secret coming to light (they never do). Then when it became apparent that her secret could shift things a certain way, she still refused to divulge it. This despite the fact that the knowledge would have given her the very thing she discovered she wanted.
When the truth comes out (it always does) everyone winds up happy. Of course, this is fiction and real life doesn’t really work that way. A relationship, a healthy one anyway, is based on honesty, trust, and integrity. Those things can’t survive in the same space as secrets.
That said, secrets are a very familiar plot device in romance. There are secret babies, secret pregnancies, secret millionaires, deadly secrets, and even secret lovers. Honestly, I could be here all day listing all the variations on the secret trope used in romance. Of course the key to the HEA is always the discovery or exposure of said secret.
Do you like secret based plots? Are there versions you don’t like? Honestly, I’ve never been a fan of the secret baby trope. How about you?
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The Cancan Dancer and The Duke
The Wild Rose Press
The Wild Rose Press
Can a lady on the lam and a duke on the make find love at the Moulin Rouge?
Cathedrals and museums are not Lady Charise Colton’s idea of European adventure. Turn-of-the-century Paris beckons, and she wants to grab it while she can…or rather, cancan. Flirting with fate and half of Paris, Charise eludes her chaperones and joins the cancan revue at the Moulin Rouge.
Ethan Greer, Duke of Lofton, is in Paris to settle some estate business. Chafing under his responsibilities, he discovers an enchanting distraction at the Moulin Rouge, a flirtatious dancer who stirs his lust and something more. He must have her—even if it means offering carte blanche.
Terrified of discovery, Charise tries to hold her persistent suitor at bay, though her heart has already surrendered. Will she lose him if he learns the truth, or is love enough to bind the cancan dancer and the duke?
The singular sound was a soft whisper at first. The audience strained forward to catch even a note of the eerie melody carried on the fetid air of the cafe. As the song picked up, her voice grew stronger, the words more clear. Ethan relaxed into his seat and let the warm rich alto caress him. His body grew warm with the promises carried by the witch’s husky tones.
He remained unaware of anything in the room except the siren walking toward him. Each steady, unhurried step she took further drew him in. His gaze feasted on the curve of her hip, the swell of her breast. Ethan rode the knife’s edge between lust and propriety.
The song described, in lurid detail, two lovers in the throes of passion. Upon reaching him, the dancer propped the toe of her boot onto the edge of his seat—square between his thighs. The luscious creature presented impossibly sheer bloomers which hid everything and yet nothing, causing him to let out the breath he, until now, unknowingly held. His cock grew rigid, the uncomfortable throbbing causing him to shift. The desire to haul her into his arms and demonstrate every action she described with the most sensuous mouth he’d ever seen rode him hard. Her full lower lip begged for his kiss. Ethan wanted to see it slick and glowing pink from his attentions.
The wanton dancer continued to taunt him, but his good breeding won out. Forcing himself to stay seated, his fists balled and his jaw grew rigid with frustration, but his raging lusts remained leashed. The song ended, sending her into the nether regions of the cafe in a swirl of skirts.
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