It Started with a Scandal
April 2015
Avon/HarperCollins


Lord Philippe Lavay once took to the high seas armed with charm as lethal as his sword and a stone-cold conviction: he'll restore his family's fortune and honor, no matter the cost. Victory is at last within reach--when a brutal attack snatches it from his grasp and lands him in Pennyroyal Green.

An afternoon of bliss brings a cascade of consequences for Elise Fountain. Shunned by her family and ousted from a job she loves, survival means a plummet down the social ladder to a position no woman has yet been able to keep: housekeeper to a frighteningly formidable prince.

The bold and gentle Elise sees past his battered body into Philippe's barricaded heart...and her innate sensuality ignites his blood. Now a man who thought he could never love and a woman who thought she would never again trust must fight an incendiary passion that could be the ruin of them both.





1) The Perils of Pleasure
2) Like No Other Lover
3) Since the Surrender
4) I Kissed an Earl
5) What I Did for a Duke
6) How the Marquess Was Won
7) A Notorious Countess Confesses
8) It Happened One Midnight
9) Between the Devil and Ian Eversea

 

 



 

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In which our heroine, Elise Fountain, gets her first look at Lord Lavay...

The loquacious Mrs. Winthrop went curiously silent as she led Elise through a labyrinth of Alder House's too-dark hallways. The candles hadn't been trimmed; a few were fitfully, smokily, burning in their sconces. Elise frowned. The house was handsome enough, but itn the rooms they swiftly passed, the fires burned low or not at all. She surreptitiously dragged a fingertip along the top of the wainscoting; she could feel dust cake it.

She saw no evidence of the rumored household staff.

They scaled a flight of marble stairs with a smooth, modest banister, and Mrs. Winthrop finally halted on the threshold of what appeared to be a study.

It was as dark and soft as a cave, but a huge leaping fire picked out glints from around the room, and Elise's eyes tracked them reflexively: the polished legs on a plumply upholstered settee and a pair of gorgeous chairs, the inlay on a small round table, the gilt on a framed map and the stand of a handsome globe, an empty crystal decanter, a tiny bottle of Sydenham's Laudanum on a sideboard, only half full.

She stopped when she reached the mirror-like toes of a pair of Hessians by the hearth.

And followed them all the way up.

Inside them stood a man.

A very tall man.

He in fact all but loomed; the firelight threw his shadow nearly to where she stood at the door.

Elise took an unconscious step back from it, as though it were a spill of lava.

His face was aimed rather pointedly at the window, as if he was expecting someone.

She followed his gaze curiously.

She just saw the same ceaseless slanting rain, like bars on a cell.

A spray of sparkling shards surrounded his feet. The remains of a vase, from the looks of things.

"Lord Lavay..."

Elise shot Mrs. Winthrop a worried look. The seemingly indefatigable Mrs. Winthrop's voice had gone faint. As if she suddenly didn't have enough air to form words.

The man turned. Slowly, as if he was the earth itself on its axis. Or as if an invisible sculptor was rotating him to present a finished work.

Voilà! Elise thought to herself. An attempt at bravado.

It was too late. She'd already sucked in her breath and tightened all of her muscles, like a creature who had stumbled across a predator in a clearing and wished to make herself unnoticeable.

He was so clearly of that singular species, The Aristocracy, that she might as well have bought a ticket to see him, the way she had once when her father had brought her, as a little girl, to see the Royal Menagerie in London.

He wasn't young. There was no softness to his face-not in the set of his mouth, or the burn of his gaze, or the severe right angles of his jaw. His beauty was austere and inarguable, and there was a palpable force to him, as if he had sprung from the earth due to violent underground activity, a bit like a mountain range. She thought about the things she'd been told about him.

Privateer. Soldier. Prince.

Power, violence, privilege.

He looked like all of the things he was purported to be.

Do we carry around our pasts so visibly? She wondered. Because if she so, she was certainly in trouble.

There was no denying that he frightened her.

And after a moment, this made her angry. She'd been so certain she was impossible to frighten after the events of the last five years. She could not afford to be frightened. She thought she deserved never to be frightened again.

She squared her shoulders.

Life is full of tests, children, she'd once primly told her students.

That was before she'd been tested.

{end of excerpt!}



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Praise for Julie Anne Long's work:


"You will LOVE the Pennyroyal Green series."
Julia Quinn, #1 NYT Bestselling Author

"Julie Anne Long reinvents the historical romance for modern readers, delivering intense, passionate characters and high adventure. Her writing glows."
Amanda Quick, NYT Bestselling Author

"A fresh voice that stands out in a chorus of Regency historicals, Julie Anne Long entrances with deftly woven humor, strong and believable characters, and a genuinely rich and emotional resolutions. Delicious and delightful!"
Karen Hawkins, NYT Bestselling Author



 

 



You can preorder now if the spirit moves you!

Amazon

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So what's this Pennyroyal Green series about?

The Pennyroyal 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 (and Captain Flint, The Earl of Ardmay)
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)    
Madame Marceau, Modiste (we first net her in TO LOVE A THIEF, which isn't a Pennyroyal Green book; she also had a cameo in THE SECRET TO SEDUCTION)    
     
Pennyroyal Green Series Places
     
The Pig & Thistle, pub   The Mercury Club (in London)
Miss Marietta Endicott's Academy for Girls (The School for Recalcitrant Girls)   The Velvet Glove (in London)
The Church    
The Gypsy encampment