A Note from Lauren Smith

Dear Readers,

If you’re like me, you’re missing the show Downton Abbey. There’s something about the Edwardian era that kept me enthralled for five straight seasons. After we said good bye to Downton and all of the characters I knew I had to write a series set in that period because I wasn’t ready to leave the early 1900s.

My Sins and Scandals series which debuted August 1st, 2017 is a trilogy of Edwardian romances that will give you a proper Downton Abbey fix!

An Earl by Any Other Name introduces Leo Graham, the Earl of Hampton who’s in need of a proper wealthy English bride, but instead falls for Ivy, the nouveau riche daughter of a newspaper man…and she’s half-gypsy. – Out Now!

Scandal abounds as the series continues…

A Gentleman Never Surrenders introduces Owen Hadley, a notorious fortune hunter who’s set his sights on an innocent young woman for his future bride…there’s just one problem. He accidentally sneaks into the wrong bedchamber and finds himself engaged to the girl’s older sister in this prickly Taming of a Shrew style story. – Coming Sept 12th!

Love conquers all…

A Scottish Lord for Christmas concludes the trilogy with a powerful love story between young debutante Rowena and the brooding, broken-hearted Scottish Lord, Quinn. Quinn seeks a bride to raise his young daughter but believes he’ll never love again. Rowena is determined to win his heart at any cost, no matter the danger in the Scottish highlands. – Coming December 5th!

Want a scandalous little taste of An Earl by Any Other Name?

Excerpt:

Cursing under his breath, Leo stared at Ivy’s retreating back. What the devil was wrong with him? He was losing himself to the pursuit of this mysterious lady, and his best-laid plans were fast unraveling. Mildred had spent the entire evening staring at him. If she only knew the half of it. Whatever had possessed him to stroke Ivy’s hand? It was ungentlemanly, unseemly, yet…he’d felt compelled to reach out and grasp her. Like a ghost drifting through the mists, she was just out of reach, and he was desperate for a way to connect himself to her.

A newspaperman’s daughter with flashing eyes, raven-black hair, and lips made for a man’s pleasure. She was going to be the death of him.

Maybe…if he slept with her, got her out of his head, his blood would cool, and he could resume his plans with Mildred. He shook his head. What a stupid notion. Ivy was an innocent and did not deserve such mercenary thoughts of him using and discarding her. She was not a woman to be treated thus, and he hated himself for having entertained the thought even for a moment. The worst of it was that it made him just like his father. Chasing the skirts of a foreign beauty and unable to control his lusts. Bloody hell, if he took her to bed and society found out? It would hurt Hampton and everyone who lived here, and they’d lose all hope of keeping the estate together.

I am not my father. It was fast becoming a mantra he was saying daily in hopes that it would be true. He couldn’t let his body dictate his desires or he’d end up in a scandal that would destroy him and his family. Before his father’s disastrous affair and death, Leo had never been overly concerned with the consequences of enticing a woman into his bed. Yet now worries and concerns were all he could think about. The most frightening part was that he didn’t want to simply seduce Ivy; he wanted her to like him as a man and a companion.

“Is everything all right, my lord?” Gordon asked, emerging from the shadows. He saw too much, but then again, all butlers did. His mother called a good butler “one’s shadow with a second soul.” Leo was never more thankful that he trusted Gordon with his life, especially his social one, which was arguably more important.

“Yes, sorry, Gordon. Just lost in my thoughts…May I ask you something? I would like your honest opinion.” He left his seat and approached the older man, watching as the butler instructed the footman clearing the table to leave them alone. When it was just the two of them, Gordon waited for Leo to speak.

He studied his wine goblet, fingers tracing the delicate etchings in the glass before he spoke. “If you were faced with two choices, one you knew was sound and logical. Would you choose that, or select the choice that might be as temporary as lightning flashing in the night and certain to cause scandal?”

Gordon considered the question. “I suppose it would depend upon the lightning strike. If it changes you, turns you into something new, something better, then it might be worth the risk. Nothing is ever gained by safe choices.”

“Nothing is ever lost either,” Leo countered softly.

Can’t get enough of Sins and Scandals? Visit Lauren Smith at www.laurensmithbooks.com where you can follow her on social media and sign up for her VIP Reader Group Newsletter and start reading today!

AN EARL BY ANY OTHER NAME

 



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