Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Duchess in the Dark (By Invitation Only, #1)” as Want to Read:
A Duchess in the Dark (By Invitation Only, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Duchess in the Dark

(By Invitation Only #1)

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  319 ratings  ·  64 reviews
When a well-bred young lady opens the wrong bedroom door at a Regency house party, she has no idea of the sensual delights that await her on the other side…

Miss Daphne Hayward is on the hunt for a safe, honorable husband and she has set her sights on the perfect target. He’s kind, titled, and miraculously single. She plans a full-scale seduction that will bring him to his
ebook, 71 pages
Published December 3rd 2013 by Forever Yours (first published January 1st 2013)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Duchess in the Dark, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Duchess in the Dark

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  319 ratings  ·  64 reviews

Sort order
*ARC courtesy of Forever (Grand Central Publishing) via NetGalley*

Daphne wants one man and decides to sneak in his bed one night so he would be compelled to marry her. But what happens when you jump in wrong bed and when the wrong man in that bed thinks you are another woman?

Ashton was amazing, as much as you can be amazing for a short story. After deflowering woman, he has no idea who she is and how she looks, he goes to find her. But how he searches her is too funny.

I think this book would be
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Reviewed for Wit and Sin

Daphne Hayward is determined to marry a man her brother-in-law doesn’t approve of, so she sets out to secure her future by sliding into bed with the man she wants to wed. Only she unknowingly winds up in the bed of Ashton Fitzgerald, Duke of Claymore. Their night together is phenomenal, but when each discovers who their mysterious bed partner is, they’re in for one heck of a surprise. Though she’s attracted to Ashton, Daphne has no interest in wedding a man every woman
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Nice novella. With little bit immature but warm heroine and chivalrous hero, it was easy to read.

“Love does not lash out in anger. Love does not belittle or humiliate. Love is kind, compassionate, and all-consuming.”

That’s against almost all oldies’ principals. Lol.

Beanbag Love
Dec 08, 2013 rated it liked it
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is a sweet story using a common trope. The female lead is set on one male and another male (completely unsuitable, of course) is determined to land her. It's a tricky one, because the female lead often ends up looking mercenary and/or untrustworthy.

Daphne Hayward is determined to marry Edward because she's certain he'll be a solid, considerate husband. To that end she sneaks into what she thinks is his room one night durin
Jul 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: dual-pov
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sofia Lazaridou
Oct 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
I am entirely sure about my thoughts on this book. Half the story was happening in the bedroom and I felt when I reached a certain point that the actual plot was not enough. But then unexpected things happened and I liked more and more the story. I loved the scene close to the end where Daphne realized who was the one who loved her and was the good guy and who was trying to take advantage of her. The true colors of the characters were revealed. A little wine always does a good job ;)

The book is
It was like every terrible romance cliche crammed into one 56 page story.
Oops, sometimes those devious little plots to ensnare Mr. Right go all wrong. Case in point, Daphne had her sights set on one man and she was determined to “force” his hand by using her feminine powers to seduce him one very dark night. Too bad she had the wrong room, or was it? Sometimes love finds you when you least expect it!

Was he dreaming, or had his perfect woman given him a night like he wanted for the rest of his life? How could he even think that, he was a rake, a ladies’ man, but Asht
Nov 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Hot, steamy, and sweet, A Duchess in the Dark was a lovely historical romance novella. I absolutely loved this book.

Daphne and Ashton were brilliant characters. Both were likable. Daphne was a lovely heroine who spirited and determined to get what she wanted. Though what she wanted changed over the course of the novella. Ashton was so sweet and adorable and perfect! Once he realized that Daphne was the woman who visited him, he was determined to win her over. And, he truly wanted what was best f
Oct 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-review
4 stars for this Novella where Miss Daphne Hayward does her best to seduced Lord Wallington after she has been working her way into his heart for nearly two years. Daphne decides to sneak into his room at her brother in laws estate to secretly give herself to him to further encourage him to become betrothed to her, except Daphne finds herself in another man's room.

Earl Ashton Fitzgerald, finds a woman joining him in bed an assumes its his normal widow companion who joins him there when he is vis
Vanessa Booke
Oct 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A Duchess in the Dark is now one of my favorite novellas. McKinley does such a wonderful job weaving this story that I hardly noticed it wasn't a full-length novel. It was perfect and I loved the epilogue.

