It’s almost here! Tomorrow is the release day for One Night with a Rake. Today I’ll share a bit of the actual history behind the premise of my Royal Rakes series.

One Night with a RakeIn 1817, the royal succession was thrown into an uproar when Princess Charlotte died with her stillborn son. The Prince Regent would never father another legitimate heir. Not only were he and his wife estranged, she was past bearing. So the three unmarried sons of King George III embarked on the “Hymen Race Terrific.” (I kid you not! That’s what the tabloids of the day called it!) The point was to marry and father a child who would one day wear the crown.

Three royal dukes were in contention. Adolphus Frederick, the Duke of Cambridge (the same title Prince William now holds, BTW!) is the one featured in One Night with a Rake. He was the 10th child of King George and the youngest surviving son. As a spare heir, the Duke of Cambridge pursued a military career, was wounded and captured during the Flanders Campaign in 1793.

When the opportunity to perhaps put his own progeny on the throne, even Cambridge didn’t like his chances. His older brothers would probably succeed him. He spent a great deal of time trying to arrange a bride for William (the Duke of Clarence from Waking Up with a Rake). After he settled matters for William, Cambridge married Augusta, his second cousin in June 1818. They were blessed with three children, but none of them ascended to the throne, because one of his brothers beat him to fatherhood.

So that’s the actual history behind One Night with a Rake. In my fictional world, someone doesn’t want to see the House of Hanover continue on the throne and sends in a rake to interfere with the royal duke’s courting. Hope you’ll enjoy the whirlwind of deception, seduction and revelation of true love that ensues! Look for One Night with a Rake at your favorite booksellers’ or find it at these fine etailers:

Buy Links:

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This is the first stop on my One Night with a Rake blog tour! I’m still on the cruise around the British Isles with my DH (and yes, we’re having a wonderful time!) but I’ll respond to all comments when I get home. If you leave a comment or question for me, you’ll be entered in Sourcebooks’ drawing for a copy of Waking Up with a Rake (Book 1 in the Royal Rakes series). US/Canada only. I’d like to add a second winner who will receive their choice from my Rock*it Read titles, open to international readers wherever a Kindle ebook is available.

Oh! Be sure to join me tomorrow at Casababes for the next stop on the One Night with a Rake tour!

Here’s a question to get you started: Do you like real historical underpinnings in your historical romance or do you prefer less actual intrusion of the real world in your fiction?



There’s always a “story behind the story.” Sometimes, I tuck it into  a set of author’s notes at the end of the book in case readers wonder what the true history that inspired my tales may be. Here are the facts that helped shape Waking Up with a Rake:

In November of 1817, Princess Charlotte died after giving birth to a stillborn boy. She was the sole legitimate grandchild of King George III, the only daughter of the Prince Regent and his estranged wife. It didn’t take a leap of genius for the younger unmarried sons of King George to realize that they had an opportunity to beget a future monarch. And so the “Hymen Race Terrific,” as the London tabloids called it, began.

Waking Up with a Rake

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Three royal dukes were in contention— the Duke of Cambridge, the Duke of Kent, and the Duke of Clarence, who features in Waking Up with a Rake. Clarence sired ten illegitimate children upon an actress with whom he lived for twenty years. He was perpetually in debt and actually had tried to woo a great heiress earlier in his life, but the match was forbidden by an Act of Parliament because the lady was a commoner. It made me think it was no great stretch for me to have him pursue Miss Olivia Symon, my commoner heroine.

In July 1818, the Duke of Clarence married Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, a woman half his age. Clarence set aside his mistress, and his new wife welcomed his nine surviving children into their home. By all reports, the marriage was a happy one, and since his frugal German wife took his finances in hand, Clarence’s debts began to shrink.

In June 1830, at the age of sixty- four, the Duke of Clarence ascended to the British throne to become King William IV. But he and his queen were never blessed with children of their own, so though he eventually wore the crown, the Duke of Clarence did not win the “Hymen Race Terrific.”

That is a tale for another duke…