When I began writing Aphrodite in Bloom, my publisher, Entangled, asked for twelve explicit stories set in the Regency period. Their only request was that there be ‘Something for everyone.’
I had already turned in One Night with a Duke and knew The Gift would also be a cis-heterosexual couple. With ten more to go, I began looking to create more variety for the reader: menage, same-sex relationships, and nonbinary identity. One of my favorite stories is the very lighthearted A Glimpse of Her Groom, where Olivia discovers she’s asexual, not that she has a word for it.
After I’d exhausted characters with titles of Duke, Baron, Earl and Marquess, I realized I needed other layers of society: a pastor, a colonel, a banker, a sex worker—yes! There is more than one of those, actually.
When all twelve were written and turned in, we realized there was no M/M. Since that would be story #13, it had to be a baker, right? For a baker’s dozen? I wrote The Baker’s Man and it, too, is another of my absolute favorites.
Then we wound up cutting one story that I liked, but it would have required too much rewriting and we were in the last stages before copy edits for publication. Here as an Easter Egg for you, though. If you have found this note on my website, write to me and ask where you can read part of the cut story, A Most Obedient Maid. I have repurposed it in an entirely different project and, if we’re both lucky, I’ll be able to direct you to it.
All of the stories in Aphrodite in Bloom have content warnings, but I’ll give you the blanket warning that these stories are not for everyone. However, if you enjoy extreme heat, variety, and the contrast of upper crust getting down, give this collection at try.