I’ve finished three novels: Sweet Surrender, The Orphan Pearl, and The Duke Who Never Forgets. They’re single-title historical romances set in the late eighteen-thirties, mostly in England, and part of a projected quartet.
The novels stand alone. Each one features a different couple, but there’s some cross-over of characters. The hero of Sweet Surrender and the heroine of The Orphan Pearl are siblings, the fearsome Duke of Hastings’ two children. The hero of The Duke Who Never Forgets shows up as an antagonist in The Orphan Pearl, while the hero of the fourth and final installment in the quartet, my work in progress, is the only character to appear in all four books
Sweet Surrender is my second novel, but first in the series. The theme is self-control; the hero, Adam, is a duke’s son who’s taken the fight against his strict, aristocratic upbringing into the ring as a bare-knuckled boxer. The heroine, Caro, keeps a tight grip on her own self-control through her scandalous passion for ballet dancing. They’re opposites, and they attract. You can read more about Sweet Surrender here.
The Orphan Pearl is my first novel and the titular McGuffin – the Orphan Pearl – is a real object. Or, at least, a lot of Medieval Muslim historians believed it was. None of the historians who describe the jewel ever saw it first hand, which fascinated me. I started the novel by asking myself a question: What if this fabled jewel actually existed? And what if, after disappearing more than six-hundred years ago, it were found?
So I invented Lydia, an aristocrat with a secret that sends her fleeing England into the wilds of the Ottoman Empire. Lydia finds the pearl in a Mongol tomb (famously well-hidden and hard to find, Mongol tombs are) and disaster ensues. Her husband dies. Her home burns to the ground. And she runs…right into the arms of the enemy, Luke Benton.
Well. He starts out as the enemy, anyhow. He’s actually the hero, and loosely based on my very favorite real-life historical character, Sir Richard Francis Burton. What can I say? The dude could speak more than twenty-five languages and his nickname was Dirty Dick. He’s the guy all of Romancelandia’s most macho heroes wish they could be.
You can read more about The Orphan Pearl here.
In The Duke Who Never Forgets, the hero inherits a dukedom only to find out that his predecessor — believed to have committed suicide — was actually murdered. All the evidence, as well as his lingering bitterness over being jilted, point to his former fiancée as the culprit.
The fourth, tentatively titled The Last Man On Earth, will follow Alfred Lamb, Earl of Kingston.