This is a fan favorite—Jewish con artist from the slums tries to set up his brother with a small-town heiress who needs her dowry fast, but she likes him better—oops! Also there is Christmas and pretending to be in love…

“I loved everything about this book….Lerner writes with grace, style, and a sly, witty sensibility.” —New York Times bestselling author Courtney Milan

Or visit the True Pretenses book page to read the first chapter and learn more about the book.

“Sailor’s Delight” is out now!

My first published m/m Regency is now available!

Self-effacing, overworked bookkeeper Elie Benezet doesn’t have time to be in love. Too bad he already is—with his favorite client, Augustus Brine. The Royal Navy sailing master is kind, handsome, and breathtakingly competent. He’s also engaged to his childhood sweetheart. And now that his prize money is coming in after years of delay, he can afford to marry her…once Elie submits the final prize paperwork.

When Augustus comes home, determined to marry by the end of his brief leave, Elie does his best to set his broken heart aside and make it happen. But he’s interrupted by one thing after another: other clients, the high holidays, his family’s relentless efforts to marry him off. Augustus isn’t helping by renting a room down the hall, shaving shirtless with his door open, and inviting Elie to the public baths. If Elie didn’t know better, he’d think Augustus didn’t want to get married.

To cap it all off, Augustus’s fiancée arrives in town, senses that Elie has a secret, and promptly accuses him of embezzling. Has Elie’s doom been sealed…or is there still time to change his fate?

“Sailor’s Delight” is a poignant friends-to-lovers rom-com about work/life balance, love languages, secret mutual pining, and figuring out how to be happy in an imperfect world…

“I adored this book. Funny, fresh, and everything I want in a historical romance.”

—Cat Sebastian, author of The Queer Principles of Kit Webb

Order the ebook from Kindle, Kobo, Nook , Apple, and several other retailers. It’s also available for libraries to purchase through OverDrive!

The paperback is currently available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and a few other sites. It should be at even more retailers over the next few weeks, including for special order from your local bookstore—tell them to look in Ingram, ISBN #9798215238400. I’ll keep the master link updated! (At this point, though, the timing is out of my hands.)

Read the first chapter here. (This page also has a link to all the extras, including deleted scenes!)
REVIEWERS: Request a review copy here.

Since “Sailor’s Delight” is a standalone novella, it’s a great, low-cost way for new readers to give my work a try! If you have a friend you think might like my books, please consider letting them know about this one.

(It would also make a lovely Rosh Hashanah gift! IJS. Maybe add in a “Sailor’s Delight”-themed tea from Adagio?? Thanks Katherine Welsh for creating those!)

This story has been so much fun to write, and I’m so excited to share it with you!

Pre-order “Sailor’s Delight” now!

My first published m/m Regency is now available for pre-order!

Navy agent Elie Benezet is in love w/his favorite client—who plans to marry when his prize money comes in. Elie miiiight be procrastinating the paperwork…

“Sailor’s Delight” is a poignant friends-to-lovers rom-com about work/life balance, love languages, secret mutual pining, and figuring out how to be happy in an imperfect world…

“I adored this book. Funny, fresh, and everything I want in a historical romance.”

—Cat Sebastian, author of The Queer Principles of Kit Webb

The book is currently available for pre-order from Kindle and Kobo. My goal is to have it at all the major retailers by 9/16, and available everywhere as soon as possible after that (including for library purchase through OverDrive). The paperback will also be ready as close to release as possible.

I wish I could be more specific, but retailer processing times are outside my control. I’ll keep you updated, and I very much appreciate your patience!

Read the first chapter here.
REVIEWERS: Request an ARC here.

Since “Sailor’s Delight” is a standalone novella, it’s a great, low-cost way for new readers to give my work a try! If you have a friend you think might like my books, please consider letting them know about this one.

(It would also make a lovely Rosh Hashanah gift! IJS.)

That’s all for now! I’m so excited for this book to be in the world.

News round-up

New book out, Holiday Epilogue Extravaganza sign-ups, and new merch!

Hello! I haven’t posted here in a while, and just wanted to put up a quick 2021 update for people who get their news about me this way. Sorry I’ve been slacking!

