A TASTE OF SEDUCTION ( The DISGRACED LORDS SERIES BOOK 5) by BROWEN EVANS
Release Date : Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Historical Romance from LOVESWEPT
The flames of desire fuel a torrid reunion as bestselling author Bronwen Evans returns with another captivating novel of the Disgraced Lords. See why Jen McLaughlin raves, “Bronwen’s historical romances always make the top of my reading list!”
Lady Evangeline Stuart chose to wed a tyrant with a title, or so society believes. That was five years ago—five long years she could have spent with her first and only love: Lord Hadley Fullerton, the second son of the Duke of Claymore. Now Evangeline is a widow, and her soul cries out for Hadley. But when they see each other at last, everything has changed. The passion in his eyes has been corrupted by betrayal. Somehow Evangeline must regain Hadley’s trust—without revealing the secret that would spoil the seduction.
Hadley is determined not to be distracted by Evangeline. He and the other Libertine Scholars are in pursuit of an enemy who has been striking at them from the shadows, and Evangeline’s mere presence could be dangerous. But with one smile, one touch, one taste of Evangeline’s lips, Hadley’s resolve is overpowered by much more pleasant memories. As the two enter into a discreet affair, Hadley vows to give her his body, never his heart. That she will have to earn.
Kobo : http://bit.ly/29LoDhe
London, England, 1816
The door slammed shut behind him, the sound echoing in the quiet street. Standing on the top step, Hadley loosened his cravat to make it easier to swallow over the lump in his throat. He gazed along the row of fashionable but smallish townhouses. They all looked the same, but he wondered if the people who lived inside were as empty of life as the house behind him.
A sighed escaped as he looked down his body. All dressed up and nowhere to go. No one was waiting for him. Missing him. Wanting him . . .
Philomena had wanted him.
The first woman he’d let close since Evangeline had decided a title and money were more important than love.
It was never easy sounding the death knell on an arrangement with another mistress. He liked Philomena. She was easy. Easy to talk to, very easy to look at, and very easy to desire. Not a friend per se, but neither was she simply a mistress. Was there an in-between?
He kicked at a loose cobblestone.
As Hadley sauntered down the steps to the street, he tried to summon hurt or disappointment, but he’d only be fooling himself. All he felt was hollowness.
He had hoped Philomena might be a tad upset that their arrangement had to end, but she knew she could find another protector at the snap of her little fingers. She was beautiful, if not a little vapid, but her innate sensuality drew men like moth seeking a flame. He’d often wondered why she had lowered herself to becoming the mistress of a mere second son, albeit the second son of a duke. It certainly wasn’t for the money. She could have earned more elsewhere.
Perhaps that was why she’d been special to him. She had wanted to be his mistress. She had chosen to be his mistress.
She’d chosen him.
It hadn’t solely been about the coin he could provide.
To her credit, she hadn’t cried, screamed, or carried on when he informed her their time was at an end. Not after he’d explained why. At month’s end his brother, the Duke of Claymore, would announce Hadley’s engagement to Lady Claire Hampton. Hadley had promised his brother that he would start his new life as honorably as was possible with an arranged marriage.
Goddamn his brother.
Two years ago it had seemed so easy to agree with his brother’s request that he marry Claire. Now that the time was drawing near, however, he wished he could take his promise back, but he’d given his word. If a man went back on his word, how could he be trusted? A cold sweat made his shirt stick to his skin. His time was running out.
Hadley had more to worry about than an unwanted arranged marriage. A villainess as evil as any man, De Palma, had to be stopped before she hurt any more of his friends or even himself. She had started a war with the Libertine Scholars in revenge for something their fathers had done to her many years ago.
He could not marry Claire and expose her to De Palma’s evil either. The Libertine Scholars had three weeks to unmask their foe, or Claire might become a target as well.
After what had happened to Marisa, Maitland Spencer’s wife . . . he wouldn’t wish her fate on any woman, not even Claire.
At the corner of the street he looked back at the quaint townhouse with deep regret. He’d been fond of Philomena and their time together.
