The Rake and the Bishop’s Daughter
by Julia Donner


GENRE: Regency Romance



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.


Asterly broke through Olivia’s rapt attention on Lady Ravenswold’s fencing lesson. 
“Ma’am, have you ever seen men fence?”

“A visiting cousin had lessons on the lawn, but I never paid any notice. Why does Mr. Bates not wish 
to perform a demonstration for the countess?”

“Because Harry is utterly wild and reckless. He has no style, other than aggressiveness, 
even in retreat. Which means there is little chance of attempting to rely on a strategy built on an 
opponent’s repeated actions. Harry has none, and he punishes any weakness. I never fence with him. 
It’s too bewildering.”

She didn’t move her attention from the men below when she said, “He told me that you were the better 
boxer. Does his poor vision create a problem seeing his opponent?”

“You know about that, do you?”

“The reason for his curricle accident, I’m sure. Shouldn’t Harry wear a protective vest?”

“Too sure of himself and a tactic to overset his opponent. Or he knows you’re up here watching and is 
showing off.”

“How silly. He might be injured.”

“Not Harry. You’ll see. And the blade tips are buttoned.”

Harry took his place, a relaxed en guard, and began to speak before demonstrating. “When advancing, 
raise the front of the foot. You constantly forget to do that, and if you don’t, it’s difficult to maintain 
balance. Without balance, you lose flexibility for swift advance and retreat. You attempted the fleche 
in a bungled sort of lunge. The fleche should never be attempted by a beginner, because unless you 
strike your opponent, the attack leaves you open for a lethal strike. You can only hope he will duck to 
avoid the blade, giving you time to escape retribution.”

Olivia gasped when Harry suddenly moved, an explosive advance that had Bates in swift retreat. 
Foil movements flew too fast for her to understand.

Asterly murmured with pride and satisfaction, “Now watch closely. He’s like a spider. He’s about to 
draw Freddy in, make him think he’s retreating, then he’ll press him forward and back, 
and at the precise moment—”

Harry flung forward in flight, arm and body extended almost parallel to the floor, a fearless attack that 
laid him vulnerable, and when Freddy stumbled back to avoid the blade tip, Harry caught him on the 
vest’s left shoulder.

Olivia lowered the hand she’d unconsciously pressed over her heart. “That was terrifying to watch.”

Asterly said, “The fleche is a chancy maneuver. I doubt he’d ever do it in an actual duel, but then, 
with Harry, one never knows. It’s what makes him a challenging opponent.”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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 @RigdonML

Book Link:



Julia will be awarding a $30 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner 
via rafflecopter during the tour.

blog header Goddess Fish w url copy.jpg