Book 2 in the Regency Ladies in Distress series
Can an English lady find love and common ground with a French soldier?
In Paris of 1814, as Bourbon king again takes the throne, and the Black Cabinet—a shadowy group of agents employed by the British—is sent to unmask dangerous men and stop assassinations. When Diana, Lady Chauncey—known as Lady Chance—is recruited by her cousin to use her skill at cards to help him delve into these plots, she meets up with a man she thought dead. Diana finds herself swept into adventure and intrigue, and once again into the arms of the French officer she tangled with ten years ago. But she is no longer an impulsive girl, and he may not be the man she once thought was honorable and good.
After the recent defeat of his country, Giles Taliaris wants nothing more than a return to his family’s vineyards in Burgundy. But his younger brother seems involved in dangerous plots to return France to a republic. To get his family through these troubles, Giles can only tread warily. When he again meets meet the English girl he once knew and thought lost to him, he finds himself torn between duty and desire. Can he find his way through this tangle—and if he does, how can he convince his Diana to give up everything for him?
A scoundrel haunted by scandal…
After being wounded in the Peninsular War, Captain Desford Cardros returns home with plans for revenge against the man who swore Cardros stole the legendary family gem, the Cardros Ruby. That man is his brother. But an injured rider—and his beautiful sister—pull Cardros into their more pressing problems; someone seems set on murdering young Lord Seaford. Caught up with the lovely Helena’s schemes to catch a murderer, Cardros can’t resist the attraction to her. But Helena is a woman already half-promised to his brother—and a lady who has little use for rogues such as him.
A lady expected to marry well…
As the granddaughter of an earl, Helena Seaford knows her duty to marry well—and she has Lord Althorn courting her. But her brother’s death would leave her a rich woman, so how can she trust any man’s interest when her brother is threatened by mysterious accidents. Now she has one man courting her and another flirting with her, but can she trust either with her heart—or her brother’s life? She has no answers, other than to follow her heart, wherever it may lead.
With too many secrets in her past, and too little future as an actress, Theodosia Newell wants one thing more than all else—security. She’s seen her mother abandoned, her younger brother die, and she’s vowed never to be poor. But then her path crosses that of a man who tempts her to abandon caution and all thought for the future for a passionate affair. Can she find the courage to break from her deepest fears? And will her love prove enough to save them both?
Born with a soul for adventure, David Llewellyn cannot resist a challenge—and his enthusiasm for life is as magnetic as his personality. But two women share his life, and only one can be his. Will his stubborn refusal to make a choice between them lead him to lose everything? Or will he find, in the journey to the lost city he dreams of discovering, a path to a deeper love than he thought possible?
Romantic Times Bookclub Nominated “Best Regency” 2004
Top Pick 4 1/2 Stars RT
Golden Quill Finalist
“Excitement and passion are fierce companions and the danger never ends… sure to captivate readers.” — Romantic Times Bookclub, Robin Taylor
“Don’t miss LADY SCANDAL. Shannon Donnelly will heat up your summer reading with her latest book.” — Romance Review Today, Jani Brooks
“If you have a love for…resourceful heroes and heroines… and for enduring romance…you will absolutely love this book.” — Rakehell.com, Barbara R. Hume
“Totally engaging! Donnelly’s pen is wicked with inspiration.” — Scribes World, Brenda Ramsbacher
When war shatters the fragile peace of 1803 between France and England, Alexandria must get her niece home safe. But escaping from Paris will not be easy, for Bonaparte has ordered the arrest of all English—and there is an added complication. The man she once loved her, the man for whom she almost gave up everything, the man who left her branded “Lady Scandal”, needs her help. Although she has not seen Paxten Marsett in years, she recognizes her former lover’s voice when he hides in her coach. But can they overcome a past left bitter by betrayals and find a path to something new?
Half French and half English, Paxten Marsett has never felt at home anywhere. And now he is unwelcome in France due to a misunderstanding with a general’s wife. But in fleeing France, he comes across the one woman he has never forgotten—the woman who once scorned him. Will he use this chance to seduce her into falling in love with him again so that this time he might break her heart—or will he find himself seduced instead by an old love?
