Saturday, February 22, 2014

Meet the characters in Arabella Sheraton's regency romance novels


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clip_image002The Dangerous Duke
Author: Arabella Sheraton
Cover Artist: Kelly Shorten
Editor: Celina Summers
Ebook Designer: Coreen Montagna
Genre: Regency Romance, Historical Romance
Audience: romance lovers
Formats: e-books (pdf for hosts)
Publisher: MUSA Publishing
Pages: 229
Ebook ISBN13: 978-1-61937-037-1
ASIN: B005S68D6Y
Date Published: 10/10/2011

When the beautiful but impoverished Fenella Hawke takes up the position of Companion to the elderly Dowager Duchess of Wyndlesham, she is unprepared for the hostile attitude of the current Duke. The handsome and arrogant Devlin Deverell suspects Fenella has secrets to hide. From the moment they meet, Devlin and Fenella experience an overpowering and frightening attraction. They try to fight their growing arousal, but find themselves irresistibly drawn to each other. However, when Lady Penelope Vane, Devlin’s extremely jealous mistress, discovers that Devlin’s attentions are wandering, she sets in motion a ruthless plot to discredit Fenella, with the help of her ally, the rakish Sir Marcus Solesby. Can Fenella keep her secret from the dangerous Duke? Or will Lady Vane’s diabolical plan succeed?

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“Then what is the point?” Fenella was exasperated. “It is none of your business who I speak to and with whom I associate.”

“Oh, yes it is!” Devlin snapped. “I am your employer.”

“No, you are not.” Fenella’s gaze was unflinching. “Her Grace is my employer and you have no right to criticize what I do when I am not on duty. You are not the judge of my conduct.”

“Hear me, Madam,” said Devlin, a dangerous note creeping into his voice. He tightened his lips. “I am the only judge of the conduct of those who reside under my roof. Sir Marcus Solesby is a known seducer of young women.”

Memories flooded into Fenella’s mind of how Devlin’s presence played daily havoc with her. The feeling of his lips against hers plagued her constantly. Worst of all was reliving the night when he had slid his hand under her nightdress and fondled her body—without considering the consequences. Yes, she had failed to stop him until liberties were taken and his unbridled lust and her blossoming sensuality exposed. She had stopped them both in the end.

Not him. He should never have begun this dangerous game and now he had the effrontery to monitor her every move and decide with whom she should associate?

“Oh, really? And what do you call yourself then?” Fenella’s whole body shook with suppressed fury.

Her barb hit home. Devlin went white with shock and rage—shock at hearing his conduct described as that of a roué and anger that this chit of a girl whom he could not control was daring to defy him in his own home.

“I forbid you to speak to that man!”

“Forbid? Fiddlesticks!” Fenella tossed her head.

“You are the most stubborn, insubordinate and aggravating female it has been my misfortune to meet.”

“And you are the most ill-mannered, domineering, selfish brute it has been my misfortune to meet.” Fenella stamped her foot, her cheeks red with rage. A strength she did not know she possessed rose from within; strength and a fierce sense of independence. She would not be bullied by this man, not after all that had happened between them. She saw in Devlin’s expression his struggle with some kind of gigantic force, the towering emotions that consumed him.

Is it rage? she wondered, almost faltering in her decision to stand firm. Have I gone too far?

Perhaps her upbringing had failed her in the end: one certainly did not defy a member of the nobility. As Devlin opened his mouth; Fenella decided that discretion was possibly the better part of valor. She turned on her heel and flung open the library door to find an astonished Freddie standing in front of her, his hand raised.

“I was about to knock,” he stammered.

