London, May 3 (ANI): British publisher of romance novels Mills and Boon is set to publish a special novel this week to mark the 400th anniversary of one of Britain's historic homes.
The novel, Scandalous Innocent, which will be published on May 7, will have the Ham House, in Richmond-upon-Thames, Surrey, featuring in it.
The house, built in 1610 for Sir Thomas Vavasour, Knight Marshal to James I, features heavily in the story by Juliet Landon.
The author weaves the story of her fictional heroines into the lives of two past Ham House residents, the extrovert Duchess of Lauderdale, who lived there in the 17th century, and the 6th Earl of Dysart, who made the house his home in the early 19th century.
The first part of the novel, set in 1676, features Miss Phoebe Laker, who lives at Mortlake and is friends with Elizabeth, Duchess of Lauderdale.
Phoebe is in love with Sir Leo Hawkynne who challenges her to a duel. If she wins, they must marry, but Sir Leo wins and it is this scene which Miss Laker's descendant, Phoebe Donville, sees when she has a vision in the Great Hall in the second part of the story set in 1803.
"Based in Richmond, Mills and Boon is the closest publisher to Ham House, and thus the natural choice for what we all hope will be more than just a flirtation," the Scotsman quoted John Stachiewicz, publisher for the National Trust, as saying.
"We are delighted with Scandalous Innocent and look forward to a warm relationship with the nation's favourite romance publisher," he said.
Clare Somerville, Mills and Boon's sales and marketing director, said: "From the gorgeous outfits and decadent settings, to the passionate - and occasionally scandalous - encounters, Mills and Boon Historicals capture the romantic essence of an era.
"Scandalous Innocent is brimming with sumptuous delights and we are thrilled with Juliet Landon's latest novel," she added. (ANI)