Message From The Author

Anne Barton

Genre: Regency Period, England, Historical Romance

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Author's Message

Dear Reader,

Most of us have at least one friend who seems to have everything going for her: stunning good looks, a closetful of designer shoes, and a house straight out of Architectural Digest. She breezes through life with nary a blemish nor a bad hair day. She would never be so gauche as to spill coffee on her blouse or walk into a glass door. Perhaps you, yourself, are similarly blessed. (If so, I shall try valiantly not to hold it against you!)

It’s natural to feel a little envious of these friends, but the truth is that no one is immune to heartache and suffering. Even those who seem to live a charmed life face very real problems — worries that keep them up at night and make their stomachs clench with fear. Just like the rest of us mere mortals.

In Once She Was Tempted, Daphne Honeycote is the sweet, innocent younger sister with a radiant personality. She’s the girl who has everything: dear friends, a devoted family, a bevy of admirers and ball invitations aplenty. But she has something else too — a shocking secret.

A couple of years ago, when her circumstances were dire, she posed for two scandalous portraits. She’d prayed that the paintings would stay hidden under a dust cover in a cluttered attic somewhere — preferably far, far away from London. But when Benjamin, the brooding Earl of Foxburn, confronts her at a dinner party one evening, she knows the portraits have come back to haunt her, just as she always feared they would.

If the risqué portraits fall into the wrong hands, her reputation will be shattered. Even worse, the paintings could ruin her family’s name, bringing shame upon those she loves. That terrifying possibility is what keeps Daphne up at night and forces her into a tenuous partnership with Benjamin, the handsome earl — who, it turns out — has demons of his own.

So, I guess you could say that this story was inspired by the people who seem to be living the sweet life. No matter how polished and perfect they appear on the outside, we know that on the inside, they’re dealing with the realities and hardships of life, just as we are. And maybe, like Daphne, they don’t feel like they can let down their guard.

Perhaps it’s our duty — as their friends — to invite them over to our messy houses and pour them a glass of wine in a juice glass (because it’s the only clean glass to be found) and let them know that it’s okay to be human. And that we wouldn’t love them any less if they occasionally went to the grocery store without makeup. In fact, we might even love them more.

Happy reading!

Anne Barton

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