A dashing new neighbour…
Temptation on her doorstep!
To avoid an unwanted suitor at a ball, Hope Brookes asks another gentleman to rescue her. He obliges – with a surprisingly passionate kiss! Revealed as her sinfully handsome new neighbour, Lucius, Marquess of Thundersley, they forge a friendship over their balconies. It’s refreshing that Lucius is more interested in her writer dreams than her looks, so why can’t she stop thinking about that kiss?
I never knew my father’s mother.
She died before I was born at the relatively young age of 65—but if the photographs were to be believed she looked a very old lady by then. She has always fascinated me. Her four sons always spoke of her fondly but were always careful in their choice of anecdotes. Her daughters-in-law would sometimes let slip in whispered conversations that she could be a difficult woman, reclusive and unpredictable. I still have no clue which version of her was the real one and suspect it was an amalgamation of both.
What I do know is that she had my father in her late 40s and was ashamed to have become pregnant at that age. That when he was only a few weeks old, her home in East London was destroyed during the Blitz and she was rehoused miles away from her family. That she attempted suicide and was committed to the insane asylum. And that the stigma of her mental illness was so great nobody ever spoke of it.
Because of that, the history surrounding such issues has always fascinated me. In this book, alongside the quirky love story, I wanted to weave in some of my years of research to highlight the awful things that happened but also to show how far we have moved on as a society. That said, The Marquess Next Door isn’t a traumatic read! Far from it in fact, as it revolves around two quirky characters who begin their unlikely relationship thanks to far too much champagne at a party. Hope Brookes is a cynical, aspiring author of macabre gothic novels who is desperate to be taken seriously but isn’t because she looks like sin incarnate. Luke Duff is a newly minted and reluctant Marquess from sleepy Cornwall who is a complete fish out of water in snobby London society. From the top of his shaggy, bearded and long-haired head to the tips of his enormous boots he looks like trouble. And in many ways he is because from the moment he stumbles on Hope under the stars in a dark garden, everything she thinks she knows about men is turned completely upside down…
Thank you, Virginia Heath and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. Despite that, it still takes her forever to fall asleep.
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