• A year of scandal: Winter

    It’s August everyone, so what better time could there be to talk about the depths of deepest, darkest winter? It might make you feel cooler if you live in a country with proper weather and are sweltering in the heat I suppose, or drier than you might be on a high summer day in the UK, but my latest book is out this month so, for me, it’s time to talk about January.

    The Viscount’s Frozen Heart is the first in a series of four books the lovely people at Harlequin Mills and Boon bravely encouraged me to write when I pitched the idea to them. Each one is set in a different season and I began with winter because it felt right. All four of my heroes are conflicted and have had unhappy pasts for various reasons, but the main thing they have in common is their love for one extraordinary person who dies of old age before the books begin. Lady Virginia Winterley, Viscountess Farenze, marched into my head as soon as the notion of writing a book for every season of the year occurred to me and settled in for the duration. Some characters are like that and this one was more like it than most, so I knew Virginia was going to be pivotal to the series from the start.

    It felt right to frame a set of love stories within a great big, scandalous one from the past, so Virginia’s happened many decades before the one that takes place in The Viscount’s Frozen Heart. A twice married, widowed and childless beauty of thirty with a string of handsome lovers to her name, Virginia must have made Virgil Winterley, Viscount Farenze, struggle hard to get her to marry him when there was little to no chance she would give him an heir. Being every bit as stubborn as the love of his life, Virgil got his way and their story echoes through the lives of four men who once needed their love and support. Now they’re too large and self-willed and independent to do as they’re bid, but Virginia has no scruples about using their love for her to persuade them to carry out a set of tasks to make them face the past and claim the future she thinks they deserve.

    The series begins with Luke Winterley, the latest Viscount Farenze, arriving at Farenze Lodge to take his place as chief mourner at his beloved Great Aunt Virginia’s funeral and that may seem an even more dark and depressing opening than the time of year demands, but she has plans for Luke, his best friend Tom and Luke’s scapegrace half-brother James and sets them each a task in her will that could keep them busy for the rest of their lives. The fourth adventurer will introduce himself when his time to take up Virginia’s baton falls due.

    For this first book I can’t think of a better way to sum up the story than the excellent copy from the back cover, which I didn’t write by the way – authors aren’t that good at summing up their books in less than a thousand words, or at least this one isn’t, so here is part of it to give you a flavour:-

    He’s embittered by a loveless marriage, so can the ice around Luke’s long-buried emotions ever thaw? A marriage between a housekeeper and a viscount should be impossible, but maybe the warmth of Chloe’s touch can bring a new beginning for them both…

    A Year of Scandal

    A gentleman for every season

    I love that last bit, by the way. Step forward Mr January!

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ELIZABETH BEACON

Taking you back in time for regency romance and historic heat...

liz3d

Elizabeth Beacon - The Winterley Scandal

As the daughter of wild Pamela Winterley, Eve has always lived in the shadow of scandal. Society watches her every move, waiting for Eve to prove she is just as wayard as her mother... Ever since his father's scandalous affair, Colm Hancourt has lived life on his own terms. But then he comes face-to-face with Eve, the daughter of his father's mistress! It may have begun with a kiss that set tounges wagging, but could the latest Winterley scandal be the start of something special?

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