For some reason it seems as if Holly took forever to be ready to go live online, but truth is, I recall taking Belle and Cecilia (the first two novellas of the Aphrodite Academy series) with me on our cruise in mid-August (via my Kindle), and re-reading them to refresh my mind about the characters before starting Holly. So I guess it really hasn't been that long.
I have to admit I've found violating most of the rules of traditional Regency romance, even most Regency historicals, a refreshing switch. The freedom to be outrageous is exhilarating. The result, I hope, not offensive.
For those who might not remember the girls of the Aphrodite Academy . . .
These novellas explore what might have happened to young women, from ladies to tavern wenches, to whom life has not been kind. I call this genre "Regency Darkside." The language is saucy, the sex occasionally graphic, but the stories are driven by plot and characters, not the sex scenes. And traditional Happily Ever After endings prevail.
Holly - the story:
Holly Hammond, an independent, sharp-tongued former tavern wench, has reached the pinnacle of her ambition, flying high as a sparkling courtesan—until she finds herself out on the street, pregnant with twins. Her choices are few: live the false life of a widow in some distant corner of the realm or give up her child. And then, an offer out of the blue. For what might be the highest price ever placed on a courtesan, she is bartered into marriage with a stranger.
Royce Kincade is a stalwart, upright border Scot who fixes his sight on the prize at the end of the rainbow, giving little thought to such pitfalls as his wife's determined independence, the possible outrage of his relatives, or the reappearance of the babies' natural father. Not surprisingly, both Holly and Royce are left to wonder if theirs is marriage made in Heaven or in Hell.
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Note: a 20% free read is available on Smashwords.
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