Last Updated:

November 2012


Lady of Seduction   

June 2011


   I'm very excited--but also a bit sad!--to see the release of the third and last of my "Daughters of Erin" series, Lady of Seduction.  It's been a wonderful journey for me with the three Blacknall sisters and their hunky heroes, and it's hard to say good-bye to them even as I'm happy to see them get their HEAs.  I'm especially happy to see Caroline's story, as I've been eager to see what would happen to her ever since I met her in book one, Countess of Scandal.  (I also got to indulge my love of stormy Gothic atmosphere and the dramatic Irish islands by sending her off to seek the dark, mysterious, and dangerous Grant Dunmore--the villain of book two, Duchess of Sin--on the island of Muirin Inish).


   Muirin Inish is a fictional place, but I based some of its aspects on two real islands, Caher and Skellig Michael.  Caher, called Cathar na Naomb (the Saint's Cove), was the legendary spot where St. Patrick spent Easter in the year 441 and founded a monastery there.  The ruins of the old monastery, as well as smaller churches and old graveyards (including the famous Dolphin Stone of the 6th or 7th century), can still be visited there.  Skellig Michael, or Great Skellig (the largest of the two Skellig islands) was also the site of ancient monasteries, built in the 6th century (and abandoned in the 13th).  It's faced with dramatic sheer cliffs lined with stone steps (the monks were said to have gone up and down 670 steps to fish for their food before returning to the monastery), and has long been a place of pilgrimage.  It was mostly abandoned by the 18th century, when it became the sight of notorious parties where young people could go and have some fun away from their elders' attention.  (See the ribald series of poems now known as the "Skellig List" for more about these good times!)


   I also used the Rising of 1803 as part of the historic background of the story.  Though this rebellion was not nearly as extensive as the rebellion of 1798 (seen in Countess of Scandal), and was plagued by bad luck and poor timing, though at first it seemed to have enough advantages to succeed.  Its charismatic leader was Robert Emmet, only 25 years old in 1803.  In 1798, when he was a student at Trinity College, he became the secretary of a United Irish society and ended up expelled from the school with a warrant issued for his arrest.  He escaped to France, where he spent the next few years working to secure French military aid for another uprising.  The French kept waffling, but Emmet returned to Ireland in late 1802 to start gathering forces.


   Emmet was able to set up secret arms depots around Dublin and make contact with his old United Irish comrades who had gone into hiding after 1798.  Anger over the last uprising was still high on both sides and he initially had great success finding new rebels for his plans.  But the government, still on edge, had suspicions something was afoot, and after an explosion at the secret Patrick Street armory, they increased their defenses across Dublin and southern Ireland.  Emmet was forced to bring his uprising forward by several weeks, before the promised French aid could be sent.  There was fierec fighting in the streets of Dublin, mainly on the Thomas Street area, and Lord Kilwarden, the Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, was killed.  Sporadic clashes went on throughout the night, but by morning the uprising was pretty much over, with 20 army and 50 rebels dead.  Emmet fled into hiding but was captured on August 25 and executed on September 20.


   I hope you've enjoyed the stories of the "Daughters of Erin"!  My next series will mark a change of pace (and setting) to Victorian London with the adventures of "The Scandalous St. Claires"...


A few sources I used in researching Lady of Seduction:

The Islands of Ireland (Thames & Hudson Publishing, 2005)

Ruan O'Donnell, Robert Emmet and the Rising of 1803 (2003)

FS Bourke, The Rebellion of 1803, An Essay in Bibliogpahy (1933)

Edward Brynn, Crown and Castle: British Rule in Ireland, 1800--1830 (1978)

Liam Chambers, Rebellion in Kildare, 1790-1803 (1998)

Marianne Elliott, Partners in Revolution, the United Irish and France (1988)

Patrick Geoghan, Robert Emmet, A Life (2002)

Mary Helen Thuente, The Harp Re-Strung, The United Irish and the Rise of Irish Literary Nationalism (1994)

Georges Denis Zimmerman, Songs of Irish Rebellion: Political Street Ballads and Rebel Songs 1780--1900 (1967)



Coming in 2012--escape to Victorian London with a new series! 

Book 2:

Two Sinful Secrets

(December 2012)




Book 1: 

One Naughty Night(June 2012)


Praise for
Countess of Scandal

“Laurel McKee’s prose is lyrical, her pacing is flawless, and her talent for evoking a rich, sweeping historical atmosphere is second to none” –USA Today Bestseller Julianne MacLean

 “An exciting, suspenseful and very passionate story.  Loved it and very much look forward to the next in this series.  Interesting history lesson and a good backdrop for a first-class love story”—Romance Reviews Magazine

 “Ms. McKee’s style of writing is stellar, streaming with lovely prose, vivid descriptions, breathtaking love scenes, and action-packed tension.  Every word sings with unyielding intensity” –Romance Junkies

“McKee sets the stage for a romantic adventure that captures the spirit of Ireland and a pair of star-crossed lovers to perfection” –RT Book Reviews - 4 Stars

 “Countess of Scandal combines a passionate romance with a nail-biting plot.  The author’s research shines through to make the era come alive, as well as her characters.  An exciting tale out of the common mold” –Romance Reviews Today

 “This book has rarely used and well-drawn setting, good characters, and so much more working in its favor.  I absolutely loved reading this one!” –All About Romance

 “McKee’s intriguingly nuanced characters and deliciously subtle sense of humor provide the ideal counterpoint to the perfectly executed historical setting that gives Countess of Scandal its refreshingly different literary flavor” –Booklist


Want to know more about Georgian Ireland and the events surrounding Laurel's Daughters of Ireland trilogy? Check out Behind the Book and Resources.


Picture of Laurel at RWA '09!