A Very Modern Marriage
by Rachel Brimble
GENRE: Historical romance
He needs a wife…
Manchester industrialist William Rose was a poor lad from the slums who pulled himself up by his bootstraps, but in order to achieve his greatest ambitions he must become the epitome of Victorian respectability: a family man.
She has a plan…
But the only woman who’s caught his eye is sophisticated beauty Octavia Marshall, one of the notorious ladies of Carson Street. Though she was once born to great wealth and privilege, she’s hardly respectable, but she’s determined to invest her hard-earned fortune in Mr Rose’s mills and forge a new life as an entirely proper businesswoman.
They strike a deal that promises them both what they desire the most, but William’s a fool if he thinks Octavia will be a conventional married woman, and she’s very much mistaken if she thinks the lives they once led won’t follow them wherever they go.
In the third instalment of Rachel Brimble’s exciting Victorian saga series, The Ladies of Carson Street will open the doors on a thoroughly modern marriage – and William is about to get a lot more than he bargained for…
There was something beguiling about a woman who spoke so eloquently, who clearly knew much of the world and wasn’t afraid to challenge and speak with a gentleman of wealth and standing. She was feisty, certainly. But it was more than that. Octavia Marshall had clear control of her emotions and an aptitude for conversation that challenged and intrigued him, that made him want to be a better man, to impress her with his strengths and play down any weaknesses.
He had never met a woman so mysterious yet open, so tormenting yet serious. It was baffling, but entirely captivating and the combination made his body shift carnally.
Dangerous. That’s what she was… very, very dangerous.
And he had to put a stop to her enchantment.
‘Octavia.’ He reached out as she stopped outside a closed bedroom door, gently but firmly grasping her elbow. ‘We should talk.’
Her hand slipped from the door and concern darkened her eyes. ‘Are you all right?’
William looked deep into her eyes and felt as though he was teetering on the edge of something he couldn’t explain. He released her elbow and pushed his hand into his hair. ‘I didn’t come here to be alone with you this way.’
Her gaze drifted over his face before she slowly lifted her incredible lashes and pinned him to the floor with her brilliant blue gaze. ‘Do you want to be with me now?’
‘I can’t make love to you when—’
‘You won’t be making love to me.’ She lightly touched her fingers to his jaw. ‘This is a business arrangement. The same as any other.’
A spike of something that felt far too much like a blow hit the centre of his chest and he swallowed. What in God’s name was happening to him? Since when did he react so uncertainly to anything… anyone?
Welcome Rachel! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.
First of all, it’s so great to reconnect with you, Harlie! It has been far too long 😊
What can I tell you about me? Well, I’ve been married to the fabulous Mr B for almost 24 years, we have two grown up daughters and a mad chocolate Labrador called Tyler. When I am not writing, you will find me reading, knitting or watching far too much TV!
As well as historical romance, I have also written contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels but historical is my firm favorite.
Is A Very Modern Marriage a single title, or part of a series?
It is the third and final part of the Ladies of Carson Street trilogy, but I promise all the books can be read standalone – the first book is A Widow’s Vow and the second, Trouble For The Leading Lady.
Each book brings one of the three women who live at Carson Street center-stage with the other two as their support cast.
What were your inspirations for the story?
The series was inspired by the TV show Harlots and my reading of The Five by Hallie Rubenhold which is an exploration into the lives of Jack the Ripper’s victims. Although, the inspiration sounds incredibly dark and my books are grittier than your average historical romance, my aim was to write about a trio of prostitutes and how they came to be in the sex trade and then their journeys towards the happy ever after they each deserve 😊
Please share your setting for A Very Modern Marriage. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?
This book and all my historicals are set in the wonderful city of Bath, England – I am lucky enough to live just a short distance from this famous city and so I am very familiar with the buildings and streets, both famous and not so famous. It is a gift to be able to visit Bath whenever I want to check something, or I am looking for new inspiration.
If you haven’t visited before, I highly recommend you do whenever possible!
If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?
Ooh, I would love to have a roundtable discussion with all the historical fiction and historical romance authors I admire the most – they would be Julia London, Julia Quinn, Diana Galbaldon, Alison Weir and Philippa Gregory.
I would pick their brains about how they manage to come up with such fabulous plots time after time – plotting is something that I have struggled with forever…despite A Very Modern Marriage being my 28th book!
Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?
I am almost as obsessed with knitting as I am writing! Every spare moment I have, you will either find me knitting in front of the TV or, if the weather is nice (not often in the UK) then I will be walking the beautiful countryside with my husband and our dog.
Knitting is my relaxation – I find it incredibly therapeutic, and it also gives me the brain space to mentally tackle any problems I’m having with the current book I’m writing.
What is the one thing that you would tell an inspiring writer to do?
The best advice I have ever been given and what I pass on at every opportunity is, ‘Give yourself permission to write a crappy first draft.’
Once I stopped stressing over every sentence, page, chapter and just wrote the story, not only did I enjoy the whole process a lot more, but my output quadrupled.
Write, write, write until The End – you can worry about cleaning it up in the following drafts. Get the story finished!
Hello, my English Rose. It’s been a while. Let me tell you that if you are craving an outstanding historical romance that is character-driven, emotional, thoroughly researched, and just an all-around phenomenal book to read. Ms. Brimble does the research in her historical books and it shows. I actually learn something when I read her.
Octavia and William are terrific characters. I need to let you know I didn’t read the other books in the series, but you will not scratch your head. I got caught up quickly and Ms. Brimble doesn’t info dump either. Octavia’s situation is tough. I will have to say that Ms. Brimble doesn’t shy away from the sex trade of the time, but it is not gratuitous. The above excerpt should give you a sign about the smexy times in the book. They are closed-door and relevant. However, the sexual tension is there for the reader. I appreciate it that more you can know.
William is a character that is rarely written in historical fiction. He’s rich but not titled. We don’t have to read about going to balls, parties to know the character he has. Loyal, stubborn to a fault, kind, and willing to further his family and workers with fair dealings. The textile trade isn’t easy and William knew this firsthand. I found it interesting that Octavia wanted to learn from him at first. I didn’t think that made sense, but in the end; it did. In fact, I would have loved it a bit more than the last scene with them at the mill.
The epilogue is great, but again, I really needed to know what happened after the dust-up. I need to know about Louisa and Jacob. Maybe Ms. Brimble will let me know sometime. Ms. Brimble is one of those storytellers that leaves you wanting more. Trust me, I’ve read most of her work, even her earlier books. She excels in historical fiction where others just seem to dial it in. Her voice in the genre should be celebrated and revered. Yes, I am biased, but trust me; you need to read her work. You won’t be sorry and thank you’s are unnecessary. I’ve never steered you wrong before and I won’t start now.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Rachel lives in a small town near Bath, England. She is the author of over 25 published novels, including the Ladies of Carson Street trilogy, the Shop Girl series (Aria Fiction), and the Templeton Cove Stories (Harlequin).
Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Historical Novel Society and has thousands of social media followers all over the world.
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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Rachel Brimble will award a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.