"This book is perfect for reading on a sunny spring day--just be prepared to daydream about handsome Italian counts and hot kisses in darkened hallways..." --The Season
I'm so excited this June to see the launch of the last volume of my "Muses of Mayfair" trilogy--To Kiss a Count (following To Catch a Rogue and To Deceive a Duke)! It's been quite a whirlwind trip with the three Chase sisters and their gorgeous heroes, following them on their adventures in archaeological skullduggery and traveling from London to Sicily to Bath, and though I'm happy to see them get their HEAs I'll also miss them a lot. I had a lot of fun in their Regency world, and maybe one day I'll be able to re-visit them and see how they're faring (their younger sister Terpsichore seems to be a budding heroine in her own right...)
To Kiss a Count is the story of Thalia Chase, third of the Muses, and what happens when she's reunited with the dark, dimpled, charming--and very mysterious--Marco, Count di Fabrizzi. Thalia is the most beautiful of the sisters (the heroine on the cover actually looks very much as I pictured her while writing the book! Marco--not so much). She's also the most musical, theatrical, and artistically talented. But being the youngest, her older sisters tended to protect her, keeping her away from their adventures when all she wanted was to help them and do her part as a Chase Muse. Clio finally realized this at the end of To Deceive a Duke and utilized Thalia's talents as an actress and stage manager to catch a villain. When Thalia met Marco in that story, she certainly got more adventure than she bargained for! And she also fell in love with him. But they had to part, and she returned to England to try and mend her heart and find her own work. But fate isn't done with Thalia and Marco just yet...
Thalia journeys to Bath with her eldest sister Calliope (from To Catch a Rogue). Cal is recovering from the difficult birth of her daughter Psyche and goes to Bath to rest and take the waters. Thalia wants to help her with the baby, as well as fine some fun distractions from her memories of her time in Siciliy. Then Marco appears in the Pump Room--with the villainess Lady Riverton on his arm! Thalia knows things are not what they seem--and she won't rest until she finds out what's going on. She and Marco have to unite to achieve their goals while they try not to fall in love. But of course that is impossible!
I loved writing this story, especially since it's set in the beautiful city of Bath, a place I enjoy so much whenever I have the chance to visit. Bath was a bit past its prime as a social destination by the time of this story, but it seemed like the perfect place for these scholars of ancient history, with its rich Roman and medieval past. (It also has some secret spots in the hills and caves just right for hiding contraband and having secret trysts!). The museum of antiquities Thalia and Marco visit is my own invention (though the objects they look at are based on some that can be seen in the Roman Baths museum today), but I used many real sites as well--the Pump Room, the crowded Assembly Rooms, the Theatre Royal, Sydney Gardens, and Mollands pastry shop. One of the most fun research books I came across was Walks Through Bath by Pierce Egan, published in 1819, which gave me some great tidbits to use in this story. For instance:
"Upon gala-nights (in Sydney Gardens) the music, singing, cascades, transparencies, fire-works, and superb illuminations, render these gardens very similar to Vauxhall. The Orchestra is close to the back of the Tavern, neatly arranged and elevated, with a large open space before it well-gravelled...The walks are all well rolled and gravelled: and seats and places for refreshment are to be met with in various places of the gardens. There are also several swings, adapted for the ladies, and others for gentlemen."
There are also great descriptions of the Labyrinth (which Thalia and Marco kiss in, of course!), which "might puzzle any cunning person if left to himself and without a clue, for six hours."
I hope you enjoy the Chase Muses as much as I have! On my website I have a list of sources for the history of Bath and more info on the Muse books. I also have a contest running for 2 more days, be sure and enter to win the entire trilogy plus a gorgeous "Calliope" pendant from Tartx!
(I'll also give one copy of To Kiss a Count to one commenter on this blog!)