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Giveaway & Guest Post: An Infamous Marriage by Susanna Fraser

November 14, 2012


Northumberland, 1815

At long last, Britain is at peace, and General Jack Armstrong is coming home to the wife he barely knows. Wed for mutual convenience, their union unconsummated, the couple has exchanged only cold, dutiful letters. With no more wars to fight, Jack is ready to attempt a peace treaty of his own.

Elizabeth Armstrong is on the warpath. She never expected fidelity from the husband she knew for only a week, but his scandalous exploits have made her the object of pity for years. Now that he’s back, she has no intention of sharing her bed with him—or providing him with an heir—unless he can earn her forgiveness. No matter what feelings he ignites within her…

Jack is not expecting a spirited, confident woman in place of the meek girl he left behind. As his desire intensifies, he wants much more than a marriage in name only. But winning his wife’s love may be the greatest battle he’s faced yet.

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While An Infamous Marriage is my third book, its hero, Jack Armstrong, is my first rake.

His motivations for rakish behavior are fairly straightforward. You know how there’s generally a boy or two in your high school class who still looks about twelve at sixteen or seventeen, and has a bad case of acne in the bargain? At the time he seems like the least attractive guy imaginable. And that’s if you look at him all–you probably don’t, much, because the poor kid hasn’t gotten his growth spurt yet and is still half a foot shorter than you and your friends.

Fast-forward five, ten, or twenty years. You see the same guy again as a grown man, maybe at a reunion or when you run across him on Facebook, and you’re shocked to see how well he grew up. He’s tall and muscular, and that long nose or wide mouth that looked so silly on an undergrown, pimply sixteen-year-old is ruggedly handsome and sensual on the grown man.

Well, that’s what Jack lives through–just replace high school with village society and then an army regiment, since he was born in 1779 rather than 1979. He gets so used to being overlooked and sneered at by women that he can’t believe it when, at age 21, he’s seduced by an older woman who tutors him in the arts of love and lets him know he’s grown up very attractively indeed.

Naturally once their affair ends he has to prove it wasn’t just a fluke, and that other women find him desirable as well. And after all those years of embarrassment, he can’t help flaunting his beautiful lovers and mistresses.

When a deathbed promise leads him to marry his best friend’s widow, only to promptly leave her behind in England when he rejoins his regiment, it doesn’t occur to him until it’s too late how far gossip can travel, nor how much pain he’s causing his bride.

But when at last he returns to England, she’s ready to teach him a lesson he’ll never forget.

What about you, dear readers? Who are some of your favorite rakish heroes? And have you ever been surprised–for better or worse–by how much a childhood friend changed over years of separation?

I’ll be giving one copy of An Infamous Marriage to a commenter on this post in your choice of e-book format, and at the end of the tour I’ll be giving away a grand prize of a $50 gift certificate to their choice of Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Powell’s Books to one commenter on the tour as a whole. You get one entry per blog tour stop you comment upon, so check out my blog for the whole schedule! If you wish to be entered in the drawing, include your email address formatted as yourname AT yourhost DOT com.

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  1. This sounds like a good one to read over holiday break – when I need an escape from the hustle and bustle.

  2. There are a few people I went to school with that seem exactly the same! There is one boy that I always talked to almost every night after school we were on the phone gabbing away. He was the awkward boy that was short with bad acne and a quiet voice. He finally grew a couple inches and cleared up his face…still had the quiet voice though. He was one of my best friends all through middle and most of high school. Once he started clearing up everyone took notice of him and he became a jerk that thought his poo didn’t stink. Now he is married for the 3rd time and last I heard that marriage isn’t going well either, due to indiscretions.

    fantasy_angel381 AT yahoo DOT com

  3. Oh your timing is perfect.
    I read in crazed subgenre phases, and I’m just entering a Regency one and had nothing new to read! I was especially looking for something a bit angsty, so I just bought the book.
    So, yeah, don’t worry about entering me in the giveaway!

