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The Marstone Series

A duelling viscount, a courageous poor relation and an overbearing lord–just a few of the memorable cast of characters you will meet in the Marstone series. From windswept Devonshire, to Georgian London and revolutionary France, true love is always on the horizon and shady dealings often afoot.

The series is named after Will, who becomes the 9th Earl of Marstone. He appears in all the stories, although often in a minor role. Each book can be read as a standalone story (unless the book details say otherwise), but readers of the series will enjoy meeting characters from previous books.

(Although the 9th Earl appears in The Mrs MacKinnons , he has a very minor role, so that book is not really part of the series).

Sauce for the Gander

Book 1 of The Marstone Series, available on Kindle and paperback, or read free on Kindle Unlimited.

A duel. An ultimatum. An arranged marriage.

England, 1777

Will, Viscount Wingrave, whiles away his time gambling and bedding married women, thwarted in his wish to serve his country by his controlling father.

News that his errant son has fought a duel with a jealous husband is the last straw for the Earl of Marstone. He decrees that Will must marry. The earl’s eye lights upon Connie Charters, unpaid housekeeper and drudge for a poor but socially ambitious father who cares only for the advantage her marriage could bring him.

Will and Connie meet for the first time at the altar. But Connie wants a husband who will love and respect her, not a womaniser and a gambler.

Their new home, on the wild coast of Devonshire, conceals dangerous secrets that threaten them and the nation. Can Will and Connie overcome the forces against them and forge a happy life together?

Now available on audio as well as ebook and paperback.

Winner of a Discovered Diamonds Award and a Chill with a Book Readers’ Award.

A Winning TrickA Winning Trick cover

A 20,000 word novella, an extended epilogue for Sauce for the Gander, set three years later.  The Kindle version is free, exclusively for readers on my mailing list (join here if you’re not already on it). A paperback edition is available if you don’t like mailing lists, or just prefer a ‘real’ book.

This novella isn’t intended to be read as a standalone story, and won’t make much sense unless you’ve read Sauce for the Gander.

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A Suitable Match

Book 2 of The Marstone Series, available on Kindle and paperback, or read free on Kindle Unlimited.

England 1782

Lady Isabella has been kept on a tight rein by Lord Marstone, her overbearing father. She’s excited when he packs her off to London to make an advantageous match, confident her brother will preserve her from an unsuitable alliance. But when her brother is called away on vital business, he asks Nick Carterton to stand in for him.

Nick, a scholar who relishes the quiet life, has avoided marriage for years but is finally giving in to his father’s request that he seek out a bride. Looking out for a young miss new to society is the last thing he’d choose to do.

Will Nick’s attempts to help merely reinforce Isabella’s resentment at having her life arranged for her? Can Nick keep the headstrong Isabella out of trouble, put off unsuitable suitors, and still find himself a wife?

Review from Mary Kingswood

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Playing with Fire

Book 3 of The Marstone Series, available on Kindle and paperback, or read free on Kindle Unlimited.

France 1793

Phoebe’s future holds little more than the prospect of a tedious season of balls and routs, forever in the shadow of her glamorous cousin and under the critical eye of her shrewish aunt. She yearns for a useful life, and a love match like her parents’, if such a thing could ever be possible for an unwanted, poor relation.

But first she has to endure the hazards of a return home through revolutionary France — a nation suddenly at war with the English. Her aunt’s imperious insensitivity soon arouses a suspicion that quickly develops into mortal danger. Can a stranger encountered on the road prove to be their unlikely salvation?

Alex uses many names, and is used to working alone. A small act of kindness leads him to assist Phoebe’s party, even though it might come at the expense of his own, vital mission in France. Ignoring his own peril, he is willing to risk all in the hope of getting them safely back to England. Unexpectedly, as he and Phoebe face many dangers together, he finds his affections growing towards the resourceful and quick-witted red-head, despite their hopeless social differences.

Even if they escape France alive, many troubles may still lie ahead.

Review from Mary Kingswood.

The Fourth Marchioness

Book 4 of The Marstone Series, publishing March 2021Cover of The Fourth Marchioness

England 1794

James, Marquess of Harlford, wants nothing more than to be left alone with his scientific research. Unfortunately his mother is determined to see him married and with an heir to secure the succession. Faced with a house party of young women his mother has chosen as suitable candidates, he finds himself drawn towards the least likely─and most thoroughly unsuitable─of the guests. Mama will be livid.

For Alice Bryant, an out-of-work governess, taking up a position as a lady’s companion would be just what she needs—if that was all the post entailed. Espionage, no matter how righteous the cause, sits ill on her conscience. Although Alice does not wish to believe that the seemingly honourable Lord Harlford is capable of treason, she must find out if he really is selling secrets to the enemy.

Can love prosper, or will deceit and subterfuge carry the day?

Standalone stories

The Mrs MacKinnons

England, 1799

The Mrs MacKinnons cover
Over 80 reviews on Amazon.com – 4.8* average

Major Matthew Southam returns from India, hoping to put the trauma of war behind him and forget his past. Instead, he finds a derelict estate and a family who wish he’d died abroad.

Charlotte MacKinnon married without love to avoid her father’s unpleasant choice of husband. Now a widow with a young son, she lives in a small Cotswold village with only the money she earns by her writing.

Matthew is haunted by his past, and Charlotte is fearful of her father’s renewed meddling in her future. After a disastrous first meeting, can they help each other find happiness at last?

Now available on audio as well as ebook and paperback.

Winner of a Discovered Diamonds Award, and a Chill with a Book Reader’s Award:

Click here  to go to Amazon for kindle, paperback or audiobook.

Download book club discussion questions here (pdf):  The Mrs MacKinnons Book Club Questions

Review from Mary Kingswood’s blog

An Embroidered Spoon

Wales 1817

After refusing every offer of marriage that comes her way, Isolde Farrington is packed off to a spinster aunt in Wales until she comes to her senses.

Rhys Williams, there on business, is turning over his uncle’s choice of bride for him, and the last thing he needs is to fall for an impertinent miss like Izzy – who takes Rhys for a yokel.

Izzy’s new surroundings make her look at life, and Rhys, afresh. But when her father, Lord Bedley, discovers that the situation in Wales is not what he thought, and that Rhys is in trade, a gulf opens for a pair who’ve come to love each other. Will a difference in class keep them apart?

Available on Kindle Unlimited, Kindle ebook, paperback and large print paperback.

Winner of a Coffee Pot Book Club Recommended Read Award (warning – review contains spoilers!),  Chill with a Book Readers’ Award and a Discovered Diamonds Award. Review by Mary Kingswood.

Captain Kempton’s Christmas

England 1814

Lieutenant Philip Kempton and Anna Tremayne fall in love during one idyllic summer fortnight. When he’s summoned to rejoin his ship, Anna promises to wait for him.

While he’s at sea, she marries someone else.

Now she’s widowed and he’s Captain Kempton. When they meet again, can they put aside betrayal and rekindle their love?

A sweet second-chance novella, available on Kindle and as a paperback and a large print paperback. Read free on Kindle Unlimited.

Review from Mary Kingswood.