Meryton Press has a new book that releases on April 2nd, and today we are going to reveal the cover. The novel, An Accomplished Woman, is by Suzan Lauder, and is the first in the series of Regency romances, Cecilia’s Mismatches. This novel has hints of Northanger Abbey and an extremely swoon-worthy hero. To learn more, let’s check out the back cover copy.
Audra Hales is a lady of many perfect accomplishments—at least she believes so. It is no wonder: she has mirrored her great friend Cecilia, the newly minted Lady Hoxley, so how could her talents not be worthy of the highest praise? A self-described matchmaker, Cecilia has brought Audra to Bath—where balls and excursions abound—with the intention of matching her with the gregarious Lord Garner Tremaine. Though he seems an affable and talented gentleman, his brother, the marquess, is quite the opposite.
As head of his family, Everett Tremaine, the Marquess of Vernon acts on behalf of his father, the duke, who remains secluded from Lady Hoxley’s guests. With his obligations, Everett has no time for foolish temptations such as Miss Hales…so why does he constantly find her thrown into his path?
Meanwhile, Audra has conjured all sorts of wild imaginings concerning the frustrating marquess, and every time she encounters him, he leaves her breathless rather than answering her questions! After all, what is ailing the mysterious duke? Could the marquess be a villain masquerading as the savior of his family? And most importantly: should she marry Lord Garner, the safe suitor, or follow her heart?
Book One of the Cecilia’s Mismatches series is a stand-alone novel.
What are your thoughts? Do you want to read more? You are in luck. Suzan has more to share with you, but we will look at the cover first!
Isn’t this a beautiful painting by Soulacroix? We looked at many paintings and finally settled on three (for the series) that went well together. As soon as Suzan saw this one, she knew it had to be Audra. She could see her in it. That’s awesome. She did the same with the other two paintings for the next two books in the series.
Ready to see the back cover?
Let’s move on to Suzan’s thoughts and the excerpt!
In a way, the gorgeous cover to An Accomplished Woman was one of the easiest I’ve had to deal with when working with Janet B. Taylor. I just told her that I wanted a Regency lady with lots of fabric in her skirts, and she sent me dozens of candidates. We easily settled on this Frédéric Soulacroix art piece along with two others for the next books in the Cecilia’s Mismatches series. This young lady has the right naïveté to be Audra, and Janet made it suit even better with the back cover picture many of you will recognize as Bath.
The excerpt that follows shows a little of Audra’s youthful inexperience since she has recently arrived in Bath to the house that Cecilia, Lady Hoxley, has let for a summer party. Audra is now about to refresh herself in her room before she goes down to the drawing room to meet the other guests.
As she made her way to the table with the basin and ewer, a few letters on a nearby desk caught her eye. Their pink ribbon had been untied and the top one unfolded as if someone had been reading it. Why had Watson untied her letters? Did she suppose they contained information in them as to how Audra wished her to unpack? No, that was too preposterous. Was the opened missive from Lexie or from Cassie?
“Hmm.” Audra picked up the letter. She fiddled in her reticule for her eyeglasses. Where were they? This would take too long. She stretched out her arm. There! Now she could read the handwriting. The epistle was written in a flourished yet firm lady’s hand—without a doubt not that of either of her sisters. How odd.
“My dearest Trem,” started the salutation, and the close was signed, “With greatest affection, Zinia.” This was not her letter. The missive was a love letter!
A door opened, and her head jerked up. Watson’s cheerful, round visage should have been the one entering to greet her, but instead, a man of a large scale set foot into her bedchamber! Had he forgotten to knock? He wore a dressing gown and wiped his face with a cloth. His piercing blue eyes widened when they lit upon Audra, who was frozen in place like a statue.
“Why in heaven’s name are you reading those letters?” his haughty, noble voice drawled. This was a gentleman, and not a servant…a frowning gentleman with dark hair hanging in wet strands around his forehead.
Her mouth opened and closed twice before her voice worked. “They are my letters.” Except they were not. They were addressed to someone else. “Well, I thought they were mine. Are they yours?” She replaced the letter atop the others and patted it into place. Why could she not think of one word to say? Her gaze flitted between his neck, his legs, and his feet that peeked from under a dark brown, buta-patterned, silk dressing gown. She gulped and swayed in her spot. He must be naked underneath!
“What are you doing in my chambers?”
The nerve of him! With a gasp, she placed her fists firmly on her hips. Her reticule swayed and whacked at her bottom due to the quick movement. “This is my chamber! How dare you attempt to pinch it!”
He covered his eyes with his hand and blew out a sigh, and not the kind of sigh that meant he was contented or any sort of emotion in that realm of feeling. “Incidents of this nature happen too often. I do not understand why.” He held his hands open as if to plead with her. “You must leave right away. It would not do for me to be caught in the parson’s mousetrap.”
