TTW BCRenee Desselle’s life has never been easy. Married at such a young age, she’s had to contend with a great many things. She’d always believed that she’d live a peaceful life. That her husband would always be there for her whenever possible. All that changed, however, when he became ill and was taken from her prematurely. Granted, their lives would still have been difficult, at best, but it doesn’t change that she’s now a widow.

Determined to make the best of the situation, Renee has immersed herself in what has now become her own business. She runs a millinery in the French Quarter of New Orleans, and invests her every minute in making sure everything runs smoothly. Doing so allows her to focus on other things, and not the fact that she’s been a widow for sometime. She’s aware of people not liking her way of life, but she refuses to allow people’s comments to deter her from the course she’s taken.

When an unexpected suitor shows up, Renee isn’t sure of what to make of things. William Collins makes her feel things she’s never felt before, feelings she thought were long dead and buried. His mere presence is a comfort she never expected, yet she’s reluctant to give things with him a chance. Tongues are wagging already, and she can’t allow others to speak ill of her. Most especially when she’s trying to run a successful business. Yet when the heart is wanting, the feelings it evokes are hard to let go. Whether she wants to or not, the call in her veins is hard to ignore. More so, when she craves the one thing she knows she shouldn’t want–William himself.

A thrilling start to the Love In New Orleans series, the authors have set the stage for what is definitely a titillating read. They immerse us in Renee’s plight, twining her emotions about with every situation she finds herself in. The writing flows easily enough, and you find yourself engrossed in the story itself. The setting and the vivid description certainly lend credence to the environment that’s being created for the series itself. I can’t wait for what the author’s have in store next!



Find The Willing Widow on as an ebook and a paperback.




THE WILLING WIDOW will thrill fans of Amanda Quick, Madeline Hunter and Tessa Dare with intrigue, mystery, and the glamorous setting of New Orleans during the Gilded Age.

Cultures clash and collide in thrilling and provocative ways in this historical romance by debut author, Ursula LeCoeur. On Sundays, Mass at St. Louis Cathedral is standing room only, but on Mondays, the good Catholics of New Orleans are buying love potions and devotional candles from their favorite voodoo priestess. Fashionable and proper ladies dine at Antoine’s and other centers of Creole cuisine; they dance at masked Mardi Gras balls, show off their décolletage at America’s first opera house, and meet for trysts in the shadow of palatial oaks. Gentlemen idle at the Absinthe House on Bourbon Street, conduct business with relentless energy, and visit dance halls and brothels until the early morning on Gallatine Street.

From the fabled cobblestone streets of the French Quarter, to the gracious mansions of the Garden District, to the swamps and watery mists surrounding the beloved city of New Orleans, Ursula LeCoeur introduces readers to the world of two unforgettable characters: Renee Desselle is a beautiful young widow who owns a thriving French Quarter millinery. Irishman William Collins is a newcomer to New Orleans who manages his uncle’s prosperous cotton brokerage. In the midst of preparations for the city’s grand World Exposition and Cotton Centennial of 1884, Renee offers to assist a desperate society matron who is being stalked by a mysterious stranger. To help his uncle, William undertakes the search for an embezzler on the Cotton Exposition Committee. Passion ignites between hero and heroine as their investigations intertwine on a path that leads to love—and murder.

In this witty and passionate first novel, courage and the promise of new love triumph over unknown dangers threatening from darkened alleys, and the mistrust and desperation of a complicated past.



About The Author:

Ursula LeCoeur is the nom de plume of mother-daughter writing team, Mary and Helen. We set our series of romances, Love in New Orleans, in 1880s Louisiana, the Gilded Age in America. Our debut romance, The Willing Widow, is now available as an ebook and paperback on

We chose our setting because we share a love of the history, stories and traditions of New Orleans and the GulfCoast. Helen’s first novel, In the Hope of Rising Again (Penguin Press 2004, Riverhead 2005) is also available on

We love to hear from readers. Email us at Visit our website,, for blog posts on New Orleans history and traditional Southern recipes. Friend us at and follow us on Twitter @ursulalecoeur.




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For a chance to enter, comment with the following: If you had a chance to go back in time to Victorian times, who would you become, and what would you during that time?

G. L. to all those entering.