The much-loved novels of Georgette Heyer may now be a distant memory but Regency-style romance has never been more popular.
One of the stars of this bold, sexy and more contemporary brand of writing is Stephanie Laurens who has wholeheartedly embraced this period of history to pen luscious, passion-filled tales of love and intrigue in the highest echelons of England’s misbehaving aristocratic society.
Born in Sri Lanka but currently living outside Melbourne, Laurens’ novels about the masterful Cynster cousins have captivated readers for decades, making her one of the romance world’s bestselling authors.
And now readers are lapping up her enthralling Cavanaugh family series which began with The Designs Of Lord Randolph Cavanaugh and features the devilish antics of drop-dead gorgeous aristocratic males, and the daring schemes of feisty females in early Victorian England.
The go-getting Cavanaughs are unlike any other family in 1840s English society and although he is one of the most eligible bachelors in London, Lord Christopher ‘Kit’ Cavanaugh has discovered his true path and it doesn’t include the expected society marriage. Kit is all about business and has chosen the bustling port of Bristol to launch his passion… a boat-building concern called Cavanaugh Yachts.
Meanwhile, Miss Sylvia Buckleberry’s passion is her school for impoverished children in Bristol’s docklands but when a new yacht-building business venture forces the school out of its warehouse home, she must act quickly.
But confronting Kit Cavanaugh is a daunting task, made even more difficult by their first and only previous meeting at his brother Randolph’s wedding when, believing she would never see him again, she had treated him dismissively. Still, Sylvia is determined to be persuasive.
But it quickly becomes clear there are others who want the school – and Cavanaugh Yachts – closed. Working side by side, Kit and Sylvia must fight to secure her school and to expose the blackguard trying to sabotage his business. Yet an even more dastardly villain lurks, one who threatens the future that they have both discovered they now hold dear…
True love is on a slow-burn in this delightful new Cavanaughs story which fields two intriguing, beautifully portrayed lead players caught up in a dark and edgy mystery. The rigours and dangers of life in 19th century England spring to life as Kit and Sylvia are targeted by an unknown enemy.
Expect drama, suspense, surprises and some tender, heart-fluttering romance as Laurens unleashes her trademark wit, colourful cast of characters and seductive storytelling on this new chapter in the life of the dynamic Cavanaughs.
(Mills & Boon, paperback, £8.99)