Christ, he needed a drink. He pulled out his pocket watch.
Shortly he was expected for dinner at the townhouse of his fellow Libertine Scholar, the Earl of Markham, Christian Trent, but he couldn’t face all the happily married couples without fortifying himself first.
A drink at White’s was required. He could hail a hack, but it was a fine afternoon, if a tad cool, and perhaps a walk would help him release his frustrations.
It took him more than half an hour to walk to White’s. Upon arrival, he spied a fellow Libertine Scholar, Arend Aubury, Baron de Labourd, sitting at their favorite table. Arend was the only other unmarried Libertine Scholar and the two tended to spend more time together these days.
Arend saw him and waved one of the servants over, asking for another glass. There was a bottle of France’s finest brandy on the table.
As he took his seat, Arend commented, “You look as if you could do with a drink.”
Hadley grimaced and took the proffered glass from his friend. “It’s been one of those days when I wished I’d simply stayed in bed.”
“But not the bed of your now ex-mistress, it would seem,” Arend replied with a raised eyebrow.
Hadley turned in his chair and looked round the room. Men were staring and joking, and it was obvious they were talking about him. “It would appear news travels quicker than a man can walk.”
“Care to share why you brought your arrangement with the lovely Philomena to an end so suddenly?”
“Why? Are you interested in employing her?”
Arend shook his head. “I have to make Lady Isobel fall in love with me, and it’s not a good idea to have a mistress on the side. Besides, I would never encroach on one of my fellow Libertine Scholars’ women—paid or otherwise.”
Hadley nodded once. “You seem so sure that Isobel is involved with De Palma. It’s yet to be proved.”
Arend lowered his voice. “You and I both know De Palma is her stepmother, Countess Victoria Northumberland. We just have to prove it.”
Hadley looked around the room and sighed, not wishing to discuss their enemy further until they were with the rest of the Libertine Scholars. They were joining them for dinner to discuss what they had found out about De Palma. “My engagement will be announced in three weeks.”
Arend looked surprised, something that didn’t often occur. “Oh,” he said with a nod. “There is no other way?”
“I don’t see me finding a pot of gold at the bottom of a rainbow. Augustus needs the money he lent me for the winery repaid. He’s been waiting five years. Besides, one woman is as good as any other for a wife.” Hadley tried to ignore the stares and the men heading to the White’s wager book. “I say, is everyone betting on the reason Philomena and I have parted ways?”
“What reason has the best odds?”
Arend laughed. “Unfortunately, the one I wagered on.”
“And that is?”
“The return of Lady Evangeline Stuart, nee Althrope, to London.”
Hadley felt the floor shake beneath his feet, and it was not an earthquake. He downed his brandy in one large gulp, the burn in his throat stinging his eyes. “Bloody hell,” he choked out. “Her husband has brought her to London.” For just on five years he’d been dreading this news.
Evangeline Althrope, now Evangeline Stuart, had been the love of his life.
Everything about her suddenly assaulted his memory. The mere mention of her name undid him.
Forbidden memories rushed into his head. He recalled her sleek limbs wrapped round him. Her uninhibited cries of passion as her exquisite body arched against his. He could almost feel her luxurious hair, auburn silk flowing like flames over flawless creamy skin. Her taste as he’d sampled all she had to give. Her laughter and her smile could bring him to his knees. But it had always been her eyes, filled with intelligence, that drew him. Their light blue color would darken with incredible sensuality. . . .
She was branded on his soul, her memory sharp with a clarity that still seared.
Arend’s glass halted halfway to his mouth, which now hung open. “You haven’t heard?”
He looked blankly back at Arend.
“She’s widowed and just out of mourning. Plus, she has been asking after you, setting tongues wagging and sending men to the betting books.”
The ground rushed toward him, and if he hadn’t been sitting down, he’d have folded in a heap on the floor. Evangeline was here, in London, and a widow. Anger burned in his gut, raw and powerful. He felt his fists clench. “I hope you didn’t wager on her and I forming an attachment.”