RITA Finalist, Best Regency Romance
Winner Laurel Wreath
Golden Quill Finalist
“…It will warm your heart and make you smile.” -Romance Reviews Today
“Her tale of…the blossoming of a love destined to last forever proves compelling, heartwarming, and not to missed.” -Judith Landsdowne, best-selling author
Eleanor Glover never thought to marry. But when wickedly handsome Geoffrey Westerley, Lord Staines, agrees to an arranged marriage with her, she knows her duty. Geoffrey makes it plain that he wants nothing more than a sensible wife—and a Christmas Eve wedding to please his dying father. With a dearth of suitors, and her family’s expectations weighing heavy, Eleanor agrees to the match, with one condition—a condition she cannot name or write upon her blank card. Despite Geoffrey’s generous promise to give her anything her heart desires she cannot believe he will ever offer the only thing she truly wants for a Christmas gift…his love.
As an earl’s son, Geoffrey Westerley knows his duty—and since he cannot have the woman he loved and drove away, he will have the bride his father intends. Geoffrey knows his passionate nature scared away one lady, and he is determined to treat his shy intended with respect and restraint. But when he finds Eleanor beneath a kissing bough, tradition demands that he pluck a mistletoe berry and kiss her. He never anticipated his bride’s warm response, and as the wedding draws near he begins to see there is more to his bride than a quiet exterior. There may be enough to her, in fact, to heal a wounded heart—and a passion deep enough to match his own.
RWA Golden Heart Winner
Holt Medallion Finalist
Award of Excellence Finalist
After breaking her heart years ago and ruining her future, Maeve Midden now only longs to find a permanent position as a governess. A place where she can belong, and forever hide herself. But she winds up making a deal with Lord Rothe, a former colonel in the King’s army–she’ll look after his sixteen-year-old niece until she can find a new position with younger girls. But she’s soon intertwined in the lives of this troubled girl, and this troubled lord. How can she leave this family that needs her so much? And how can she stay when she is falling in love with a man who is far above her lowly position?
Colonel Andrew Derhurst, Lord Rothe, never expected to inherit a title and his brother’s family. As a younger son, he was meant for a military career and he’s made himself into a hard army man. But now he has a title he never wanted, relatives who resent him, and a desperate need for Maeve’s help. But will he lose her due to her stubborn determination to keep her as his niece’s governess… and to a heart which has forgotten how to love?
I can’t say enough good things about this book except BUY IT! I don’t care what type of book you usually like, good writing is good writing and this book is sure to find a permanent place on your keeper shelf. Bottom Line: Shannon Donnelly is a stunning new talent not to be missed. She rivals Carla Kelly in her uniqueness of plot and depth of characters. – Cybil Solen, Rakehell.com
Award of Excellence Finalist
Holt Medallion Finalist
Laurel Wreath Finalist
“Delicious, delightful, and devilishly good reading…” — Emily Hendrickson, author of The Rake’s Revenge
Convinced by her godmother that reformed rakes make the best husbands, the beautiful and willful Clarissa Derhurst is on the hunt for just such a man. Only a rake can give her the passion she needs to keep from becoming a vain, unhappy woman like her mother. But finding the right rake is no easy task. When she meets Lord Wolviston, the ‘lone wolf’, she starts to believe he might be able to give her the passion she craves. No other man makes her heart beat so fast. But can she reform his wicked ways—and is she even certain he is all that wicked?
After his father’s crippling accident, Evan Fortesque became burdened by family responsibilities. Now that his father has passed on, and as the new Lord Wolviston, he’s come to London to sow a few belated wild oats. When he overhears that a spoilt beauty won’t look twice at a respectable gentleman such as himself, he decides she needs a lesson—and this is just the lark he wanted. He’ll pretend to be a rake she won’t be able to reform. But instead of finding a vain, silly girl, he starts to glimpse the passionate woman underneath Clarissa’s defenses. And then Clarissa attracts a real rake to her side. Now Wolviston must keep Clarissa from being compromised. But how can he do that when he’s starting to want to seduce her himself?
Romantic Times Top Pick – 4½ Stars & Gold Medal
“…well-done and very witty… a wonderful hero, who will out-duke any duke you’ve ever read about.” — Kelly Ferjutz — The Word on Romance
“There is enough sexual tension and mystery plotline to keep one reading. An enjoyable book.” — Marilyn Malone — The Regency Lover’s Cafe
“…a scintillating tale filled with charismatic characters and plenty of intrigue….” — Teresa Roebuck — Romantic Times
Glynis Chatwin dreams of becoming a lady, and to do so, she must regain the evidence that will prove she and her brother are not bastard children. But Glynis’s plans lead her into the bedchamber of the notorious rake Lord St. Albans—and once she has caught his interest, there is no escaping his attentions. When he offers to help, she is wary but she thinks she can make use of this idle lord. Now she must figure out how to resist the seductive skills of the worst rogue in England. But how can she when she is falling in love with the wounded heart behind Simon’s rakish ways.
