The Perils of Pleasure

February 2008

A rescued rogue...

Scandal has rocked the city of London. Colin Eversea, a handsome, reckless, unapologetic rogue is sentenced to hang for murder and inconveniently for Colin, the only witness to the crime has disappeared. Then again, throughout history, Everseas have always managed to cheat fate in style: Colin is snatched from the gallows by a beautiful, clever mercenary.

A captivating captor...

Cool-headed, daring Madeleine Greenway is immune to Colin’s vaunted charm. Her mission is not to rescue Colin but to kidnap him, and to be paid handsomely for it. But when it becomes clear that whoever wants Colin alive wants Madeline dead, the two become uneasy allies in a deadly race for truth. Together they’ll face great danger—and a passion neither can resist.

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A little background: If you read the blurb above, you know our intrepid hero, one of the most popular criminals in recent English history, Colin Eversea, is snatched from the gallows, only to find himself still a captive— of an elusive and irritatingly intriguing woman. In this snippet of a scene, we're in an what Colin believes is a sort of abandoned basement, and he's still bound to a chair. For the moment. :)

As for Madeleine Greenway, she can't wait to free herself from Colin Eversea. But fate has other plans, naturally. [Note: and you can read another saucy, exclusive little excerpt over at Romantic Inks!]

Madeleine reached for a broom, but behind her the chair creaked; she turned her head swiftly just as Colin Eversea was turning his toward her. Her narrowed eyes met his bright pale ones in that sliver of sunbeam.

He went oddly motionless then, as if the very act of turning had winded him.


Colin knew this definitively at last, and it made no sense, given the algebra of her features. It was something his gut told him, rather than his eyes. And somehow the impression was so singular and total he needed a moment of stillness to absorb it.

And then the woman used a broom handle to slide the crate over the window, and they were in total darkness.

Just as Colin worked his wrists free from the last of his bindings.

He touched one hand to the other, surreptitiously, one old friend greeting another.

He heard a soft metallic clank—the sound of the handle of a lamp being lifted—followed by the strike of a flint, and then a feeble light flickered and pulsed into the room. The small lamp propped on the barrel illuminated a circle just large enough to encompass her and Colin, and only just lit the things beyond that circle, including the stairway.

She'd palmed the watch again and had just begun to hold it up to the lamp to review the time when the sound of a key rattled in the lock.

The woman whipped toward it so quickly Colin felt the breeze of her skirts.

She went still. Her surprise was palpable, and he could very nearly hear the hum of her mind as she reassessed her circumstances. Since her movements had thus far been obviously timed and precise and planned, this troubled him.

Though he still hadn't the faintest idea if she were friend or foe.

He froze as the doorknob turned and the door opened. Slowly, inexorably, with the slightest of creaks. In came an expanding wedge of sunlight, a gust of air...and a single footstep.

There was a brief pause.

And then another footstep as their visitor committed to entering the room.

The door began to creak shut under its own weight, but their visitor stopped it with a foot; they heard the soft, dull thud of an inserted boot. The rectangle of light remaining at the entrance threw a bulky, cloaked and hatted shadow against the wall.

The short hairs on the back of Colin's neck rose. He tensed the muscles of his thighs, and slowly, slowly, began to rise from the chair, which mercifully didn't creak at all. The woman didn't turn toward him; her eyes were fixed on the doorway.

"Greenway?" The shadow spoke. Hoarse and baritone. A disguised voice, Colin would have guessed.

The woman said nothing, but Colin heard a whisper of sound. His eyes sought the source: he saw her hands moving subtly in her skirts.

"Madeleine Greenway?" The hoarse voice seemed to need clarification.

Her uncertainty was tangible. Nevertheless, at last she said:

"Mission accomplished." Her voice low and steady.

The shadow shifted slightly, as Colin suspected it would. It had needed only to properly locate Madeleine to carry out its mission.

And Colin threw his body at her legs just as the pistol exploded.


She went down hard just as a sickening crunch of wood told them the ball had struck the pillar just feet away from them. Splinters sprayed like shrapnel; Colin threw his palms over his face, felt spikes of wood strike off his hands and shoulders. Something metallic skittered across the floor. Colin uncovered his eyes and saw on the dusty floorboards the unmistakable outline of a pistol.

Of course she would have a pistol. She must have dropped it when he'd thrown her to the floor.

