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This Business of Love cover

  • Keywords
    • Regency era,
    • Historical romance,
    • Women's independence,
    • British aristocracy,
    • London,
    • Courtship

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This Business of Love
by Elizabeth Stephenson

When Jasper Ramsey, the sixth Duke of Wexcombe, demands a meeting with his London wharf tenant L.K. Russell, there is only one problem—L.K. Russell is a woman. Set in early 19th century England, the story of Louisa and Jasper highlights the emerging revolutionary concepts of women’s rights and independence, an uncommon twist to the Regency Era romance genre. Louisa operates a successful import/export business from her estate in Sussex; Jasper is a wealthy peer, driven by duty and used to having his own way. At their first calamitous meeting there is little upon which their heads agree—their hearts, however, are another matter. Jasper is smitten, despite his best efforts to avoid romantic entanglement. Louisa knows that giving in to her growing desire will compromise her reputation. Further, marriage would jeopardize her business interests and her inheritance. Nevertheless, the couple hesitantly embark on a romantic romp which includes a battle of the sexes disguised as a fishing competition, an impromptu poetry recital, and a dunk in the muddy Thames as a means of revenge. Their family and friends are cheering them on. But will Louisa risk her independence and follow her heart? And will Jasper finally realize that he is free to choose love over obligation?

Elizabeth Stephenson is fascinated by history, and the revolutionary social and political ideas which were emerging in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. She had long thought to write an historical romance novel, but wanted to give voice to a female character who had built a career for herself and prioritized safeguarding her independence. And so, during the COVID-19 pandemic, after years of writing professionally, Stephenson completed This Business of Love. Along with writing, she loves drinking cocktails with friends, reading biographies and novels, spending summers at the lake and adventurous travel. She lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, with her rescue dog Daisy.


Elizabeth Stephenson

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