Simon Alexander Derain Winters, Earl of St. Albans, Baron Winters has always had more power, wealth, and time on his hands than is good for anyone. Jaded by the world, bored by society, he lives only to please himself. And it pleases him give into a whim and assist the lovely gypsy thief he finds in his bedchamber at an inn one night. He is not certain he believes her story of wicked uncles, secret marriages, and stolen inheritances, but she amuses him as no other woman has. He offers to allow Glynis to pose as his mistress so she may better gain entry to her ‘wicked’ uncle’s circle. What he really wants is Glynis in his bed—and he wants her there willingly. But he does not work into his calculated seduction that Glynis, with her sharp mind, her beauty, and her stubborn ways, is the one woman who can keep his life interesting. She is becoming the one person he cannot live without. But if she becomes a respectable lady, there’ll be no place for her in his disreputable life.
Winner Winter Rose, Best Historical
Finalist Blue Boa Contest
The dark, fascinating gypsy hero is neatly offset by the lively family of a young women who draws him like a magnet in spite of her disapproval. The secondary characters in Ms. Donnelly’s tale create a sense of energy and fun that make this book just the ticket for a cozy evening of entertainment. — Romantic Times, Teresa Roebuck
With the stigma of being half Gypsy, Christopher Dawes, now Lord Nevin, is to establish his position and reclaim his family honor, starting with restitution to the Harwood family, whose fortune was stolen by his late uncle. But he runs up against the pride and anger of the eldest daughter, an untrusting woman with her own wounds from past mistakes. Driven by duty, Lord Nevin sets his will against hers, but when his desire to help turns into a desire for this strong-willed woman, Nevin must step outside the bounds of a genteel courtship. He must come to terms with his own passions if he is to ignite those in the woman he loves.
Penelope Harwood has given up on romantic daydreams. They’ve left her with a broken heart which she hides, and have led her father into financial ruin. But with her father again investing unwisely, she may see her family lose everything unless someone helps, and that someone is Lord Nevin. While he seems to be set on making amends to her family for the wrong once done by his uncle, can she let go of past hurts in order to trust in her own dreams once again?
Romantic Times Top Pick – 4½ Stars
Bookseller’s Best Award Finalist
Golden Quill Finalist
Orange Rose Finalist
“With its excellent characterization, polished prose, and humor, Donnelly’s latest Regency is a supremely satisfying, deftly plotted delight.” – Booklist, American Library Association, John Charles
“…delightfully offbeat romp with an engaging set of young lovers and a good cast of supporting players…highly enjoyable” – Romantic Times Top Pick – 4½ Stars – Teresa Roebuck
“I highly recommend A PROPER MISTRESS, and can’t wait for Ms. Donnelly’s next book….” — Five Roses – Escape to Romance, Marlene Breakfield
After a scandal gets his brother disinherited, Theodore Winslow plans to get his brother back in their father’s grace by getting himself into an even worse scrape—he’s bringing home a low-born strumpet for a bride. But he’s only hiring a girl to play the part, and his plans go awry when his father refuses to act as he should. Theo soon finds he wants more than he paid for, and his sweet Molly Sweet is far more than he ever bargained for. His proper mistress is anything but…
A cook in a bawdy house, and an orphan with a zest for live, Molly Sweet dreams of one day owning her own inn. She’ll do almost anything to achieve that, including acting like a woman for sale and an intended bride. But playing a hard-hearted jade proves more difficult than expected, and as her feelings for Theo grow, the lines between pretending love and the reality blur. She can’t bring herself to sell her body, but she cannot avoid giving away her heart. The only question now is will it land in accepting hands?
