In the next sparkling romance in debut author Charis Michael’s Bachelor Lords of London series, a proper viscount meets his match in a beguiling virgin who can’t help but break all the rules.
Lady Elisabeth Hamilton-Baythes has a painful secret. At the innocent age of fifteen, she was abducted by highwaymen and sold to a brothel. After two days, a young lord discovers her and enacts a brave rescue to get her out. Now she’s a grown woman, working to save other girls from the horror she saw that night and never forgetting the young man who rescued her.
Bryson Courtland, Viscount Rainsleigh has overcome an abusive boyhood, neglectful parents, and a bankrupt title to be one of the wealthiest noblemen in Britain. He works tirelessly to be upright and forthright and proper to a fault. Now he requires only one thing: A proper, forthright, proper wife.
When a charity event puts Lord Bryson and Lady Elisabeth face-to- face, Bryson has no memory of the wounded girl of long ago. All he can see is a perfect candidate to be his future wife. Elisabeth has never forgotten him, but she worries that the brave boy who saved her so long ago has become a rich man with an unfulfilled life.
As a whirlwind courtship reveals the truth, Bryson must accept that Elisabeth is actually a shadow from his dark past, while Elisabeth must show that love is the noblest virtue of all.
Why I Always Have a Romance Novel in My To-Be-Read Queue
Like many people, I am reading at least three books at any given time.
I’ve got an audio book to help me make it through mindless chores or when I’m driving. This is usually a work of literature, which means at least one character is either coming of age, enduring some manner of plight, or dying of Cholera (or all three), but in beautifully rendered prose.
I always do a 19th-century research book before bedtime. This adds texture, flavor, and authenticity to my own writing. For this, I read an actual bound book and annotate as I go.
But the third book I’m reading, the one that gets me through the day, the one that makes me pine for a doctor’s-office waiting room or the line at customer service, is a romance novel.
I download this book on the Kindle app of my phone so it is always with me, and this is my main book. It’s the one that captures my imagination, and the one I want to discuss with my friends, whether they’ve read it or not. This is the one that, since I was 16 years old, has made me want to be a romance writer.
Why? Well, I could name the usual suspects, all of them true: romances are hopeful; romances offer a guaranteed happy ending in a world with no such guarantees; romances are plot-driven, fast reads, big on entertainment and short on death-by-Cholera.
But I think the real reason that I’m always reading a romance novel is that, to me, there is no greater suspense, no bigger cliff hanger, no more complicated how-will-the-author-pull-this-off than the story of an unlikely hero and a heroine who fall in love. If the author has done it right—and my favorites always do it right—the setup spells absolute doom for this couple. How can you not turn the pages to see how the the magic unfolds. And don’t talk to me about unrealistic, because we all know this magic can be just as elusive in real life.
A common refrain from non-romance readers is, “but they all end the same way.” To this I say, “Yes! And thank goodness. But it’s not about the ending.” It’s the journey. It’s watching unexpected unity take root, struggle, and then thrive. For me, getting there is all the fun. And honestly, I cannot do without it.
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Charis Michaels is thrilled to be making her debut with Avon Impulse. Prior to writing romance, she studied Journalism at Texas A&M and managed PR for a trade association. She has also worked as a tour guide at Disney World, harvested peaches on her family’s farm, and entertained children as the “Story Godmother” at birthday parties. She has lived in Texas, Florida, and London, England. She now makes her home in the Washington, D.C.-metro area.