The Young Blood

I'd originally planned to release the fourth book in the No Better Angels series at the end of 2015. I haven't finished it as quickly as I'd hoped, but I'm closing in on the home stretch right now. Publication is still months away, but it's time for an update.

The book will be called The Young Blood and it will look like this: 


Pretty, isn't it? I think it's gorgeous. The model on the cover captures the heroine, Lady Sabine Banchory, beautifully.

What else can I tell you about The Young Blood? The hero, as most readers of the series will have guessed, will be Alfred Lamb, The Earl of Kingston. 

When I created Alfie, my goal was to write a proper rake. Not a basically decent fellow who had a few vices he pursued in a fashion sanctioned by society. Not a nice guy who keeps a dancer or an actress as a mistress and never, ever lays a hand on nice girls from good families. Rake is not an innocent word. It's not a Regency synonym for 'charming playboy.' A rake is a selfish bastard who takes advantage of double standards to hurt people.

So that's how Alfie started. Careless, cruel... no filter, says anything he wants to anyone who catches his attention, intense and charismatic but also repellant. 

He became a favorite of mine quickly. He's fun to write. He doesn't play by the rules and every time he appears, he proves it. Anything can happen around Alfie. But that doesn't make him redeemable.

After the events of The Secret Heart and The Orphan Pearl, he's open to change. But how to make that change convincing? How to make it sufficient? 

It will be up to the reader to judge whether or not I've succeeded. But here's a tantalizing hint about the answer I came up with: 

When The Young Blood starts Sabine Banchory, the heroine, is married.