Fueled by Pacific Northwest coffee and inspired by multiple viewings of every British costume drama she can get her hands on, USA Today bestselling author Christy Carlyle writes sensual historical romance set in the Victorian era. She loves heroes who struggle against all odds and heroines who are ahead of their time. A former teacher with a degree in history, she finds there’s nothing better than being able to combine her love of the past with a die-hard belief in happy endings.
An Unconventional Wallflower…
Clarissa Ruthven was born to be a proper lady, but she’s never wanted to live up to the expectations her late father set. Determined to use her inheritance to help the less fortunate women of London, she’s devastated to learn that she won’t be inheriting anything until she marries, a fate she has no interest in. Unwilling to let go of her plans, Clary works at Ruthven Publishing for Gabriel Adamson, a man who’s always hated her. She’s always returned the feeling, but as she begins to turn her family’s publishing company upside down, she finds herself unable to forget her handsome boss.
Never Follows the Rules…
Gabriel Adamson believes in order. He certainly doesn’t believe Clary should be sticking her nose in the publishing company, and she definitely has no business invading his every thought. But Gabe soon finds he can’t resist Clary’s sense of freedom or her passionate kisses and he starts to crave everything she’s willing to give him.
Especially When It Comes to Love…
When Gabe’s dark past comes back to haunt him, he’ll do anything to make sure that Clary isn’t hurt…even if it means giving up the only woman he’s ever loved.
Sophia Ruthven is the epitome of proper behavior. On paper at least, as long as that paper isn’t from one of the lady detective stories she secretly pens. She certainly isn’t interested in associating with the dashing Jasper Grey, the wayward heir to the Earl of Stanhope, and one of the stage’s leading men. But when she learns Grey’s younger sister Liddy has gone missing, she can’t deny her desire to solve the mystery…or her attraction to the incorrigible scoundrel.
Responsibility isn’t something Grey is very familiar with. On the boards and in the bedroom, he lives exactly how he wants to, shunning all the trappings of respectability and society. Grey knows he should avoid the bewitching Sophia, but he’s never been able to say no to what he wants. And having Sophia in his arms and his bed is quickly becoming the thing he wants the most.
As Sophia and Grey’s search for Liddy continues across the English countryside, can this scoundrel convince a proper lady that he’s actually perfect for her or will their adventure leave them both heartbroken?
Kit Ruthven's Rules (for Rogues)
#1 Love freely but guard your heart, no matter how tempting the invader.
#2 Embrace temptation, indulge your sensual impulses, and never apologize.
#3 Scorn rules and do as you please. You are a rogue, after all.
Rules never brought anything but misery to Christopher “Kit” Ruthven. After rebelling against his controlling father and leaving the family’s etiquette empire behind, Kit has been breaking every one imaginable for the past four years. He’s enjoyed London’s sensual pleasures, but he’s failed to achieve the success he craves as London’s premier playwright. When his father dies, Kit returns to the countryside and is forced back into the life he never wanted. Worse, he must face Ophelia Marsden, the woman he left behind years before.
After losing her father, Ophelia has learned to rely on herself. To maintain the family home and support her younger sister, she tutors young girls in deportment and decorum. But her pupils would be scandalized if they knew she was also the author of a guidebook encouraging ladies to embrace their independence.
As Kit rediscovers the life, and the woman, he left behind, Ophelia must choose between the practicalities she never truly believed in, or the love she’s never been able to extinguish.
In a bet between two old flames . . .
Rex Leighton dominates the boardroom by day and prowls the ballroom at night. Searching for the perfect bride to usher him into the aristocracy, he abandoned the idea of love the last time he saw the delicious May Sedgwick. But when he’s roped into a bet, where the prize is the means to fund his greatest ambition and the stakes are a marriage he’s already planning for, Rex is willing to go all in. There’s just one problem—he’s competing against the only woman he’s ever loved.
Only love can take it all
May Sedgwick could be the belle of the season . . . if she cared. She is more interested in the art studio than the marriage market and her craving to pursue her passion far outweighs her wish for a titled husband. Winning this bet will finally allow May to follow her true artistic desires. Rex losing is just a side benefit, as are his breathtaking kisses that she just can’t resist.
When May is forced to choose between the dream she never knew she wanted and the man she’s never been able to forget, Rex must convince her desire is worth a bit of danger.
Becoming engaged? Simple. Resisting temptation? Impossible.