“Don’t bother." Fenella ground the word through gritted teeth. “We’re quite finished here.”
Character Bio:
Devlin Deverell is the 16th Duke of Wyndlesham. Born into the upper-crust with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth, he can’t help being as arrogant as he is. He sees all he has as his natural birthright. He is tall, with a great physique, good looks, and he is a Corinthian. He can do all the manly things like riding, hunting, fencing, curricle racing, boxing, the works. He does not know what it is to lose or fail at anything. Women fling themselves at him all the time and although he avoids emotional involvement, he keeps a mistress. He has a very jaundiced view of women, thinking that their only aim in life to nab some poor sucker and marry him for his money and his title. He doesn’t actually believe in love, and even less in love at first sight. So, when Fenella Hawke arrives, he is horrified to find he is deeply attracted to her physically. He deals with any kind of emotion by instantly suppressing it. So, no wonder he is a powder keg inside, just waiting for the flame to set him off. Cold, proud, haughty, he seems to display only the worst characteristics of the upper class. And yet he is warm and caring to those he loves and trusts (not many). But there is hope for him yet as his love for Fenella grows and he learns humility, tenderness, and forgiveness.
Character Bio: 
Fenella Hawke is young, beautiful, and totally naïve about love. She knows about love from books and poetry, but has never experienced the real thing. Her father’s suicide has affected the way she thinks people view her and she decides no one can ever know about it. Living a lie under an assumed name, she works for Devlin’s aged mother. Her emotions go haywire when Devlin is around, but his cold attitude only engenders an equally cold response from her. She thinks his attraction to her is just lust and that he does not respect her. She is headstrong and proud, but truly ethical. Deceit does not come easily to her and there’s a war inside her between giving in to her feelings, and keeping Devlin at arms’ length.

clip_image005Married At Midnight
Author: Arabella Sheraton
Cover Artist: Kelly Shorten
Editor: Tamara Frigoletto
Ebook Designer: Coreen Montagna
Genre: Regency Romance, Historical Romance
Audience: romance lovers
Formats: e-books (pdf for hosts)
Publisher: MUSA Publishing
Pages: 206
Ebook ISBN13: 978-1-61937-077-7
Date Published: 16/03/2012

When the Earl of Pennington discovers the inheritance from his great-uncle depends on him marrying at midnight on the eve of his thirtieth birthday, he is irate. Marriage is not part of his plan to save his impoverished estates. He crosses paths unexpectedly with the beautiful Roxanne Chesney, who is fleeing from her abusive husband. He offers her a contract: marriage for six months to help him fulfill the conditions of his great-uncle’s will, enabling him secure his inheritance. In return he will pay her a small fortune. Can Roxanne resist this offer? What about the revolting Edgar Doyle who forced her into a loveless marriage that has not been consummated? Roxanne has escaped Edgar’s clutches, but she wonders how long she will manage to evade him. The Earl’s contract has no strings attached. The offer is irresistible except for the fact that Roxanne is already married!

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Edgar sat next to her, his face at a slight angle so that anyone observing them could not see his expression.

"What do you want?" she murmured though stiff lips.

Edgar snorted. “Want? I want what’s due to me, that’s what I want."

Roxanne avoided looking directly at him. She knew his hypnotic stare would wear her down again. She watched the happy throng of guests twirling around the room, laughing and enjoying themselves. A terrible sense of suffocation began to overwhelm her. Fighting to retain her self-control, Roxanne unfurled her fan and waved it in front of her face. The regular movement helped calm her and provided a flimsy shield against Edgar’s dreadful gaze.

"I have no money, if that’s what you’re looking for," she said with calm hauteur.

Another derisive snort. "D’ye expect me to believe that? What with you engaged to the wealthy young Earl of Pennington?"

"He is not wealthy."

Edgar sniggered as he leered at her in triumph. He lifted her hand and pressed his mouth on the inside of her wrist. Roxanne squirmed at the feel of those loose wet lips against her skin. She snatched her hand from his grasp.

"Not yet, me darlin’, not yet. I hear he’ll be inheriting soon, once he’s married. Something about an old uncle or aunt?"

"His great-uncle Oswald," Roxanne said, without thinking.

Edgar’s reaction made her wish she’d bitten her tongue instead.

"So you do know there’s money coming then?"

Roxanne tossed her head, affecting nonchalance. "The whole of London knows he had a wealthy old relative. His great-uncle wanted to see him married."

Edgar leaned closer. The smell of stale sweat mixed with cheap cologne wafted towards her. She wrinkled her nose. Julian always smelled so clean, so masculine.

He sat back, an angry look in his eyes.

"Don’t put on airs and graces with me. You were grateful enough to have me, weren’t you? When you thought you’d be all alone in the world. Pity you didn’t stay long enough to let me show you what you’ve been missing."

Roxanne felt as if she could explode with rage as she turned to face him. "Let me explain something to you, Mr. Doyle."

