#BlogTour with #Excerpt A Daring Arrangement by Joanna Shupe @joannashupe @PureTextuality

 

 

Set in New York City’s Gilded Age, Joanna Shupe’s Avon debut introduces an English beauty with a wicked scheme to win the man she loves—and the American scoundrel who ruins her best laid plans…

Lady Honora Parker must get engaged as soon as possible, and only a particular type of man will do. Nora seeks a mate so abhorrent, so completely unacceptable, that her father will reject the match—leaving her free to marry the artist she loves. Who then is the most appalling man in Manhattan? The wealthy, devilishly handsome financier, Julius Hatcher, of course….

Julius is intrigued by Nora’s ruse and decides to play along. But to Nora’s horror, Julius transforms himself into the perfect fiancé, charming the very people she hoped he would offend. It seems Julius has a secret plan all his own—one that will solve a dark mystery from his past, and perhaps turn him into the kind of man Nora could truly love.

 

 

 

About the Book

A Daring Arrangement
by Joanna Shupe

Series
Four Hundred #1

Genre
Adult
Historical Romance

Publisher
Avon Books

Publication Date
October 31, 2017

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Thirty-Seventh Street and Fifth Avenue

New York City

 

February 1890

 

The pressed tin ceiling was about to cave in on their heads.

Lady Honora Parker glanced upward once again, fascinated by what was taking place on the second floor of Sherry’s, one of New York’s most exclusive restaurants. Each raucous thump and horrific crash from above shook the huge gold and crystal chandelier in the main dining room and caused the black-coated waiters to wince. It sounded as if a herd of elephants were up there.

From what Nora had seen and heard of the reckless Americans in the last month, she would not be surprised if it were elephants. Nothing seemed off limits here, no idea too big or too wild. Giant houses, like English country estates, lined Fifth Avenue. Imported marble, bright limestone, and shiny gilding blinded from every street corner. Tall buildings stretched high up into the sky. There was a sense of urgency in New York to buy more, build more, do more. It made her long for the dirty, crowded, yet civilized streets of London.

“Nora, dear,” her aunt’s gentle voice interrupted her thoughts. “Mr. Van Rensselaer asked you a question.”

She turned to the older, heavyset man on her right. Her uncle had arranged the dinner, one of many meetings designed for her to find a “suitable” man. But the idea of marriage to a man old enough to be her father made Nora’s skin crawl. Even her aunt disapproved of Van Rensselaer, saying he was, “a set of heavy eyebrows with a stick up his behind.”

It must be said that Nora adored her aunt.

More importantly, Nora did not desire a suitable American man, not when a perfectly suitable artist awaited her back in London. Her father hadn’t approved of said artist, unfortunately, which is how she now found herself in America, being trotted around New York like a prized thoroughbred up for auction. That’s the earl’s daughter, they whispered behind her back. Here to find a husband.

No, she absolutely would not. Nora had no intention of marrying anyone here. “I apologize,” she replied to the eyebrows. “You were saying?”

“Perfectly understandable.” Mr. Van Rensselaer smiled tolerantly at her, as if Nora were some flighty nitwit incapable of following a conversation. Commence additional skin crawling. “I asked if your ladyship missed London.”

Yes, I miss Robert terribly. Her heart squeezed in a tight grip, an ache settling in her throat. A young painter, Robert Landon had no money or title to speak of, but she didn’t care. He’d been the first person to see Nora for who she truly was, not just her father’s daughter. He was sweet and romantic and all she desired in this world. After they married, they planned to travel across Europe so Robert could hone his craft. She would keep him company and continue to serve as his “muse,” as he often called her.

Her father, the Earl of Stratton, hadn’t approved. He’d been horrified when Robert and Nora were caught together—a scene orchestrated for the earl’s benefit at a dinner party—and from there, things had taken a disastrous turn. Instead of forcing the young lovers to marry, as she’d hoped, her furious father rushed Nora off to his sister in New York. “No one there will have heard of the scandal yet,” he had said. “Your aunt will help you find a proper husband in America. Do not return without one. Now, do not disappoint me, Nora.

 
 
 

 

About Joanna Shupe

Joanna Shupe has always loved history, ever since she saw her first Schoolhouse Rock cartoon. While in college, Joanna read every romance she could get her hands on and soon started crafting her own racy historical novels. In 2013, she won Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart® Award for Best Historical. She now lives in New Jersey with her two spirited daughters and dashing husband. To connect with Joanna, visit JoannaShupe.com.

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