Today I am so pleased to welcome Rebecca Cohen to Joyfully Jay. Rebecca has come to talk to us about her latest release, James, Earl of Crofton. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
It’s lovely to be here visiting Jay and her team. It seems a very long time since I’ve released something new, I’ve had many re-releases over the last 6 months, but I’m happy to say I now have new novel, one that’s taken over 3 year to get from first idea to publication. So let me introduce you all to ‘James, Earl of Crofton’ my historical mm novel set in 1670 during the period of British history known as the Restoration, where Charles II, the merry monarch was restored as King to the throne of England, and a favourite period of history for me.
Back in 2014, I wrote the epilogue to final in The Crofton Chronicles series, Forever Hold His Peace, in which a young man talks to his grandfather about his love for someone unsuitable. That young man was James, the great-grandson of Anthony (the original Earl of Crofton). At the time I had no intention to expand James’s story, but then a little seed grew in my head about all how wouldn’t it be wonderful to see how the Redbourn family (the family who hold the earldom) would have adapted through the generations. Given my love of the Restoration period, it seemed only fitting to go back to James to let him have his moment in the sun. This novel can be read as a standalone from other books in the Crofton universe, and keep it to yourself, but there are 2 more planned – Charles (Regency) and Henry (Victorian)
I loved returning to world of extravagant clothing many lifetimes away from what we wear now, to a time when travel was in carriages, and where I could play with larger than life characters. I couldn’t resist the lure of a highwayman, and James has similar trouble, but also wild nights a court and the devious underbelly of the more ruthless side of society. But as well as all this, we see James as a young man having to deal with the death of his father and taking on the role of earl which he thinks he is not yet fit to inhabit.
So I hope you enjoy my new Earl of Crofton, James has certain traits that readers may remember from Anthony, but he is definitely his own man, and I think you’ll enjoy his adventures, trying to find his way in the world. I certainly enjoyed bringing him to life.
He heard voices ahead that sounded like a group of revellers on their way home and he thought that was as good a direction as any. Pushing himself off the wall, he burped again and carried on. He froze as a hand gripped him by the bicep, his drunken state making him stumble forwards into a broad chest.
“Please, my lord, I would ask you not to make yourself an easy target.”
James squirmed but was held tight. However, the panic disappeared when he recognised the mask his assailant wore. “You? What is a highwayman doing in the back alleys of London?”
“Saving the Earl of Crofton from being robbed and left for dead.”
Once again there was something familiar about the Chivalrous Highwayman’s voice, but his mind was too addled to help him place it. “Shouldn’t you be lurking in Epping Forest?”
“I had business in town. Often the price for pretty things is worth venturing into the stench of London. And let us say, it is wise to keep my mask to hand, in case someone might recognise me.”
“Don’t you fear someone might see the mask and call for the sheriff? Your wish to hide your identity may cause your downfall.” The soft chuckle annoyed James. “You should not laugh—you wear the mask of Harlequin, someone may trace you back through it.”
“You seem concerned I may be caught. I am a petty villain. You should want me strung up.”
James couldn’t make out the highwayman’s features beyond his mask and his lips. “You saved my life once, and maybe tonight a second time. It is only fair I would wish yours spared in return.”
“Here was me thinking you have softness for me.”
A softness? Maybe, but the Chivalrous Highwayman was no more attainable than Adam. “You think highly of yourself.”
“Then you would object if I were to kiss you?”
No doubt he should object, but he didn’t push away when a whisper of a kiss danced across his lips. It was brief, too brief, and James whined pathetically when it stopped.
“You are my favourite pretty thing, my lord. Let me get you to safety and then I can find my bed for the night.”
“Or you could continue kissing me.”
The dry chuckle was again reminiscent of someone. “Such temptation. But I must decline, for you have drunk too deeply to know your own mind.”
James Redbourn, Viscount of Crofton, enjoys all the pleasures King Charles II’s Restoration court affords him. His encounter with the enigmatic Chivalrous Highwayman in Epping Forest, sets the court aflame. Tales of the charming rogue treating his latest victim with his usual gentle hand has ladies’ fans quivering with every whisper.
While the Chivalrous Highwayman is a delicious fantasy, it is the intriguing Adam Dowson, the son of one of the greatest Cavalier generals, who is firing James’s daytime desires. Their friendship might be growing stronger, but Adam seems to be one of the few men who is impervious to James’s charms, no matter how hard James tries.
When James’s father become deathly ill, James races home. He is ill-prepared to become the 4th Earl of Crofton, and his father’s vague but dire warnings on his deathbed only make matters worse. Now the earl, James must discover what is happening at Crofton Hall that had troubled his father so deeply.
James turns to Adam for help. Despite Adam’s own secrets, James trusts him. James hopes he’s not making a mistake, risking his family estate, and his already bruised heart. Together, they need to work to clear out the rotten core at Crofton Hall, and along the way secure a happy future for them both.
Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh, Black Jazz Design
Release Date: April 10, 2020
Length: Novel / ~86,000 words
Pairing / Genre(s) / Keyword(s): M/M Historical Romance
Available on AMAZON in KU and KDP
REBECCA COHEN spends her days dreaming of a living in a Tudor manor house, or a Georgian mansion. Alas, the closest she comes to this is through her characters in her historical romance novels. She also dreams of intergalactic adventures and fantasy realms, but because she’s not yet got her space or dimensional travel plans finalised, she lives happily in leafy Hertfordshire, England, with her husband and young son. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and sloe gin with lemon tonic in the other.
Rebecca has brought a choice of backlist book to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Tuesday, April 14th at 11:59 pm ET.
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