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Neighborly Secrets. Deadly Desires.

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A summer of friendship, forgiveness, and fresh starts.

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Can a desire for revenge lead to redemption? Free!

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Danger, wealth, revenge, power, and fear were all a part of his life.

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How can they stay rivals when they're falling in love?

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Wedding season includes searching for a missing bride�and a killer . . .

Sex And The Single Earl by Vanessa Kelly


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Also by Vanessa Kelly:

The Highlander's Kilted Bride, September 2023
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
The Highlander's Holiday Wife, October 2022
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
The Highlander's Irish Bride, August 2021
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
The Highlander's English Bride, June 2020
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book / audiobook
The Highlander's Christmas Bride, November 2019
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
The Highlander Who Protected Me, November 2018
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
The Highlander's Princess Bride, November 2017
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Three Weeks with a Princess, July 2017
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
My Fair Princess, September 2016
Paperback / e-Book
A Gentleman for All Seasons, November 2015
A Grosvenor Square Christmas, October 2015
How to Marry a Royal Highlander, July 2015
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
How to Plan a Wedding for a Royal Spy, January 2015
Paperback / e-Book
Tall, Dark and Royal, December 2014
Confessions Of A Royal Bridegroom, April 2014
Paperback / e-Book
Secrets For Seducing A Royal Bodyguard, January 2014
Paperback / e-Book
Lost in a Royal Kiss, December 2013
His Mistletoe Bride, October 2012
Paperback / e-Book
My Favorite Countess, May 2011
An Invitation To Sin, February 2011
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Sex And The Single Earl, May 2010
Mastering The Marquess, April 2009

Sex And The Single Earl
Vanessa Kelly

May 2010
On Sale: May 1, 2010
Featuring: Sophie Stanton; Simon St. James
352 pages
ISBN: 1420106554
EAN: 9781420106558
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Romance Historical

Bath, 1815

Their marriage was convenient...
Simon St. James, fifth Earl of Trask, knows he could do worse in the marriage of convenience department. Sophie Stanton may be a bit of a social liability, with her ungovernable ways and flighty nature, but Simon has responsibilities as an earl that far outweigh happiness in the household. As for happiness in the bedroom...he has to admit he sees Sophie’s potential in that arena...

Their passion was not!
But Sophie isn’t some bargaining chip to be traded, and she’s not about to let Simon St. James tell her how to live her life—even though she has nurtured a crush on the handsome young earl for as long as she can remember. If his idea of courtship is telling her what to do, then she is not interested, or at least she is trying not to be. But when his scolding words turn to scorching kisses, suddenly Sophie starts paying attention...

Author Note

Dear Reader

One of the best parts about writing novels is the opportunity to pick a setting and build a world for your characters.  For most of us who write Regency-set historical romance, the most popular setting is London—especially the London of the haute ton.  Sometimes we do branch out, exploring places like the underworld of London’s slums or even moving abroad to more exotic locales like Venice or Egypt.

I love setting my stories in London, but I also like exploring and depicting other parts of England.  For SEX AND THE SINGLE EARL, I was drawn to the setting of a smaller town—the kind of town we’ve grown familiar with through the novels of Jane Austen.  One that is genteel, elegant, but still big enough to sustain a lively, gossipy social life.

In other words, the resort town of Bath.

Bath is one of the most beautiful towns in England.  Nestled along the Avon River, the houses climb in glorious terraces of honey-coloured stone up the surrounding hillsides.  Fanny Burney lived here, as did Jane Austen.  When we think of Bath we think of the majesty of the Royal Crescent, the elegance of the Circus, and the gentility of the Pump Room.  In its hey-day, it was a gem, a place where the wealthy would gather to rest, relax, and amuse themselves with dancing, card-playing, and drinking lots of tea.

But in the course of my research for SEX AND THE SINGLE EARL, I discovered that Bath had a darker side, as well.  There were neighbourhoods that existed during the Georgian and Regency period that were almost as bad as the infamous rookeries of London’s East End.  Was I intrigued by this slice of Bath history?  You bet.  Did I include it in my book?  I sure did, and I think it added color and depth to the story.  My hero and heroine are drawn into this dangerous underworld, and what they discover surprises them both.

