Stages of Desire
by Julia Tagan
Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)
Release Date: January 5, 2015
To be or not to be—in love…
As a ward of the Duchess of Dorset, Harriet can hardly expect more from a match than the ringing endorsement of “from what I’ve heard, the man is financially secure and his teeth are quite regular.” After all, she’s only the lowly daughter of traveling actors, not the actual daughter of the duchess.
William Talbot, Earl of Abingdon is set to marry the duchess’s daughter. After his elder brother’s scandalous death, his family’s reputation is paramount, and he’ll allow nothing to damage it again. But when Harriet disappears to save her father from debtor’s prison, the scandal threatens William and his intended’s family.
The simple task of fetching the duchess’s runaway ward turns complicated when Harriet insists on traveling with her father’s acting company. William’s forced to tag along, and finds himself entranced. The stage transforms Harriet into a free-spirited, captivating beauty. But someone’s been sabotaging the theater company, and instead of facing scandal, William and Harriet discover a threat not only to their growing passion, but to their lives…
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Harriet Farley became the ward of the Duchess of Dorset when her mom died and her dad a travelling actor left her in the Duchess care. She is more of a companion to the Duchess daughter but her marital prospects are few only someone who might be financial secure and straight white teeth if she is lucky.
The duchess’s daughter is set to marry William Talbot, Earl of Abingdon. His family is still suffering a scandal when his oldest brother was in a carriage accident with the company of an actress whom he planned to marry but they both end up dead. William feels guilty since he was in argument with his brother disapproving of the marriage.
When Harriet hears that her father is going to be thrown in jail for a debtor’s debt, she runs away to seek her father. Along the way, William catches up with her as he vows to bring her back safely and with a proper escort his nursemaid as companion. Misfortune arises along their journey with a fire that almost burned off the barn with the sets and then robbers it seems someone wants to sabotage her father’s company.
A known actress who was schedule to perform at Harriet’s father company ends up dead at first people thought it was food poisoning from bad oysters ends up being arsenic things go quickly out of hand as Harriet steps into the role with high praise. She keeps her promise to William and goes back to the Duchess despite falling for William.
Trying to stay apart from each other as their feelings grow but dangers still lurk with the acting company. Will it be too late as Harriet life is threatened by poison or will William save her? As secrets unfold for the both of them can they be true to themselves and their love?