She was the only code he couldn’t break…
Vivienne Le Fleur is one of London’s most sought after opera dancer and one of England’s best weapons: the spy known as the Flower. When a French agent pressures her to change allegiance by abducting her sister, Vivienne is forced to seek the help of the only man in London who doesn’t want her.
Maximilian Westwood, retired code breaker, doesn’t like surprises or mysteries and The Flower is both. When she sneaks into his study in the middle of the night with a coded message, he’s ready to push her out whatever window she arrived through. Except Maximilian is unable to turn away a woman in trouble. Determined to rescue Vivienne’s sister, they engage in a game of cat and mouse with French spies that requires all of Vivienne’s training and Maximilian’s abilities. Bound together by secrecy, they discover there is more between them than politics and hidden codes, but love has no place among the secrets of espionage…
How a Series is Born…When it was Never Supposed to be a Series
By Alyssa Alexander
Confession time. I didn’t intend to write the Spy In The Ton books as a series. I simply wrote a book awhile back.
That first book is not part of the series, by the way. It’s hiding in the deepest, darkest, drawer in my desk. It’s, um, not very good. (Understatement of the year).
But as so often happens in a book, secondary characters take over. In that case, the best friend of the hero stole a few scenes—and then Julian Travers, Earl of Langford, suddenly needed a story. I couldn’t NOT tell his story. He laughed quite a bit, had bright blue eyes, and in my head looked like Matthew McConaughey. So I scrapped that dismally bad first manuscript and wrote THE SMUGGLER WORE SILK. That book sold and was nominated for a RITA.
Funny thing happened, though. The hero’s best friend and co-agent in SMUGGLER, Angel, took over a couple of scenes. All of the sudden, Angel needed a book. He had a lost love, and, well, he was a handsome devil. Golden all over and with the soul of a musician. I HAD to write his story. Ergo…IN BED WITH A SPY.
Are you noticing a trend, perchance?
Suddenly I had two connected books, a small series, without actually intending for it to be a series. I simply knew some characters who needed to have their love story told.
But there are four books in the series. How did that happen, you ask? Take a wild guess!
See, there was this opera dancer in IN BED WITH A SPY. A female spy. Something about her called to me. She was a very layered individual, with secrets upon secrets that needed to be delved into. Vivienne, aka the Flower, had her own story. I had to tell it. And what better than to pair her with the man who didn’t like all those secrets, codebreaker Maximillian Westwood.
Voila. The third book in the series, A DANCE WITH SEDUCTION, is just releasing this July. Oh, Maximillian and Vivienne danced around each other for a bit, but I gave them their happy ending. He’s gruff but softhearted, and she’s vulnerable and secretive. Neither is ready to fall in love—so naturally, they do!
But the pattern continues, my dears. Oh, yes it does. Because there’s another character whose story is just begging to be told. It’s Jones. If you have read IN BED WITH A SPY, you’ll remember him as the strong but silent spy working with Angel. He doesn’t think much of himself, in truth. Jones believes he was born a no one from the rookeries, and all the good he’s done in his life won’t turn him into someone. Little does he know, he needs nothing but the love of a woman to show him he was someone all along. And so I gave him Cat. THE LADY AND MR. JONES releases in October—the fourth book the series that was never meant to be a series.
Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason to writing. There are only people who have a story, and an author who must tell those stories.
Historical romantic suspense writer with an addiction to good food, good books, sleep and yoga.
Not necessarily in that order.