Read On A Wicked Dawn Online

Authors: Stephanie Laurens

On A Wicked Dawn


The Bar Cynster Family Tree

HarperCollins e-book extra:
From the Lab to the Regency: One Writer's Travels: An Interview with Stephanie Laurens

Chapter 1

He was drunk.
drunk. More drunk—drunker—than he'd ever been

Chapter 2

“Why the museum?” Amelia asked as she approached him.

Chapter 3

He led her onto the terrace, where numerous couples were strolling, taking advantage of . . .

Chapter 4

The words reached Luc a second too late for him to grab Amelia back.

Chapter 5

The surest way to manage Amelia was, not just to keep the reins in his hands, but to use them.

Chapter 6

More than enough torture. He doubted she realized the effect she had on him, especially . . .

Chapter 7

The evening of the next day loomed as a disaster; if Luc could have avoided the . . .

Chapter 8

She'd come prepared. Even so, she would need to take him by surprise.

Chapter 9

The morning sun slanting through the uncurtained windows woke her.

Chapter 10

“There you are, m'lord—that ought to do it.” Luc accepted the bouquet of apricot and yellow . . .

Chapter 11

That evening, Amelia and her mother attended Lady Hogarth's musicale.

Chapter 12

The next morning dawned fine; a playful breeze wafted about the lawns and set the tone for . . .

Chapter 13

He had absolutely no idea what Mrs. Higgs and Cook had prepared; he paid no attention . . .

Chapter 14

That revelation did not buoy his confidence. Some hours later, sitting in the breakfast parlor . . .

Chapter 15

The idea inhabiting her mind had not been the same as the one inhabiting

Chapter 16

“I'm going riding—I thought I'd go to that place on the river we used to go to years ago.”

Chapter 17

Thank heavens she was stubborn.

Chapter 18

The next morning saw the first of the visitations customary in county circles when welcoming . . .

Chapter 19

They didn't put it into words, but come the morning they had a tacit agreement that . . .

Chapter 20

By general consensus, they waited until Emily, Anne, Portia, Penelope, and Miss Pink . . .

Chapter 21

“A word of advice, ma petite.”
Amelia glanced up from the lists scattered . . .

Chapter 22

The day flew. No one stopped for luncheon; Higgs set out a cold collation in the dining room . . .

Chapter 23

Helena watched as a cloaked figure stepped gingerly from the depths of the wardrobe.

About the Author

Other Books by Stephanie Laurens


About the Publisher

From the Lab to the Regency:
One Writer's Travels

Part Two

An interview by
Claire E. White

Australia's Stephanie Laurens was born on the island known to the ancients as Serendip, or Paradise (and today known as the less-than-paradisal Sri Lanka) and spent four formative years ('78-'81) living in England, in the Kentish countryside. Her residence there was a sixteenth-century oast house, right next door to a first-century Roman villa and just down the lane from a castle begun in the fourteenth century and completed in the seventeenth. Stephanie's time in England gave her firsthand experience of the scenery, the grand houses, and the English weather that would contribute to the richness of her historical romances, all set in the English Regency — that period, 1811-1820, during which George, Prince of Wales (later King George IV), served as regent for his mentally ill father, King George III.

Stephanie trained as a research scientist and has a Ph.D. in biochemistry. After nineteen years in medical research (during which time she rose to head her own laboratory), Stephanie decided that too much of her time was spent on administrative, non-creative labors. In looking for a more satisfying career, she started writing novels. Her first work,
Tangled Reins
, a Regency romance, was published in 1992
by Harlequin Mills & Boon, London. Seven books followed for HM&B and they were also published in Germany, France, Japan, Italy, Australia, the Philippines, the U.S., and Canada. Stephanie then turned to writing longer historical romances, still set in the Regency but specifically tailored for American readers.

Her first such romance was
Captain Jack's Woman
[Avon, 1997; HarperCollins e-book, 2002] which received a rave review and an “Outstanding” rating of six stars from
Affaire de Coeur
— only the second book ever to have achieved this rating.
Romantic Times
Captain Jack's Woman
as “exceptional,” and dubbed Stephanie “a bright new star of the adventure romance genre.”

Stephanie is best known for her Bar Cynster novels. The first six Cynster books tell the stories of six cousins:
Devil's Bride
A Rake's Vow
Scandal's Bride
A Rogue's Proposal
A Secret Love
All About Love

“Each book has as its hero one of the male members of the infamous Bar Cynster family,” Stephanie explains. “Each novel tells the tale of how the hero meets his fated match, how he woos and weds his lady, how he falls victim to the inescapable fate that overtakes all Cynster men — despite their strong resistance, all Cynsters are fated to love.”

The Promise in a Kiss
(2001) is the story of Helana and Sebastian, and the beginning of the Cynster dynasty.
On a Wild Night
(2002) and
On a Wicked Dawn
(2002) tell the stories of the Cynster twins, Amanda and Amelia.

All About Passion
(2001) is the story of Cynster rival Gyles Frederick Rawlings, fifth Earl of Chillingworth, and his enchantment by a “gypsy in green”. . .

[All ten titles are available as HarperCollins e-books.]

Stephanie lives in a leafy suburb of Melbourne with her husband and two daughters. She talked with us about her
career change from cancer researcher to romance novelist and gave us some insight on how she creates her romantic treasures.


HarperCollins e-books editor's note: The interview that follows commenced in Amanda's e-book,
On a Wild Night
, and concludes in Amelia's — this e-book —
On a Wicked Dawn


Claire E. White:
What are your pet peeves in reading romance novels?

Stephanie Laurens:
Impossibilities. I can stretch my imagination with the best of them, but impossibilities I can't accept. I don't mean just material impossibilities, but social, emotional, and motivational impossibilities. When a novel derives from a premise that just couldn't have happened, then I really find it difficult to read, other than by considering it a fantasy. This occurs most often with historicals, of course, but some contemporaries also suffer from emotional or motivational implausibility that goes too far into impossibility.

My other personal pet peeve is weak principal characters who wait for the next installment of the “action plot” to get them moving. I suspect this means weak emotional motivation. I don't respond to romances that are action-plot-driven, as distinct from principally character- or emotional-plot-driven.

Claire E. White:
How do you approach the research needed to write historical fiction?

Stephanie Laurens:
In writing Regencies, or historicals set in the Regency, I have relied on what I have absorbed through my reading over the past thirty years, which has included a very large number of British Regencies, and
British historical texts. When I use any specific factual point in a draft, one that I haven't used before or don't know for a fact is right, then I check it in historical texts or reference books as I work over the draft.

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