So, please join me for quite a different view of the charming city of Bath.  You might find a few surprises, yourself, along the way!

Read An Excerpt


63 comments posted.

Re: Sex And The Single Earl

I think I prefer small town settings, probably because I would rather live in the country than the city.
(Rachael Haas 2:04am May 19, 2010)

There are some bonuses to having people know your business, it also brings out the people that care about you.
Darci Paice 3:06am May 19, 2010)

Small town settings seem to pack more punch, people know more about each other and therefore, a little more steamy.
Joanne Reynolds 6:15am May 19, 2010)

I prefer the small village. I grew up in a village and moved to a town, after my children arrived I wanted them to have the experience of a village life and they love it. Their friends do not always know where we live and have to have detailed directions to get to us bu my children aged 17-25 love living here.
Barbara Hanson 8:29am May 19, 2010)

I am not sure a small town setting would be the right thing for me. I have always lived in lager towns and cities and like the vast number of activites that lagers city offers. Thanks for hosting this giveaway.
Steve Capell 9:47am May 19, 2010)

Growing up in a small town was great. My sister and two brothers & I walked everywhere. Biked all over; fun times and happy memories!
Susan Stenvog 9:54am May 19, 2010)

I love "mastering the marquess" - it is one of my favorites.
Sherry Russell 10:25am May 19, 2010)

I am excited to read your books I have not read them before and they sound amazing! Thank you
Amy Milne 12:31pm May 19, 2010)

I've always lived in big cities and absolutely adore small towns and villages. My dream would be to retire in a small cottage with a rose garden...sigh.

So, yes, small town settings are right up my alley.

in Germany
Valerie Bongards 12:31pm May 19, 2010)

Most of the historical romances I've read are set partially or entirely in London, as you mentioned. So now I'm extra interested in reading yours to experience the difference.
G S Moch 12:33pm May 19, 2010)

You spend much less time in traffic in a small town so you can actually have relationships!
Shannon Scott 12:36pm May 19, 2010)

Thanks for stopping by, everybody! I'm enjoying reading the comments. I grew up in a small town myself, but one that was only a 20 minute drive to a big city. The best of both worlds!
Vanessa Kelly 1:04pm May 19, 2010)

Small towns are good for romance novels, but sometimes large cities are good for romantic suspense.
Kelli Jo Calvert 1:11pm May 19, 2010)

I love a small town setting for stories but living in a small town is not always great due to the fact that it is hard to keep your life to your self. The other side of that is that small towns are a close as a family and are there to support you when you need.
Vickie Hightower 1:20pm May 19, 2010)

I live in a small town so I like the small town settings. The big city settings are ok but I can relate more to the small town settings
Julie Swaney 1:50pm May 19, 2010)

I have not thought much of a small town untill I movied into one. I live in a small town and I learn that people are truly caring and very much a family. I am very much a marry woman but reading a romantic novel would have me woundering what could be happening in a small town. A true writer could go wild with this.
Cynthia Plaza-Harney 1:53pm May 19, 2010)

I like the small town settings. It seems they get lost in the bigger cites and they don't last. In the small town cities its more comfortable, you seem closer, you talk to each other more.
Heidi Shafer-Wilson 1:55pm May 19, 2010)

Small towns are great if you are accepted, but if you're not in step with others it's hard to take. Much easier to be odd in the big city, no one really cares.
Lena Lee 2:09pm May 19, 2010)

I love stepping into small town settings with books... it always makes me wonder what things would have been like if I grew up in one... :)
Colleen Conklin 2:10pm May 19, 2010)

I live in what used to be a small town back in the 50's and 60's. Now it's called a big city. There are many advantages to living in a big city, but I much prefer the small town living. Thanks so much for your giveaway!
Cathy Phillips 2:18pm May 19, 2010)

I grew up in a small town. Many people think they know you because they knew other members of your family. It is called 'painted with the same brush'!
Karin Tillotson 2:42pm May 19, 2010)