I have to say the story immediately drew me in. Usually in a story you have to wait until the middle or end for the steamy scenes, but A Duchess in the Dark starts with Daphne sneaking into Edward's chambers, or so she thought it was HIS chambers, to seduce him. Lucky for us it happens to be s
℘ųŋყą [Punya Reviews...]
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 02, 2014 rated it liked it

When a well-bred young lady opens the wrong bedroom door at a Regency house party, she has no idea of the sensual delights that await her on the other side…
Miss Daphne Hayward is on the hunt for a safe, honorable husband and she has set her sights on the perfect target. He’s kind, titled, and miraculously single. She plans a full-scale seduction that will bring him to his knees, begging for her hand in marriage. But when she mistakenly climbs into another man’s bed, sparks ignite, threatening t
Elaine R. Renaud
The comedy of errors at the beginning leads into a charming story. two people who fall in love and one is fighting there feelings. I recommend this novella to all.
Tsholo Mothibi
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Quick, light snack before work.
Jan 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Originally Reviewed At: Mother/Gamer/Writer
Rating: 3 out of 5 Controllers
Review Source: NetGalley
Reviewer: Ariel

A Duchess in the Dark is a short story by Kate McKinley that tells a tale of mistaken identity and romance. Daphne Hayward is a young woman living in England in the 1800’s. Like any woman of the time period, she is on the hunt for a husband, but not just any man, she has one in mind whom she has been pining after for two seasons now. She is convinced that Edward is in love with her, an
Jan 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
After two years of pining after Edward, Lord Wallingford, Daphne Hayward is tired of waiting and wants to force a his hand into marrying her and, when her brother-in-law, James Leventhorpe, threatens to marry her off to someone else, Daphne takes matters into her own hands and seeks out Edward in the middle of the night.

Unfortunately, Daphne ends up in a different room, on a different bed, with a different man: Ashton, Duke of Claymore -- one would think Daphne would come to regret her rash deci
Laura Greenwood
Review forthcoming on http://a-reader-lives-a-thousand-live...

Counts towards Lexxie's 3HR in 3 Weeks COYER mini challenge!

A Duchess in the Dark is book 1 of By Invitation Only (I’ve previously reviewed the other two).

Daphne is determined to make Edward fall in love with her, to the extent that she decides to sneak into his bed chamber at night and force a proposal out of him. Except that Daphne chooses the wrong bed chamber. Thinking that she was someone else, Ashton takes full advantage of his
Dec 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I haven't read a historical romance for a while now and I had almost forgotten why I was obsessed with this genre back then. I am very glad I decided to pick up this novella by Kate McKinley. It has reminded me of why I love this genre so much and I am pleased to say that it has renewed my love of historical romances.

I thought Kate McKinley did a superb job with this five chapter novella. She not only excelled at bringing out lovely and vibrant characters, but also a fun and engaging plot that
Nov 22, 2013 rated it liked it
I liked it. I liked the characters and it flowed together, but I think I have more questions than answers. Firstly, what station is Daphne from? Ashton says she's a finely bred lady, but was she a lady from a rich family? Maybe I missed that. Also, James, her brother in law must be of the nobility to host such a house party including a duke. But exactly what station is he? What does that make Daphne's sister? Are her parents still alive? For some reason I got that James was the one who gave her ...more
Dec 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Original Post:

A Duchess in the Dark: Pleasant Distraction & Your Thoughts on the Hymen?

Disclosure: E-Galley provided by publisher via Net Galley. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted. All rights reserved.

Predictable in direction and plot resolution, this book is still a pleasant distraction due to the amusing [and one rather nasty, characters].

Romance books have a large but often limited, variety o
hmm. 3.5 stars
Enter the Get Hooked on Historical Giveaway for a chance to win this ebook (along with a collection of other sweet historical reads)!

You think going into the wrong room and seducing (the wrong) somebody is a rare occurrence, I mean wouldn't you notice? But not in the world of historical romances apparently (ex. Fallen by Celeste Bradley). Oh well, true love and all. Who am I to question it?
Disney - Emperor's New Groove - Shrug

Miss Daphne Hayward plans to "compromise" herself so no one can stop her from marrying Edward
This novella was about Miss Daphne Hayward and how she handles the consequences of her venturing into the wrong room one fateful night. The course of her future is forever changed when she inadvertently "meets" Ashton Fitzgerald. She thinks that she is in love with another man, the man whose room she thought she was going in to but Ashton, who also mistakenly believed it was his mistress visiting him in the dark that night, is smitten and makes it his mission to win Daphne's heart.

