Rose Radcliffe's life has become exceedingly uncertain. Her older husband, the Earl of Tremont, has died and through an entailment, she has lost her home. A will may have left her something, but it hasn't been found. Upon his return from Italy, her late husband's stepson, Mackenzie Lancaster, discovers his stepfather's demise and expects to be mentioned in the will.
He is aghast to hear that the will is missing. The earl's odious nephew, Jarrett Caldwell, who has inherited the title and estate, is determined that Mackenzie and Rose get nothing. The will must not be found! Jarrett decides to have a fake will forged and tries to pass it off as the real thing. Will his cruel ruse work?
An Awe-Struck ReleaseComing Soon...
Emma James grew up in New England. After attending University of Massachusetts, she moved to Canada. There, she married, traveled with her husband throughout Europe and Asia, and then returned to Ontario to have a family. She raised two daughters, and when the youngest left to attend a university, she sold her house and moved to Southern California. That was when she began to write Regencies.
She lived in London briefly in the early 70s and now watches mostly BBC America and generally reads romances set in England during the Regency period. She lives alone with her two cats and spends her time writing, sewing and taking pictures.
Will the villain gain control? Will the true hero come forth and get the lady? ...the story-line...helped to form great mind-moving pictures of the countryside, and through the English language of lords, ladies, and earls, brought the characters to life. Love plays a big part in this story, because it isn't talking only of the love of family, it is also talking of a deeper love between a woman and a man. Once love is found, age shouldn't be a barrier.Wanda Maynard -- Simigen
Highly Recommended! 5 STARS
"This is Regency at its best! Two people who should be together cannot because of social differences and the dictum of society. In the background, Jarrett is circling in the way of a shark sensing prey. He is clearly the most eligible and correct husband for Rose, she will be able to continue her present lifestyle in the properties that she adores, if she marries him. Mackenzie can only offer love and adventure, if the Will is not found he does not even have a home. Rose is growing to love Mackenzie but she believes that she is much too old for him and he is with her only out of pity.
"The stories of the secondary characters are just as enjoyable as Rose’s own tale. They bring out a new dimension to Rose, as do the pets and servants of the many houses. As readers begin to learn more of why Jarrett is so disliked, the plot takes on a new slant, and it is clear that Rose must avoid marriage to this selfish man. Emma James adds an atmosphere of sexual tension throughout the book for both Rose and Mackenzie, but as a true Regency, it is the love of the couple that shines through, details of their lovemaking are not necessary. I have thoroughly enjoyed Stepson. This reader found it to be a completely different and very unpredictable Regency book."Naomi -- Fallen Angel Reviews
"The characters come together to create an interesting story set in the latter half of the Regency era after the war between France and England. It has good, realistic dialogue and (is) a well-rounded romance. STEPSON is a sweet and engaging romance by Emma James that readers are sure to enjoy."Angela Camp -- Romance Reviews Today
"Faith, you forget yourself. I am only allowed to have the dower house on your brother's sufferance," Rose said, her voice suddenly stern.
"But that could all change if you found the will."
Rose twisted her hands. "Yes, or we could learn that there are no provisions for me, and my hand will be forced."
"What do you mean?"
"Oh, never mind. This whole thing has just overset me. First, it was the lost will, and then, there was your odious brother's behavior. Now Mr. Lancaster has appeared on the scene. I can't feel comfortable with him, knowing how he hurt Tremont."
"Perhaps you don't really know the whole story. Mr. Lancaster doesn't seem like a mean person."
Rose sighed. "You are probably right. Shall I ring for tea? I'm ready for a dish and then I'm off to my room."
"I'm ready, ring."
They had their tea and then headed toward their bedchambers. As the ladies climbed the staircase, they stopped at a window at the landing, and gazed out at the moonlit night.
"Ooh, I love this kind of night, warm and bright. I am going to take a turn around the rose garden. Would you care to come along?" Rose asked.
Faith shook her head. "No thank you. I am practically falling asleep where I stand; it has been a very long day."
"Of course," Rose said, giving her friend a quick hug. "You go off to your bed. Sleep well. Good night." Rose turned and headed back down the stairs.
A short time later, she had grabbed a warm shawl on her way out the door, and stepped into a night that almost seemed magical. The rose garden just outside the back door was awash in moonlight, and the air was filled with the scent of roses. Rose inhaled deeply, and with the suggestion of a smile on her face, started down the gravel path.
She was wandering along slowly when she rounded a corner, and ran right into Mackenzie.
She staggered backward, and he grabbed her arms to steady her. "What...oh! Mr. Lancaster! You gave me such a fright," she said, clutching at her chest. "What are you doing here?"
"I noticed what a beautiful night it was, and couldn't resist a walk. And you, my lady?" he asked raising one brow.
"Same reason." She pulled her shawl more tightly around her shoulders as if she felt a chill, but it was not the night air that sent shivers along her arms.
Mackenzie still gripped her arms and drew her closer. He moved one hand to the back of her head and danced his fingers along the back of her neck. Then, he drew one finger along her jaw line and she emitted a quiet gasp.
She knew he was going to kiss her and her mind screamed get away from this man! She could hardly believe his boldness. Yet, she found that she couldn't move or speak as if in some kind of trance. She merely closed her eyes and sighed with submission.
He covered her mouth with his and kissed her as she had never been kissed. There was nothing but the two of them, the moonlight, and the magical night. She was a little afraid, but...ooh, the warmth of his embrace, the taste of him.
Reluctantly, she gently pushed against his chest. "Mr. Lancaster," she whispered, "let me go. What has come over you?"
"Oh come now, my lady, your kiss was full of passion and those soft moans were coming from you, were they not?"
"I really do not know to what you are referring, sir. I must bid you good-night." Confused, she slowly turned, and set off toward the house, like a sleepwalker.