Win a $30 GC: The Rake and the Bishop's Daughter by Julia Donner
posted by Judy on March 15, 2018
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by http://www.goddessfish.comGoddess Fish Promotions. Julia will be awarding a $30 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
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.
Enjoy an Exclusive Excerpt:
Harry had to talk with Olivia before he left. If her father made the worst of this situation, she’d need support and reinforcement. He didn’t want her thinking that what they had shared was in any way sordid.
First, he had to get around an angry parent. His brain hopelessly muddled, he took a step forward and raised an imploring hand.
Before Harry could attempt an explanation, the bishop snapped, “Not another word. You must be aware of the fact that this dwelling is well known throughout the village. Unseemly conduct is to be expected in someone with your reputation, but my family and daughter are not of your ilk. Be satisfied that you have achieved yet another conquest and ruined one more innocent’s reputation.”
“I beg you to listen, sir.”
But any form of coherent thought fled, leaving him without a comment or an answer to the bishop’s valid opinion. He’d spent years mocking the ton, playing with their fickle notion of popularity. He’d manipulated society into believing that his pretty face and man-milliner antics made him extraordinary. In the process, he’d ruined any respectful estimation of his character. A sense of helplessness slid through him, chilling his vitals.
Olivia’s father waited, his steel-eyed glare expectant and knowing there was no way to weasel out of the hole Harry had dug for himself. Pinching his lips together to steady the telltale quiver, he forced a swallow down his constricted throat.
When his mind refused to work, he latched onto the first thought. “Sir, you must understand. I love her. I’ll do anything to have your permission to pay my—”
“You presume to address my daughter?” Scorn flared within his stare. “I am not surprised that you should consider your deplorable conduct in my house as paying your address to my only child. I am a man of God, but I am also flesh and blood. You have contributed in the sullying of her otherwise exemplary life and name by dragging her to the depths of your depravity.”
“On my honor, sir, I would never do so!”
“Your honor is none of my concern and of its existence I shall make of myself no judge. But I will not have you in my house or within speaking distance of my daughter nor any other member of my family.”
Harry involuntarily stepped back from the vehemence of this scathing attack. A prickling burn began behind his eyes. What could he say? It was true. He’d seduced and disgraced the lady he loved. Choking on fierce emotion, he jerked a nod when the bishop suggestively opened the door.
He stopped at the foot of the staircase and looked up. Olivia stood on the top step, her clothes awry and long hair hanging past her waist. She looked mussed and well-loved. Humiliated.
Harry started for the steps, but Bishop Mainstay stepped into his path, blocking the way. “Daughter, say good-bye to this person. You won’t be seeing him again. Ever.”
About the Author: 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.
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