Her jaw dropped wide open. What a cruel accusation! Before she offered a loud, angry retort, Audra checked herself. “Are you implying…I mean to say, you are not the kind of man I would wish to trap. That is, if I was disposed to the idea of trapping men, which I am not. Oh, bother!” Her hands flew to cover her face. She must collect her wits! Oh, how could he be in her room yet placing her at fault? She peeked at the man again. His face was now favoured with a hint of a smile, his arms crossed over his chest. Was his intent to discompose her? Well, she would not have it. “Pray, take your leave at once. I cannot abide naked men within my chambers.”
The grin widened, and the man’s shoulders began to shake. He tipped his head back and released a tremendous shout of laughter. Somewhat handsome when unsettled, he was indubitably so when he laughed. Whatever had amused him? This situation grew more strange and awkward by the minute. But with the mirth brightening his comely visage, she could not help but allow her lips to turn up at the edges as well. Her arms fell to her sides.
“You do not comprehend very much if you do not wish me to be naked within your chambers, young lady. I happen to be in demand in the beds of ladies who are in the know. Not that I spend all my hours in ladies’ beds.”
She laughed. “I do not believe you! You erred and took my bedchamber, and you now attempt to embarrass me into leaving. Well, I shall not let you do so.” She marched over to the bed and plopped her bottom down upon it. “You are free to leave. I shall await my maid here. Her carriage must be late.”
He held one finger up. “Wait! You are not Lady Hoxley’s little friend from school, are you?”
“I am not a ‘little friend,’ I am Miss Audra Eugenia Hales of Fanshaugh Manor in Kent. My father was a gentleman.”
I absolutely adore this scene! What about you? It is priceless and sets the stage for the rest of this lovely story.
The blog tour will start on April 10th, but Suzan has lots going on even before the blog tour and after.
April 3-7 Lady Catherine’s Salon; Suzan Lauder guest hosts this Facebook group
April 4 Celtic Lady’s Reviews; Kathleen Kelly will be spotlighting An Accomplished Woman and Suzan.
April 7 Delighted Reader Facebook page; Sophia Rose will be spotlighting the book and author.
Blog Tour Schedule
April 10 Musings from an Addicted Reader
April 11 The Book Connection
April 12 Elza Reads
April 13 From Pemberley to Milton
April 14 My Vices & Weaknesses
April 17 So little time…
After the blog tour, Meredith will host Suzan and her book. Be sure to visit all of this blogs and their hostesses.
April 27 Austenesque Reviews
Cecilia’s Mismatches Blurb
Before we move on to the giveaway, take a look at the blurb for the series, Cecilia’s Mismatches.
Who is Cecilia? She’s Lady Hoxley, a recently married young lady whose husband is old enough to be her father. Theirs is a love match. She loves his money and title, and he loves her youth and vivacity. Cecilia is so gratified with her own match that she is determined to match her friends with worthy gentlemen—but what happens when all her grand schemes seem to go awry?
Does this sound like anyone you may know or have heard about before? Hmm… 🙂
Universal Buy Link
Would you like a chance to have your own eBook of An Accomplished Woman? Meryton Press is giving away two eBooks to two lucky readers. Leave us a comment below. We love to hear from you. The giveaway will end April 4th at midnight and is worldwide. Good luck!
Other books by Suzan Lauder
These books are available at Amazon in eBook, paperback, audiobook, and Kindle Unlimited: Alias Thomas Bennet, Letter From Ramsgate, A Most Handsome Gentleman, The Mist of Her Memory, Schemes of Felicity, The Barrister’s Bride.
What a treat to have another Suzan Lauder book coming out! This one looks like great fun. I loved the excerpt and the cover is stunning! Congratulations, Suzan!
Thanks for stopping by, Kelly! Wasn’t that excerpt fantastic? I was hooked on the story the moment I read it! We’re so glad you like the cover too. 🙂
Thank you, Kelly. The book, being a Regency romance, is a little different than my books in the past. I appreciate your support now as I have in the past!
I have read Suzan Lauder’s previous books, and I know that I will also like this new one. The cover is golden – love the little slippers peeking out at the bottom. Thank you for this new and interesting excerpt and giveaway.
I love those slippers, too, and that they have a big pillow to perch on. I hope you like this series as much as you’ve liked my past writing, Eva. It’s always nice to hear positive feedback from a fan. Thank you.
Hi Gail. We’re happy you stopped by supported Suzan and her new book. The book is awesome. You will love it!
Thank you for your wonderful comment, Eva. I’m sure you will love this one too! We’re happy you stopped by and wish you luck in the giveaway.
The cover is absolutely gorgeous! And I can’t wait to read the book and series – it sounds like great fun!
Janet always does great covers, and this is no exception. I’d love to hear your impressions after you read the book, Gail. I can hardly wait for it to come out as well.
The cover’s painting seems an excellent choice. I’m interested in reading something a step away from Pride and Prejudice from Suzan and look forward to reading the series. It sounds like it will be quite diverting. Wishing you a successful release!
I’m glad you’re willing to take a chance on my non-JAFF adventure. I assure you the book is lovable. Thanks for your well wishes.
We’re thrilled to hear you are interested in reading a Regency romance by Suzan. I think you will find it quite diverting! 🙂 Thank you for visiting and sharing your thoughts.
