So we're at the end of the year. I wish we could interact in some way
because here I am telling you all about what I do at this time of year,
and I love to know what you get up to.
My tree isn't up yet (above is a picture of last year's tree), but the
room is full of boxes, so tomorrow I'll get busy. In more ways than one,
because Tuesday this week is a big day for me. More about that below. I
don't want to wham and pow you with all that, because you probably
know. But I can share more news with you, about what's next and what I'm
I love this time of year, when it gets dark early. I know some people
hate it, but winter is an awesome season. And then there's the movies -
Meet Me In St. Louis is my favourite Christmas film, and I love an old
Bette Davis movie, The Man Who Came To Dinner.
All that to look forward to!
And today is when Boundless comes out. The title comes from Romeo and
Juliet, "My bounty is as boundless as the sea, my love as deep, the
more I give to thee the more I have, for both are infinite."
Isn't that lovely? So when I came to write Livia's story and reveal the
secret she's been hiding since the start of the Emperors of London, I
had to give her a love that would surpass all her difficulties. It's an
explosive secret that could destroy Livia and by association, her
family. And it's tearing her apart.
But there's sadness as well, because this is the last of the Emperors
(for now) even though there are members whose stories haven't yet been
told. One day...
Next? Kensington have accepted a brand new series with new characters.
More later, but the first book is in edits. It's set in the
mid-eighteenth century (of course!) and the first book will be out in
the spring. I promise to tell you more in the next newsletter, when
everything is more settled.
And next summer, I have a series coming out from Tule Publishing, a
contemporary (don't faint!) trilogy. I used to write a lot more of
those, and I'd love to do more.
month sees the release of Boundless. Recently the previous book in The
Shaws, Dauntless, hit the number one in Amazon Regency, and I got the
orange flag that says it's a best seller. I'm so happy about that. Good
sales means an author can continue doing what she loves best. So thank
you for supporting me and buying the books.
Shaws are one of Britain’s most influential, dynamic families, but one
Shaw prefers to keep a low profile. Unfortunately, the limelight can
shine behind-the-scenes . . .
the unlikely wallflower of the extraordinary Shaw family. A woman who
will never marry, but not for the reasons you might think . . .
on the streets of London, Lady Livia Shaw is relieved when a gentleman
comes to her aid—and startled to discover her rescuer is Adrian, the
Duke of Preston, a notorious rogue. But their association—and instant
attraction—does not end there, much to the Shaws’ distress. For Livia
was robbed of a memento—one that is both her most precious possession
and a reminder of a shameful secret. It is a secret she knows will cause
her to lose Adrian forever, yet he is determined to track down the
thief . . .
never wanted to be anyone’s hero, but now he’s finding the prospect as
pleasing as he does Livia’s company, and her beauty. Certainly he wants
her in his bed, but what surprises him is how much she comes to mean to
him. Which is why the revelation of her scandalous past is nearly his
undoing. Arrogantly, he had assumed only he had the power to shock. But
it is too late to turn back, and now Adrian may have to risk everything
for Livia, even his heart . . .
slumped against the squabs of the hackney cab as it set off from his
house in King Street. Correction––Ophelia’s King Street house. He’d
already had the deeds put in her name, but she’d generously given him
another day to quite the premises.
the shadows of the vehicle, he grinned. A house was a small price to
pay to rid himself of the exquisite, grasping, tediously mundane person
Ophelia d’Arblay had turned out to be. Every man in London wanted
Desiree for his mistress. Well, she was back on the market and they were
all welcome to her.
a groan, he stretched his limbs. After a tough all-night session in the
House of Lords, he’d repaired here to find Ophelia entertaining one of
the few peers not in Parliament that evening. Truly, he should have
guessed she was seeing someone on the sly. But what had surprised him
the most was his inability to care. Her subsequent spectacular tantrum
merely bored him. It did not move him. She had broken his one and only
rule, and she must suffer the consequences.
Exhausted, he looked forward to falling into his own bed and leaving the day behind.
movement ahead caught his attention. A woman stood at the edge of the
road, her gown a flash of bright blue, swirling around while children
scurried like rats around her. One skinny youth had his mouth open,
laughing, catching her attention while the other––Adrian spied trouble.
And where trouble lurked, so did he.
Grabbing his cane, he rapped the roof of the carriage. “Stop! Stop now!”
the driver had managed to haul the nag to a halt, Adrian had opened the
door and leaped into the street. Turning only to toss a shilling to the
cabbie, who caught it deftly, pocketed it and gave his horse the office
to continue in one smooth move, Adrian faced the trouble.
blue silk belonged to a lady, although the gown had become sadly
smeared with mud and torn in her efforts to escape her tormentors. Her
face was obscured by the broad brim of her bergère hat, its pink ribbons
askew and the jaunty bow on top crushed. For all that, this was a lady.
