I first met Sophie at the Romance Writers of America’s annual conference in 2016 — at the Avon Books party, to be precise. I’ll always remember her big smile, warm greeting, and how she pulled up on her phone the cover of her next historical romance, While the Duke Was Sleeping . . . and we ooh’ed and aah’ed over its gorgeousness. I invite you to feast your eyes!
Now the wonderful Sophie’s offering a giveaway of The Laird Takes a Bride on her Facebook page! Would you like to enter? Click here. And good luck!
A Goodreads giveaway for The Laird Takes a Bride wraps up on Tuesday. If you haven’t already, would you like to enter for a chance to win a signed copy? If so, click here.
I devoured Joanna Shupe’s enthralling A Daring Arrangement, and I want to share the love! Stop by my Facebook page for a chance to win this advance reader’s copy. And good luck!
Would you like a chance to win a signed, print copy of The Laird Takes a Bride? Click here.
Heroes & Heartbreakers says it’s a “sometimes humorous, sometimes eerie, sometimes dangerous courtship . . . If marriage-of-convenience is your catnip, you’ll enjoy this one.” Want to read the full review? Click here.
And now the manuscript for The Bride Takes a Groom, the third book in the Penhallow Dynasty series, is off to my editor!
Plus, here’s an advance preview of the back cover!
Lisa Berne’s Penhallow Dynasty continues with a pair of star-crossed childhood friends who meet again years later—and find love where they least expect it . . .
Katherine Brooke may be a fabulously wealthy heiress, but she’s trapped, a pawn in her parents’ ruthless game to marry her into the nobility. Then Captain Hugo Penhallow—so charming, as handsome as a Greek god—comes into her life once more, and suddenly she sees a chance to be free.
As a Penhallow, his is one of the highest names in the land, but still his family is facing ruin. So Katherine boldly proposes an exchange: his name for her money. But only if Hugo understands it’s merely a practical arrangement, and that she’s not surrendering herself entirely.
Back from eight years in America and determined to give his younger siblings a better life, Hugo agrees. He’s never fallen in love, so why not? Yet neither of them guesses that this marriage will become far, far more than they ever dreamed of . . .
A suitable word for Monday, don’t you think?
I also used it in The Laird Takes a Bride, in a scene in which one of the “contestants” in a Bachelor-esque scenario receives the news that she’s been summoned to the castle of my hero Alasdair Penhallow:
When Miss Janet Reid, of the Lowlands, got her letter, she had only an hour before returned from a stroll in the manicured gardens to the back of her house, and in the company of a young man who had for the past months been courting her most ardently. (Her governess, Miss Sad Shovel as she liked to call her, had been discreetly trailing behind, her face just as dreary and spade-like as ever.) Janet had been inclined to encourage this young man over her other suitors, for he was terribly good-looking, came from a fine family, and stood to inherit a handsome fortune from his father. Oh, and she liked him well enough.
But having read the letter, she changed her mind. And she laughed, and clapped her hands with joy.
A marriage to the laird of Castle Tadgh would be a far better arrangement — quite a coup, in fact. Besides, she’d heard a few things about Alasdair Penhallow, and he did sound like fun. And she was quite partial to fun herself. Not for her the staid life of your average miss, always sitting around sewing samplers, or plucking dolefully at harps, or poring over dull books. No, she was cut from a very different sort of cloth. Which reminded her. She went with her light tread to the drawing-room, and announced:
“I’m going to Castle Tadgh. We need Miss Cowden to come in right away, and bring all her assistants, and plan to stay as long as necessary. I need a new wardrobe, and we haven’t much time.”
Her mother — seated across from Parson Tidwell, who had no doubt come on behalf of his tedious orphanage or his seemingly endless supply of poor people — at once lost her look of thinly disguised boredom and turned to Janet in astonishment. “You’re going to Castle Tadgh? Why?”
“So I can marry Alasdair Penhallow, of course.”
“The Penhallow? He’s offered for you?”
Janet Reid smiled. “No. But he will.”
Instantly her mother grasped the salient facts. “I’ll send a note to Miss Cowden right away,” she said, and with a nod to Parson Tidwell she rose, indicating that his presence was now, well, more than a little onerous.
As I mentioned in my recent interview with Lenora Bell, Janet Reid, a secondary but important character in The Laird Takes a Bride, was inspired by the indelible Veruca Salt in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
This scene appears in Chapter 2, but if you like, you can read all of Chapter 1 here.
I’m looking forward to sharing with you the cover for The Bride Takes a Groom, the third book in the Penhallow Dynasty series — it’s gorgeous! In the meantime, I thought you might like to see the visual inspirations for my heroine and hero.
Here’s how I originally envisioned Captain Hugo Penhallow:
And these two actresses together are a composite of Katherine Brooke:
The Bride Takes a Groom releases next spring. Would you like to save it on Goodreads? Click here.
I was lucky enough to score an advance reader’s copy of Joanna Shupe’s A Daring Arrangement, which releases next month. If you’re a Gilded Era fan, like me, you’ll love this beautifully written book!
More about Joanna here.
One of my favorite RARM features is the author recommendations — discovering new authors from other authors. And my top recs?
Want to read my full post? Click here.