A Perilous Passion by Elizabeth Keysian

Barbara Monajem here, welcoming guest author Elizabeth Keysian with her new release, A Perilous Passion. Here’s Elizabeth:

Fact can be stranger than fiction, it really can. When I was looking for a shocking back story for the heroine of “A Perilous Passion”, I recalled a character from a museum exhibition I’d mounted years ago–namely, notorious smuggler Isaac Gulliver.

I changed his name and his location, and re-cast him as Miss Charlotte Allston’s father. Which meant that the hero of the book, Rafe Beckport—who was out to catch a vicious crew of smugglers and traitors—couldn’t trust her. Nor, more importantly, could he allow himself to fall in love with her.

Isaac Gulliver was born in Semington, close to where I live in Wiltshire, in the United Kingdom. He followed in his father’s salt-soaked footsteps and became a smuggler, or free trader, as such men preferred to call themselves. Isaac’s shady ventures prospered, and he moved operations to Dorset, eventually running a massive smuggling ring which operated all along the South Coast of Regency England.

Here is an image which I believe to be of the subject of my post, Isaac Gulliver.

Gulliver did so well at his trade, he could afford to build a mini-fortress from which to direct operations, featuring a network of tunnels for the storage and transport of smuggled goods. He even built a concealed room which could only be reached by climbing ten feet up a chimney!

The story I like best about this colourful character, is that on one occasion he fooled the Revenue men by faking his own death. Apparently he lay motionless in a coffin on the kitchen table, with his face whitened. A funeral service was held for him, but the coffin was later found to contain only rocks.

Gulliver died a wealthy man after seeking a pardon—unlike my heroine’s father. Because if her papa had not met a sticky end, there wouldn’t have been any peril in the passion between hero and heroine!

Are these innocent fishermen, or are they picking up a brandy cask they hid earlier? It wasn’t unusual for smugglers to sink their loot, marking the spot with a buoy. They also dug concealed wells along the highway to hide their spoil, and even dumped it into ponds to retrieve when the coast was clear!

“A Perilous Passion” is my newest release, and is a Regency romance featuring adventure and intrigue, my first book for Entangled Publishing’s new Amara line. It’s also first in a series called “Wanton in Wessex”, the sequel to which features a dashing and mysterious gypsy healer, and is due out in May 2018.

August 1804, Dorset, England

Determined to redeem his honor after a humiliating military defeat, the Earl of Beckport is living incognito, hunting a band of smugglers at the center of a French plot to invade England.

Beautiful, enigmatic Charlotte Allston instantly becomes a person of interest to the earl…and not just in the smuggling case. Passion flares between the two. But when her attempts to help with his secret mission only endanger it, he must question where her loyalty truly lies.

A felon being taken into custody. From an original illustration in one of my antiquarian books.

Buy links for “A Perilous Passion”

Amazon.com  http://amzn.to/2BxzjuL

Amazon.com.au  http://amzn.to/2BwU9ue

Amazon.co.uk  http://amzn.to/2BvlBrZ

Amazon.ca  http://amzn.to/2BuYjm9

Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/2BwUfly

Apple http://apple.co/2BuZIZX

Kobo http://bit.ly/2BtQnS2