Madeleine Greenway had rolled onto her side, and was propped on one elbow, her hand outstretched for the pistol. But Colin's arms were longer. He stretched and closed his hand over it—a decent stick, this one, and where in God's name had she hidden it on her person?—rolled onto his stomach, unlocked it—

Only to find the crack of light rapidly vanishing as the heavy door swung shut hard.

They were alone again.

"Who else has a damned key?" he rasped.

"Give my stick to me," Greenway—if that indeed was her name—hissed.

That was gratitude for you.

"Are you hurt?" he pressed, still struggling for breath. "Are you—"

"Give that stick to me right—"

"Christ," he said, and pushed himself upright, instead, ignoring her. He kept the pistol trained on her, half-dragged himself to the chair and lifted it in one hand, fully intending to jam it as quickly as possible beneath the doorknob at the top of the stairs. He had no intention of allowing her to leave until he had answers.

But God help him—that modest flight loomed like a mountain. His legs were still re-learning to walk without shackles.

Although fury might have helped propel him up.


She had pushed herself to her feet. It occurred to him that it had hardly been gentlemanly of him to leave her to accomplish that on her own, but then again, he also sensed the rules of chivalry didn't quite apply under these circumstances, given that this particular lady was demanding the return of her pistol—oh, correction, her stick— and given that he hadn't the slightest idea what she might do with him now. Someone had tried to kill her.

He wondered what incentive she now had to allow him to live.

"Cover me," she said tightly. "I'll do it. And faster," she added unnecessarily.

"Do what?" he demanded, angry now. A test. He'd aimed her pistol right between her breasts.

"The door. That's what you were about to do, was it not? Jam the door?"

A charged and complicated second followed. Did he trust her? No. Would she bolt out the door once up the stairs? Unlikely, given that someone who had just come through it had tried to kill her. Would he shoot her if she tried? She had no way of knowing. He had just saved her life, after all. Doubtless she would assume he wasn't eager to kill her.

So he nodded. After all, he was the one with the pistol. Unless she had another hidden on her person.

She limped a little as she passed him—carefully beyond his immediate reach—and cast an unreadable glance up at him. But she swung the chair up in both hands easily enough and she shook off the limp as she took the stairs, rapidly despite her skirts. Strong, for a small woman.

Then again, he'd heard madwomen possessed uncommon strength.

He kept the pistol trained on the door and on her, but because he was Colin Eversea and he did it like breathing, the admiring of women, he couldn't help but admire the line of her spine as she made her way up the stairs. There was something marvelous about the brisk grace with which she did everything.

She expertly wedged the back of the chair under the doorknob. And then, to his awe, she jammed the lock, too-by thrusting her own key hard into it. So she was no amateur at…at…

Whatever in God's name this was.

Who was this woman?

When she was on her way down the stairs once more, Colin obeyed an impulse. He examined the stick; handsome thing, ornately decorated with nacre over a grip that looked like polished walnut. Brass fittings. He locked the pistol and checked the pan. It was indeed loaded.

On impulse, on suspicion, he sniffed the powder.

And then handed the stick back to her.

"You can have your stick, Miss Greenway. Your powder is bad. You never would have got off a shot."

Madeleine stared at the pistol as though her favorite pet had turned snarling on her. She recovered swiftly and took it gingerly from Colin Eversea, her mind spinning. She couldn't speak.

"Who the devil are you, Madam?" Colin Eversea's voice was low and furious.

"Madeleine Greenway," she said faintly. "I believe you heard the man." It was difficult to speak over the clamor in her mind. Who had just tried to kill her?

And then a sudden realization set her world on end: she wasn't entirely certain she would know bad powder from good. She was brilliant, she could shoot the heart out of a target, but if Eversea was right…

She was a fraud. Because she was a woman, and didn't know good powder from bad, and she hadn't noticed Colin Eversea's bindings were loose enough for him to free himself.

"What are you, Madam? What is the meaning of this?"

"I was hired to rescue you, Mr. Eversea. And someone just tried to kill me. It all seems rather obvious to me." Her answers were curt and distant. She wished he would stop talking. It was noise to her.

She needed to leave now.

Because she needed to have a little word with Mr. Croker.

"Obvious? Who hired you? Did my family hire you? You?"

