|Saving Crofton Hall|
by Rebecca Cohen
Title Saving Crofton Hall
Genre Contemporary gay romance
Author Rebecca Cohen
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): R
Benjamin Redbourn, Earl of Crofton, has no intention of giving up his beloved ancestral home without a fight. Faced with his mother's gamblingdebts, forgery, and the possibility of foreclosure by the bank, Ben vows to make Crofton Hall pay for herself. But opening an Elizabethan manor house to the public isn't a one man job. With time running out, Ben needs help—and fast.
Ashley Niven has experience managing events, and he also loves history. Being in charge of opening Crofton Hall is a dream come true. As he works with Ben to prepare the house as a venue for lavish weddings and receptions, Ashley finds himself drawn not just to the charm of the house but to the dashing Earl of Crofton. Even if Ashley can look past Ben's playboy reputation, he fears an affair could prove too much of a distraction.
But Crofton Hall has many secrets, and something hidden for over four hundred years is about to change all their lives.
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Interview with Benjamin Redbourn 16th Earl of Crofton
Tell us about yourself, please.
My official title is the Right Honourable 16th Earl of Crofton Lord Benjamin Redbourn. Or Lord Crofton if you prefer to shorten, but I much prefer to be known as Ben. I'm in my early thirties, went to Harrow School, and then Trinity College, Cambridge for university. The press still seem to think I'm a bit of a playboy, but I left those ways behind in my twenties, and now I'm much happier being at home at the manor, Crofton Hall.
What is it that you want, but cannot have? Authors call this the conflict of the story.
What I want is for my mother not to have placed the family home in jeopardy by getting herself into massive debt due her to gambling habits and the inability to back a winner. Her using Crofton Hall as collateral with the bank to raise more money got us into serious trouble.
What is your family like?
The Redbourn family are members of the British nobility. Since the 1st Earl, Anthony Redbourn, we've been at the top of the social ladder. Having the Earldom for 400 years is a big responsibility, and maintaining Crofton Hall – our ancestral seat – is very important. My father died a few years back, making me the earl, and leaving behind my mother. I have two younger siblings, Catlin and Harry, who I love but like most big brothers find them a tad annoying at times.
What special skills do you rely on?
I am fiercely loyal, unflappable with a no nonsense way of dealing with things, and of course a large amount of British stiff upper lip!
If someone from your past showed up, who would you NOT want it to be, and why?
I dated a real arsehole at university. Greg was my first boyfriend and he was a cheating lying bastard. He sent me down a path of self-destruction. Only the intervention of some very good friends stopped me throwing my life away.
Are you happy with the way your story ended? Why or why not?
Of course I am. Who wouldn't be thrilled to have the wonderful Ashley Niven as a boyfriend? And Crofton Hall giving up some of her secrets to save the day made everything doubly sweet.
About the Writer
You have the length of a tweet (140 characters) to describe yourself as a writer. Let's see what you can do.
Author of gay romance who loves to mix things up and play in different genres: love across time, space and reality
Why did you choose to write about this character
Benjamin Redbourn is the current Earl of Crofton, the direct descendant of the earl in my historical series The Crofton Chronicles set in Elizabethan England. I wanted to play more with this family, and decided I'd love to explore a modern setting to see how things have changed over the last 400 years.
What do you want to write next?
I have several WIPs, but the ones calling me the loudest are part of a novella series called Treading the Boards, based around a London amateur dramatics group
Are any sequels planned for this book?
Saving Crofton Hall is the first in the Stately Passions series, which is a series of novels based at Crofton Hall but with a difficult couple for each book (with Ben and Ashley in the background). The next in the series features the hall's new historian who develops more than a passing crush on a cameraman filming a special TV series.
Rebecca Cohen is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.
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