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A Second Chance for Love
Writing as S.M. Laviolette
Smart & Sexy Historical Romance


A lovely review for THE CUTTHROAT COUNTESS from PW!!

The Cutthroat CountessA fearless circus performer finds unexpected romance with a secret agent of the crown in Spencer’s page-turning third Wicked Women of Whitechapel Regency (after The Dueling Duchess).

Jo “Blade” Brown, a talented knife-thrower with Farnham’s Fantastical Female Fayre, reveals her incredible survival skills when saving the life of fellow circus employee (and undercover agent) Elliot Wingate in France after he is attacked by a local militia. This encounter sparks surprising and intense sexual chemistry, leading to a tumultuous, on-and-off affair. Despite her growing feelings, Jo is sure they have no real future, especially as she’s concealing the fact that her late father was a suspected enemy of the crown, though she believes him innocent. The stakes rise when she becomes the target of an investigation by Elliot’s boss at the Home Office, who knows all about the allegations of treason against her father. As family secrets come out and Elliot fights to keep Jo safe, their sensual connection turns to undeniable love. Spencer imbues Jo with strength, intellect, and resilience, while also revealing her insecurities, making her as authentic as she is admirable. With witty dialogue, sizzling sex scenes, and a touch of suspense, this will have readers riveted.


A fantastic review of THE DUELING DUCHESS from Publishers Weekly!

The Dueling Duchess“Spencer’s alluring second Wicked Women of Whitechapel novel (after The Boxing Baroness) stars Cecile Tremblay, one of four owners of Regency England’s first all-women circus, Farnham’s Fantastical Female Fayre, who also performs as a crack shot in one of the circus’s most popular acts. When Cecile’s former lover Guy Darlington shows up at her circus pleading for a job as Cecile’s assistant/drudge after losing his fiancée and his dukedom to his long-lost cousin, Cecile reluctantly takes him on. She has not forgotten how Guy previously insulted her with an offer to install her as his mistress while he went on to wed a more suitable woman. As the pair spend more time together, however, Cecile sees that he truly regrets his previous behavior and he confesses he’s never stopped loving her. But can guarded Cecile tear down her walls and open up about her mysterious past enough to return his feelings? The unusual backdrop of the circus continues to set this series apart, and the resilient female supporting cast add both charm and humor to the sensuous romance. Readers won’t want to put this down.” Publishers Weekly

A STARRED review for NOTORIOUS from Booklist!

Notorious“What would writer, philosopher, and women’s rights champion Mary Wollstonecraft think? Actually, as a charter member of the Society for the Practical Application of Wollstonecraftian Ideals, Drusilla Clare knows exactly what her idol would say about matrimony, especially to a man like Gabriel Marlington. Unfortunately, after Dru is caught in a compromising, albeit completely innocent, position with Gabriel at a ball one night, the only option the two have that will keep Dru from being utterly shunned by polite society is to marry. However, when their marriage of convenience starts heating up into something much more passionate, Dru discovers there just might be some advantages to having a scandalous rake as a husband. Romance readers will feel like they have hit the literary trifecta with Notorious, the first brilliantly crafted book in much-awarded Spencer’s brand-new Regency-set Rebels of the Ton series. Spencer serves up an irresistible cocktail of smart characterization, sophisticated sensuality, and sharp wit—all while orchestrating her own clever spin on the popular bluestocking-and-rake trope.” John Charles (STARRED)

A STARRED review for THE MUSIC OF LOVE from Publishers Weekly!

The Music of Love“Spencer (Notorious) launches her Academy of Love series with this pitch-perfect Regency romance set in Cornwall, England. Eustace “Stacy” Harrington hires private piano teacher Ivo Stefani to join his household staff, but Ivo’s widow, Portia, shows up instead. The alluring, quick-tempered Portia proves herself to be a talented teacher, and despite Stacy’s insecurities about his albinism and his worries about starting a romance with one of his employees, he can’t help his attraction to her. Ivo used to shame Portia for enjoying sex, leaving her insecure and fearful, but she finds herself drawn to the imposing but unfailingly kind Stacy. The pair impulsively give in to their desires in a steamy sex scene that cuts through the typical will-they-or-won’t-they dance. When Portia discovers she’s pregnant, Stacy is overjoyed and agrees to marry at once. But the dark pasts of both loom over their newfound domestic bliss, and when Stacy is shot returning home from a business trip, the newlyweds are thrown into a complex web of danger and intrigue. Spencer’s characterizations are nuanced and believable, and the passion between the protagonists scorches the pages. Readers will be hooked.” PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (STARRED)

A STARRED review for THE FOOTMAN from Publishers Weekly!