Colin Eversea sounded baffled and incensed. Well, that made two of them.

"I don't know who hired me, Mr. Eversea. I never do. The transactions begin with my broker."

"The transactions?"

"Yes. With Mr. Croker," she clarified impatiently.

"Croker the broker?" And now Colin Eversea sounded bewildered and a little incredulous.

She hadn't the patience or time for this. "Mr. Eversea, I wish I could say it had been a pleasure, but it's urgent that I leave now. If you'll ex—"

"Who arranged for Croker the Broker to hire you? Are you telling me it wasn't my family?"

"Your family was never mentioned to me." She said this in a rush and took two steps backward. She didn't owe him any information. She was, in fact, sorry she'd said anything at all.

"Then who?" He demanded. "And who wanted to leave me tied?"

She'd said too much. "Mr. Ever—"

"Help me, Miss Greenway. Take me to Croker. I need to talk to him."

"Mr. Ever—"

"I killed no one," he said curtly.

"I don't ca—"

"I. Killed. No. One."

The words neatly cleaved her sentence.

Madeleine stared back at him. His face was still partly in shadow. Anger, or fear, or weakness—he'd been in prison for a few months, after all—made his breathing audible.

Panic had begun to amplify her own sense or urgency. Colin Eversea could be a martyr; he could be Satan's minion. She simply didn't care. She resented the need to consider Colin Eversea at all. He'd been cargo she'd been paid to liberate and the portal to her future, and for a few minutes, he'd been her greatest triumph.

And now her future was unraveling and she was penniless and he was nothing but a burden.

She would find answers more quickly on her own.

"I killed no one, Miss Greenway." His tone was quieter now, his control regained, but the words were still taut. "I believe someone made Horace Peele disappear, because someone wanted me to hang. And now it seems someone wants me to live…but on their terms. I want answers. I need your help."

Madeleine was distantly amused that the bloody man hadn't yet said 'please.'

Yet he seemed genuinely bewildered and righteously furious, and weary, and…

He's too thin.

The traitorous thought crept in beneath the panic from some other place within her, and once she had thoughts like those, Colin Eversea would become a person to her, and this she could simply not afford.

"I'm sorry, but you're as weak as a kitten, Mr. Eversea."

There might have been a kernel of apology in her soft scorn, but as soon as she uttered the last word she whipped around for the window to leave Colin Eversea to his fate.

She'd scarcely taken one step when her body was jerked backwards. In less time than it took to gasp, she was unable to move at all.

A heartbeat's worth of disorientation later Madeleine understood what had happened: Colin Eversea had managed to snap out his hand, seize her arms and twist her around to face him. Magically, the angle at which he held her—her arms bent upward so that her fists nearly met her chin—immobilized her all but completely.

He now stood scarcely an inch away from her, so close she could feel within an instant the heat of his body. With it rose a slightly dank odor, which must have been hiding in the folds of his beautiful, limp coat. Eau de Newgate.
There was nothing at all gentlemanly about his grip.

Too curious, and frankly, too certain of herself to be truly afraid, Madeleine tilted her head back. In the lamplight, his Newgate pallor made his eyes brilliant, nearly feverish, and now she could see they were an unusual shade, more green than blue, but not decisively either color. She'd seen that color just once before: in the sky just before a thunderstorm. They were set deep above strong cheekbones, and dark hollows of sleeplessness curved beneath. The pallid light outlined the slightly too-pronounced bones of his face, the broad planes and elegant hollows, that bold nose. A long face, but it suited him. Long lashes, too.

This last absurd observation floated across her awareness, welcome as a gnat.

She mentally batted it away, freed herself with some difficulty from his gaze and frowned faintly down at the large hand encircling her arm.

It had been a breathtakingly quick maneuver. How on earth would he have known how to—

"War," he said with grim humor, surprising her by answering that unspoken question. "And three older brothers who taught me to fight."

In the brief silent stalemate that followed, Eversea's grip eased not at all, and a pye man's enthusiastic bellow, the very sound of optimism, came to them through the walls. One could always count on a hanging to stimulate appetites, even if the hanging never actually took place. The world outside was clearly beginning to right itself.

For a dizzying moment, Madeleine felt as if she existed outside of time. Regardless of the outcome of this moment, whether she or Colin Eversea lived beyond today, London would go on as usual, closing over the hole they'd left the way a river fills in the dimple left by a skipped stone.

