Stand Alone #2 has a title! It’s going to be called A Summer Engagement.
In summer of 1849, a member of the fledgling Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood is hired to paint the portrait of a wealthy antiquarian’s young wife in the garden of their home in Herne Hill….
In summer of 2009, a young American woman returns to England to clean out her great-aunt’s house in Herne Hill.
When she finds a Pre-Raphaelite painting hidden behind a wardrobe, my modern heroine slowly begins to uncover the drama that took place in that same house one hundred and sixty years before.
Here’s the official blurb:
A page-turning new novel from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Willig, about a woman who inherits a house in England… and the mysterious past that comes with it
2009: When Julia Conley hears that she has inherited a house outside London from an unknown great-aunt, she assumes it’s a joke. She hasn’t been back to England since the car crash that killed her mother when she was six (and gave her nightmares that have lasted into adulthood). But when she arrives at Herne Hill to sort through the house—with the help of her cousin Natasha and sexy antiques dealer Nicholas—bits of memory start coming back. And then she discovers a pre-Raphaelite painting, hidden behind the false back of an old wardrobe, and a window onto the house’s shrouded history begins to open…
1849: Imogen Grantham has spent nearly a decade trapped in a loveless marriage to a much older man, Arthur. The one bright spot in her life is her step-daughter, Evie, a high-spirited sixteen year old who is the closest thing to a child Imogen hopes to have. But everything changes when three young painters come to see Arthur’s collection of medieval artifacts, including Gavin Thorne, a quiet man with the unsettling ability to read Imogen better than anyone ever has. When Arthur hires Gavin to paint her portrait, none of them can guess what the hands of fate have set in motion.
From modern-day England to the early days of the Preraphaelite movement, A SUMMER ENGAGEMENT takes readers on an un-put-downable journey through a mysterious old house, a hidden love affair, and one woman’s search for the truth about her past—and herself.
Extra bonus fun? Just this past week, an article appeared in The Guardian about a lost Pre-Raphaelite painting discovered behind an old wardrobe in a house in a suburb in London. Given that my book– about a lost PreRaph painting discovered behind an old wardrobe in a house in a suburb in London– is already entirely finished and in copyedits, the coincidence is more than a little bit eerie….
Life imitates art?
Although this is a stand alone (like The Ashford Affair), I snuck in a little something for my Pink readers. That sexy antiques dealer mentioned in the blurb above is none other than one Nicholas Dorrington. Yes, one of those Dorringtons.
A SUMMER ENGAGEMENT is slated to appear in stores on May 27th, 2014. More about the book coming up soon!