I live near a small town now, but I grew up in a large city. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
Marjorie Carmony 2:43pm May 19, 2010)

Congrats on the new release. I do enjoy reading romances set in a small town. One of my current favorites is Barbara Freethy's Angel's Bay series.
Jane Cheung 2:55pm May 19, 2010)

hello and hope you have more to coem i would love to read the book and blog about it on mutly sites
Desiree Reilly 3:03pm May 19, 2010)

I would love a chance to try out one of your books. This one sounds really good. I love historicals and small towns!
Patty Stewart 3:11pm May 19, 2010)

As one born and bred in a mid-sized city (about 220,000 currently), but with relatives in smaller cities and towns, I find that my city holds the best of all sizes. My neighbourhood knows (and likes) me, and there's a lot to do in terms of events. Personally, I can't see myself ever living anywhere else, although I love to visit small towns when traveling.

I like books set just about anywhere, so in this case, for once, size doesn't matter!


Lynn Rettig 3:22pm May 19, 2010)

Small town romances are much more intimate. I feel like I get to know the characters so much better.
Mary Preston 4:14pm May 19, 2010)

I love the small town settings. I live in a small town myself and I prefer to live in a small town. People are just more friendly this way.
Gail Hurt 4:35pm May 19, 2010)

I think small towns are great
settings for romances because
they provide possibilities
that big cities can't. I'm
used to living in more
populated areas so small town
settings are intriguing to me.
Jacqueline Cook 5:11pm May 19, 2010)

I love small town romance stories and the characters that are usually in them. They tell of the surroundings and people so well.
Leni Kaye 5:11pm May 19, 2010)

Give me the small town life any day!! Their way of life is simpler. It's more easy-going, and their feelings come straight from the heart!! Those feelings, to me, seem to be more intimate, and more intense, in a good way, than what you would find in the city. I now live in the country, and wouldn't change a thing!!
Peggy Roberson 5:24pm May 19, 2010)

I love the small town romances - there's a built in support system, usually, and everyone knows everyone else, and there are fun "remember when" stories as well. I've been hearing great things about Sex and the Single Earl, and am definitely looking forward to Mastering the Marquess as well!
Elle C 5:35pm May 19, 2010)

So far, it looks like small-town romance is tipping the scales! It may be a bit of a fantasy, but it sure makes for great reading, doesn't it?
Vanessa Kelly 6:04pm May 19, 2010)

I would say small towns. yes everyone knows your business but at least you know that everyone cares. big city you lose the closeness that a small town gives you. reading small town romance you feel like you want to be a part of that town. city romances are less personal.
Leanne Jacobson 6:16pm May 19, 2010)

I love both these books already. I live in a med size town but people still know your business. lol Can't wait to read your books. Hope I win..lol Thanks
Brenda Hill 6:41pm May 19, 2010)

I love the idea of small town romances. I grew up in a very small town and life was great there.
Lisa Garrett 6:49pm May 19, 2010)

Absolutely love the small town. Yes, everyone knows what everyone else is doing but they are friendly, will do anything to help and give you the shirt off their back if you need it. Big City traffic is a nightmare of epic proportions that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Yep, give me small town living.
Maude Allen 7:00pm May 19, 2010)

I enjoy the small town setting. It usually gives more opportunity to learn about the other inhabitants, so secondary characters are often more fleshed out in such a story.
G. Bisbjerg 7:01pm May 19, 2010)

I like the small town at times in romances. Sometime I think it is fun to see how the characters deal with small town life and like you said that everyone knows everything about everyone. :-)

On the other hand sometimes it is nice to read about big cities. Just kind of depends on my mood as to what I will read at any given time. :-)
Larena Hubble 7:21pm May 19, 2010)

I was born in the mountains, lived and went to school in a lot of small towns and now, unfortunately, live in the Dallas metroplex. Too much pollution, noise and population.