Her voice was low and hard, without a shred of fear. Her eyes blazed an intense green. Anger had burned away all her previous terrors. Edgar recoiled in his seat just a fraction. It was enough to tell Roxanne that he was taken aback by her sudden courage.

"I despise you in every possible way. I knew from the start you were not my father’s cousin. You are a fraud. You intimidated my father into thinking marriage with you would protect me in society. Then you forced me into marrying you and tried to rape me. But I won’t have it, Edgar Doyle, I won’t stand for it."

Edgar narrowed his eyes. His lips pinched in anger.

"Now you look here, my girl," he blustered.

"No, you look here," Roxanne retorted. "How dare you think you can bully me in the Duke of Silverton’s house? Who do you think you are?"

She waved a hand at the crowd of guests. "This is the cream of London society. You are nothing but a fraud, a poseur and a charlatan."

Edgar curled his lip as he grasped her wrist, squeezing hard.

"Don’t forget something, me darlin’. You and me—we’re married. So if you get hitched to your high and mighty Earl of Pennington, won’t he get a nasty shock when it comes out his new bride is already wed."

Character Bio: 
Julian Trevallon is the 12th Earl of Pennington. He is handsome, brave (served at Waterloo), well built, and a very nice person. Far from being born into extreme wealth, by the time Julian inherited his title and his estates, his father had squandered the family’s fortune on his eldest son’s debts. So, Julian has learned about life from the School of Hard Knocks and there is no ‘arrogance born of the upper crust’ in his nature and attitude. He is consumed with doing the right thing – restoring the family fortunes – even if it means doing the wrong thing – entering into a marriage of convenience with a woman he doesn’t even know just to receive his great-uncle Oswald’s estate. He is hard-working, and digs in with his tenant farmers to get the land producing well. He shuts himself off from emotional involvement and does not want children, having seen how his older brother broke their father’s heart before killing himself, and Julian’s beloved horse, by jumping a fence too high. Julian doesn’t expect to fall in love with his wife of convenience. He is a man of high principles and integrity, and has the charming knack of being able to relate to anyone, no matter their station in life. He is truly a gentleman.

Character Bio: 
Roxanne Chesney is a young woman of gentle birth but due to her father’s inability to handle money, she has grown up knowing how to budget and make very short ends meet. She had wonderful qualities, and loves her father very much. He wants to see her safely married before he dies and so she accepts an offer from a conman posing as a distant cousin of her father. The shock of reality bites hard when she discovers the man’s true nature: a rapist and an abuser, and a serial bigamist. A lesser woman would have just crumbled under the onslaught, but not Roxanne. She has a core of steel, and her one ambition is to get to Bath to find her only living relative, her father’s sister. Her courage enables her to fight off her husband’s advances, escape, although wounded, but she gets away. Julian’s offer, which includes a substantial financial remuneration, is tempting, and against her better judgement she agrees, even though she would be breaking the law. But her integrity prevents her from continuing the charade when her dreadful husband reappears and threatens Julian and his sister. She has incredible strength, courage, and self-sacrifice.

clip_image006The Wayward Miss Wainwright
Author: Arabella Sheraton
Cover Artist: Kelly Shorten
Editor: Elaine Golden
Ebook Designer: Coreen Montagna
Genre: Regency Romance, Historical Romance
Audience: romance lovers
Formats: e-books (pdf for hosts)
Publisher: MUSA Publishing
Pages: 203
Ebook ISBN13: 978-1-61937-361-7
ASIN: B009R939AS
Date Published: 15/10/2012

Miss Helena Wainwright is determined to see her nieces and nephew well settled with their new guardian, the Duke of Rotherham. After six months of transition, the children are beginning to bond with their uncle, but Helena and the Duke aren’t able to get much past the barest of civilities. Now that the duke is poised to offer for the shy Miss Fanshawe, Helena is horrified to discover an awful secret about the young lady and her scheming mother. What is she going to do--keep the secret or reveal all in her own bid for the duke’s heart?

Ready to settle down and provide a stable environment for his wards, Vernon Wroxby, the Duke of Rotherham, has decided the amenable Miss Fanshawe will do, even if he dislikes her outspoken, uncouth mama. If he could just quit wondering what Miss Wainwright is doing (and with whom) he’d be able to appreciate the match a bit more. But as his wards begin to rebel against the idea of this marriage, and he starts to realize that his affections really reside with Miss Wainwright, will one determined marriage-mart mama ruin any chance he might have for true happiness?