"Impressive, I grant you, Mr. Eversea." Madeleine said quietly. She'd decided to appeal to his sense of chivalry, even as her heart beat in time with the precious seconds she was losing. "But I'm still stronger than you are at the moment. I assure you I shall be safer without you. And as you are a gentleman, I would ask that you unhand me, and leave me to go."

"I saved your life." It wasn't a petulant statement. It sounded like the curt resumption of a negotiation by someone who suddenly found himself with the upper hand.

"Then we are even, as I saved yours, Mr. Eversea. Release me, please." She shifted her eyes, which gave her a view straight up into his nose. Reluctantly she shifted her gaze back to those unexpectedly compelling eyes and gave a minute, reflexive tug at the same time.

His grip budged not a hair.

"Ah, but you were paid to save my life, Miss Greenway. I saved your lovely hide voluntarily. Which means your act was commerce, and mine was…" Colin paused. "…virtue."

To his credit, that last word did arrive with a whiff of irony.

"Correction, Mr. Eversea—it would have been commerce, if I had been paid. I was instead fired upon for my services, and this, I hardly need point out, would not have happened had I not rescued you from what was very likely your just desserts."

She'd meant to goad him. This was a bad sign. It meant he'd managed to stir either her temper or her pride, both of which were formidable, and either of which could cause an inconvenient tipping of her precious equilibrium.

It meant she had begun to panic in earnest.

"In short," she continued quickly, "you are bad luck, Mr. Eversea. I would prefer to be on my way without hurting you, but regardless, I shall go. And I assure you that I know a variety of ways to hurt you, despite our current…" she gave another minute tug of her wrists; they budged not at all. "…position."

Hmm. Well, she could drive her knee into his—

Almost absently, Colin Eversea planted both his booted feet around her feet, trapping them.


They were so close his knees were virtually between her legs. It was perhaps the most intimate she'd been with any man in…well, it wasn't as though she'd actually kept count of the days.

The corners of the devil' s mouth turned up into a faint, hard smile.

"You might very well have a point regarding my current physical condition, Miss Greenway. But I've lately learned that desperation is astonishingly motivating. Care to take the measure my desperation?"

She'd seen any number of desperate men in her day; desperation, in fact, rather kept her in blunt. But none had looked quite like this, however. Or spoken quite like this. With obvious intelligence, or a penchant for irony, or a gentlemanly menace.

"You need me," he pressed a few heartbeats later. It was a guess on his part, and a good one. "My family is wealthy."

"I need you to release me," she corrected.

"You need me because my family will pay for my safe return," he corrected bluntly. "They shall be…happy to have me returned alive to them, regardless."

Interesting hesitation. "You don't sound convinced."

His smile was rueful, but this time it reached his eyes. "I'm not. At least, I'm not certain they all will be happy. But I am certain you will be paid to return me to them. For we've honor, you see. We Everseas do." More irony. "And something tells me it's urgent that you're paid."

"Mr. Eversea, more specifically, it's urgent that I am paid very quickly. I haven't time to waste on—"

"Ah, once again we are in accord, then, as it's urgent that I return to Pennyroyal Green quickly. It's beginning to feel a bit like destiny, wouldn't you agree, Miss Greenway?"

Mrs., she almost corrected. Though it hardly seemed relevant anymore.

"Why do you need to return urgently?" she demanded instead. She wanted a fact, something convincing, by way of collateral. She wanted proof his urgency equaled her own.

"I need to stop a wedding in Sussex. And I need to prove my innocence before I do it."

Oh, for God's sake. Excessive sentimentality ought to be a hanging offense.

"Who is this paragon?" He wasn't the only one who could construct a sentence out of irony. "I imagine her name is Louisa."

"She's not a paragon. She's a flesh and blood woman. And she belongs with me."

The words were terse. The sun rises in the east. It's dark at night. She belongs with me. Same tone. There was an odd, faint answering echo of pain somewhere inside Madeleine when she heard them. She took in a deep breath.

"If this is true, whom is she marrying instead?" There was no pain Madeleine's sharp mind and a sharp retort couldn't blunt.

Another of those funny, brief hesitations followed. "My brother Marcus."

Ah. So he'd decided to be honest, as that confession could not have been pleasant for him.

