Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Straight Browsing from the Library: The Rake and the Bishop's Daughter by Julia Donner

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Julia will be awarding a $30 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


Society’s beloved wastrel, Sir Harry Collyns, pushes his popularity past the point of acceptability when he poses for a statue that creates a social uproar. People line up for blocks to see Handsome Harry in the nude, sculpted by a female artist! Bored with the fuss and scandal, Harry hitches up his fastest team, heads for the country, and a near fatal curricle accident. When the bandages are removed from his head days later, he discovers the angel-voiced widow who’d cared for him is neither elderly nor as mild as her tone, but a straight-laced do-gooder unimpressed with his flamboyant past and dashing good looks. Head-battered and heading for a broken heart, he falls into love with Widow Olivia St. Clair, who might be the one woman in England that Harry can’t charm into loving him back.


Olivia grabbed a shirt spilled from the gentleman’s portmanteau to fold into a compress and focused on maintaining pressure on the wound. It wasn’t long before she heard the distant sound of the mail coach. She exhaled a sigh of relief when the approaching rattle slowed. The clop and jangle of horses and harness became louder. She ignored the gaping passengers as the heavy vehicle approached at a slow trot instead of a thunderous canter. Fortunately, the curricle had been backed up enough that the coach could pass by.

She used the back of her wrist to quickly swipe back the damp curls from her brow and placed her hand on the man’s chest. His heartbeat felt strong and steady but he remained unconscious. Gently feeling his blood-soaked head, she discovered a smooth lump but the skin of his scalp felt intact. The shirt compress was soaked through. Stretching, she grabbed the edge of the portmanteau and pulled it closer. A folded stack of neck cloths would work perfectly. The idea was to swiftly replace the saturated cloth with fresh, but when she lifted the compress away, she stilled from the sight of the man’s face, no longer veiled in blood.

Her mouth fell open. “Oh! It’s Harry.”

A shout from the lane took her attention. Mr. Hoskins and his daughter, Fanny, came up the lane at a run.


Julia Donner (aka M.L.Rigdon) grew up in historic Galena, IL, USA, and spent most of her time in the museum of her aunt, who encouraged her interest in history and understood the need to cherish a dream. She started writing in secret in her teens and never stopped, merging it with her mother's encouragement to study theater and music, which led to performing in the Midwest, California and as far away as Austria.

Donner never forgot what it was like to write alone as a girl and is a happy member of Summit City Scribes. Concern for the failing educational system led her to develop Your Futures in Ink, a panel of local and regional authors, who go into to schools to encourage students and answer questions about writing.

THE TIGRESSE AND THE RAVEN, first book in the regency Friendship Series, is an RWA contest finalist. The ninth book in the series, A ROGUE FOR MISS PRIM and the tenth, AN AMERICAN FOR AGNES, are available now. A LAIRD’S PROMISE will be released by Spring 2018.

M.L Rigdon (aka Julia Donner)

Follow on Twitter


Buy the book at Amazon.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I enjoyed getting to know your book; congrats on the tour and I hope it is a fun one for you :)

  2. Great to meet you, Lisa, and thanks!

  3. Thanks for the excerpt today. I was looking at your website and discovered you write under 2 names and also write in 4 different genres. What is the hardest part of keeping your different hats on straight when writing?

  4. Great blurb! Harry's in capable hands.

  5. Such a fun premise!


  6. Thanks for hosting. This looks like a fun book to read. Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com.

  7. I really enjoyed reading the entire post, thank you!