After the Kiss





After the Kiss began in a strange way.

I visited an old used book store in San Antonio that was stacked to the ceiling with books in every description and topic. As I was waiting for the proprietor, a bent and wizened man who was annoyed at the interruptions, a customer came up to him, and whispered in his ear. The proprietor reached under the counter and withdrew an intricately tooled leather bound book. I was surprised at the price, but when the man left, the proprietor confessed that it was Victorian pornography and that the departing customer was only one of many people interested in historical porn. Thus began one of the most fascinating conversations I’ve ever had in a bookstore.

The Journals of Augustin X were born.

Margaret is a proper widow, living penuriously and quietly in the Downs until she is forced to sell one of three scandalous books she discovered.  Michael is the Earl of Moncrief, forced by circumstances and a profligate family to marry for money. When the two meet, the attraction is mutual and alarming for both of them.

Add a mystery involving the lurid Journals of Augustin X, a meddling mother, three sisters looking for husbands, a starchy, disapproving butler, and the plot is complete.

Except, of course, for the bargain that Michael proposes, After the Kiss.

Here’s the blurb:

No longer the proper English wife she always was, Margaret kissed a handsome stranger. Now the dashing earl will not rest until the beautiful widow he held in his arms so briefly is his forever.