Authors In The Spotlight



Category: Historical Romance

Description:

The would-be Earl of Ashwood sets his romantic sights on a forbidden prize … but seizing his prize will expose the family’s darkest secret and ruin his only chance to win her heart. 

 

Author Spotlight: Julia London

My first love in reading and writing is historical romance. Give me a gown and a castle and a dashing man on a horse any day and I am happy. I love the comedies of manners, the parlor politics, and the pageantry of the regency. I love the balls and the restraints of society and the colorful characters that people romance novels. But as a writer, in the last couple of years, I’ve desired a little more intrigue in my novels than what I’ve been accustomed to writing. I hope I have delivered the intrigue in my latest series, The Secrets of Hadley Green.

In the first book, The Year of Living Scandalously, a woman takes on the identity of her cousin, and takes on a man she once deceived, with disastrous consequences. In The Revenge of Lord Eberlin, a troubled man seeks revenge, but his path takes an unexpected turn when the object of his revenge turns out to be an alluring woman. And in The Seduction of Lady X, I wanted to explore the emotions behind forbidden love. As in, a man is in love with a married woman.

Harrison Tolly has good reason to be in love with her. He’s constantly in her company and they are friends. But she is married, and he is an upstanding guy, so he has gone along for years resigned to the fact that to be near her, he must hide his true feelings. But then something spectacular happens that throws everything he’s ever known or believed into a tailspin, and his secrets are no longer secrets, much to his dismay. To act on his feelings is ruinous for her. To deny them any longer is impossible for him.

I knew when I started writing their story that I was taking a chance. Harrison is a little different in that the hero is not an alpha lord of the manor. He is a servant. But I was completely engaged by him as I was writing. I didn’t know how I was going to resolve it to a conclusion we readers could live with. I didn’t know how anyone was going to get a happy ending. It was as if I was doing a big jigsaw puzzle with a hundreds of white pieces, and I had to figure out how to make them fit. The challenge, for me, was fun and the conclusion satisfying. I hope it is the same experience for you.

Please visit my website for more information on this series. And while you are there, be sure and check out the Hadley Green Scrapbook (look under the extras menu tab) to see some behind-the-scenes information about these novels. 

- Julia London

 

Excerpt

Harrison watched as Lady Carey’s pale blonde hair was jostled from its pins and began to fly out behind her. When she rounded the end of the clearing and galloped back, the blond tresses had come wholly undone and drifted down around her shoulders.

“I owe you ten pounds,” she said.

“I scarcely remember it,” he said.

“I do not believe you. I think you are a dear friend and are gamely trying to conceal the fact that I have failed to honor my wager.”

A dear friend. Harrison’s chest tingled a little with that admission. “It was a friendly wager,” he said. “May I help you down?”

“Please.” She reached out to him; he caught her about the waist as she braced her hands against his shoulders and lifted her down. Her skirts and legs brushed against his, her hair drifted between them. God, how Harrison longed to touch that hair, to feel it between his thumb and fingers. He set her on the ground and she looked up at him with affection in her eyes.

It was affection, was it not? His mind was not playing tricks? Whatever he saw there, it made his blood rush.

Lady Carey’s hands slid from his shoulders and she smilingly patted his chest. “I should finish my painting so that I may show my husband I have done as a lady ought.” She stepped away from him, and it felt to Harrison as if a draft of cold spring air filled her place.

“You will help me with the seating for the supper party, will you not, Mr. Tolly?” she called over her shoulder as the footman retrieved her palette and held it out to her.

“That depends,” he said, and grinned when she turned back to him. “Will Mr. Wallaby be in attendance?”

She laughed lightly. “Even worse,” she said, as Harrison watched her gracefully re-pin her hair. “Lady Ames will be joining us.”

“Good God,” he said, and clapped a playful hand over his heart. “I shall don my heaviest armor.”

Lady Carey’s laughter filled the air. “You always make me laugh so,” she said as she accepted her hat from the footman. “Good afternoon, Mr. Tolly.”

“Good afternoon,” Harrison said.

She turned back to her painting, her face once gain obscured. He swung up on the horse and turned it about, trotting off in the direction of Mr. Fortaine’s cottage, his body a mass of jumbled nerves and conflicting emotions.

 

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