The third of Donnelly’s “Proper” regencies is simply superb, with subtly nuanced characters and a cleverly constructed plot that is bound to please readers who enjoy expertly written traditional regencies. John Charles – American Library Association
“Make a dash to the nearest bookstore and buy a copy of BARELY PROPER. It’s a wonderful, uplifting story.” — Jani Brooks, Romance Reviews Today
“Readers will be cheering for these two eccentric sweethearts to win the day and reap the rewards of their love.” — Teresa Roebuck, Romantic Times
Growing up next to the Winslows, Sylvain Harwood learned young that of the two “Wild Windslow” boys, Terrance, the elder, means heartache for any female. But he’s also been her friend for as long as she can remember. When she finds Terrance injured in the woods and in trouble, she treats him like any other the other wounded animals she’s cared for—she ignores good sense in order to help him. But how does she keep her secret that she fell in love with him ages ago? And will good sense be enough to keep her from falling even deeper in love with a man who needs love more than he can admit?
Arriving for a duel in the home wood, Terrance is shocked to find the man he is supposed to face at dawn has been shot in the back by someone else. When one of the seconds arrives to find Terrance standing over the body with a pistol in hand, accusations of murder fly. But, before he can stop anything, a fall from his horse leaves him laid up. Now he needs to clear his name. But with a broken leg, he also needs help—and so he turns to his childhood friend, Sylvain Harwood. As a girl, Sylvain rain tame in the woods, befriending Terrance and other wild creatures. But the girl Terrance once teased has grown into a woman who brings out unexpected desires in him. Will these feelings end their friendship, or start something new between them?
Thrown close together by accident, brought to a deeper understanding of each other by need, Sylvain and Terrance must find their own ways to a barely proper engagement that sparks both danger, adventure, and an unexpected love.
A Regency Novella
A cat and her kittens…a lonely widow and her sons…a gambler who has won a manor house.
After winning a manor house, Sir Ashten Ravenhill wants only to repair it, sell, and be on his way again. But a cat and her kittens–and the cat’s owner, a lovely widow–overturn all his plans. Soon he’s tangled in a cat’s cradle–but will Emaline and her sons be enough to make him change his wandering ways?
Emaline Adair Pearson has seen her cousin gamble away the family manor house–and as a vicar’s widow she frowns on any form of sin. When a harden gamester moves into the neighborhood, she plans to have nothing to do with him. But when her cat has her kittens in the manor house, Emaline finds herself forced into Sir Ashten’s company–and she finds the man to be far more attractive and honorable than she’d anticipated. She knows he will not stay–but she finds herself wondering what she would answer if he asked her to come with him.
A Regency Novella
With her mercenary family set against her throwing herself away on an army officer, Claire Roxburgh sees no choice but to elope to Gretna Green for a marriage across the anvil. But on the journey north, she discovers that the best man for her may actually be her captain’s best man.
Captain Alan Carlton is ready to think his friend has found himself a flighty, headstrong girl—who else would elope in the dead of night with Harry? But Claire’s sunny nature and her ability to withstand any hardship, leaves Carlton impatient with his friend for not valuing this girl. By the time they reach Gretna, he has become more than a friend to her. But how can he betray his friend to marry the woman he loves?
A Regency Novella
Tangled lies…and even more tangled hearts…
As the mastermind behind her cousin’s London success, Audrey Colbert has even managed to obtain a proposal from the elusive Marques of Arncliffe. But when the bride-to-be is stolen away by a fortune hunter, Audrey sets out to fetch her back…only to run into Arncliffe. Audrey tells one set of fibs and then another, but Arncliffe insists on accompanying her. As she comes to know the man behind the title, Audrey realizes the truth…she really wants Arncliffe for herself.
Conner, Lord Arncliffe, resisted every matchmaking attempt in the belief that someday he would fall in love. When a dazzling beauty crossed his path, it was the letters she wrote…charming, funny, warm letters…that captured his heart. However, meeting up with his bride’s cousin, Audrey, on the road, he soon realizes she wrote him those letters. Now, how can he honorably break his engagement to the wrong woman so he can court the right one?
A Regency Novella
The perfect marriage gone perfectly wrong…
Olivia has what seem the ideal marriage to the rising politician, Lord Duncastle. But when she lets slip a secret to the wrong person, the gossip damages his trust in her—and her marriage. How can she mend the broken links of their love?
Swept away by a whirlwind romance, Layton, Lord Duncastle, fears now that he acted too fast and chose a wife who will ruin him. Malicious gossip destroyed his father’s ambitions—and now he fears he is repeating his father’s mistakes. Can he find it in him to give his wife a second chance—or will he remake his marriage into a loveless match for the sake of his political career?