Granted, small towns can't offer everything but they are more relaxing. Of course for a story setting they can be great because there are so many quirky characters and everyone knows everyone's business.
Ethan Nahte' 7:38pm May 19, 2010)

Another fan of small-town romance. Small towns force the hero and heroine to interact with others whether they want to or not, creating more conflict and more opportunity for growth and forgiveness.
Keri Stevens 7:46pm May 19, 2010)

I like small towns but sometimes large cities are better, just depends on the book!!!
Brandy Blake 7:54pm May 19, 2010)

My favorite romances take place in
small towns. I think it's a universal
Amber Leigh Williams 8:07pm May 19, 2010)

I love small town stories! My grandmother has always lived in a very small town and her husband owned the newspaper and they lived over the top of it. I just love visiting there even though the newspaper is no longer and my grandfather has passed away. I love small towns!
Brenda Rupp 8:38pm May 19, 2010)

Small towns look nice, but everyone knows your
Deb Pelletier 9:31pm May 19, 2010)

Sagrario Vigil 9:32pm May 19, 2010)

Small town romance give us a simplier life. It makes us slow down and smells the rose. However most of us lives in the big city. Big City romance is more realistic with the hustle and bustle of life.
Kai Wong 11:08pm May 19, 2010)

I like the small town setting. I have always lived in a large city, where outside of my block, I know very few people. A small town seems friendlier.
Patsy Hagen 11:29pm May 19, 2010)

Hi Vanessa,
I am looking forward to Sex and the
Single Earl, I read the excerpt and just loved it, I also love small towns because they are so cozy, best wishes,
Irene Nash 11:56pm May 19, 2010)

I love small town settings that's where I live
Theresa Ruddick 12:00pm May 20, 2010)

I like setting which throw the couple
together. Small towns work in doing this
Sue Ahn 12:01pm May 20, 2010)

I love books set in small towns because I always see the potential for a series to develop. In books set in a big city there doesn't seem to be as much likelihood of a series developing, which means I won't get a chance to follow those secondary characters who have also captured my interest.
Donna Holmberg 12:28pm May 20, 2010)

I live in a small town and enjoy reading about small towns and the interesting people who live there.
Rebecca Booth 7:21am May 20, 2010)

Being from a small town ..I can relate to books about small towns and those who are city dwellers should enjoy the small town idea just to get away from all the hassle. ha ha I hope I am in time for the contest but with so many comments already I fear my chances are slim. I still wanted to add my comment and please keep the small town books coming as I look forward to them very much. Have a good day. susan L.
Susan Leech 9:08am May 20, 2010)

Small towns is where it's at, because the people know each other and their business. Developing characters, the connections are easier to make, since somehere along the way they cross paths.
Alyson Widen 6:14pm May 20, 2010)

congrats on the books
Desiree Reilly 8:50pm May 20, 2010)

Small towns are great. Yes everyone
knows your business, but that can be
a good thing. People are less likely to
misbehave if they think people they
know will find out about it. Of
course, there is not a whole lot of
privacy and gossips can make more of
something than it is.
I'd still rather have that than the
impersonal treatment in a really large
Patricia Barraclough 5:50pm May 21, 2010)

I like to visit small towns. The place seems more intimate, more friendly, people are interconnected. I feel like I'm part of the community. For example, I love Debbie Macomber's Ceder Cove series.

I grew up in a city of 12,000. I currently live in a city of about 50,000.

I prefer the smaller city where everybody knows your name. Larege cities like New York and Chicago I find intimidating.
Laurie Gommermann 10:46am May 23, 2010)

I read a book a day, so my list is very long. Looking forward to reading your new book.
Pat Wilson 10:48am May 25, 2010)

I wish I didn't work full time. I'd love to
read a book a day!
Molly Wilsbacher 9:02am May 26, 2010)

I prefer the feeling of small towns. So many people are helpful and caring, though there are the nosey one!
Tracey Dent 12:26pm May 31, 2010)

Being a small town gal, a small town romance is very appealing.
Sally Baldwin 9:12pm August 11, 2010)

Great book. Absolutely took me away to
another time and place.
Lisa Abraham 11:26am August 30, 2010)

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