“Silly me, I should have known better.” Arend ran a hand through his hair. “I thought I had inside knowledge. Sebastian is positive you are still in love with her.”
Breath fled Hadley, and a wave of dizziness almost saw him drop his glass. Those words, “still in love,” echoed in his head over and over, like an unforgotten song. He had loved her. “Had” being the operative word.
She’d married another.
But she was now free.
Then, as if Thor’s hammer came hurtling from the gods straight to his chest, the blow invisibly knocking him to hell, he remembered.
She’d chosen money, a title, and a safe life over him.
Over their love.
Just over five years ago, he’d received Evangeline’s note. A note written in her own hand, telling him she was marrying Viscount Stuart. It had been painfully obvious that he’d been the only one in love.
She’d used him, taken what she wanted, and then married a man with enough money to save her brother’s estate and then some. She had a title and lived in a castle, a real-life fairy tale.
He looked at Arend. “You made a foolish bet. I would not change anything in my life for that woman. In fact, I’m more determined than ever now to marry Claire.”
Yet given the savage pain lancing through him, he’d be foolish to imagine that he’d recovered from her shattering betrayal. Did a man ever recover from his first love?
Especially a love that was betrayed.
Arend must have picked up the hate in his voice, because he leaned back in his seat and held up his hands in a defensive stance. “Well, the lady doesn’t seem to understand that notion. She’s been asking after you, trying to ascertain if you are engaged or married. That definitely appears to be a woman on a mission.” He laughed. “It would appear the beautiful Lady Evangeline is not aware of how you feel.”
Nor aware he was expected to marry another.
Arend looked at him closely. “Even if you are not interested in Lady Evangeline, are you sure about marriage to Lady Claire? There is still time to change your mind. Claire is oblivious to the plan your brother and her brother concocted. No one needs to get hurt.”
He shrugged. “When Augustus suggested aligning our family with the Marquis of Corby, I saw no reason not to. I do not care whom I marry. It’s simpler and easier if feelings are not involved. Besides, I felt sorry for the young lady. She’s almost a spinster.”
He’d never marry for love. Having had his heart destroyed once before, he wasn’t about to put himself through that again. However, his brother had agreed to wait until his thirtieth year before he should propose to Claire. Being unaware of her brother’s plan, Hadley had hoped that in this time she might find someone else to marry. He could feel himself being boxed into a corner, and even though he’d promised never to love again, his pending marriage seemed somewhat callous in comparison to the love matches his fellow Libertine Scholars had made.
“I admire your practicality. If it was anyone other than you spouting those words, I’d believe you. But you, my friend, are a romantic at heart. That’s why you’re still torn up over a woman who left you five years ago. I also see the way you look at the other Libertine Scholars and their marital bliss.”
Hadley downed his drink in one, determined to ignore Arend’s perceptive comments.
His friend leaned across the table and whispered. “You agreed to this stupid match while your heart was broken. There is no shame in changing your mind; nothing has been formally agreed or announced.” He sat back. “Even if it had, blast it to Hades, you don’t have to fall on your sword.”
It was while my heart was shredded, actually, he wanted to yell at Arend.
Arend kept bloody talking. “Don’t marry a woman because you’re hurt. Get even and move on. You need love. Find a woman who can love you for who you are, and never let her go. That would be the best revenge. You won’t be happy with anything less.”
“What’s to say I won’t grow to love Claire?”
Arend choked on his drink. “Really? I’m not shallow enough to decry her lack of looks, but she’s as dull as dishwater, and not overly bright. The long winter days and nights will be torture. I suspect you’re the type of man who’d honor his marriage vows too, no mistresses for you. Sometimes I wonder how we are such good friends, as you are far too nice for me.” He eyed Hadley shrewdly. “You do realize you’ll have to sleep with her. Children and all that.” At Hadley’s angry look, he added, “I can just imagine her lying there and thinking of England.”
Suddenly the prospect of wedding Claire felt like a noose was being tightened around his neck. The he remembered how he’d given his heart to Evangeline and she’d simply stomped on it. He could not go through that pain ever again.
