Relics & Rakes

Sins of the Highlander

Click image to order!

Update: Congrats to Barbara Britton! You’re the winner today. You’ll be hearing from Barbara Monajem soon about your prize.

In the meantime, I hope the rest of you will be sure and enter my contest. The prize is a KINDLE and the drawing date is coming soon.

Today I’m visiting BookGirl of Mur-y-Castell for the Sins of the Highlander tour. I hope you’ll pop over to join me there, too! There are 2 chances to win the book at the BookGirl‘s blog.

But here on my blog, I’m delighted to welcome my friend Barbara Monajem. She has an exciting new release from Harlequin Undone, called THE UNREPENTANT RAKE. The story has such a fresh concept, I just know you’ll love it!


from Barbara Monajem….

When my muse told me to write a short, sexy Regency centered around a holy relic, I thought she was nuts. Not that I object to stories featuring either sex or holy relics, but the combination seemed weird to me.

Just write it, the Muse said. I know better than to ignore my Muse. She had already inspired me by leading me online to St. Davnet, an Irish saint of the 6th or 7th Century about whom little is known (and who may or may not be the same as St. Dympna). She is said to protect women in danger and the mentally ill. I swear upon my honor that when I was reading about her, I found a site that links her to family harmony as well. That’s where I got the idea for the story, but several months later, when I tried to find the information again…poof! It was gone. I love and respect my Muse, but…did she make it all up? Or maybe I’m just a lousy web-surfer, but by that time the story was written. I was stuck with a tale where family harmony is brought about by a little silver reliquary containing a bone from one of St. Davnet’s toes.

Clearly the Muse has a sense of humor as well as a stranglehold on me. The Romance of the Toe Bone (actually, it’s called The Unrepentant Rake) was released this month.

Setup: For years, St. Davnet’s toe bone has helped governess Beatrix March avoid marriage. When it’s stolen by one of her pupils, she searches for it in the middle of the night and has to climb out a window to avoid getting caught.


Now what was she to do? She turned in the cramped width of the balcony and looked down. She couldn’t possibly jump that far. She would have to wait until they had all fallen asleep again and break the window to unlock it, and if someone heard her…

‘Miss March!’ She would recognize that sly male voice anywhere. She glanced about. Where was he?

‘Beneath you,’ said Simon Carling, stepping out from behind a bush.

‘Thank God,’ she breathed. ‘I’m in such a fix.’

‘So I see,’ he mocked. ‘A respectable guest would immediately wake the master of the household, since you are plainly up to no good.’

‘Hush!’ she hissed. ‘You’re not respectable, and we both know it. Help me, for heaven’s sake.’

‘I should be delighted.’ He paused. ‘At a price.’

Footsteps sounded in the room behind her, and candlelight flickered. Mr. Carling disappeared behind the bush again, and Beatrix held her breath. The footsteps died away.

‘What do you want?’ she whispered.

‘What are you willing to give?’

She hesitated. Through the window came Eudora’s sleepy voice and one of the maids replying. She’d be stuck out here all night if she didn’t accept Simon’s help.

Temptation uncurled inside her like a lush, red rosebud. He was a Bad Man without the slightest interest in marriage—the perfect choice for a woman who recoiled from marriage as well. She might never have such a chance again.

‘Anything you like,’ she whispered recklessly.

‘Anything?’ he said.


The Unrepentant Rake is the sequel to The Wanton Governess, which came out last year and is about another governess, Pompeia Grant, and Simon’s brother James. There are no toe bones in that one, but Pompeia has a very naughty voice in her head. :~)

One lucky commenter will win a free download of The Unrepentant Rake.


Thanks, Barbara! This sounds like a terrific read.

You heard the lady. Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win this story.

22 thoughts on “Relics & Rakes

  1. I’m late but wanted to say how much I love the cover and Barbara’s writing. she can switch genres in a blink of an eye and shine in any of them.

  2. Patrice says:

    I’d love to hire your muse for a day or two. I never get anyone talking to me, and sometimes I come up a bit short. Love your humor and your books sound great. Best of luck.

  3. Thanks, Judy. My characters thank you, too.

    Mary R, don’t be fooled by appearances. The toe bone works in mysterious ways!

  4. Mary Ricksen says:

    I guess the toe bone is not working anymore!
    What a great idea for a story. I wish you the best, and a ton of sales to all your loyal fans! :0) Like me.

  5. Judith Keim says:

    Barbara, wonderful excerpt! Love both your characters. You do such a good job with them!!

  6. Hi, Karri Lyn — Um… I dunno. I’d be nervous about having the toe bone. When it comes to magic, you have to be careful what you wish for. ;)

  7. Karri Lyn Halley says:

    Wow–that is a fresh concept. And I really like the humor. I think my sister would like to know where to get such a toe bone!

  8. Hi, Linda Nightingale, fellow vampire writer — thanks and back at you!

    Hi, Linda – Yeah, my Muse has her moments, that’s for sure.

  9. Linda says:

    Your muse sure has original ideas! A toe bone relic that helps avoid marriage?!LOLs

    What fun if you’d kept the title as Romance of the Toe Bone (sounds like some1 has an odd fetish!!)

  10. Such a great cover and the voice just fits the period. This one should be another winner for Barbara, and she writes in different genres. Try her vampire series!

  11. Hi, Joanne — Thanks! But the wit belongs to my muse and characters, not me.

    Hi, Mona — LOL. She will get more than she bargains for, I promise you.

  12. Mona Risk says:

    ‘Anything you like,’ she whispered recklessly.

    Oh my! I want to read this book. I love Barbara’s characters!

  13. Joanne says:

    You are such an excellent writer. I’m sure you have another successful book here. I love your wit!

  14. Hi, Quilt Lady — I love historicals too, both reading and writing. (And quilts, too, although I haven’t made one for years.)

    Hi, Mary M — If I have made you laugh, my work is done!

  15. Hi, Chris — LOL. I hope you are surprised by what he asks for!

    Hi, Barbara — I will keeping on listening to my Muse, but sometimes she is fickle, too. (Oops, I hope she doesn’t read this blog!)

  16. Barbara, I know this story will be as wonderful as your other stories. Your humor cracks me up!

  17. Quilt Lady says:

    I love historicals and this one sounds really good, would love to read it.

  18. Barbara Britton says:

    Hi Barbara,

    What a kick–a toe bone and a holy relic. Your story sounds fun and fascinating. Keep listening to that Muse. And yes, the web can be fickle at times.

  19. Chris Bails says:

    I love historical romances. I love to read and always looking for new autors to check out. Loved the excerpt and would love to finish reading, because I want to find out what he wants, especially since she said anything. Thanks for the chance to win.

  20. Hi, Irma — I’m glad the holy relic sounds interesting. My Muse is laughing at me for thinking it was too strange. :)

    Hi, Michelle — Hopefully the story will make you giggle, too. I laughed quite a lot while writing it. :)

  21. Michelle Harlan says:

    Hah…still giggling over here about a “toe bone”! I don’t know why I find it so funny, but I do. Now I’m curious and will have to read the book! :)

  22. irma says:

    i’ve read loads of historical romances, but tell you what, wouldn’t mind read another one and something on holy relic catch my interest^^

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