For her part, she'd decided to be relentless. "So it's your brother who has the family money."

This was clearly a little too accurate, as his grip on her tightened infinitesimally.

"My brother had the advantage of not being in Newgate."

"Presumably because he didn't stab a gentleman to death in a pub?"

She'd gone too far. His eyes went dark, his mouth opened abruptly, and it occurred to her too late that she might not like to make this man truly angry. But then—

But then he surprised her. He closed his mouth over whatever retort he'd planned, and his brows came together in a sort of puzzlement, and he studied her for an unblinking moment. Before her eyes, some sort of realization gradually lit his. That frown tilted up at one corner and…

Damned if it didn't become a nearly tender smile. As though he understood something about her she didn't quite understand yet.

"Presumably," he said, and his words were gentle now. "Then again, as I said before, neither did I. It's just that I simply cannot seem to prove it." Self-deprecating humor in the words. He was actually trying to soothe her.

A wee taste, then, of Colin Eversea's vaunted charm. It enveloped, sliding in through chinks she didn't know she had. Madeleine hadn't the faintest idea how to deflect it. She stood, for the first time in longer than she could recall, without the upper hand.

It was terrifying.

With some difficulty, Madeleine tore her gaze away. Ah, that did the trick. Her wits re-congregated and presented her with a triumphant realization.

"Have you any sisters, Mr. Eversea?"

He went still, clearly surprised. And then head went back a little on a genuine, appreciative little laugh. Acceding a point.

"Yes, I have two sisters, as a matter of fact. Which is how I know very well that women aren't quite the fragile, helpless creatures most men think they are. Or they would like men to think they are…when it suits them."

It was both an acknowledgement and a warning, and somehow it was just the right thing to say.

Quite unexpectedly he released his grip at last and took a step backward, his palms up.

And just when she was growing accustomed to that Newgate smell.

She rubbed at her wrists eloquently and stared up at him. Not a trace of guilt altered his handsome face. Damnation. She stopped rubbing, as her wrists weren't really troubling her.

"Have we an honorable agreement to help each other, then?"

Oh, not this. It never failed to amaze her: men and their bloody frivolous attachment to the notion of honor. Her own notions of right and wrong were instinctive and, in truth, quite flexible.

"Yes," she humored, tamping impatience. She could revise her version of an honorable agreement at any time, she decided.

"Shall we shake hands, then?"

There was a glimmer of something about his mouth. Ah. And now she knew he'd been being a devil. She wasn't eager to give her hand or any of her other limbs back to him and he knew it. Still, he might as well know she wasn't afraid of anything.

She thrust a hand out, he closed his large warm hand over hers and gave it a firm shake as though she were any gent, and released it as though the touch of a strange woman's bare hand moved him not at all, while her thoughts, for a shocking instant, were altogether vanquished simply by the heat of his fingers closing over hers.

Keep reading for another saucy little excerpt, or go
ahead and
preorder The Perils of Pleasure at Amazon now, if the mood takes you!


It was early summer; hedgerows were a riot of Hawthorne blossoms, horse chestnuts, beeches and the occasional old oak stood sentry over the roads, and songbirds rustled amongst all the greenery. Up ahead, around the bend, Madeleine could see the branches of an enormous oak splaying out in every direction, taking up more than its share of roadside.

“Do you know what I haven’t done?” Colin said suddenly. He stopped, allowed her to catch up with him.

She brushed tears of laughter and gave an indelicate sniff. “Very little, if you believe the broadsheets.”

“I haven’t yet kissed you.”

And then he snatched hold of her hand and pulled her behind that oak, barely giving her time to squeak.

Blessed shade the tree provided, with arms that splayed everywhere like a mad octopus. It hid two of them from the road, but not from the gaze of a gently curious sheep, who paused in its grass cropping to stare. Colin spun her about and had her up against it in a thrice, pinned between his arms, and he towered over her, staring down for a moment. At the stars in my eyes or my great white forehead? She wondered.

“Don’t—” she began nervously.

“Don’t what, Mad?” Colin laughed softly, in a voice that stroked up her spine like velvet. His arms dropped from the tree, went around her waist; he pulled her hips hard against his hips, very familiarly; she felt the outline of everything male about him. “Don’t…what?” He whispered it this time, and when his hands went up to her face, it was she who closed her arms around his slim waist, flattening her hands to feel the hard muscles of his back, keeping him pulled close to her body, keeping the two of them groin to groin. She wanted to feel again the heat of his body over the entire length of her.

