The Victorian genre requires only that it take place during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837 to 1901), and this story promises romance and suspense!
Thank you, Ashley, for having me here today! I’m excited to share my latest release, Shattered Secrets, which is set in Victorian London. This is the third book in The Secret Trilogy (historical romantic suspense stories). I’m rather sad to see the trilogy end as I’ve enjoyed exploring 1880’s London. But I confess that I have a new project in the works that will explore a similar setting. Can’t wait to share that with readers!
The Secret Trilogy follows the stories of three lords who attended University together. They shared the same mentor, a professor fascinated by electromagnetism. He involves them in a lab experiment that goes terribly wrong, injuring all of them and killing the professor. The injuries the lords receive are only part of how they’re damaged that night. They each receive the ability to read auras, with each one reading a different type of aura.
I love writing about wounded heroes who are living an unbalanced life because of their past. Throw in a strong heroine who knows what she wants (or thinks she does) and it’s sure to be an interesting journey. This trilogy was inspired by a few different things. I’m a Sherlock Holmes fan, and I came across some information on electromagnetism while researching the Victorian era. All of the scientific research and experiments taking place during that time are fascinating.
In Shattered Secrets, we meet Lucas Stanby, who fled to Brazil after the lab accident, convinced he can never lead a normal life. The type of auras he reads is terrible (no spoilers here!) and makes him miserable. But when his older brother is murdered, he is forced to return to England ten years later as the new earl and guardian to his two young twin nieces.
Moira Dorsey has been a friend of the family since childhood. Lucas broke her heart when he left and she has no desire to repeat the experience, so though she’s serving as a temporary governess, she does everything in her power to hire a permanent one so she can leave. Unfortunately, the twin girls have their own plans. They are determined to keep their uncle in England and keep Moira as well.
As Lucas tries to determine who murdered his brother and why, he’s reunited with his two friends. Their pursuit of the murderer leads to an even bigger mystery, along with a threat to England, all while Lucas and Moira attempt to contain their growing feelings for each other.
For those readers who prefer to read the trilogy in order, it begins with Unraveling Secrets, then Passionate Secrets, and now Shattered Secrets.
BLURB: Scarred from a terrible accident, Lucas Stanby swore never to return to England. But his brother’s murder forces him home ten years later as the new Earl of Berkmond and guardian of his two young nieces. As the local vicar’s daughter and a childhood friend, Moira Dorsey naturally set aside her hopes of a family of her own to care for the earl’s daughters. Lucas’s return makes it impossible for her to remain since he broke Moira’s heart years ago, but the girls have other ideas. Lucas realizes he needs Moira to keep his personal demons at bay as well as deal with two rambunctious girls. He offers Moira a marriage of convenience, hoping to keep his dark secret, aware he’s too broken to be the husband she deserves. Moira discovers Lucas’s cold demeanor hides deep scars but glimpses of the boy she loved give her hope. She counters his proposal, asking for a babe of her own, wanting Lucas to see he’s not the monster he believes. Unable to deny his growing feelings, Lucas agrees, but his past disrupts their second chance at love, dragging Moira and the girls into danger. He soon realizes he must share his terrible secret with Moira and risk losing her forever in order to stop the villain who threatens them all.
EXCERPT: Moira glanced at the girls yet again then stepped into the hall and pulled the door shut behind her. “Mrs. Tollers mentioned the trouble the girls caused in the library. The sooner you engage a qualified governess, the better. If the twins are kept busy, they will have less time to engage in such schemes.”
Her comment felt more like a reprimand than a suggestion. Did she think he could be ordered about? Never mind that she’d done the very same when they were young, and it had irritated him then. But he was far from the boy she’d once directed and was a grown man fully capable of making his own decisions.
He placed his hand on the wall behind her, bringing him closer. A little intimidation seemed in order, to make her understand he was not to be trifled with. “From what I’ve been given to understand, you’ve hired several governesses to do that very thing, but to no avail.”
Her head tipped back ever so slightly, revealing the long slim line of her neck. Her mouth rounded, those rosy lips prepared with the perfect excuse, he was sure. Her big green eyes stared up at him, looking back and forth between his patch and his eye until he nearly touched the patch to see if it was in place. Then her gaze dropped to his lips, and desire shot straight through him, surprising him with its intensity.
“Yes, well, ’tis complicated.” Again, her gaze fell to his lips.
God, but he wanted to taste her. Could she possibly be as sweet as she had been at sixteen? Her kiss had nearly undone him then. What might it do to him now? Her scent filled his senses, the freshness of the outdoors, of roses, of her. That scent had taunted him far too often over the years. It reminded him of England, yet he swore he’d smelled it many times in Brazil.
Her breasts rose as she drew a deep breath, making him realize she was as aware of him as he was of her. The hint of soft curves revealed by her modest neckline begged for his touch.
For the first time, he noticed the soft pink of her gown, a color now echoed in her cheeks. Would that soft flush cover the rest of her body as well?
“I—” She licked her lips, drawing his gaze back to her mouth.
He leaned closer still and allowed desire to build. It had been so long since he’d felt like this. How had he ever turned his back on her declaration of love? He must’ve been a stronger man than he was now.
As he tilted his head so he might fit her mouth to his, she eased forward as well. Anticipation mixed with passion until he saw nothing but Moira.
The door opened, startling them both.
Our family is sticking close to home this summer, so I’m living vicariously through other people’s vacation plans. For a chance to win an ebook of your choice of one of the books in The Secret Trilogy, please share what you’re doing this summer!
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