Congrats to Suzan and I love the ‘spring’ colors of the cover. 🙂
Yay for an NA flavor to the story.
Northanger Abbey was the first Austen book I read, and it introduced me to her snark and wit. How this book got to be a bit gothic was a surprise to even me, but Audra needed that in her personality. That cover seems all about spring, doesn’t it?
Thanks for stopping by and commenting! The NA flavor is a great touch. 🙂
What a delightful excerpt! It reveals Audra’s personality just enough to see why you chose that cover to portray her. Love the cover, especially since my favorite color is yellow. Congratulations, Suzan, on your new novel!
That’s so great that we happened to choose one in your favourite colour. Thank you for commenting. It means a lot!
Wasn’t the excerpt delightful, Jan? I loved it! Glad to read that you love the yellow cover! 🙂
The cover is gorgeous.
You are so correct in that comment. I love Janet’s covers. Thanks for commenting!
Thanks for stopping by DarcyBennett. We’re happy you think the cover is gorgeous. The painting is a beautiful one. Good luck.
Pretty cover but it makes me glad that we have the clothes we do now & not then.
I dress in Regency costuming every once in a while, and the clothes feel pretty on, but it takes about an hour to get dressed! Thanks for dropping by the cover reveal, Glory.
Your comment gave me a chuckle. Our clothes are simpler. The Regency dresses are beautiful, but… don’t know that I would want to wear one everyday. I have one and it is fun to wear occasionally and feel dressed up, but the keyword is occasionally. 🙂
The cover is lovely and the excerpt intriguing. Suzan has long been a favored author for me. “Alias Thomas Bennet” is one of my all time favorite books. Congrats on publishing a new story.
Thank you for such a generous comment! I too love “Alias Thomas Bennet,” my first published book. Sometimes I’m awed that those words came out of me! They were totally inspired by Jane Austen, of course.
We’re glad you find the excerpt intriguing. You’re not alone. 🙂 It’s wonderful to read that Suzan is a favored author for you. I too, love Alias Thomas Bennet. It is so unique! Thanks for visiting and good luck.
I am fascinated with your first ‘Regency romance’, Susan. The young lady’s expression is a perfect blend of naivety with a hint of humor. The painting is lovely and I really enjoyed the excerpt. It definitely makes me want to read it! As you know I have written Regency novellas but not a full length Regency tale. Your writing always carries me away to a sweeter time in history, time travel at its best.
Hi, Helena! I love your books, as you know. “An Accomplished Woman” is a shorter novel or longer novella, depending on how you look at it, so not much different in length from yours. I hope you enjoy reading the Regency historical magic within this book as well.
Hi Helena. We are so happy you visited our blog and commented on Suzan’s novel. We loved that painting. Suzan knew it fit Audra perfectly. Wasn’t the excerpt delightful? Thank you for stopping by and good luck. We hope you get to read the book soon.
Oh this looks cute! I love the beautiful cover.
Thank you, Colleen. I think you will like the story. Good luck!
I think the story matches the cover well, so I think you’ll like both. Thank you for popping in.
What a fun excerpt! So far, I’ve read & enjoyed The Barrister’s Bride. Look forward to reading more from you.
Hi Lois, we’re glad you enjoyed The Barrister’s Bride and hope you like this one too.
Thanks for the compliment. I think “The Barrister’s Bride” was one of my best books, so I can see why you liked it. This one’s different and fun.
Would love to read. Beautiful cover! Congrats on your book.
We hope you get to read it soon! Thanks for dropping by.
Thank you so much, Julie. This is a great cover and suits the story well. I hope you get to read the book and enjoy it.
The painting on the cover is gorgeous. Since I’ve had the pleasure of reading this story more than once ;), I’ll not comment to much on the excerpt but to say it’s a charming tale. Everett is certainly worthy of a big swoon. Congrats on the new book, Suzan!
I sigh a happy sigh to see your name, my friend. I always loved the vibrancy and detail of Soulacroix’s work. Everyone is bound to fall in love with Everett. Though a bit like Darcy, Everett actually expresses his thoughts and feelings out loud now and again, and he’s definitely not as prideful. Thanks for being part of this adventure and for joining in the comments.
We thought this painting was gorgeous too. She is such a pretty young woman. It is a charming tale. Everett reminded me of Darcy in several ways. He is definitely swoon worthy, I agree. 🙂 Great work for your part in the adventure, as Suzan so aptly put it! 🙂
Congratulations on your new book. Thisis sucha treat. Thank you for this enjoyable excerpt.
looking forward to knowing more of the story and the books releae.
Hi Buturot. Wasn’t it a great excerpt? I enjoyed it too. Check out Celticlady’s Reviews today for another excerpt. Kathleen is spotlighting the book. https://celticladysreviews.blogspot.com/2023/04/an-accomplished-woman-by-susan-lauder.html
The book released April 2, and it’s already a #1 Hot New Release on Amazon. I hope you get a chance to read it, Buturot!