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As she made her way back to her room, there was a shadowy figure standing in the passage. Her candle cast a faint glow in the gloom, so she could not see clearly until she came closer where a man leaned against the wall. She hurried up to him. It could only be…

“Your—I mean, Cousin Vernon,” she whispered. “Is anything the matter?”

He looked dazed, as if he had just woken up, and he wore his brocade dressing gown and slippers. He pressed a hand to his forehead.

“Have you been sleepwalking?” she whispered.

He smiled a lazy, drowsy smile she had never seen before. “Oh, Helena, my love, it seems as if I have been sleepwalking.”

His words startled her. Had he said “my love?”

She took him by the elbow and tried to steer him in the direction of his room. What would people think if they knew he wandered around the place half-naked? Some might say that, as the owner of the title and the property, the Duke of Rotherham could walk around Rotherham Park, any time of day, dressed or undressed.

“Helena, I have been blind,” he said in a loud voice.

“Shhh. Yes, I’m sure you have,” she whispered, trying to speed up their pace.

“No, I mean it. I never saw you before, and once I had, I tried to forget you. But it’s impossible. You changed my life. I want you and I need you so very much, my darling.”

Helena was even more confused. Rotherham must be rambling. Possibly, he had consumed too much wine and his jumbled thoughts of Emily were rising to the surface of a brain fuddled with alcohol.

“What time is it?” he asked.

“Oh, it’s late, very late,” she whispered. “Tine for you to get back to bed.”

He stopped. “Is it too late?”

Helena placed the candlestick down on a small decorative table. “Too late for what?”

He smiled in a way that made her giddy, and he clasped her face in both hands. His robe fell open. Helena glanced down, and then quickly away, face flaming. He was naked under the robe. Where he had been?

“Is it too late for us?” He leaned closer, until their lips almost touched.

“I…I don’t know what you mean,” she said, trying to ease out of his grasp.

“I know what I mean,” he said firmly. “This is what I mean.”
Character Bio: 
Vernon Sylvester Gillespie Wroxby, Duke of Rotherham and Marquis of Selby, is a very proud man. In fact, pride is his most telling fault because he can’t see that he is doing anything wrong, and he would rather die than admit it. He is of a noble family and although he seems cold and austere on the outside, the family name and continuing the heritage is his obsession. Responsibility to his family comes first in his life. He did love once, but she fell in love with and married his younger brother. Love for his brother came first and he stepped back, hiding the pain under a shield of ice. When Helena Wainwright comes along, she awakens all sorts of feelings within him, feelings he can’t control. Ultimately, she is the making of him and he does show his tender qualities, as well as humility, something very new to him.

Character Bio: 
Helena Wainwright is the Duke’s sister-in-law. She is unaware of the pain in his life that he keeps well-hidden and only sees the arrogant, condescending exterior at first. She is independent and rightly so: her parents left her comfortably off, so she doesn’t have to look out for a man for protection. She has her own life, friends, and admirers, so she is confident. She is only staying with the Duke to help him with his nieces and nephew after the death of their parents. (The Duke’s brother and Helena’s sister). Slowly she realises her immense attraction towards him, and he towards her, but the Duke’s pride gets in the way. Helena will not beg any man to love her and she does what she thinks is right. Helena has a good heart, and a lot of love to give, but only under the right circumstances.


Miss Dashwood’s Dilemma
Author: Arabella Sheraton
Cover Artist: Kelly Shorten
Editor: Wendy Clements
Ebook Designer: Cera Smith
Genre: Regency Romance, Historical Romance
Audience: romance lovers
Formats: e-books (pdf for hosts)
Publisher: MUSA Publishing
Pages: 138
Ebook ISBN13: 978-1-61937-585-7
Date Published: 20/12/2013

When Miss Diana Dashwood accepts an invitation to Lady Prescott’s Christmas party, things do not go quite as she imagines. Through an unexpected event, she is forced to spend the night in a woodsman’s hut with one of the guests. What a scandal! Of course, Sir Gareth Blakely must propose, and he does. Unfortunately, Miss Diana Dashwood has already been engaged to and broken off her engagement from Sir Gareth Blakely after a bitter quarrel. Is it likely she will bow to social pressure and accept his proposal, one made only to save her reputation, and if they marry, does their union stand a chance of survival? And what about the pretty heiress, Miss Jemima Plymstock, whom everyone thinks is the lady Sir Gareth had his eye upon? Headstrong and proud, Miss Diana Dashwood is caught in a dreadful dilemma.