  4. Sounds like a great one!! Pandababy1469 AT yahoo DOT com

  5. A memorable rakish hero has to be Gabriel Sharpe from Sabrina Jeffries’ To Wed a Wild Lord —

    I’m not really in touch with a lot of people from my childhood but I see them occasionally and I’m amazed at how much we have all grown — majority of us have our own families now and I love seeing how confident and responsible everyone seems to be.

  6. I would have to say my most rakish hero is Ian from “What I Did for a Duke”. He is handsome, charming and harbors a phobia towards commitment. I guess he is something of a scoundrel also, but due to his winning ways, would be easy to forgive. Most of my childhood friends have not changed much over the years. I believe that I have changed the most growing up. I lost my quick temper and acquired the art of patience. However, my love of books since the age of 10 has only increased.

    “An Infamous Marriage” is definitely a book I would enjoy. I already like the main characters so I am hooked to read it. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.

  7. Oops, my email address is ladymbooklover@hotmail.com.

  8. Looks sensualicious. Hehe, my new word for sensual and delicious. I love to read, and would love to win. Thanks for the opportunity!

  9. Congrats on the new release. This book sounds fantastic. Can’t wait to read it.
    I went to school with a really nice boy who was very shy and rather short. Growing up, the only person in school he would talk to was me. We were good friends. After graduation, he went away to college, shot up about a foot, learned not to be so shy, and tried to do everything he didn’t do in high school. His relationships don’t last because he can’t commit. He’s not so nice anymore.

  10. I love discovering new authors! Your books sounds just like the type of books I enjoy reading. Congratulations!
    lvsgund at gmail dot com

  11. Congratulations on the new release and it does sound like a terrific book! You are a new-to-me author so I believe I’ll be checking your work out a little closer because you write the genre I love.

    There was a boy in my class that I sort of had a crush on. We did go out once or twice and he asked me to our Senior Prom. Then about a week before the prom, I heard from a friend that he was going to back out of taking me to the dance. When I asked him about it, he said he decided he didn’t want to go. I asked when he was planning on telling me….he stood red-faced and didn’t say a work…this guy was a jerk in nice-guy clothing! I ended up asking an older guy (friend of my brother) if he could bail me out and go with me to the prom! He did and we had great fun! He was my hero.

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

  12. WELL…I went to an all-girls high school, so there were no fellas to be surprised by at reunion time! There was a nerdy young fella I knew (from a summer job) who did grow into a dashing man. Good for him…and his wife! I do like to say, though, that I knew him “when.”
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  13. Too many rakish heroes to pick. The book sounds interesting though, one which I very much would like to read.

  14. This sounds like a terrific read. I was always surprised at how much people did not changed. I recognized people from er-um years after high school.
    winnie968 at yahoo dot com

  15. A favorite rake…Oh, I have so many.
    Any of the Boscastle men from Jillian Hunter’s Boscastle series
    Cameron MacKenzie from The Many Sins of Lord Cameron by Jennifer Ashley
    Thomas Wentworth from Much Ado About Marriage by Karen Hawkins
    Brian Ranson from The Earl Claims His Wife by Cathy Maxwell
    Hawke from When the Duchess Said Yes by Isabella Bradford
    …… I have so many. It would take me days to list them all.

  16. I love a rakish heroes. Your book sounds good.

  17. This is a new writer for me. The summary of AIM sounds like a story I would enjoy.

  18. So many rakes to choose from…Roman and Andreas Merrick of Anne Mallory’s incredibly engrossing books come to mind. Just thinking of them gives me hot flashes.


  19. This book totally got my attention sounds very interesting, I would love to win a copy 😀 mdpedroza AT gmail DOT com

  20. One of my favorites is St. Vinent from Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas even though he doesn’t act the rake in the story, just has a rakish past.