Sebastian Fennick, the newest Duke of Wrexford, prefers the straightforwardness of mathematics to romantic nonsense. When he meets Lady Katherine Adderly at the first ball of the season, he finds her as alluring as she is disagreeable. His title may now require him to marry, but Sebastian can’t think of anyone less fit to be his wife, even if he can’t get her out of his mind.
After five seasons of snubbing suitors and making small talk, Lady Kitty has seen all the ton has to offer…and she’s not impressed. But when Kitty’s overbearing father demands she must marry before her beloved younger sister can, she proposes a plan to the handsome duke. Kitty’s schemes always seem to backfire, but she knows this one can’t go wrong. After all, she’s not the least bit tempted by Sebastian, is she?
An Avon Romance
When a scheming marquess's daughter offers her one hundred pounds to publicly kiss a nobleman, a desperate Jessamin Wright agrees. She believes the money will save her failing bookstore and finally free her from her father's debts. But when Jess bursts into an aristocratic party and shocks the entire ton, she never expects to enjoy the outrageous embrace she shares with a grim viscount.
Lucius Crawford, Viscount Grimsby, has never met, or kissed, anyone like the beautiful suffragette who unsettles him with a single touch. He has always strived for control and avoided passion at all costs. Lucius is determined to protect his title and restore the estate he's unexpectedly inherited, but Jess's appearance in his life poses a threat to his plans and his heart. After a country house party brings them together once more, neither can resist temptation, and both find that one scandalous kiss just isn't enough.
Set against the backdrop of London's dangerous East End in 1888, Victorian propriety and passions collide when a beautiful widow makes a wager with a wounded police detective bent on solving the Ripper mystery.
Unlucky in love and estranged from his family, Detective Sergeant Benjamin Quinn is obsessed with solving the Ripper crimes. When he’s suspended from the Metropolitan Police, it’s another failure in a long line of disappointments. But a new mystery arises when a beautiful widow shows up at the most infamous pub in Whitechapel seeking his help. He’s determined to assist Kate Guthrie, and equally determined to quell his growing attraction to her.
Kate Guthrie hides painful secrets from her first marriage and has avoided matrimony for nearly ten years. Now she’s finally decided it’s time to remarry and move on with her life, even if it means giving up the charity clinic work in Whitechapel that makes her days worthwhile. But when a battered young woman turns up at the clinic claiming to have been attacked by Jack the Ripper, Kate seeks out Detective Sergeant Benjamin Quinn, a man who sparks feelings in her too potent to deny.
Stands Alone: Yes
Set against the backdrop of Victorian London's dangerous East End, a young woman's disappearance brings together a wounded war veteran and the one woman who can see beyond his scars.
As a probationary nurse at Whitechapel’s Samaritan Hospital, Ada Hamilton is required to remain unmarried and devote her energies to helping those in need, but when her sister goes missing, she becomes obsessed with solving the mystery of her disappearance. A menacing aristocrat may hold the answers, but it is his friend, scarred Afghan War veteran William Selsby, a man with questionable intentions and haunting grey eyes, who may hold the key to her heart.
William Selsby returned wounded and broken from Afghanistan to find his betrothed married to another man. Eight years later, desperate for a woman’s touch, he accepts a wager from a debauched nobleman, winning the chance to take the man’s mistress off his hands. But the woman he encounters in Whitechapel overturns all his expectations and may be the one person who can see something worth cherishing in the man he has become, wounds and all.
Stands Alone: Yes
Set against the backdrop of London's dangerous East End in 1888, Victorian propriety and passions collide when a spinster strikes a scandalous bargain with a detective caught up in the investigation of the Ripper mystery.
Elizabeth Ainsworth has decided she will never marry. Years spent on the shelf have taught her plain looks and a distinct lack of ladylike talents won't win a proposal from any of the eligible young constables or inspectors her Detective Chief Inspector father invites to their home. Most of them are too busy staring at her younger, prettier sister anyway. And Lizzy is content to be a spinster, especially if it means she can continue with her charity work in Whitechapel. But she has one lingering regret. She wants to experience passion at least once in her life and, most of all, she wants to experience it with Ian Reed.
Detective Inspector Ian Reed has aspirations to ascend the ranks of the Metropolitan Police, and he hopes proving himself to his superior, Detective Chief Inspector Ainsworth, will help him get there. A series of brutal murders plaguing Whitechapel have him working long hours, so when Ainsworth's daughter shows up on his doorstep and offers herself to him, he fears he might be dreaming. Fascinated with Lizzy from the moment he meets her, Ian is determined to spend more than one night in her arms, despite what it might cost both of them.
Scandalous Wager is a sensual novella of approximately 17,000 words.