His illusions were few. He knew women flocked to him because he was the son of a duke and wealthy enough in his own right. He hated how mercenary women were, Evangeline being the worst of all. So for the past five years, after his heart turned to stone, he had indulged in all manner of pleasures, sampling women as he sampled his wines.
“Claire may not have beauty or brains, but that suits me just fine. She’s unlikely to take other lovers, so I shall know any children are mine, and she’ll be even less demanding of my time or emotions.”
“Unlike Lady Evangeline, who I hear is a renowned beauty, and quite brilliant. I suspect she won’t be a widow for long.”
Hurt burned deep and fast at the idea of her marrying again. He painfully remembered that she could blind any man with her beauty and wit. These men didn’t know what he knew—that she was a deceptive, cunning vixen, interested only in money and title.
Beautiful? Yes, he expected she was probably more beautiful than she’d been at nineteen. As soon as he’d laid eyes on the auburn beauty, he’d known his desire for her would get him into all sorts of trouble. The need to have her, to make her his, meant only one thing, marriage, but that had not stopped his pursuit.
He’d wanted to possess her, to give her his heart, his body, and his name. No other woman before or since had touched his heart—or crushed it—as Evangeline had.
Unbeknownst to him at the time, she’d lied as easily as she’d breathed.
“Well, if you see Lady Evangeline, perhaps you can inform her I have no interest in pursuing any type of relationship with her.” He raised his glass. “In fact, you can tell her I’m soon to wed.”
“That could be a mistake. The beautiful young widow is now very wealthy. Her husband left her a large portion of his wealth.” Arend’s words stung. “Money and beauty, a combination to lust after. Marry her for her money. That would teach her a lesson. Rather Evangeline than Claire—long lonely winter nights, remember?” Arend shrugged as he said the words.
“You obviously don’t know the lady,” was Hadley’s sarcastic reply. He wasn’t petty enough to want to see Evangeline on a miserly widow’s stipend, but it appeared her marriage had exceeded her expectations, for she’d got the money and title she craved. “She must be extremely happy, for that is why she married her viscount.”
“I see.” Arend refilled his glass, pouring the brandy all the way to the top. “It’s as I have always suspected. A woman is madly in love as long as a purse is full. Love is only tested when the coffers run dry. Her viscount had a fatter purse.”
Hadley thought of the other four fellow Libertine Scholars, all happily married. “Tell that to Christian, Sebastian, Grayson, and now bloody Maitland. I tell you, it’s as if the French have put something in the brandy. Men are succumbing to the shackles of matrimony far too often of late.”
Arend gave a mock shudder and raised his glass. “Here’s to bachelorhood, brief as yours may now be.”
Marriage to Claire. For a brief moment, Hadley wondered if Evangeline regretted her choice. He shook his head. She had her money and title; that was all she had wanted. What was there for her to regret?
If she thought she could have her title and now also have him, she was very wrong. He’d rather marry a leprous whore—or marry Claire—than succumb to her allure again.
Once he’d drunk the contents of his glass he slammed it on the table. “Come, we should be on our way. We have—”he looked around the room before lowering his voice “—lists to compare, away from prying eyes and eager ears.”
The two men took their leave of White’s and made their way to Christian’s townhouse. On the carriage ride, the discussion turned to the fight at Gentleman Jack’s next week and whom to wager on. An unknown Spaniard had recently arrived, and Arend favored the man. Hadley would be unwise to wager against anyone Arend took an interest in. Arend had the uncanny knack of spotting a fighter’s ability, and he’d been to see the Spaniard practice.
Besides, it might be a way to make money quickly, something he could use right now.
Even the sporting talk could not completely banish Evangeline from his mind. Under his breath he cursed her anew. Right now it would be ideal to chase away the memory of her touch and taste in an excess of sensual indulgence. However, in three weeks he was about to propose to Lady Claire. Claire had no idea the proposal was coming; he had talked her brother into letting him make an offer directly to her, so that she would have no idea it had been arranged by his brother and her brother. If she heard he still had a mistress, she might not believe him sincere. He wanted her to believe he had chosen her of his own free will. At least one of them should be happy about this marriage. Her life would be irrevocably changed too. He did not want to hurt her.
