Fans of historical romances will find themselves drawn to the Scandalously Yours anthology with its eight decadently delightful tales spanning the ages. Keep reading to hear from Lynne Connolly who talks about what inspired her to write her contribution to this book as well as getting a glimpse of the other tales in this collection. In honor of these romantic tales with a bit of naughtiness make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win an Amazon GC as well as a selection of eBooks too!
LET'S WELCOME MS. CONNOLLY...
"Seducing Laura,” my contribution to the Scandalously Yours series, was a response to one of my favourite Georgette Heyer stories, “Black Sheep.” I read this book when I was in my teens, and it fast became one of my favourites by the author who is considered by most people the creator of the Regency romance genre.
But at the end of the book, the lovers declare their love, say they’re getting married (it’s a romance, so that doesn’t constitute a spoiler, does it? It’s how they get there that counts) and ride off into the sunset. Leaving me frustrated. Way back then it wasn’t the lack of sex that did it. There’d be sexual tension galore all through the story. It was the feeling of “and that’s it?"
Heyer always ended her Regencies right there, on the declaration of love and the kiss, often the first kiss in the book. Sometimes there were unfinished threads, as there were in “Black Sheep.” Although the lovers were marrying, their family problems remained. What about Abby’s sister? What would she do? And her heiress neice?
So eventually I started writing Heyer fan fiction. Not that it was called that, not back in the Stone Age, but that’s what it was. What, you didn’t think the modern era was when fan fiction started, did you? It just got its name then, but people have been doing it forever.
I started doing a bit of “Black Sheep” with the original characters, but it didn’t work. I wanted more. So I did more, and the characters became less Abby and Miles, but more two brand new characters who I had to flesh out and give motivations to. The story just flowed, and despite deadlines and the demands of other characters, I kept writing. Then I went back and revised it, and removed the traces of Abby and Miles. They’d have to fend for themselves because I had Laura and Ross to worry about now.
Laura was a widow, her husband killed at Corunna. Coming home, she lived happily with her sister in London, another widow, and her sister’s spoiled heiress daughter. Ross is, like Miles, a nabob, somebody who made a fortune in India, and he comes home. But unlike Miles, Ross has a brother who has made his name in politics. That was where I found the complication for my book. I looked at research and found stories about Napoleon’s master spy who became a double agent for the British, and may have turned again, becoming a triple spy. So while the British thought he was working for them, he was working for Napoleon all along. Laura’s connection with the army ensured she was interested. And then she met Miles.
I didn’t end the story with them riding off into the sunset together. I pushed them together, made them confront one another and their own fears, and work through them. And oh yes, I added sex scenes where appropriate. The Divine Georgette would have been spinning in her grave if I’d done Heyer fanfic with sex, although it does exist, and in abundance. For Ross and Laura, it worked. They are true to their period in history but they are also human beings with a hunger for one another that they can’t quell, however hard they try.
Through the ages, where there has been society there have always been norms and, conversely, scandals when love gets in the way of propriety. From the ancient Celts to medieval Cornwall, from Regency and Victorian England to the American west after the War Between the States, eight stories by multi-published, bestselling authors explore the triumphs of love between a man and a woman—even scandalous love—over what’s considered “proper” in their time....
Wilder’s Thief, by USA Today bestseller, Josie Jax
Robbing a bank wasn’t what reformed pickpocket Rachel Conroy had in mind. Yet when the lyin’ banker entangles her in one helluva financial fix, she finds herself in the bank of Diamond Bluff, Missouri, disguised as a lad and holding a gun on an unfamiliar teller. But the handsome man is so distracting she can’t keep her sex-addled brain on the task at hand—until he threatens to turn her over to the authorities to be hanged if she doesn’t return the money.
When village newcomer and winery owner Dierck Wilder mans his uncle’s small-town bank for a few fateful moments, he’s suddenly staring down the barrel of a revolver. His life veers off on a tumultuous path after he pursues the robber and uncovers a sexy diamond in the rough. Now to unearth the truth and tame Wilder’s bandit...
Aphrodite’s Necklace, by Anh Leod
Exiled by her husband to staid, Victorian England, the goddess Aphrodite is determined to spice up life for a mortal couple by giving them a magic necklace that opens their minds and hearts to passion. Can she teach innocents to delight in sensual love?
Emily Rogers is in the marriage mart, but once the necklace is in her hands, she enlists William Coxe, her family butler, to help find its owner. As Aphrodite intended when she dropped the priceless piece at a ball held in Emily’s home, desire overwhelms Emily—and also William, whom Emily’s parents would never countenance her marrying.
Good sense prevails when the two return the necklace to the goddess, but by this time love has caught the lovers in what seems an impossible situation. Can improper love survive the loss of Aphrodite's necklace? Only with the goddess’s help can they find a way toward lasting happiness.
