A Sweeping Romantic Epic

Harwell Heirs series update! Notes on Book Two and Book Three!

Disobedience By Design, the sweeping romantic Book 2 of my Harwell Heirs series finally has a release date: July 25, 2014. You can add it to your wishlist on the Ellora’s Cave site.

If you’ve read The Pleasure Device, you’ll know there was a scandal surrounding the marriage of Helena’s parents, Sophia and Joseph. Disobedience By Design is Sophia and Joseph’s story and is set in England of 1860:

Lady Sophia Harwell has just been presented to Society—and its eligible bachelors—on her eighteenth birthday and is quite unimpressed. Her parents are encouraging the suit of a duke, a man older than her father! Yet the free-spirited Sophia is smitten with her brother’s American business partner who introduces her to sensual delights beyond the bounds of propriety and the dictates of her social standing.

Joseph Phillips finds himself out of his depth amongst the British aristocracy finding investors for his American railroad enterprise. To make matters worse, he can’t keep his hands off Sophia, his business partner’s sister, who is far out of his league and expected to marry a duke. But when the duke reveals the extent of his villainy, Joseph decides some risks are worth taking, and, to protect Sophia, he embarks upon a partnership of an entirely unexpected nature.

Over the last month or so I’ve done some intensive editing on this book. I just re-read (and edited) it on Monday, and it suddenly occurred to me that the story has, well, lots of story and lots of romance. I really got a sense of it as a miniseries or movie with lush camera work, fabulous costumes, and gorgeous young people emoting. There’s sensuality in the countryside, a dastardly villain, a daring escape, a classic Victorian investment scheme (à la Anthony Trollope), and three love stories. This sweeping romantic epic-ness sets it apart from Book 1, The Pleasure Device, which is more compact and intensely sexy. I love both stories, but they are very different.

Where Destiny Plays

The manuscript for Book 3 of the series has been submitted and the title has been approved: Where Destiny Plays, which is a reference to a line in The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.

The heir in Book 3 is Arthur Harwell, the Earl of Petersham. He’s Sophia’s brother and Helena’s uncle. Arthur is a central character in Book 2 when he’s twenty-four. Book 3 takes place twenty years later, and, in fact, all the major protagonists are in their forties in Book 3 so there is more of an emotional depth. And with the return of Julius Christopher there’ll be more of a sexual depth, as well.