It may be winter, but you can still warm the cockles of your heart with a sweet Victorian romance. Today, Rake & Romance is making its debut! It’s a sequel to Ruse & Romance, of course, but since I needed to mix things up a bit, I brought in three characters from Texas. The book is set in 1845, when Texas was still a sovereign entity. By December 29, 1845, the annexation of the Republic by the U.S. took effect. Nevertheless, Texas had its own culture, and residents of the Republic were known as Texians (with an i).
These new characters, Lord Horatio, his son Cody, and daughter Stephanie, were all born in England. Because Horatio was the second son of a marquess, and therefore not in line to inherit the title, he traveled overseas and managed to amass a fortune. Although Lord Horatio’s title is merely a courtesy, he’s the white sheep of the family. His brother, William, lacks a moral compass, and has passed his values to his wicked son, Zachary Gryphon (introduced in Ruse & Romance).
By the time Rake & Romance takes place, Lord Zachary Gryphon has dropped out of polite society, but his scandalous reputation remains. When Horatio Gryphon and his family return to England to find a husband for Stephanie, the waters are muddied. Worse, Cody and his cousin Zachary bear an uncanny resemblance to one another, and he finds himself unfairly painted by the same brush.
Enter sweet Juliet Beaucroft, who is just finishing her first Season. She’s widely expected to announce her engagement to stately, steady Lord Elbourne, but instead faces disappointment. The earl’s father finds himself in financial difficulty, and must seek an heiress for his son. If Juliet doesn’t marry Lord Elbourne, however, society may very well laugh at the snub and assume she’s on the shelf forever. Could a ruse be the answer?
As you can well imagine, there’s plenty of conflict to keep the pages turning! Rake & Romance is specially priced at $0.99 for its release weekend, and Ruse & Romance is free on Friday, January 29th! If you enjoy the series, please leave a few kind words on Amazon for me! Good reviews always buoy my spirits and make me feel like writing even more. ~ Suzanne