Madamoiselle Makes a Match, by Kate Rothwell
An original novella, never before published!
Victorian virgins meet at an inn.
In a village where work is hard to find, virtuous Sally must at last “entertain men” or lose her job at the local inn. The young man she agrees to entertain is Jasper, a visiting gentleman who’s appalled that he’d accidentally forced Sally into this predicament. Yet despite their peculiar meeting and the enormous differences in class and education, the maid and gentleman discover passion and something even more precious, intimacy. Their lovely interlude is interrupted, reality intrudes, and Sally faces another choice...
Seducing Laura, a Regency novel by bestselling British author, Lynne Connolly
When a fortune hunter attempts to steal her niece’s heart, Laura Wickenham makes every effort to prevent the ill-fated match. But the appearance of charismatic Ross Stansfield, the fortune hunter’s handsome uncle, throws her off balance. Instantaneous and combustible, their attraction makes her question her decision never to love again. When the young couple elopes, Laura sets out in pursuit, and fearing for her safety, Ross loses no time chasing her. Thrown closely together, their attraction becomes impossible to resist.
Ordered to find a master spy in the maelstrom of Regency London, Ross finds duty is a distraction any time he’s near Laura. He can’t make his need for her real until he discovers which of her suitors is a threat to Britain. As desire flares between the two, a world of spies and family scandal threatened to thwart a lifetime of happiness.
“Poor Laura!” he said, entirely in sympathy with her. She let his familiar use of her Christian name pass without comment. “What you must have gone through!”
“Yes, but I had my family. A real strength, when I needed protecting. I owe them a great deal."
He looked at her without speaking for a few minutes. Then he said, “They must have been. I wish I’d been here!"
Her heart beat a little faster. “So do I, my friend."
One hand gripped the arm of his chair until the knuckles showed white. Abruptly, he stood up, went over to the window, then turned around.
His expression made her breath catch in her throat, though she told herself sternly, she couldn’t imagine why. True, his gaze was warmer than she was accustomed to seeing in company. Laura suddenly felt the impropriety of their situation, alone, unchaperoned, and tension prickled her spine. She’d invited this intimate conversation by inviting him in. Had she gone too far? Did she want more?
Moving over to where she sat, he held out his hand, and without thinking, she placed her own in it. He drew her to her feet and gazed at her, warmth filling his light eyes until she felt herself flush.
Then he drew her closer and bent his head. Laura knew what was coming, but she didn’t try to pull away. If this was all she would know of him, then it might warm her lonely bed in the time ahead. It could not be wrong.
The Brass Octopus, by Maeve Alpin
Spinster Librarian Piety Plunkett is happy alone with her books, until her sister transforms her with a bras octopus beautifying machine. With her new look, the librarian catches the lusty attentions of a notorious rogue. Blake Blackmore enjoys the favors of beautiful women from the brothels of London to high society's most fashionable debutantes, but only the spinster librarian consumes his mind night and day. Piety insists she will not wed but devote her life to her position as head librarian.
Blake takes matters into his own hands. In three passion filled lessons, he tutors Piety in carnal pleasure. Now that she is sharing her body, instead of just her books, Piety is shocked yet pleased at how naughty she can be. But if anyone finds out about what goes on in the library after closing time her reputation would be ruined. Is that Blake' ultimate plan?
Beneath a Cornish Moon, by Ann Jacobs
A dying man's last wish: Protect Lea. Make her your bride.
Marrying the lovely, sensual Lea will be no hardship for Alain, Earl of St. Vincent. Keeping her safe may be another matter, for a curse lies upon the St. Vincent lands.
Unless Alain can convince Lea to join with him in the fertility rites of the Winter Solstice, her life and his lands may be forfeit.
Alain's dark passions seduce Lea's heart and body, but it will take more than passion to bring St. Vincent back from the dark side of the moon.
Timeless Voyage, by Cornelia Amiri
As the pirate Anwen, presses her dagger against the throat of, Kaeso, her Roman captive, he s captivated by dreams of a woman he loved in a previous life, the mirror image of Anwen. Can Anwen and Kaeso steer their timeless voyage to a happy destiny or will they be robbed of love again?
As the Celtic pirate, Anwen, presses her hard iron dagger against a Roman's throat, memories of fated lovers, druids and sacrifice, stay her hand.
Wooing the Librarian, by Jane Leopold Quinn
After a spectacularly failed romance left her devastated, all Isis Garrett wants is to start her library in this California town. The last thing she wants is another man, not even the handsome preacher who offers his church for her books.
Pres MacKay is starting a new life as a preacher. He can’t hide his attraction to the sweetly rounded new librarian even as she pushes him away. Can he discover the way into her closed heart and prove to her he’s one of the good guys?
Pres isn’t about to give up on Isis, though. The question is can she forget the pain of the past and see a future with him?
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