The Gentleman and the Spy: Ormond Yard #1
|Can a lord and valet find love together in Victorian England?
I'm a huge fan of British historical gay romance, like that written by K.J. Charles, Merry Farmer, and Cat Sebastian, among others. When I decided to try my hand at one, I wanted to focus on the Victorian era—specifically December, 1872. I can’t say exactly why. But I read a lot of Victorian literature in college and graduate school, so I felt familiar with the era.
I began by with research on the common tropes. Inheritance is a big one, because many of the grand estates were entailed—they were often tied to a title, and the property could only be inherited by the holder of the title. Younger sons were left to find their own way in the world once their father died. Class differences were also big, and the idea of an upstairs/downstairs romance was frowned upon. I set out to incorporate those tropes into an MM romance.
Lord Magnus Dawson is the third son of a duke. His oldest brother will inherit, while the second son has been set up with a tea plantation in in Ceylon. Magnus’s father bought him a military commission, but when the Duke became ill, Magnus sold his commission to look after his dying dad. The book begins with the Duke’s death, and Magnus realizing he will soon be cut off and needs to find a way to make a living.
One of the ways a young man could succeed back then was by education, and Toby Marsh’s father, a wealthy manufacturer, sends him to King’s College and then to Cambridge. Unfortunately, the senior Marsh dies before Toby can finish his degree, and he’s forced to serve as a valet slash tutor to his wealthy dissolute roommate. When the book opens, he’s struggling to make a living as a freelance tutor in Cambridge. Then an unusual summons arrives, which will put him in close quarters with Magnus.
Love blossoms between them—but can it survive against the stigmas of the Victorian era? One of my beta readers wrote, “I was completely taken with Magnus and Toby and their personal back stories.” I hope you will be, too!
The Lord and the Frenchman: Ormond Yard #2
Two wounded men discover true love and a found family in Victorian England
In the opulent courts of Victorian England, John Seales, Lord Therkenwell, is a man of wealth and privilege, expected to marry a woman of his own social standing and produce an heir. But when he meets dashing French diplomat Raoul Desjardins at a soirée arranged by a politically-connected gay couple, he finds himself inexplicably drawn to the man despite the risks of their forbidden love.
John and Raoul struggle to keep their feelings for each other hidden while becoming ensnared in a web of international intrigue that threatens to ruin their careers and endanger their lives. As they navigate the dangerous political landscape of the time, they must also confront their own demons and make a choice: follow the expectations of society or follow their hearts. Set against the backdrop of a tumultuous era, "The Lord and the Frenchman" is a passionate and romantic tale of love that knows no bounds.
Can Toby Marsh and Lord Magnus Dawson, heroes of The Gentleman and the Spy, rescue John and Raoul from their predicament? Or is their love affair destined to founder on the shoals of British-French competition for African empire?
"Plakcy crafts a story rich in historical detail and full of charming and engaging characters. The romantic tension between John and Raoul was as exciting as the political intrigue of exploration and espionage between Britain and France. The Lord and the Frenchman is a must-read for Historical Fiction fans!" - Merry Farmer, USA Today Bestselling author of The Brotherhood series.
The Lock-Keeper's Heart
In the aftermath of a failed love, Isaac Evans drops out of college and flees Philadelphia for a lock-keeper’s job on the Delaware Canal in rural Pennsylvania, where he pursues a life of Thoreau-driven solitude.
Prussian immigrant Lenert Tessmer trudges along the canal towpath in good and bad weather, hobbled by his dialect which prevents him from connecting with others. Then Lenert breaks his leg, and Isaac’s Quaker beliefs force him to offer a place where Lenert can recover.
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