I haven't read
Mar 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Daphne Hayward is convinced that Edward loves her and believes that in order to get him to purpose she must seduce him. Than we have Ashton Fitzgerald, Earl of Claymore; who we are lead to believe is a ladies man with women falling for him left, right and centre. When Daphne mistakes his room as Edwards, her plan starts to crumble.

I enjoyed reading this! I loved the plot, mistaken identity and romance. And Daphne and Ashton are likeable characters that had me giggling at the beginning. While thi
I liked this quite a bit. I had low expectations, because quite honestly most stories listed as erotic novellas aren't all that great. But this was a cute story. It's a little silly - Daphne is trying to climb into her boyfriend's bed to "compromise" herself so that her brother-in-law with have to allow them to marry. But it's dark, and she's nervous and she climbs into the wrong man's bed. I liked that the story wasn't - they had sex, instantly fell in love and that's it. Turned out there was a ...more
Jun 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
konyol banget si Daphne, die kaga boleh merit sama Edward sama kakaknya (kakak ipar si)nah pas pesta dansa di estate nya James (kakak iparnya) die bersikukuh bakalan ruined diri sendiri dgn cara masuk ke kamarnya Edward dan uhuk2.. biar dapet ijin merit, tp dodolnya.. die kaga merhatiin detail kamarnya siapa yg die masukin, bahkan setelah uhuk2 pun die masih amaze "ah ternyata edward badannya oke" nah.. pas keluar kamar di koridor die papasan sama Edward.. eng ing eng.. die bobo sama siapa dong ...more
Feb 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Note: page references refer to an ePUB version.

This is an elegant and provocative Regency novella by Kate McKinley, a new-to-me author that I read upon the recommendation of another author. It’s one way I often find new authors, and this one is a wonderful new discovery.

Daphne Hayward is at a country house party at her sister’s estate, which I’ve found to be a notorious setting for illicit liaisons among polite society in historical romance novels, so long as the lady is not caught and the gentl
Dec 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, historical, romance
This is a short romance that I expected would be erotica but instead was a sweet romance with a dash of spice.

There's a love triangle that allows our hero to step up to be the better man, to be deserving of our heroine. By and large, this is a couple who already knew each other and never considered each other too seriously in a romantic light until they accidentally end up in bed together.

I wish the novella had been longer - either to allow for a more erotic element or to play out the developmen
C. Shell
Jan 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Daphne seeks out Edward in the middle of the night after her brother in law threatens to force her to marry. She has wanted Edward for two years.

She tries to sneak into his bed but ends up in a different bed, with a different man: Ashton, Duke of Claymore. Instead of running she stays when she feels a connection with Ashton and sleeps with him.

When Ashton wakes up realizes what has happened he sets out to look for her so he could do the right thing. When he discovers that it is Daphne, James's
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
  • Bound by Bliss (Bound and Determined, #2)
  • Twice the Temptation (The Temptresses, #1)
  • The Unsuitable Secretary (Ladies Unlaced, #4)
  • Gilded Hearts (The Shadow Guild, #1)
  • Chained (Roman Holiday #1)
  • Capturing Cora (Romps and Rakehells, #1)
  • Improper Relations (Improper, #1)
  • The Happy Endings Book Club
  • The Scandal Before Christmas (The Reckless Brides, #3.5)
  • One Wicked Night
  • The Principle of Desire (Science of Temptation, #3)
  • A Secret Affair (Secret Brides #2.5)
  • The Sinners Club (The Sinners Club, #1)
  • Stroke of Genius
  • Wild Hearts (Justiss Alliance, #0.5)
  • The Waking Dreamer (The Waking Dreamer, #1)
  • Scandalously Yours ( Hellions of High Street, #1)
  • To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield (Wicked Wagers, #1)
**Signup to Kate's Newsletter for updates and sales on future publications.**

Kate writes Regency and Fantasy Romance. When she's not staring at her screen, dreaming up delicious heroes, she's a wife, mother and part-time assistant.

Other books in the series

By Invitation Only (3 books)
  • A Countess by Chance (By Invitation Only, #2)
  • A Night with the Bride (By Invitation Only, #3)