The Rake and the Bishop’s Daughter – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

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Society’s beloved wastrel, Sir Harry Collyns, pushes his popularity past the point of acceptability when he poses for a statue that creates a social uproar. People line up for blocks to see Handsome Harry in the nude, sculpted by a female artist! Bored with the fuss and scandal, Harry hitches up his fastest team, heads for the country, and a near fatal curricle accident. When the bandages are removed from his head days later, he discovers the angel-voiced widow who’d cared for him is neither elderly nor as mild as her tone, but a straight-laced do-gooder unimpressed with his flamboyant past and dashing good looks. Head-battered and heading for a broken heart, he falls into love with Widow Olivia St. Clair, who might be the one woman in England that Harry can’t charm into loving him back.

Enjoy an exclusive excerpt:

“I wish you wouldn’t run away, Harry.”

Lying on his back on a blanket spread across the grass on a soft summer day, Sir Harry Collyns looked up at Lady Asterly, who reclined on a nearby chaise lounge wearing a lavender tulle frock and a scowl.

“Nothing else for it, Lizzie.”

Sunlight peeked through the leaves of the towering oak. Bright dots flickered over her disgruntled moue, which made him laugh. It sounded forced, mainly because he didn’t want to talk about why he needed to leave. Disappointment and concern clouded her expressive hazel eyes. He didn’t much like it when she did that. It hurt as much as it made him feel guilty.

In an attempt to change the prickly subject, he said, “It’s been two years and I’m still trying to figure out how my brother managed to catch you. You’re too rich and intelligent for him. The only sensible conclusion is that you would’ve been much better off marrying me.”

“Stuff and nonsense! You know compliments won’t work with me, and I’ll not let you use them to avoid this issue. Fleeing at the height of this scandal will only make matters worse. Especially since it comes so quickly on the heels of the last one.”

“Set it down to the price of popularity. Let’s find a happier subject.”

“Harry, everyone knows she’s a liar, just as everyone knows your only associations are with widows.”

“You mean affairs,” he teased, hoping to dislodge her from the subject.

“My point is that you’d never jilt a girl.”

He stood and looked down into her troubled gaze. She started to say something, then stopped the words with a shake of her head. He tapped the end of her nose and smiled at her worried gaze.

“Don’t fret, love. I’m fine. I just need to get away and rethink things.”

“You are so much more than what you allow the world to see, Harry.”

About the Author: Julia Donner (aka M.L.Rigdon) grew up in historic Galena, IL, USA, and spent most of her time in the museum of her aunt, who encouraged her interest in history and understood the need to cherish a dream. She started writing in secret in her teens and never stopped, merging it with her mother’s encouragement to study theater and music, which led to performing in the Midwest, California and as far away as Austria.

Donner never forgot what it was like to write alone as a girl and is a happy member of Summit City Scribes. Concern for the failing educational system led her to develop Your Futures in Ink, a panel of local and regional authors, who go into to schools to encourage students and answer questions about writing.

THE TIGRESSE AND THE RAVEN, first book in the regency Friendship Series, is an RWA contest finalist. The ninth book in the series, A ROGUE FOR MISS PRIM and the tenth, AN AMERICAN FOR AGNES, are available now. A LAIRD’S PROMISE will be released by Spring 2018.

M.L Rigdon (aka Julia Donner)

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