The Footman

“LaViolette (the Academy of Love series) takes cues from The Count of Monte Cristo in her riveting first Masqueraders romance. In 1802, impetuous 16-year-old Lady Elinor Atwood thoughtlessly throws herself at 19-year-old Iain Vale, her family’s guileless new footman, setting off a devastating chain of events. Lord Trentham, Elinor’s cruel fiancé, catches the pair in their single, sloppy kiss and has Vale sent to prison, where he is brutally treated until he is rescued by his uncle, who sends him to America. There, Vale remakes himself as the affluent Stephen Worth, driven by the desire to exact revenge on Elinor. But when he returns to England in 1817, he discovers that Elinor, now a widow who occupies herself with the study of medicine, is no longer the entitled girl she was. Alternating between the past and present, LaViolette keeps the tension high and the pages flying. Elinor is an admirable heroine who remains strong in desperate situations, and the formidable Worth makes a sympathetic antihero as he navigates his long-standing hatred and mounting desire for Elinor. Lovers of historical romance will be hooked on this twisty story of revenge, redemption, and reversal of fortunes.” PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (STARRED)

A STARRED review for INFAMOUS from Booklist!

InfamousCelia Trent once used her beauty and social position to make Richard Redvers a complete laughingstock of the town. Ten years later, now the widow Celia Pelham, she is working as a companion to Lady Yancy when her past sins come home to roost. While accompanying her employer to a holiday house party and wedding, Celia finds herself among the entire Redvers clan, including Richard, who is now a very wealthy and very sexy entomologist. Can Celia summon the courage to right old wrongs and in the process forge a future with a man she once tormented? Realistically transforming the Regency equivalent of a mean girl into a relatable, all-too-human heroine is no easy feat, but Spencer (Outrageous, 2021) succeeds on every level. Lightly dusted with wintery holiday charm, graced with an absolutely endearing, beetle-obsessed hero and a fully rendered cast of supporting characters and spiked with smoldering sensuality and wry wit, the latest in Spencer’s Rebels of the Ton series is sublimely satisfying. — John Charles (STARRED)

A STARRED review for DANGEROUS from Booklist!


Euphemia “Mia” Marlington knows she can’t afford to be too picky when it comes to choosing a husband, but is marrying a cold-blooded murderer really the answer to her matrimonial dilemma? Given her firmly on-the-shelf age and a now-scandalous reputation fueled by a 17-year absence from polite British society, Mia finds her marriage prospects limited, to say the least. Still, when Adam de Courtney, the Marquess of Exley, shows an interest in her, Mia is initially inclined to put Adam into the reject pile with all of her other suitors. After all, Adam, otherwise known as the Murderous Marquess, is rumored to have done away with his two previous wives. However, Mia is intimately acquainted with the gap between rumor and truth, and, as she gets to know Adam, she begins to think he just might be the perfect husband for her. A remarkably resourceful heroine who can more than hold her own against any character invented by best-selling Bertrice Small, a suavely sophisticated hero with sex appeal to spare, and a cascade of lushly detailed love scenes give Spencer’s dazzling debut its deliciously fun retro flavor. — John Charles (STARRED)

A STARRED review for BARBAROUS from Booklist!

There has to be some mistake, since Hugh Redvers died nearly 20 years ago. At least that is what Lady Daphne Davenport was led to believe. But now the very real and insanely attractive man standing before her suggests that the reports of Hugh’s death have been greatly exaggerated. He has reappeared as his alter ego, the infamous privateer One-Eyed Standish, suddenly turning up at Lessing Hall, the country estate of Daphne’s late husband and Hugh’s uncle, the earl of Davenport. This is definitely problematic for Daphne, since by rights everything that her husband left to her and her two young sons now belongs to Hugh. If that isn’t bad enough, Daphne quickly discovers that she isn’t quite as immune to Hugh’s rakish charms as she would like to be. Fans of Amanda Quick’s early historicals will find much to savor in Spencer’s exuberantly crafted, exhilaratingly plotted, and erotically charged sophomore literary effort that quickly proves to be every bit as much fun as her stellar debut, Dangerous (2018). — John Charles (STARRED)