The gown was good, the skirts too wide for this part of London, and her
linen fine, the nearly sheer veil over her tantalizing bosom hinting at
the pink flesh beneath. Despite his recent disappointment, Adrian’s
this he absorbed as he headed at speed for the unfortunate woman beset
by street urchins. He kept his attention on her while he struck out with
his cane, lashing out right and left, ignoring the ensuing yelps and
woman whirled right into his arms, and Adrian found himself with an
armful of warmth and silk. That made wielding his cane trickier. Rolling
the woman to the left, he looped his arm around her waist and used his
right hand to advantage. Battle heated his veins, sending a fire
coursing around his body and rousing him from his ennui. He had not felt
this alive for a long time. Although he was only one man against six
youths who had learned to fight on the streets, he made a good account
of himself. The trouble was, they kept coming at him from different
directions. Catching one importunate boy a crack across his shoulders
appeared to deter them. All but one, who darted around the other side of
the female before shrieking. The one in front crashed into her and a
sickening crack rent the air before he tightened his hold on her and
dealt the boy a telling blow to the side of his head with what was left
of his cane. The responding yelp warmed his heart.
“Let me go!” she said. “You can’t fight like this.”
was right. Her voluminous skirts and the cloak around her shoulders
were hampering him. He snapped, “Don’t go out of my sight,” before
releasing her and settling in to the rhythm of the fight. Fully awake
now, all traces of tiredness gone, Adrian swung his cane, wielding it
more like a club than a delicate weapon. Sooner or later it would break,
and then he’d have to resort to his fists.
He looked forward to it.
on then, you cowards!” he yelled as one of the assailants ran off,
screaming. Crouching into a fighting stance, he stood ready, his cane
held before him, waiting for the next attack.
maiden stood where he’d told her to, the bright blue of her gown a flag
in this grimy London street. She leaned to one side. Had that crack
he’d heard a moment ago been one of her bones? And yet she didn’t move.
if someone had waved a gun, the boys turned tail and ran, scattering
into the alleys feeding the street, like the rats they were.
flicked his gaze over the woman, scanning her disheveled appearance.
Clearly she needed help. With the blood of war still thrumming through
his veins, he drew a deep breath, savoring the sheer joy of being here,
alive and healthy. Why would he not? His relentless pursuit of life all
led to that wonderful feeling, better than a case of wine, better than
the best French brandy. And for sure better than a night’s gambling.
than spending a night in his mistress’s bed? Perhaps. Not the one he
had just discarded, but this one…he might have found his new interest. A
well-dressed young woman in this part of London would hardly be the
kind he’d meet in the ballrooms of Mayfair.
got my purse,” she said then. Although her voice was soft, it still
trembled. She was more shaken than she cared to tell him.
“Did they take much?”
She shrugged a delicate shoulder. “A few guineas, an ivory comb, a fine linen handkerchief––no, not much.”
Aha. Any woman who considered that haul “not much” had recourse to more.
he offered his arm. “You are shaken, madam. May I offer you the
hospitality of my house?” At least, it was his house until the morning
when the new deeds came into effect. “You may tidy yourself up and
recover from your ordeal.”
From beneath the broken brim of her hat, she regarded him warily. “You speak like a gentleman.”
“And you sound like a lady.”
warning, she sagged, dipping forward, threatening to fall. Adrian
caught her, curving his arm around her waist at the front and tilting
her gently back to lean against his shoulder. “Can you walk?” he
murmured, his mouth so close to her ear that her curls tickled his skin.
She had blonde hair with a hint of red. He’d seen that shade before,
but for the life of him he couldn’t remember where.
She nodded, lowering her head to rest on his shoulder. If he had to, he’d carry her.
his relief, when he took a small, slow pace, she came with him.
Although her feet dragged, he detected no sign of a stumble, or anything
that would indicate she was hurt. If they took it at a snail’s pace,
they could manage the distance. “The house isn’t far, at the end of King
hackney had almost reached Covent Garden. King Street abutted it. Since
his mistress worked as an actress at Drury Lane, in fact was a star of
the stage there, she liked the proximity. No doubt she would continue to
“I should not,” she murmured.
Shock, he assumed. Tilting up her chin, anticipating the credit his good deed would accomplish, he gazed into her face.
Damn and blast it. He recognized her. He would not be making this woman his mistress, sadly.
But what was Lady Livia Shaw doing in this part of London, and on her own, too?