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Authors: Jo Beverley

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BOOK: An Unlikely Countess
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It is full of details about the lives of men and women within the home, including the obvious truth that even those men most in favor of republican rule and liberty, in Britain and America, rarely wished to extend those principles to their homes. The women of this period, and for some time later, were usually under the rule of men, and their lives differed according to the indulgences of these men.
It was most galling when the ruler of a woman’s life was her brother, and unless her father had made provisions for her, a woman could be completely dependent on his whim. Many made the obvious complaint that nothing separated them except their sex, yet the son had money and independence while they had nothing.
The book offered a glimpse into the life of one particular woman. When the father died, leaving the family impoverished, she and her mother sacrificed, scrimped, and saved so her brother could qualify as a lawyer and support them in the genteel way to which they were accustomed. When the brother achieved his qualifications and became well-to-do, however, he ignored their pleas for their reward. The mother died, and the daughter harangued him for justice.
In the end he arranged her marriage to a colleague.
Sound familiar? Remember, this is a true case.
This one worked out badly, however. The husband was a brute, and eventually the woman’s only recourse was to flee, even though she had to leave her infant daughter behind. She went to court to seek justice and—believe it or not—her brother acted for her husband, and she was left to live on a pittance, never seeing her daughter again.
I decided to rewrite the story with a much better ending, and I hope you’ve enjoyed it.
The eighteenth century could be a harsh time for women, and I don’t think we should ignore those problems in historical romance, but nor should we forget that it was a hierarchical age, and men also had to bend to others—employers, a magistrates or judges, or people of higher rank in society. As you might have seen in
The Secret Duke
, even Rothgar has to tread carefully around the younger Duke of Ithorne, and they both must bow to the king.
Cate himself is an example of other forms of control. The army always was and still is authoritarian and hierarchical, and he doesn’t do well at obeying the rules. As a younger son, he was raised to know that his older brother would have nearly everything, and he would have to make his own way. The only difference between his and Prudence’s situations is that the Georgian world presented men with many opportunities to make a living and even a fortune, whereas it presented few to women.
And last, he has no real power to resist his fate. When his brother dies, he becomes the earl, whether he wishes to or not. Thus he must take up the onerous responsibilities and devote his life to them. His only escape would be through shameful neglect of his heritage and all who depend upon him. What he needs above all is a helpmate, and in the end, his unlikely countess is exactly the right one.
This book takes part in my Malloren world, ruled over by the Marquess of Rothgar. The main series of Malloren novels begins with
My Lady Notorious
. The book featuring Rothgar and Diana is
. You can find out about those books and all the rest on my Web site:
My first romance was published in 1988, so there are quite a few.
There’s a new countess book in 2012, and there are some details following this letter. There will also be various reissues between now and then. If you like e-editions, did you find the special reissue published as a lead-in to this book?
The Demon’s Bride
is a sexy, spooky Georgian novella with a wickedly gorgeous hero.
To receive news of all new and reissued work, please sign up for my occasional newsletter on my Web page.
I enjoy hearing from my readers. You can contact me at [email protected]. Please put something in the subject line or the message could be lost as spam. You can also find me on Facebook, and I occasionally tweet.
May every book you read leave you smiling.
All best wishes,
Please read on for an exciting preview of
Jo Beverley’s next historical romance,
The Scandalous Countess
Coming soon from Signet
magine you are twenty years old and by a stroke of fate become both a widow and a scandal. . . .
That’s the premise of my second countess book.
Georgia, Countess of Maybury, is an acclaimed beauty, a leader of style and fashion in Georgian England, and enjoys a retinue of adoring men.
When her husband the Earl of Maybury is killed in a duel, however, everything changes. She’s a grieving widow, but as she and Dickon have no children, the earldom and all its properties now belong to his uncle. She has lost her beloved homes, but also her reputation.
The beau monde is wondering if Maybury and Sir Willoughby Vance truly fought over an insult to Maybury’s driving skills, or whether Vance had been “Lady May’s” lover. After all, she is a known flirt, and loves to break the rules.
Georgia’s family sweeps her off to her family home, Herne House, in Worcestershire, but as she emerges from her grief, she realizes she’s been returned almost to the schoolroom. She has no money of her own, no freedom, and her father expects to run her life.
That won’t do. For three years she was a wife and a countess, and by law she has control of her own money. She determines to reclaim her life against all the odds. Above all she needs a new husband, but he must be exactly right.
When her father tells her she should marry Lord Dracy, she’s shocked and disbelieving. He’s a mere baron, and a scarred, rough-edged man who’s spent most of his life in the navy and has now inherited an impoverished title.
He absolutely will not do, but she’ll need all her wits to achieve her goals and circumvent her domineering father’s will. And all her resolution to resist a surprisingly intriguing man . . .
I hope this interests you, and that you’ll enjoy
The Scandalous Countess
when it’s published in 2012.
You can find out all about it and any other Jo Beverley books at
Also by Jo Beverley
Available from New American Library
Lady Beware
To Rescue a Rogue
The Rogue’s Return
St. Raven
“The Demon’s Mistress” in
In Praise of Younger Men
The Devil’s Heiress
The Dragon’s Bride
Three Heroes
(Omnibus Edition)
Forbidden Magic
Lovers and Ladies
(Omnibus Edition)
Lord Wraybourne’s Betrothed
The Stanforth Secrets
The Stolen Bride
Emily and the Dark Angel
The Secret Duke
The Secret Wedding
A Lady’s Secret
A Most Unsuitable Man
Winter Fire
Secrets of the Night
Something Wicked
My Lady Notorious
Lord of Midnight
Dark Champion
Lord of My Heart
“The Raven and the Rose” in
Chalice of Roses
“The Dragon and the Virgin Princess” in
Dragon Lovers
“The Trouble with Heroes” in
Irresistible Forces
BOOK: An Unlikely Countess
11.17Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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