Archive for August 16th, 2012

London’s most notorious rake and the one woman immune to his charms must come together to save a loved one in this tale of deception, intrigue, and undying love.

When the scandalous Lord Blackstone returns to London, fashionable ladies cast inviting glances his way and his friends celebrate his infamous amorous exploits. No one guesses that the lurid tales of his harem and the famous painting of his voluptuous mistress are a cover for an honorable promise and a secret mission to stop a deadly foreign agent.

Only one woman remains unmoved by Blackstone’s seductive ways. Banking heiress Violet Hammersley believes she has firm control over his passions and her life. That is, until her brother goes missing with a report vital to the British government–and the government puts Blackstone on the case. Now, if Violet wants to find her brother, she must work closely with the man who once broke her heart–without succumbing to the powerful impulse to fall for him again.



Hello to everyone at novelthoughts.  Thanks for inviting me to join you.  This week Blackstone’s Bride 2012, a story that’s like Jane Austen with spies, is in its third week in bookstores.  [Just a note about the title–both Teresa Southwick (1996) and Bronwyn Williams (2003) have written romances with the same title but entirely different stories.]


If you know the names of Harry Potter’s children, and you’d happily eavesdrop on Elizabeth Bennet teasing her Mr. Darcy as they stroll the beautiful grounds at Pemberley, this blog’s for you. Your imagination goes on spinning lives for your fictional friends even after you’ve closed the book and put it on the shelf. Just like you, authors have extra bits and pieces of their characters’ lives in their heads long after the manuscript has been turned into the editor.  So, for me, Blackstone and Violet have quite a busy fortnight between his proposal and their honeymoon.  I’ve included a scene of one stolen moment between them in a carriage.


Blackstone’s Wedding To Do List:


  • Bring mother and sisters from Bath and set them up in style in London.


  • Go to Doctors’ Commons to get a special license to marry Violet.  Blackstone needs twenty guineas for the license, so it’s a good thing Goldsworthy has made him an advance on his earnings.



  • Put a wedding notice in the papers.  Though Blackstone has suffered from the equivalent of what we today call “the tabloids,” he goes boldly about London unlike the infamous Lord Worsley, subject of a terrible scandal, who, humiliated by scandal, stayed away from parliament when his vote was needed to end Britain’s part in the American Revolutionary War.


  • Find a church and a parson willing to marry them.  (Hint: it won’t be St. George’s, and it won’t be the Reverend Arthur Rushbrooke.)



No paste this time.  Something splendid to wipe out all the unhappiness Violet suffered because of Blackstone’s famous signet, which you can see on my KateMooreAuthor page @ Facebook.  Maybe Blackstone will pick on old rose cut diamond flower ring.



  • Arrange a honeymoon trip to the coast.  Hastings would be nice.







Violet’s Wedding To Do List:


  • Meet Blackstone’s mother, the Dowager Baroness, and sisters and manage not to mind if they aren’t welcoming.


  • Select style and fabric for wedding gown and stand for fittings as seamstress friends work madly to make gown in time.  At Blackstone’s request, your gown will be white.  As unusual as a white gown is for the time, Blackstone insists that white suits Violet, his winter love.


  • Send invitations to a small number of friends and family.  Augusta Lowndes, your former governess, will help address the cards.


  • Engage florist to make a bouquet of herbs and white flowers.

Check out this blog about wedding related things in the UK for some gorgeous images.  The one to look at is “A Lavender Inspired Bridal Shoot.”  The bride’s bouquet would be perfect for Violet.



Photography 1827 is a new UK wedding blog aimed at brides, grooms, photographers and anyone else who enjoys contemporary, fine art and documentary style photography.


  • Engage baker to make cake.


  • Arrange a wedding breakfast in the courtyard of Hammersley House after the ceremony. Again, next time you’re in London, you might dine in the courtyard of the original Hammersley House.




Both lovers will be busy every moment of the day.  You can be sure that every page of Violet’s calendar will be filled with Blackstone.


The weather in London will be chancy at best in April, 1825, with showers likely—ask Kate and William, who also married in April–but the record shows that Sunday, April 17, 1825 was cloudy with no rain.  Whew!