As the two men had expected, when they were ushered into the Earl of Markham’s drawing room, the family setting hummed with loving couples and children. For one fleeting moment a pang of regret consumed him, until he remembered why he was going to marry Claire: to ensure that his heart remained protected.
Hadley hid a smile at the quick flash of horror that passed over Arend’s face as little Henry, Sebastian’s ward, grabbed Arend’s trouser leg with jam-covered fingers. But to Hadley’s amazement, Arend swung the little boy up into his arms and pretended to drop him, swiftly catching him before he could fall far. Henry’s squeals had the women giggling and the men putting their fingers in their ears.
Lady Portia, Grayson Devlin’s obviously pregnant wife, relieved Arend of Henry, while the boy’s nurse collected Christian’s son and ushered all the children from the room. Once the door had closed on the departing servants and children, they could talk openly.
The women present—Lady Portia; Lady Beatrice, who was the wife of Sebastian Hawkestone, Marquess of Coldhurst; Lady Marisa, who was the new Duchess of Lyttleton, and her younger sister, Lady Helen; and finally Lady Serena, Christian’s wife and their hostess, were sitting grinning like Cheshire cats with bellies full of milk. The hairs on Hadley’s neck prickled. They appeared to be looking at him, which was not a good thing.
“Good evening, ladies. It’s always delightful to be in the company of such beauties.” With that Hadley bowed to each and pressed a kiss to his hostess’s knuckles.
These women were more than simply stunning beauties. They were intelligent, brave, and loyal to a fault. He doubted any of them would break her husband’s heart. They would put their men first.
“And might I say you are looking very handsome tonight too, my lord.”
“Oh, God, Serena, leave the man alone. He’s only just got here.”
Hadley looked across at Christian, who was still scowling at his wife, and the hairs at the back of his neck were now standing to attention. The ladies were definitely up to something.
He chose a seat as far from the ladies as he could, and found himself sitting next to Grayson on a chair that was definitely not made for a man. He felt as if it would break beneath him if he made one wrong move. He must look like a ninny.
Serena’s smile indicated she knew he was retreating. It also seemed to scream, You cannot thwart us. Thwart them at what? He longed to know, or did he? These women were a force to reckon with. He’d seen them win the hearts of men who were confirmed rakes and then bravely take on their enemy, all with style and wit and determination.
Arend, who’d also greeted the ladies in his fancy French way, had taken a seat next to Serena on the settee. He stretched his arms along the top of the furniture and said, “As we have a guest coming to dinner, I suggest we discuss our investigations before Lady Isobel arrives.”
Serena sent Hadley a cheeky smile, “Guests, Arend. Isobel is bringing a friend.”
The way she looked at Hadley, he wished he could squirm in his chair, but he was too afraid to move in case it collapsed.
Why did his cravat suddenly feel too tight?
Arend sent her a quizzing look but merely continued, “I have only two names left on my list: the Earl of Northumberland and the Earl of Wentworth.”
Last month the Libertine Scholars had learned that the woman who was set upon destroying them had worked as a high-priced courtesan in Paris. Apparently she had caught the fancy of an English earl, left the life of prostitution in France, hidden her tracks well, and with her earl returned to England as a woman of quality he’d met on the continent. They had no idea if she was still with the earl or if he had married her, but they thought she’d hardly leave the successful business she’d built up in Paris for anything less than marriage, and they had no other leads.
They had drawn up a list of more than a hundred English earls and then had whittled it down to sixty who had wives in their mid-twenties, the age they thought their enemy now was. Over the past month, the men had been investigating all the names on the list and had cleared all but seventeen.
The discussion was loud and emotional. The other five Libertine Scholars shared the names on their lists. The women chimed in with comments, and with their help a further five earls were struck off the list when Beatrice commented that their wives had been at finishing school with her.
