Cause for celebration, certainly, but this one is extra special.
In 2010 this rip-roaring romantic adventure was published as Disgrace and Desire, but only in the UK. I am thrilled now at its rebirth: Harlequin/Mills & Boon are releasing the book in the USA, with a new title and a new cover, and I hope even more readers will love it as much as I do.
I have put both covers here, so you can compare them for yourself, but the story hasn’t changed 🙂
In 2010, Cataromance’s Juilemi wrote:
“Sarah Mallory continues to thrill with Disgrace and Desire, a fabulous historical romantic adventure brimming with gusto, verve and flair!”
Romance Junkies said:
“Ms. Mallory, you really outdid yourself with Eloise and Jack’s story.”
This is a book that has always been close to my heart.
It starts on the battlefields of Waterloo, where Captain Jack Clifton makes a promise to a dying colleague to return his ring and a locket to his widow. A year later he returns to England and seeks out Lady Allyngham to fulfil that promise. Only Eloise is not the “good, loyal woman” Jack had been told to expect. Sparks fly when they meet and try to resist the attraction growing between them.
The Major & the Scandalous Widow is a little different.
It is definitely about love, but it is also the story of loyalty, honour and friendship. I wanted to explore a woman’s affection for her childhood friends—a devotion that is so strong she is willing to sacrifice her own chance of happiness to protect them.
The backstory for the rebirth…
Eloise was a poor relation in the Allyngham household, where she grew up alongside Tony, her future husband, and his best friend Alex. Alex describes her perfectly.
‘Elle was loyal to a fault and often took the blame for our pranks…She spent most of her time rescuing us from our more outlandish scrapes.’
This is the premise for my story: a widow who is fiercely loyal to the memory of her husband and will go to almost any lengths to protect his good name, even risking her own reputation.
It is loyalty that brings Major Jack Clifton to London, to seek out the widow of a fallen colleague. The beautiful Eloise is nothing like the demure creature Tony has described to him and, despite his growing attraction to the widow, he suspects his friend was deceived.
For her part, Elle must untangle the web of lies and deceit and save the reputations of those dearest to her. At the same time, she must defeat the villain who threatens to expose her.
Can she do all this without losing Jack’s love??????
Well, this is a romantic adventure, so I will leave you to answer that one!