IT'S SAGA SATURDAY!! Please welcome author Emily Royal...

Actuarial science and the whisky trade Even though I’m an actuary, I’ll be the first to admit that these topics, when mentioned in the same sentence, don’t immediately scream “historical romance.” But, one rule authors are encouraged to follow is “write what you know.” Romance is everywhere, and contrary to popular belief, actuaries are human beings, too. We just happen to love mathematics more than most. Case in point: my older daughter recently returned to school for the start of the academic year. The school’s post-lockdown social distancing measures include fewer lessons during the day, each one being longer in duration, to reduce movement around the school. This means the mathematics lessons are up to four hours long. My reaction was bliss. Hers was horror. My new series Headstrong Harts, is based around Dexter Hart, a self-made man who lifted his family out of poverty and is looking for titled husbands for his siblings. Book 1 in the series, What the Hart Wants, is the story of Delilah, Dexter’s youngest sister, who’s an aspiring poet and socialist. She crosses swords with Fraser MacGregor, a distillery owner who’s recently, and unexpectedly, inherited a dukedom. A childhood trauma has left Delilah deeply prejudiced against the aristocracy—Fraser’s ancestors in particular. The two come to an agreement where he agrees to learn about her charitable causes, provided she agrees to let him teach her about pleasure. Fraser is a distillery owner—I had a lot of fun researching that, as we have a good collection of single malts at home—and part of the plot centres around his attempts to expand his business and sell his whisky to London society, following the 1823 Excise Act, which made this possible (and, more importantly, legal). I had to research the Excise Act and the distillery process, but when it came to raising funds and servicing business loans, I was (at last!) able to incorporate some of my day job into my writing, most notably, the principle of financial gearing. I did wonder if my editor would roll her eyes at the scene where Dexter explains financial mathematics to Fraser, but she didn’t. At least not in my presence! Blurb for What the Hart Wants
Five lessons in pleasure. One lesson in love. Fraser MacGregor, thirteenth Duke Molineux, seizes the opportunity to use the title he unexpectedly inherited, to further his whisky business. He leaves his Highland home and heads for London where he’s accosted by a feisty lass, who smashes a vase over his head. Delilah Hart should be relishing her first London season. But she’d rather be a writer than a bland society wife. Her secret occupation of writing anonymous, inflammatory articles about the notorious Molineux family, is the first step to realizing her dream. But when the new duke makes her an offer she can’t refuse—to learn about her cause for social justice in exchange for five lessons in the art of pleasure—she begins to question her beliefs and desires. Before long, Delilah realizes that her heart, as well as her career, is at stake.
Author biography Emily Royal is a mathematics geek who grew up in Sussex, England and has always had a passion for romance and bad boy heroes in need of redemption. After graduating from Oxford and enjoying a brief dream of becoming a pilot she started a career in financial services. She now lives in rural Scotland with her husband, two daughters and a menagerie of pets including Twinkle, an attention-seeking boa constrictor. When not working on algebra, writing or keeping Twinkle from slithering over her keyboard, Emily enjoys painting, playing the piano and can often be found wandering in the Highlands of Scotland looking for inspiration. Author links Website: Twitter: Facebook: Newsletter signup (exclusive free novella for subscribers): Bookbub: Amazon: Book link:

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