His knuckles dragged softly over her cheeks, and she closed her eyes, because his eyes were too merry and too hot and too soft and too knowing, and she, at the moment, didn’t want to be known by a man who had known nearly every woman in London, if rumors were true.

She did want to be kissed.

And then his fingers opened to feather across her ears, along her throat, the nape of her neck, and she felt her head tip back trustingly into his hands.

Cradling it, he touched his lips very, very softly to the pulse in her throat.

“Oh, Mad.” It was half sigh, half soft laugh.

Colin dragged his lips softly from the arch of her throat, to her ear, to her lips, which were parted, while her eyes were still closed.

“Now I’ll kiss you properly,” he murmured.

She knew how to do this. She’d done it before. Her body knew where it wanted to be touched, and how it wanted to fit against his, and oddly nothing had ever seemed more right. And still somehow it became a little battle, as it always was with the two of them, in part because Madeleine only felt safe in the midst of battle. Their lips brushed, bumped, nipped softly, Madeleine now afraid to surrender to this. Too late she recalled how a kiss sometimes had the power to split one dangerously, vulnerably open. More so even than lovemaking.

“Shhhh,” he whispered against her mouth, although she wasn’t making a sound. It was as though he wanted to soothe the battle inside her. “Shhhhh.”

His hands were at the back of her neck, soothing, stroking, and he brushed his lips over hers, urged hers apart with tender strokes of his tongue, sending a rain of silver sparks down her spine, and she gave a sigh. It was part pleasure, part some unexpressed sadness. The sound of something released.

Madeleine’s hands slid up to the hard blades of his shoulders, pulling him closer, and her lips fell open beneath his. His tongue, at first, was a gentle invader, warm, velvety soft, finding and twining with hers softly in a tentative foray.

He took his lips away from hers, looked into her eyes, as though looking for some sort of answer, or wanting to see what the kiss had done to hers. His own eyes were hazy with desire.

And then his firm, clever lips took hers again, more decisively this time, and she was ready. Her arms slid up his chest to wrap round his neck, and he pulled her into his body, and his iron-hard arousal pressing against her was a maddeningly erotic contrast to his soft lips, his soft tongue. He drove the kiss deeper, and she met him; their tongues touching and tangling, part dance, part duel. He moaned softly, the sound of it vibrating in his chest beneath her hands. He withdrew his tongue to bite her bottom lip gently, a sensation startling and erotic.

Then he took her mouth again, ferociously this time, and she took as much as he did, devouring, needing him deeper into her body. He tasted sweet and dark and as she kissed him everything in her was melting, dissolving, until Madeleine knew that terrifying, exhilarating sense of having no other existence outside the heady, penetrating bliss of this kiss.

And then Colin suddenly broke the kiss with a gasp.

He tucked his cheek against hers. His whiskers rasped at her delicate skin; his breath was hot and swift the crook of her neck.

He was quiet for a long time. His arms loosened on her.

Confused and strangely bereft, Madeleine’s clung to him for a moment longer. Then her arms loosened about him, too, uncertainly.

“Just a kiss,” he whispered, sounding dazed.

She didn’t quite understand what he meant.

They remained close but not nearly as close as moments before, their breathing slowing to before-kiss rhythms.

Colin lifted his head up, looked down into her eyes. He looked as if he was considering whether to speak.

“Did you love him, Mad?”

The question surprised her so completely that she didn’t have time to disguise the truth, and she was certain it was written all over her face.

Why did he do this? How did he do this?

“Life can be the very devil sometimes, can’t it?” he said softly.

She stared at him.

“The very devil,” she agreed thickly, after a moment.

He smiled down at her, as only Colin Eversea could smile.

And when he took her by the hand back out to the road Madeleine felt feeling as though she’d been thrown from the moon back down to earth.




4 1/2 Stars Top Pick from Romantic
Times BOOKClub Magazine!

