Alina K. Field joins us this week
Thank you for having me as your guest today, Caroline!
I love historical romance that draws on the current events of the story world. (Your most recent novel, The Reluctant Bride, does that beautifully!) So when I came up with the idea for a series about the children of a semi-retired spy lord, I knew I had to bring in events of the time.
The series begins in the summer of 1819. The allies had vanquished Napoleon a few years before, so the world had entered a period of blissful peace. Or not! The post-war era was one of economic and social upheaval, the Barbary pirates were active, a new pirate war had kicked off in the Caribbean, and there were still wars of independence going on in other parts of the new world.
Book one of the series, The Bastard’s Iberian Bride, takes place in the summer of 1819, around the time of the Peterloo Massacre. For the next book, I moved ahead a year and a half, to January 1821. King George III had died the previous January; the Cato Street Conspiracy had been uncovered and the conspirators executed; an insurrection in Scotland, the Radical War, was foiled and those traitors executed; a Parliamentary election was held; and George IV was preparing for his grand coronation ceremony and fighting to keep his wife from being crowned Queen of England.
This is the setting for book two in this series, The Viscount’s Seduction. I’ve covered my research into Irish history (the heroine is an Irish earl’s daughter) and the London plumbing and sewers of the era in other posts (follow the links, if you’re interested). Of course, very little of the details make it into the story, but that’s as it should be!
And, hmm, this coronation picture of George IV’s with his train “borne by eight sons of Peers and the Master of the Robes” is giving me an idea for how to keep Viscount Bakeley out of the picture for Book four of the series!
About the Book
Searching for the Truth
Lady Sirena Hollister has lost her family, her home, and even her fey abilities, but somehow the fairies have handed her an unexpected chance at a Season in London. From her place on the fringes of high society, she resolves to find the truth about her only brother’s vanishing, and settle her family’s score with the wily English Spy Lord, the Earl of Shaldon. Soon enough, her schemes stir up an unknown enemy…and spark danger of a different sort, in the person of the Earl’s handsome heir, Viscount Bakeley.
Seducing the Beauty
The impertinent hoyden Bakeley met years earlier was as wild as her Irish roots, and just as unlucky. And she’s still an Irish traitor’s sister! But Lady Sirena has grown into a beauty whose charm and courage intrigue him. When danger threatens, Bakeley comes to her rescue, risking scandal, the ton’s disapproval, his interfering father’s ire…and his own heart.
Thump-thump. “Go and rescue that fool. He’s attempting to stand up with her again,” Lord Shaldon said.
“Go. I know you’re in no danger of beguilement.”
“I’m in no danger of getting another glass of punch either.”
He searched the room for his brother’s tawny hair. Charley was indeed preparing to stand up again with the same partner. Nodding to acquaintances, he wove through the crowd, reached his brother, and moved him aside.
And his heart launched into a gallop. The beauty that Charley was with—and she was a rare beauty—stared soulfully up at him. The blondest of hair shimmered and gray eyes glowed luminous in the light of many candles.
“How do you do?” Only manners honed by many years of encounters with the fairer sex kept him from stumbling over his words. He bowed. “Charles, Father commands your appearance. I am Bakeley, miss. I hope you do not mind dancing with an older brother.”
Charley sighed, and then shrugged, a grin spreading. “My apologies, my lady. This is not a proper introduction, but it will have to do. This is my brother, Lord Bakeley.”
The lady’s cheeks went unaccountably pink and she ducked her head in a curtsey.
Drat. She perhaps knew him, but he didn’t recognize her. So she was a lady, and beautiful. Was she also rich?
They took their place in the line. Damn, but he should have examined her when Charley had picked her out.
When she moved in a turn around the next gentleman, he looked her over as discreetly as possible. She was a thin little thing in her blue silks, not as plump as he normally liked. What he knew about dresses was almost nothing, but this one seemed to fit with the current fashions, though it had less of the flounces, ribbons, and fluttering pieces.
Which, in his estimation was good.
And it was not white, which meant she was not making her first bows.
A widow, perhaps. She smiled up at him on the next turn. A young widow, and not terribly willing. That smile had been tight and polite.
They went down the middle together and waited through a set. “I don’t believe we’ve met before. Is your family in town for the Season? Is your husband active in Parliament?”
She blinked and her eyes widened.
Not married, then. “I beg your pardon. Your title is from your father?”
They were interrupted again by the need to turn, and he concentrated momentarily on the dance.
When they came together again, her lips had curved up and her eyes gleamed with humor. “You are Shaldon’s heir, are you not?”
More infernal turning. Would this dance never end so he could find out who she was?
They marched down the center together again. Where her hand touched his arm, he felt a delicate heat.
“And isn’t this always the problem, Lord Bakeley, when a lord and lady dispense with a proper introduction?”
He heard it then: the slightest lilt, the tiniest burr. They parted to go round the next couple in line and came together again.
“You are Irish.”
The dance ended and she curtsied, dipping her chin and rising again with a grin.
About the Author
Award winning author Alina K. Field earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and German literature, but her true passion is the much happier world of romance fiction. Though her roots are in the Midwestern U.S., after six very, very, very cold years in Chicago, she moved to Southern California and hasn’t looked back. She shares a midcentury home with her husband, her spunky, blonde, rescued terrier, and the blue-eyed cat who conned his way in for dinner one day and decided the food was too good to leave.
She is the author of several Regency romances, including the 2014 Book Buyer’s Best winner, Rosalyn’s Ring. She is hard at work on her next series of Regency romances, but loves to hear from readers!
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