I am delighted to welcome Jude Knight back to the blog today with another wonderful excerpt from her new dark Regency romance, A Raging Madness. I absolutely loved this book, and would recommend it to any historical fans out there. It has everything you'd hope for in a Regency romance, plus a few other aspects--madness, opium addiction, surgery, riverboats--you never knew you needed. If you haven't read it yet, be sure to get yours now. Links below. ;) -J
A Raging Madness
By Jude Knight
Genre: Regency romance, historical romance, historical suspense, Regency noir, gothic
Heat rating: PG-13
Page count: 382 pages on Kindle
Publication date: 9 May 2017
Their marriage is a fiction. Their enemies are all too real.
Ella survived an abusive and philandering husband, in-laws who hate her, and public scorn. But she’s not sure she will survive love. It is too late to guard her heart from the man forced to pretend he has married such a disreputable widow, but at least she will not burden him with feelings he can never return.
Alex understands his supposed wife never wishes to remarry. And if she had chosen to wed, it would not have been to him. He should have wooed her when he was whole, when he could have had her love, not her pity. But it is too late now. She looks at him and sees a broken man. Perhaps she will learn to bear him.
In their masquerade of a marriage, Ella and Alex soon discover they are more well-matched than they expected. But then the couple’s blossoming trust is ripped apart by a malicious enemy. Two lost souls must together face the demons of their past to save their lives and give their love a future.
Half an hour later, there was a knock on the door.
Ella, expecting a maid or Susan, called out, “Enter.”
Alex opened the door just enough to slide inside and closed it again behind him.
“Before you say, I know I shouldn’t be here, but I had to tell you first, before anyone else.”
Ella frowned. He looked… stunned. As if someone had hit him on the side of the head with a large plank and he had registered the blow but not yet the pain. Swiftly, she crossed the room and took his hands.
“What is it? What has happened? What can I do?”
“I don’t think there is anything to be done. The King… They said a barony, but I never expected this.” He shook his head. “I am not making sense. I have had a shock.”
“Sit down.” She tugged his hand and he followed her unresisting to the seat by the fire.
“There. Can I get you some water? Where does it hurt?”
“The King has made me a viscount, Ella. Aldridge said a baron, which was ridiculous enough. But apparently, he had a spare viscountcy, so there you are. Viscount Renshaw.” He bowed slightly in the chair, more of a nod of the head. “At your service.”
“But…” She frowned, trying to understand. “That is not a bad thing, Alex, surely? My lord, I mean.”
“See? That is exactly what I was afraid of.” He looked disgusted, but at least less pole axed than when he arrived. “I have spent weeks trying to get you to regard me as an ordinary man, and what does the King do? If you call me ‘my lord’, Ella, I swear I will not be accountable for my actions.”
“You are though. Lord Renshaw.”
“Me and the heirs male of my body,” he agreed, gloomily, then brightened a little. “The estate is not a bad size and is in the Lincolnshire Wolds, which is good horse country. It will be in terrible condition, I imagine, for the King to give it away, but it might be a good base for our horse breeding, do you not think? We could go and see it after Christmastide.”
Ella’s mind was still on the heirs male. He would have to marry. That is what peers did. She should not mind. After all, except for one kiss that burned in her memory, there was nothing between them. Only friendship. But when she had agreed to partner him in the venture, she had owned a colt, and she had not thought of him having a wife. Surely he understood it could no longer be ‘our’ venture?
He misunderstood her silence. “No. I suppose you will not come. I will go and inspect it, and report, Ella.” He pulled himself to his feet. “I had better go before someone catches me in your room. Please do not hate me for being a peer. I could not help it, and I cannot bear to lose you… Your friendship, I mean.”
Her smile was a thing of the lips, not the heart, but she did the best she could. “We will always be friends, Alex.”
She writes historical novels, novellas, and short stories, mostly set in the early 19th Century. She writes strong determined heroines, heroes who can appreciate a clever capable woman, villains you’ll love to loathe, and all with a leavening of humour.