Orion Fiction has signed a deal for the first historical novels from romance author Jodi Ellen Malpas, set in the Regency period.
Charlotte Mursell, editorial director at Orion Fiction has acquired world all language rights directly from Malpass. Leah Hultenschmidt, editorial director at Grand Central Publishing, will publish the books in the US.
Orion Fiction will launch Jodi’s first regency novel in paperback, e-book and audio in autumn 2022.
The publisher said: “The first novel in the new series is set in 1814 and follows 19-year-old Eliza Melrose, daughter of a printing magnate, who is about to be launched into London’s high society, much to her distaste, as the last thing she wants is a husband. Her ‘misplaced’ thirst for adventure, knowledge and the creative word is a bone of contention for her father, who battles endlessly to keep her curiosity and ambitions in check, for women are not meant to ask questions or give opinions in matters of business. But then she meets Duke Johnny Winter, youngest son of the late Duke of Chester, a disgraced nobleman who is shrouded in mystery and proving quite impossible to resist.”
The publisher described it as “sexy, scandalous and utterly unputdownable, this exciting new direction from the Sunday Times and Number One New York Times bestselling author arrives at a time when the appetite for Regency romance has reached fever pitch”.
Mursell said: “Jodi’s books already have millions of fans around the world–she is, as the Sunday Times described, ‘the latest Queen of Erotic literature’. We are so thrilled to be launching this new regency series from Jodi, which promises not only an incredibly refreshing, modern and unconventional heroine in Eliza Melrose, but to leave readers hot under the collar in the way that only a Jodi Ellen Malpas novel can.”
Northampton-born Malpas said: “Orion has been the home of my books for many happy years since the very beginning of my career, so I am beyond excited to be taking this new journey into Regency with them.”
The author self-published erotic trilogy This Man sold 250,000 e-books in 2013, before she landed a major six-figure publishing deal with Orion. She has sold 420,671 copies for £1.9m in total, according to Nielsen BookScan.