A Nobeleman''s Guide to Seducing a Scoundrel

It’s Book Release Day!

A Nobeleman''s Guide to Seducing a Scoundrel

It’s finally here! A Nobleman’s Guide to Seducing a Scoundrel, the second in my Doomsday Books duo, is out at last. Featuring a soldier-turned-earl with a temper, a smuggler-turned-secretary with a secret, a lot of sneaking around ancient manor houses and playing around with droit du seigneur, Gothic novels, probably too many references to the Angevin dynasty, and some serious angst.

“Masterfully crafted, deliciously adventurous and so, so horny”–BookPage

If you’ve read The Secret Lives of Country Gentlemen, you will recall Luke Doomsday (Goldie), a snotty adolescent with an abusive father. Luke goes through a lot in that book, and this one, set thirteen years later, is partly about exploring the aftereffects of that damage (aka ‘just how bad is it to be a secondary character in a KJ Charles romance novel? Oh, that bad.’).

Fortunately, Luke meets his match in Rufus, a nobleman in training with no tact, a tendency to shout, and the kindest heart on Romney Marsh. Have some Luke and Rufus.

“About the matter of you going to London. Is that your plan?”

“Of course not. Can’t stand it, stinking filthy pit. What the blazes would I do there?”

“I think you’re intended to court ladies at Almack’s.”

“No,” Rufus said firmly. “Damned if I’m going, even if they’d let me in.”

“Why would they not let you in? You’re an earl.”

“Wouldn’t do me any good. I’ve heard about that place. Fancy manners and no trousers.”

Doomsday spluttered. Rufus pointed a warning finger at him, grinning. “I meant, you have to wear black silk knee-breeches and dress up as though it was the last century. Drink ratafia and mind your language. Bugger that. And how am I supposed to take charge of the estate from London?”

“Well, you couldn’t, that’s the point. And it doesn’t have to be Almack’s; the purpose is very much the courting of ladies. You are the earl, and, well, heirs.”

“I couldn’t give two shits for that,” Rufus said, once again forgetting he was an earl, although in fairness, the most foul-mouthed of his fellow officers had been a marquess’s son. “And I’m not courting anyone. Wouldn’t know how to start.”

“You could court!” Doomsday said with a touch of indignation. “Perhaps not in the most conventional manner, but you’d have no trouble.”

“I would. I never learned to dance—would you believe that’s all but demanded of officers? Bloody ridiculous cavalry twiddle-poop.” As a proud member of the 54th Foot, Rufus had views on cavalry officers. “And I’ve no idea about fine words or wooing, and I’m cursed if I know what one’s meant to do. If you want me to continue the d’Aumesty line, Christ knows what for, you’ll need to give me a list of instructions, or find me an etiquette guide or some damn thing.”

“A nobleman’s guide to courting a countess? Step one, take the lady’s hand and praise the delicacy of her skin with a salute.” Doomsday adopted a decidedly effete upper-class voice for that, simultaneously turning his hand and arm in a wonderfully elegant manner, offering Rufus his palm just like a lady.

Rufus took it, bowed over it, and kissed it.

He hadn’t intended to do that. It was just a joke, spur-of-the-moment, continuing the banter, except that he’d kissed Doomsday’s hand, not just the hand but the sensitive palm, had pressed his lips against warm skin, and even as he stood bowed over it wondering at his own incredible stupidity, he still held that hand in his. “Uh—”

“That’s very good.” Doomsday’s fingers rested lightly in Rufus’s, so that all Rufus would need to do was close his own fingers on them and pull. His long eyelashes were lowered modestly, as part of the joke. His voice sounded a bit constricted. “Perhaps a little forceful, but flattering enthusiasm is very hard to resist.”

“I’m glad it meets your approval,” Rufus managed. Play along, he told himself. Banter. “What’s step two?”

“That would be a compliment on the radiance of her complexion, or perhaps the lustre of her eyes.”

“Madam, your eyes are as brown as, uh. I don’t know. Bread?”

Doomsday’s downswept eyes swept right back up. “Bread?

“I couldn’t think of anything else brown. Hot chocolate? A good beef stew?”

“Stop talking now,” Doomsday said, extracting his hand. “And by that I meant, Maybe I should send for an etiquette guide, my lord.”

Out now, have at it!

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A Decade of Lies

So I was looking it up the other day and my first book, The Magpie Lord, was published on 3 September 2013. It’s free right now, should you not have read it: help yourself.

I have been (in Lawrence Block’s immortal phrase) telling lies for fun and profit for ten years. Gosh.

I’m mildly stunned. In that time I’ve written thirty novels, which have been translated into eight languages. I’ve worked with seven publishers with an eighth coming. (Check out this gallery of Magpie Lord’s many incarnations, it’s really quite something.) I’ve gone from publishing to self publishing and back again. (I’ve also gone from having two adorable small children to having look let’s just say two teenagers and leave it there, lived through a pandemic, and watched my cat become too old and lazy to murder. Time is weird.)

And, mostly, I’ve had the immense good fortune that people have bought the damn books, thus allowing me to keep doing it.

I quit my job three years after my first publication with the intention of writing backed up by freelance editing. My uberboss at that time, head of a large chunk of a major publisher, laughed when she heard I wanted to make a living by writing and sarcastically said “Good luck with that.” I bring this up a lot because authors really ought to know that publishing does not expect or even intend you to make a living by writing.

But, for now, I am making a living, which means I get to keep on writing. I am well aware this makes me one of the luckiest people on earth and I am doing my best to earn it.

Ten years. Crikey.

So, I should clearly do something to celebrate. I did think about elaborate plans but let’s be real, I have deadlines queued into 2026/infinity and am going quietly hatstand over here, so I think it’s going to be a giveaway.

So! I have a new book coming out 19 September. It’s the second in my Doomsday Books duo.

Book 1 is about Joss Doomsday, smuggler, and Sir Gareth Inglis, baronet, getting mixed up in all sorts of shenanigans on remote Romney Marsh. Book 2 returns to the Marsh thirteen years later, where Joss’s little cousin Luke is now secretary to the new and chaotic Earl of Oxney. Both of them offer family feuds, dark deeds, cross-class, and other alliterative joys. Published by Sourcebooks; the gorgeous cover art is by Jyotirmayee Patra.

I’m going to give away three sets of print copies (ie both books) to three winners. I will sign both copies as you wish: personalised dedication, rude comment on the last page to startle your friend, marriage proposal (that would have to be on your behalf, I’m already married). Postage to anywhere in the world.

EDIT: the giveaway is now closed, winners notified, and books sent!

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