This is book number 1 in the The Palace of Rogues series.
A mistress. A mountain of debt. A mysterious wreck of a building.
Delilah Swanpoole, Countess of Derring, learns the hard way that her husband, “Dear Dull Derring,” is a lot more interesting—and perfidious—dead than alive. It’s a devil of an inheritance, but in the grand ruins of the one building Derring left her, are the seeds of her liberation. And she vows never again to place herself at the mercy of a man.
But battle-hardened Captain Tristan Hardy is nothing if not merciless. When the charismatic naval hero tracks a notorious smuggler to a London boarding house known as the Rogue’s Palace, seducing the beautiful, blue-blooded proprietress to get his man seems like a small sacrifice.
They both believe love is a myth. But a desire beyond reason threatens to destroy the armor around their hearts. Now a shattering decision looms: Will Tristan betray his own code of honor…or choose a love that might be the truest thing he’s ever known?
USA Today bestselling author and Rita® Award winner Julie Anne Long’s books have been translated into eighteen languages, nominated for numerous awards, and have appeared on dozens of “Best of” lists. NPR named her Pennyroyal Green series as one of the Top 100 romance series of all time. She currently lives in Northern California.
“Long returns triumphantly to historical romance with this beautifully written and achingly romantic story... A large cast of entertaining characters keeps the plot moving while breathtaking writing elevates the story on every page. Unique, delightful, and swoon worthy.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Sparkling banter, deep character insights, and a colorful supporting cast bring a clever scheme to life, setting up a series to savor. Historical readers will rejoice with Long’s return to the subgenre and will be intrigued by hints of the next “Rogues” title.” — Library Journal (starred review, editor’s pick)
“With Lady Derring Takes a Lover, the first in an exhilarating new series, the author’s literary prowess is in glorious full bloom with an engaging cast of exquisitely rendered characters, a deftly constructed plot that validates the power of hope and love, and inexhaustible measures of dazzling wit.” — Booklist (starred review)
“Long’s wit is sharp, clever and hilariously effective, but it’s the warmth and gentleness of Lady Derring that make every page of the story a lovely place to visit—precisely the sort of safe haven Delilah would have wanted.” — BookPage
“The draw of the book, and what makes it memorable, is the creation of a family, from that first horrible meeting of widow and mistress, to a home that provides the women with independence and the boarders with a sense of comfort, safety, and respect.” — Smart Bitches, Trashy Books