  21. I’m old school–I still love Rhett Butler as a rakish hero! Thanks for the giveaway.
    mochfly (at) swbell (dot) net

  22. Great minds think alike, I guess, as I already see my favorite rake, Sebastian, from Kleypas’ “Devil In Winter”, has been mentioned. suz_glo (at) yahoo (dot) com

  23. What a great post. Your book sounds fantastic and I love the cover. I would love to read it. My favorite hero is still Rhett Butler. I have started reading Gone With the Wind again I haven’t read it since I was a young teen. Thanks for sharing your book with us today and for the great giveaway.

    ghurt110 AT bellsouth DOT net

  24. That surprise has happened to me in real life. I introduced myself to my former best friend’s little brother, who I’ve known since childhood. He gave me the oddest look, lemme tell ya. xD

  25. I love that hero’s name-Jack Armstrong. Your book sounds really good.

  26. I have too favorite rakes to list them all but just a few that come to mind:
    Any of the the men in Miranda Neville’s The Burgundy Club series and Madeline Hunter’s Seducer series.
    An Infamous Marriage sounds like a chance to add to my list. Thanks for giveaway.

    pinkalpha21 AT yahoo DOT com

  27. Hi Susanna! My favorite rakish hero is also Rhett Butler in Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind. I also liked the Sharpe brothers in Sabrina Jeffries’s Sharpe Family series and too many more to even name.

    A lot of the people I grew up with haven’t changed that much — just older, like me. Lol!

    I have been following your blog, and am hoping to win AN INFAMOUS MARRIAGE. It sounds musty (must read).

    kscathy AT yahoo DOT com

  28. I have a friend that I went all through school with, I also was friends with her brother. After college we saw each other again and her brother had the same funny personality and it was like he hadn’t changed. His sister on the other hand was so different. She had been divorced, had a stuffy new boyfriend, and had lost the funny sense of humor we all had. It was sad, but I still hang out with her brother he’s great


  29. I agree. This sounds like a great book.

  30. Interesting motivation for becoming a rake!

  31. As usual, I forgot my e-mail address: jmcgaugh AT semo DOT edu

  32. Looks like a good read! aadegroot3 at gmail dot com

  33. Next step Amazon to look this book up!

  34. I can’t wait to read this. I loved your other books, but you are right the heroes were definitely not rakish so this will be quite a change. I just got through with The Many Sins of Lord Cameron by Jennifer Ashley, so I’d have to say he’s my favorite rake at the moment (and has the added bonus of wearing a kilt!)


  35. Thanks so much to everyone for stopping by today! I’m definitely developing a longer reading list seeing the favorite books everyone as posting as I go through my blog tour. It’s also fun to hear everyone’s stories of how childhood and high school friends change–for better or for worse.

  36. How fun, Susanna! One of my favorite heroes with a rakish background is Kleypas’s St. Vincent–the delight is in the transformation 😉 In your story, it’s the transformation of both characters! Very cool!

    f dot chen at comcast dot net

  37. I love that hero’s name-Jack Armstrong. Your book sounds really good.


  38. The hero from Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas
    alysap AT yahoo DOT com

  39. Hi Susanna!
    Best wishes on your new book!

    I have bumped into friends from high school over the years.
    The ones I’d expect to be the same changed. They are so rude now and mean spirited too. I was shocked by their behavior. I remember nice and helpful girlfriends, not anymore. Needless to say I do not keep in touch with them at all anymore. I just can’t do lunches to talk about other friends and laugh at how they live their lives now, not in me to be cruel.
    I was always taught that if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all.

    Thank you for the giveaway and the chance to win!

  40. Sounds like a really good one. I’d love to be entered to win it! thanks for the chance.

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

  41. This book sounds so good…I have way to many favorite rakes!!!


  42. This sounds like a great read…looking forward to reading this!

  43. I love to read about rakes, and your book sounds fantastic! Thanks for the chance to win! luv2scrap22 at yahoo dot com

  44. Since a lot of the books I read tend to have rakes as heroes. I love Gabriel St. John, Marquess of Ralston from Nine Rules to Break while romancing a rake is fabulous. So many other rakes to love.

  45. Marriage of convenience stories YES!!

    Rake I like Suzanne Enoch’s Keating Blackwood in TAMING AN IMPOSSIBLE ROGUE!

  46. Congratulations to Susanna for her release of An Infamous Marriage. I can’t wait for her novella to be released the end of July 2013!


  47. I love second chances and mariage for convenience stories!

  48. I like Sebastian from The Devil in Winter


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