I recently sent my editor the manuscript for the third book in The Rarest Blooms series. It is titled Sinful in Satin. This is Celia’s story, and she is paired with the mysterious Jonathan Albrighton, whom readers met toward the end of Provocative in Pearls.
When Celia’s mother, the famed Venus known as Alessandra Northrope, passes away, Celia decides to strike out on her own and build a life for herself. Her mother’s need to keep up appearances for her noble patrons meant that little comes to her daughter as a legacy—only some personal items, a small house in London—and the opportunity to step into her mother’s place, as she was trained to do.
Celia embarks on her future, tries to learn the identity of her father, and faces the world’s assumptions that of course she will become a courtesan like Alessandra. Complicating her plans and decisions is Jonathan, an investigator for the Home Office who, unbeknownst to her, has been sent to pry into her mother’s past. When he finds a way to be ever-present in Celia’s world and life, she must decide what to do about the powerful attraction she feels for him—and whether he will be her “first man”, as either a lover or a protector. Betrayals, intrigues, and debts long uncollected create conflicts for them and between them.
These two characters have much in common to draw them together, but also much to keep them apart. Jonathan’s experiences have made him dark, cynical, and at times hard. In Celia he sees an honesty and internal radiance so in contrast to his own murky soul. He is aware that Celia was not raised like most women—in fact Jonathan first met her years earlier, when she was living in her mother’s house and being prepared for a very special launch into a very special society.
The sensuality that develops between these two is inevitable and intense, and eventually changes them both—their expectations and their goals, and even their own identities.
For those of you who have been reading this series, you may be glad to know that the Duke of Castleford once more plays a prominent secondary role in this story, and a critical one in the plot. And for those thinking that he should have been paired with Celia—what can I say? The muse did not dictate that story, but this one. Besides, the incorrigible Castleford needs a woman who will bring him to his knees, and who won’t be too impressed with him. There is one waiting in the next book who is more than formidable enough to take him on. She will learn to her dismay, however, that Castleford relishes a challenge.
I want to thank all the readers and booksellers who helped make the first two books in the series, Ravishing in Red and Provocative in Pearls such successes. Both made the New York Times bestseller list and also that of USAToday, and Provocative in Pearls was on both papers’ printed list of top sellers. I love writing this series, and your support has really been appreciated!
P.S. A reminder that I blog over at The Goddess Blogs, All of my social media addresses and IDs can be found on my Contact page.