“That still leaves twelve names,” Maitland said. “I was hoping it would be smaller.”
Arend leaned sideways and helped himself to the decanter of brandy on the side table. “My money is still on the Earl of Northumberland’s widow, Lady Isobel’s stepmother.”
“You simply want it to be her because Lady Isobel vexes you so,” uttered Sebastian. “You want her to be in league with the villain so you can walk away with a clear conscience.”
All five ladies present swung their gaze to Arend. Hadley inwardly laughed. If they smelled the start of a romance, God help Arend. Hadley was pleased not to be the center of their attention for once.
“Clear conscience? I don’t have a conscience,” was Arend’s dry reply. “You tell me, then, why Isobel was kidnapped along with Marisa. It doesn’t make sense. There has to be a connection.”
Last month Marisa had been drugged and kidnapped by their villainess. They had managed to rescue her only when the carriage they were abducting her in crashed. Unfortunately, Marisa had been very badly wounded, and Maitland had almost lost her. Isobel too had been in the carriage, but she had been kidnapped from a different location.
“Perhaps the villain had other plans for Isobel. Perhaps she was taken to extract revenge on another individual.”
Arend scoffed. “Her father is dead, so who would that be?”
“She is his only child. Perhaps it was to wipe his lineage from this earth. Something she has savored doing to my husband.” Marisa’s quiet but venom-filled words hung in the air. The injuries Marisa had sustained meant she could never have children. Maitland, sitting beside her, took Marisa’s hand and pressed it to his lips. “But I still have you,” he declared softly.
Hadley turned away from the private moment so filled with love and devotion. Once he’d thought he shared this with Evangeline, but he’d been a fool. Love was not to be for him. Sometimes that thought made him envy what these men had found with their wives.
Portia played with a string of pearls round her neck. “I think it’s time we women took the lead. Now that we have a smaller list, we should be investigating the wives, not our husbands.”
Hadley returned his gaze to the ladies as Beatrice spoke.
“I agree, Portia. This needs a woman’s touch. If the supposedly happily married Libertine Scholars start asking questions about other men’s wives who knows what gossip will ensue.” Beatrice continued smoothly, “And we don’t wish our villainess to understand just how close we may be.”
The men all started talking at once. The husbands proclaiming how dangerous it was to let the women become so involved, while Arend argued that it made perfect sense.
Hadley understood both sides. After everything that had happened, these men would lay down their lives to protect their women. It was inborn instinct to guard them from harm, much more than simple male pride. He had always felt a need to protect those weaker than himself. He hated bullying of any form, as he himself had once been its victim, and he had the scars on his buttocks to prove it. He’d been his father’s whipping boy, always taking the punishment for his older brother, who was both weaker and smaller in size.
However, Arend’s argument that catching the villain quickly would thereby protect everyone was valid.
He remained silent, waiting for a chance to offer his opinion, or to be asked for it.
His chance came after a heated barb from Sebastian. Hadley cleared his throat and spoke rather loudly. “I understand you wish to protect your wives, but there are others who need protection too.” He glanced across the room. “Helen, for one. And what about the children?” The men quieted and looked at him. “We are spread too thin to be sure everyone is safe all the time. We have no idea what she plans to do next. I for one don’t want to wait to find out.” He nodded at Arend. “I believe Arend is correct when he says we are running out of time and that we need to unmask her sooner rather than later. We may find that it is more expedient to let the women—” He held up his hand at the growls already sounding in the men’s throats. “To let the well-guarded women do a little investigating of their own.”
Portia clapped her hands. “Exactly, Hadley, well said. You know how skilled each of us can be at uncovering secrets. We uncovered all of yours.” The twinkle in her eye was all for her husband, Viscount Blackwood.
“And it will be safe if we conduct the inquisitions, so to speak, in one place, with all of the men around us,” Marisa added.
Hadley let a smile of appreciation escape. “You have a plan, Duchess?”
“As it happens, I believe I do. We have twelve earls on our list. I propose that we hold four different house parties, one at a time, at each of our country estates and invite three of the earls on the list, along with other guests, to each one. Then we can observe and question the wives, with the men round us.”
