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I can’t live knowing that I’m a victim, simply because I’m a woman.

A wife at fifteen, a mother at sixteen and now a widow, country-bred Frances Hart does not know how to simply be a woman.  Until she accidentally interrupts a meeting of the Men and Women’s Club…an elite association dedicated to the study of sexology…and is challenged by widower James Whitcox, a sophisticated London barrister.  Her honesty—dangerous in an era when women are dependent upon fathers, husbands and sons for their very survival—tests the convictions of every man and woman in the Club, even as it catalyzes a passionate odyssey of intimate discovery.  But Victorian society does not approve of the forty-nine-year-old widow’s scandalous affair—and neither does her family.  Defying convention, Frances and James sue for a woman’s right to love. No one will escape the consequences…

Praise for Scandalous Lovers
The tension is almost excruciating, but when the characters make it through, it’s cathartic. ~The Post and Courier

Schone accomplishes something unique and difficult, especially in erotic romance. She understands vulnerability comes from baring one’s true self, not just the body…She’s unafraid of peeling back the layers people put up to protect themselves and delving into the origin of someone’s fear, whether it’s about intimacy or self-revelation. The tension is almost excruciating, but when the characters make it through, it’s cathartic. ~The Post and Courier

This tour de force is a powerful feminist story that exposes the mores of Victorian society and strikes chords. ~RT Book Reviews

Sophisticated, thought-provoking, titillating, provocative and a novel that tests the bounds of the genre, [Scandalous Lovers] delves into a woman’s secret desires, exploring a world both passionate and intellectual and uncovering what happens if the rules are broken. This tour de force is a powerful feminist story that exposes the mores of Victorian society and strikes chords. ~RT Book Reviews Top Pick

Schone also gives readers some surprisingly nuanced characterization and an expertly evoked Victorian setting. ~Booklist

The sizzling affair between Frances, a refreshingly older heroine, and James is captured in vivid detail, but Schone also gives readers some surprisingly nuanced characterization and an expertly evoked Victorian setting. ~Booklist

There’s a lot more than explicit sex—although there is plenty of that—to this frankly erotic romance. ~Library Journal

There’s a lot more than explicit sex—although there is plenty of that—to this frankly erotic romance, which takes a hard look at Victorian double standards and the penalties for women who ignore them and with feminist aplomb puts everything into perspective. ~Library Journal

Scandalous Lovers Excerpt

I’ve never tasted a woman’s sex.

Her expression told him that she had never been tasted.

“Why not?” she asked quietly.

“Women are taught to place the needs of others above their own.”

Her internal battle between self and family continued. “Yes.”

“Men,” James said, “are taught to place their own needs above others.”

Understanding weighted her gaze.

She had pleased others, but she had never taken pleasure for herself. He had pleased himself, but he had never given pleasure to others.

James focused on Frances, seeking in her what he had never sought in another.

“Stick your finger into the bottle,” he said, his voice remote, a barrister’s voice, removed from the needs of the flesh.

Frances’s eyes asked a question as she dipped her middle finger into the bottle.

“Not just your fingertip,” he said. “Stick your whole middle finger into the bottle.”

Pale green eyes still questioning, she reached more deeply into the bottle until the oily liquid reached her second knuckle.

“Now penetrate your vagina, Frances, and let me taste your finger.”

Her shock ricocheted off the five gas globes that starkly illuminated them.

“Share your sex with me, Frances.” James needed to understand what it must be like to be a woman. Sold in marriage. Betrayed in marriage. Dependent upon the good will of men who had been raised to put their own good first. “I don’t want you to be a stranger to me.” …

The Men and Women’s Club Series

Did You Know? …

Scandalous Lovers was a featured alternate Doubleday Book Club selection.