Julia will be awarding a $30 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
The Rake and the Bishop’s Daughter
by Julia Donner
GENRE: Regency Romance
Society’s beloved wastrel, Sir Harry Collyns, pushes his popularity past the point of acceptability when he poses for a statue that creates a social uproar. People line up for blocks to see Handsome Harry in the nude, sculpted by a female artist! Bored with the fuss and scandal, Harry hitches up his fastest team, heads for the country, and a near fatal curricle accident. When the bandages are removed from his head days later, he discovers the angel-voiced widow who’d cared for him is neither elderly nor as mild as her tone, but a straight-laced do-gooder unimpressed with his flamboyant past and dashing good looks. Head-battered and heading for a broken heart, he falls into love with Widow Olivia St. Clair, who might be the one woman in England that Harry can’t charm into loving him back.
The visitor’s ice-blue stare made a slow survey of Harry’s wrinkled clothes. He raised high-arched, silver eyebrows in a way that had Harry suppressing an involuntary cringe. “How very good of you to welcome me so readily, Sir Harry, and into my own withdrawing room. Is this a new fashion in London?”
“I beg your pardon, but this is the home of Mrs. St. Clair.”
“No, this dwelling has been in the Mainstay family for over a century.”
Understanding flooded over Harry. He felt the blood drain from his face. That’s where he’d heard the name. The caller was Lord Alisdair, younger son of the Duke of Godolming, the Right Honorable Reverend Bishop Mainstay. Olivia was the daughter and granddaughter of two of the most well-known martinets in England.
Another horrible thought invaded. He began to make feverish calculations. Had her father arrived while Harry had fulfilled his joking promise to make her howl? Thinking the house empty, they hadn’t been quiet nor reserved. And where was she? He hoped still sleeping. This debacle was bad enough without drawing her into the awkwardness.
Nervousness and an emotional noose constricted Harry’s throat. He had to forcibly swallow in order to speak—to somehow salvage this situation. “I’m sorry no one was here to greet you. The Hoskins are not well. Have you waited long?”
His stare glacial, Bishop Mainstay meaningfully replied, “Long enough.”
Harry’s heart sank. He heard himself babble, “If you’ll excuse me, I’ll fetch Mrs. St. Clair.”
“No, you will not. You are leaving. While you were out, your belongings were packed. They are waiting for you at the end of the lane with your vehicle and team. Good-bye, Sir Harry. We won’t be seeing you again.”
His belongings were packed? The portmanteau was in the same room where Olivia napped. Why didn’t she come down?
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Julia Donner (aka M.L.Rigdon) grew up in historic Galena, IL, USA, and spent most of her time in the museum of her aunt, who encouraged her interest in history and understood the need to cherish a dream. She started writing in secret in her teens and never stopped, merging it with her mother’s encouragement to study theater and music, which led to performing in the Midwest, California and as far away as Austria.
Donner never forgot what it was like to write alone as a girl and is a happy member of Summit City Scribes. Concern for the failing educational system led her to develop Your Futures in Ink, a panel of local and regional authors, who go into to schools to encourage students and answer questions about writing.
THE TIGRESSE AND THE RAVEN, first book in the regency Friendship Series, is an RWA contest finalist. The ninth book in the series, A ROGUE FOR MISS PRIM and the tenth, AN AMERICAN FOR AGNES, are available now. A LAIRD’S PROMISE will be released by Spring 2018.
M.L Rigdon (aka Julia Donner)
Follow on Twitter @RigdonML
THE BOOK WILL BE $0.99 DURING THE TOUR