Beatrice nodded. “If you look at the list, we can form groups of guests that would not raise any eyebrows when we extend an invitation.”
Before anyone could reply, there was a knock on the door and the additional guests were announced.
“Excuse me, my lord,” said the butler. “Lady Isobel Thompson, and Lady Evangeline Stuart.”
Hadley’s head whipped round in the direction of the door as if an invisible rope was tugging it. He barely noticed Isobel’s entrance, for his gaze was riveted on the tumble of auburn curls piled in an elegant array on top of a head he had thought he would never want to see again. His mouth dried and his heart pounded in his chest.
If he were not under a spell, he would have looked away, but his eyes traveled down, soaking in the beauty of features so fine, so perfect, they made a man think of angels. Eyes the color of a clear summer sky searched the room until they found him. A stranger’s smile hovered over her succulent lips, and a look of such longing entered those traitorous eyes that he almost believed the message they tried to convey: I’m here for you, my love.
However, he could not bring himself to believe anything those eyes or lips said. He’d believed once before, and it had left a hole where his heart once rested in his chest.
Summoning the anger that was churning deep in his innards, he broke the spell and turned away, but as he did so, his grip on the edge of the little chair must have been too tight for in the next second the chair splintered to pieces under him, and he fell with a thud to the floor, landing on his arse.
A Taste of Seduction is a work of fiction. Names, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Praise for the novels of Bronwen Evans
“Bronwen’s historical romances always make the top of my reading list!”—New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jen McLaughlin
“This tale is poignant, heartwarming and readers may be reaching for the Kleenex once or twice before the breathtaking ending.”—RT Book Reviews (4 1/2 stars), on A Kiss of Lies
“A page-turning, sensual adventure.”—New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Boyle, on A Promise of More
“Bronwen Evans spins a sexy romp in A Touch of Passion, as a lord who doesn’t dare love is locked in passionate battle with a woman who will accept nothing less. And may the best woman win!”—New York Times bestselling author Mary Jo Putney
“With complexity, depth, and hot, hot passion, Whisper of Desire kept my emotions on a roller coaster—and I didn’t want to get off.”—Lavinia Kent, author of Angel in Scarlet
Author Bronwen EvansUSA Today Bestselling author, Bronwen Evans (Bron), loves story-telling – gobbling up movies, reading books and attending the theater. Her head is always filled with characters and stories, particularly lovers in angst. Is it any wonder she’s a proud romance writer.
Bronwen attended Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand earning a bachelor’s degree in Commerce and Administration, majoring in Marketing and Accounting. She was all set on building herself a business career (which she did along the way).
But life never turns out exactly as one thinks. After working for a few years in marketing roles within New Zealand financial institutions, she left for a 6 month overseas experience in London, England. She loved England. She spent several years living in London, using it as a base to be able to work and travel from. She visited all four corners of the world. Her most interesting trips were a camel safari in the Sahara, a trip through Russia, a safari through Africa with her mother, and three months in the Mediterranean.
It was while living and working in London she discovered the offices of Mills & Boon and the germ of an idea to embark on a romance writing career was born.
Almost eight years later, on her return to New Zealand, encouraged by a close friend battling a life-threatening illness, Bronwen finally started down the path to publication by joining RWA, The Beau Monde, RWAustralia and RWNZ.
Bronwen’s first manuscript, INVITATION TO RUIN, was completed late 2009, and was sold to Kensington Publishing early 2010, in a two book deal. Her debut novel, INVITATION TO RUIN, received a 4.5 star rating from RT Book Reviews and was nominated in the RT Reviewer’s Choice Awards – Best First Historical. Invitation to Ruin was also won the RomCon Readers Crown Best Historical 2012.
Bron’s since gone on to win the RomCon Readers Crown three times. Her first book in her Disgraced Lords series hit the USA Today bestsellers list and she has hit it several times since.
She lives in New Zealand in sunny Hawkes Bay with her two Cavoodles named Brandy and Duke.