To be or not to be—in love…
As a ward of the Duchess of Dorset, Harriet can hardly expect more from a match than the ringing endorsement of “from what I’ve heard, the man is financially secure and his teeth are quite regular.” After all, she’s only the lowly daughter of traveling actors, not the actual daughter of the duchess.
William Talbot, Earl of Abingdon is set to marry the duchess’s daughter. After his elder brother’s scandalous death, his family’s reputation is paramount, and he’ll allow nothing to damage it again. But when Harriet disappears to save her father from debtor’s prison, the scandal threatens William and his intended’s family.
The simple task of fetching the duchess’s runaway ward turns complicated when Harriet insists on traveling with her father’s acting company. William’s forced to tag along, and finds himself entranced. The stage transforms Harriet into a free-spirited, captivating beauty. But someone’s been sabotaging the theater company, and instead of facing scandal, William and Harriet discover a threat not only to their growing passion, but to their lives…
Bad Self Portraits – Lake Street Dive from Bad Self Portraits album
A raw, joyous sound erupts out of this band. The lyrics are all about getting over someone you love. Perfect background music when my heroine, Harriet, hits her low point.
Joyful Sounds – The Word from The Word album
No matter what mood I’m in, this track makes me feel that all is right with the world. The song would be a perfect soundtrack as Harriet and our hero William begin their journey north to Birmingham on a gorgeous English day, when the possibilities are endless. Also works for the last chapter: HEA to a tee.
Bleeding Out – The Lone Bellow from The Lone Bellow album
William is a physician who finds himself in over his head during the course of the novel, and this song embodies the panic and worry he feels during that scene. Gorgeous harmonies soar above the dark poetry.
Crack the Sky – Tina Shafer from The Good Ones album
The minor key and the singer’s pure voice get me every time. I love the line “It’s not too late to live life the way you want to … far from the old mistakes.” Sums up the theme of Stages of Desire perfectly!
Stay – Alison Krauss from Forget About It album
After a major love scene in my novel, everything falls apart (don’t they always)! This is what I imagine is going through Harriet’s mind.
Like A Fool – Keira Knightly, from the Begin Again soundtrack
More songs about being broken-hearted. Keira Knightly never appealed to me as an actress until I saw the movie Begin Again, with Mark Ruffalo. I loved the movie and immediately bought the soundtrack, and this song is one of the reasons why. It’s about wishing things were different, but trying to accept them as they are.
Julia Tagan lives with her husband and goldendoodle in New York City. A journalist by training, she enjoys weaving actual events and notorious individuals into her historical romances. Her favorite activities include walking her dog in Central Park, scouring farmers’ markets for the perfect tomato, and traveling to foreign cities in search of inspiration.