Her secret lover…
Stella Faulkner has been a despised poor relation in her odious uncle’s house since she was forced to flee Italy ahead of Napoleon’s invasion. In return for a roof over her head, she acts as her cousin’s unpaid governess and companion. Stella knows that if she shows the slightest trace of her disgraced mother’s wildness, she’ll be cast out to face destitution. But after ten years of thankless servitude, Stella encounters a dashing libertine who turns her world to flame. Handsome Lord Halston is irresistible, but every kiss, every caress carries the risk of discovery, and with discovery, disaster.
The rake beguiled…
Grayson Maddox, Earl of Halston, glories in his reputation for charm, seduction, and ruthlessness. His mistresses know that the profligate lord offers them pleasure and luxury, but when he says goodbye, the affair is over. To Halston, love is a sentimental myth and fidelity a trap. One night at a glittering ball, he sees a beautiful woman trying to fade into the crowd of dowdy chaperones and every instinct clamors to make this mysterious lady his. But all bets are off when Stella Faulkner promises to become the lover he’ll never forget.
Halston and Stella start a sizzling affair under the cover of a respectable house party at his country estate. But once this interval of heady delight comes to an end, what will become of the humble governess and the wicked earl? Must they return to being strangers as they originally arranged, or will five days of intoxicating sin turn into forever?
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It’s always exciting to start a new series. You get to play in a new place and meet new characters and give them new problems to solve and new happy endings to find.
After writing 10 books set in the Scottish Highlands with my Lairds Most Likely series, I’m back in my old stamping ground of Regency London with my latest set of books A Scandal in Mayfair. That’s about as London as you can get, really!
The series starts with a really steamy story called One Wicked Wish, which makes use of one of my favourite tropes, the downtrodden governess who takes the scandalous rake’s eye. Jane Eyre, anyone?
Not that Stella Faulkner, my gutsy heroine, has much in common with Charlotte Bronte’s famous creation, apart from her courage. She’s not an innocent, and when she finds herself attracted to the dashing Lord Halston, she doesn’t fight very hard to stay out of his clutches.
Stella has had a really difficult time in life, especially since she had to flee the French invasion of Naples in 1806 and move in with her boorish uncle who treats her with complete contempt, while doing his best to squeeze as much unpaid work out of her as possible. This short affair with Halston could be her last chance to seize some genuine happiness before she succumbs to the grim, poverty-stricken future that extends ahead of her. But the stakes are high when a governess succumbs to a rake’s blandishments - if anyone finds out about her fall from grace, she faces complete ruin.
My tale of powerful passion turning into love takes place against all the fabulous glamour that makes the Regency such a popular setting for historical romance. There are balls and house parties and secret rendezvous and foiled elopements, not to mention the constant fear of private intentions becoming public and causing a major scandal.
One Wicked Wish came out on all e-book platforms on 30th June and I’m already hard at work putting the finishing touches to the second book in the series, Two Secret Sins, which features Stella’s cousin Eliot Ridley, Viscount Colville who is involved in a secret affair of his own, with the notorious widow Lady Verena Gerard. It’s out on 31st August and is up for pre-order now!
Australian Anna Campbell has written 11 multi award-winning historical romances for Avon HarperCollins and Grand Central Publishing. As an independently published author, she’s released 30 bestselling stories. Right now, she is working on a new series called A Scandal in Mayfair, set amidst the glamour and sensuality of Regency London. Anna has won numerous awards for her stories, including RT Book Reviews Reviewers Choice, the Booksellers Best, the Golden Quill (three times), the Heart of Excellence (twice), the Write Touch, the Aspen Gold (twice), and the Australian Romance Readers' favourite historical romance (five times).
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