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“Oh!” Rage surged in her breast as she sat up in the chaise lounge. It was impossible to express indignation while lying supine. The effrontery, the gall of the man. She raised her voice. “So now I am stupid because I deliberately strained my ankle?”

His voice became louder as well. “I did not say that—”

“But you meant it,” Diana said through clenched teeth.

“How dare you just announce that we are engaged because of some antiquated idea of saving my virtue? I don’t need you to protect my reputation.”

His jaw dropped. “Oh, really? I suppose you are thinking along the same lines as when you abandoned me just a day before our wedding. You did not do your reputation any good then.”

“It was two days,” she retorted. “Does it matter how many days it was?”

This time his voice was quiet. “It amounts to the same thing.”

Humiliation stung her. “So now you are calling me a jilt?”

The chair scraped on the floor as he stood. “I had no need to do so. The whole of London did it for me.” Then he strode to the door.

Diana’s breath caught in her throat. Shame burned her from head to toe. “You are the most...horrible, cruel, callous, nasty, ill-mannered man I have ever had the misfortune to meet.” She pulled off the ring and clenched her fist, ready to throw it in his face. “I will not be engaged to you. I will not marry you.”

In two strides, he was by her side, and gripping her hand. His fingers tightened painfully on hers. He knelt and stared right at her with a grim, unforgiving expression. “You will remain engaged to me, Miss Dashwood, and for as long as I choose. Do not trifle with public opinion, my dear, or you will be sadly the loser. I tried to protect you and you have flung my best efforts in my face. Have you thought about my reputation? Or that of my aunt and uncle, and your mother, who would also be embarrassed by your petulant behaviour? Have you given any thought to anyone else but yourself in this fiasco?”

She drew in a trembling breath. “No,” she said in a low voice. She dropped her gaze, fuming that he was treating her like a naughty child.

“I will not force you to marry me. I am not such an ogre and I do not want to punish you for what you did. But cooperating with me in this regard will be to your benefit.” He put one hand under her chin and tilted her face upward. “Will you cooperate?” His face was so close to hers. His eyes were like the sky after rain, his mouth so firm...he bent his head closer. Diana thought she might faint. The most ridiculous feeling of dizziness overcame her.
Character Bio: 
Although Sir Gareth Blakely is deeply in love with Miss Diana Dashwood, he won’t be pushed around by her (as is her tendency). He is rich, elegant, as accomplished on the hunting field as in the ballroom, and he has a very giving and generous nature. He pays Diana’s father’s debts, and even though he could tell her, he does not – despite her breaking off their engagement on a so-called whim. He is a really gallant man, and goes out of his way to help damsels in distress, like Miss Jemima Plymstock. He is aware of all society’s rules, but will break them if he has to in order to do what is right. He has a deep sense of honour, but can sometimes be rigid.

Character Bio: 
Miss Diana Dashwood could be called a spoiled brat if she wasn’t so beautiful. She is used to getting her own way in most things. Their family’s fortunes have declined but Diana has the right sense of integrity to not blame anyone and she makes the best of it. She is intensely, fiercely proud, and breaks off her engagement to Sir Gareth when she thinks he said something slighting about her. Her pride forbids her to unbend and allow him to make amends. Her headstrong nature can get her into trouble and she has the kind of independence that also gets her into scrapes. However, she has an innately kind and generous nature and will do anything to help someone in need.


clip_image010 About The Author -
Arabella Sheraton grew up on a diet of Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, and many other writers of that period. From Jane Austen to Georgette Heyer, Arabella has found both enjoyment and inspiration in sparkling, witty Regency novels. She also loves history and generally finds the past more fascinating than the future. Arabella wrote her first Regency romance to entertain her aged mom who loved the genre. Arabella is honoured to share the adventures of her heroes and heroines with readers.

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