"Long’s star continues to rise with each new emotionally powerful, wonderfully rich novel. Incorporating the perfect depth of emotion into a romance rich in passion and character, she creates memorable love stories. Even a tried-and-true captive/captor plot feels new in her capable hands." —Kathe Robin


A- Desert Isle Keeper
from All About Romance

"This is the best romance I have read in a long time. To start with, the novel’s prologue and first chapter are brilliant. Within the space of only 18 pages, Long manages not only to start her story story with a bang, but also to introduce two families in such a way that I immediately wanted to read novels about each family member...Some sentences are so poignant that they took my breath away.... Do yourself a favor, get yourself a copy and enjoy. And make sure that you have nothing else important to do once you have started it." —Rike Horstmann


"Mesmerizing"—Library Journal

"A fiction fan doesn’t love all fiction, and an avid romance reader doesn’t love all romances. But Julie Anne Long is one author to recommend to anyone who loves to read, period...The plot keeps you guessing, but it is the verbal acumen and inner dialog that are riveting here. Long’s way with language and character is mesmerizing."—Bette-Lee Fox of Library Journal



"It will keep your blood racing, captivate your senses and enchant
you with each page." —Haven Rich, Romantic Inks


"Warm, witty and fabulous!"
NYT Bestselling author Suzanne Enoch


Five Blue Ribbons at Romance Junkies!

"Charming, fast-pace and exciting, brimming with adventure, passion, secrets and intrigue...I couldn't put it down until I devoured every last word" —Maria Shaink, Romance Junkies


From Coffee Time Romance:

" moving story that just engulfs the reader with every page...Colin and Madeline are a dynamite duo and their interactions are fantastic." —Cherokee Sanders


From Romance Reviews Today:

"Well paced, romantic and suspenseful, with underlying sexual tension...THE PERILS OF PLEASURE should go on your to-buy list." Marilyn Heyman





So what's this Pennyroyal Green series about?

The Pennryoyal Green series takes us through the lives, passions, adventures and misadventures of the denizens of Pennyroyal Green, Sussex, England, a town anchored by the wealthy Eversea and Redmond families —whose relations are civil on the surface, but seethe beneath with ancient secrets and grudges and —naturally — attractions. :) We'll follow these folks wherever their passions take them —whether it's London, the gallows, a ballroom, a bedroom, the high seas, or the Sussex downs. I have major plans for these people. :) The stories are loosely connected and characters recur, but not in every book. A number of Pennyroyal Green characters will get their own stories—not just Everseas and Redmonds—and each story can be read independently of each other. Collect 'em all! LOL. The first book in the series is The Perils of Pleasure. You can find alittle background on the legend of the town and the origins of the feud between the Everseas and Redmonds in the prologue of POP, too. :)

Here's a quick Pennyroyal Green series "cast of characters." When characters are featured prominently in a specific book, I'll link to the book or make a note of it. This list will grow over time, may even sprout more branches and family names, and I'll expound a little more on each character in this space as we get to know each of them a little better throughout the series.

The Everseas
The Redmonds
Jacob Eversea—Patriarch   Isaiah Redmond—Patriarch
Isolde Eversea—Matriarch   Fanchette Redmond—Matriarch
Marcus Eversea—oldest son (POP)   Lyon Redmond—oldest son

Colin Eversea (Madeleine Greenway)

  Miles Redmond (Cynthia Brightly)
Ian Eversea   Violet Redmond
Chase Eversea   Jonathon Redmond
Olivia Eversea   Lisbeth Redmond (cousin)
Genevieve Eversea   Roland Tarbell (cousin and deceased; see POP)
Other Pennyroyal Green Denizens:
Ned Hawthorne—owner and proprietor of the Pig & Thistle, ancient pub   Louisa Porter
Polly Hawthorne—Ned Hawthorne's daughter    
Martin Culpepper    
Frances Cooke    
Miss Marietta Endicott— headmistress of Miss Endicott's Academy for Young Women (referred to as the School for Recalcitrant girls by the townspeople)    
Other Series Characters
Mr. McBride, apothecary we first meet him in To Love a Thief, which isn't a Pennyroyal Green book)    
Mr. Croker, scalliwag    
Eleanor, Countess Malmsey    
Harry the Footman    
Dr. William August    
Horace Peele (and Snap the dog)    
Other Pennyroyal Green Places
The Pig & Thistle, pub   The Mercury Club
Miss Marietta Endicott's Academy for Girls (The School for Recalcitrant Girls)    
The Church    
The Gypsy encampment