Now that Violet has had a taste of espionage, she’s bound to want to help Blackstone on his next case.  After their honeymoon, of course.


Outtake scene.


A cold wet gust of April rain molded Violet’s skirts to her body and tugged at her bonnet as she stepped from her dressmaker’s door into the cobbled lane. She ducked her chin and clutched her skirts. She should be perfectly happy, but, of course, there was no perfect happiness.  In the past, she had been so sure of her happiness that she should know better now. This time as her wedding day approached, she should rein in her happiness.  She should remind herself that there would be rumors and gossip, that they had not yet won over his family, and that Papa still frowned more than she liked in the dowager Lady Blackstone’s company.   

Rain and dusk narrowed her view of the dark street. Her back and arms ached with standing for the fitting of her gown. She could just make out the opening at the end of the lane where her carriage waited.

“Miss.” A voice at her elbow startled her out of her thoughts.  She turned and found a man’s arm, clad in chocolate velvet livery offered for her support. A black umbrella snapped open above her head. Violet looked up to thank her footman, Tom, and came to an abrupt halt, her unruly skirts swirling about her.


“Miss me?” Blackstone grinned down at her, and urged her into motion toward the waiting carriage.

“Not al all.  I’ve been too busy.  You should see my calendar.”

“You should see mine.”

“Yours?  What can you possibly have to do? Catch spies and enemy agents?” Violet stopped, her brain working furiously to figure out the purpose of this disguise of his. They were a few feet from the waiting carriage.

“A great many things, all of which take too much time, and none of which seems worth recollecting at the moment.”

“Things such as borrowing livery from one of my footmen?”

“I had to see you.”

“You’ve seen me every day this fortnight.”


“Impatient, are you?” She grinned at him, her spirits lifting. He pulled her along.

“You can’t imagine.” They reached the carriage.  Violet’s coachman huddled on the box, conveniently engaged in tending to his horses. Now the moment had come. Violet looked up to see what Blackstone intended, but he only handed her the umbrella while he opened the carriage door and let down the steps. “Hop in, Violet.”

She was conscious of a small check in her rising happiness. That was it.  A few words in a dark lane. She shoved the umbrella at him and climbed up into the vehicle, throwing herself onto the bench.

 Blackstone followed in a distinctly unfootman-like way.

“You are a cheeky one, for a footman.” But she felt better at once.

He tossed the umbrella on the floor and slid onto the bench beside her.  “And about to get cheekier.”  

She watched him pull off his gloves and toss them aside. “You were the one who made the rule that we should observe a period of abstinence before our wedding.”

“Was I? It seemed a sensible idea at the time.” He undid the ribbons of her bonnet and began working the strings of her cape.  His strong warm hands brushed the wool from her shoulders. She shivered once, and his breath caught as his thumbs skimmed her collarbone.

Violet raised her chin. “Very sensible.  We should avoid scandal you said. But now?”

“Now, I need you to kiss me, Violet, thoroughly.”

She was happy to oblige of course. Happy to let him pull her slowly into his arms, happy to meet his kiss. It began just as a taste, a greeting, a reassurance. I’m here he seemed to say. It quickly escalated as his arms tightened around her. She loved his mouth on hers, the taut masculine pressure of it, the frank admission of need. He rearranged them, pulling her into his lap so that she straddled him in the rocking coach.  With yards of silk and wool between them, they could only press against one another, a rocking promise of nights to come. 

The carriage slowed, pulling to a halt.  Violet realized she had no idea where they were. Their breath, warm and ragged, fogged the cold interior.  Blackstone leaned his forehead against hers briefly. Their lips met sweetly one last time.  He released her, collected his gloves, and opened the carriage door.  He looked up from the pavement, a most disordered footman, the jacket of his livery askew,  rain glittering on his dark lashes. 

“Til Sunday, then, Violet.  I love you.” 

The door closed, and the coachmen set the horses in motion again. Violet leaned back against the cushions and let herself be happy, very, very happy.


To find out more about Kate Moore and her backlist, visit www.katemoore.com. And for a chance to win Blackstone’s Bride, just leave a comment below. Two winners will be drawn on Sunday. Good luck! 😀

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