  1. I had a new book out this year! The Wife in the Attic is a sapphic Regency Gothic Jane Eyre retelling in which the governess falls for the wife in the attic. As for Mr. Rochester, well…you’ll have to wait and see what happens to him.

The Wife in the Attic is an Audible Original, with the audiobook narrated by the incomparable Elsa Lepecki Bean, who truly created something amazing and perfect out of my story.

“It gave me nightmares…a furious, tender, aching, incisive masterpiece of a book.” —Olivia Waite, author of The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics

Promo graphic for The Wife in the Attic with creepy Victorian child and tagline "Please, God, don't send my mother's soul to Hell"

The Wife in the Attic is also available in ebook and print.

audiobook: Audible || ebook: kindle · kobo · nook · apple

paperback: amazon · book depository · indiebound · the ripped bodice

hardcover: amazon

Learn more about the book and read the first chapter here!

2. My annual Holiday Epilogue Extravaganza is taking sign-ups now!!

3. I have a whole bunch of new merch, including lovely commissioned art of the Honey Moon logo by Marta Syrup, and a Gothic “Reader, I Murdered Him” Wife in the Attic tie-in design by Maimonides Nutz! Not to mention the “He brought her a ham!” Sweet Disorder design on a bunch of cozy winter items.

Shop at my store, Hathaway’s Fine Tailoring!

(Click an item to see the full range of products in each design.)

4. I’m currently working on the sequel to The Wife in the Attic (about Miss Oliver’s friend, Iphigenia Lemmon) and a cute m/m novella about a prize agent and a naval officer. Sign up for updates to keep track of new releases! Or if you’d like weekly behind-the-scenes sneak peeks, or want to support me between books, consider joining my Patreon.

That’s it and that’s all! Stay safe out there.

Brand new audiobook: The Wife in the Attic!

I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve got a new book out: a queer Gothic Audible Original!

In some ways, this book is a huge departure from what I’ve done before, and in some ways, it really isn’t. (For one thing, it’s set in the world of Lively St. Lemeston!)

I absolutely love how the audiobook turned out—Elsa Lepecki Bean gives a tour-de-force performance that had me on the edge of my seat despite already knowing what happens, and the incidental music is just the right amount spooky and just the right amount lyrical.

Goldengrove’s towers and twisted chimneys rose at the very edge of the peaceful Weald, a stone’s throw from the poisonous marshes and merciless waters of Rye Bay. Young Mary Palethorp had been running wild there, ever since her mother grew too ill to leave her room.

I was the perfect choice to give Mary a good English education: thoroughly respectable and far too plain to tempt her lonely father, Sir Kit, to indiscretion.

I knew better than to trust my new employer with the truth about my past. But knowing better couldn’t stop me from yearning for impossible things: to be Mary’s mother, Sir Kit’s companion, Goldengrove’s mistress.

All that belonged to poor Lady Palethorp. Most of all, I burned to finally catch a glimpse of her.

Surely she could tell me who cut the strings on my guitar, why all the doors in the house were locked after dark, and whose footsteps I heard in the night…



Deal announcement!

Publishers Marketplace deal announcement

Transcription: “Rose Lerner’s THE WIFE IN THE ATTIC, pitched as a Gothic historical novel and queer Jane Eyre retelling in which the governess falls in love with the wife in the attic, and together they wreak fiery vengeance on the tyrannical master of the house, to Allison Carroll at Audible Originals, in a nice deal, in an exclusive submission, for publication in fall 2020.”

I’m so excited to be able to share this news with you!! GOTHIC AUDIOBOOK FTW!!!!!

This is the book formerly known as The Sea May Burn! Learn more at my Coming Soon page, and sign up for my new release list to get a reminder when the book comes out. ♥

New free short story!

A few months ago, I took story prompts from my Esteemed Patronesses over at Patreon. Irene wrote, “I want to see someone with their mother. Maybe Nev and Penny with their daughter, if they have one?”

I loved the idea immediately, but it wasn’t until I listened to Brené Brown’s interview with Glennon Doyle that I was able to find my story structure.

I remember when I wanted to touch up the paint on my old car, I looked up the color in my documentation and bought the exactly correct shade from the dealership. But when I put it on, it didn’t match at all! Then I realized–the paint on the car isn’t the same color it was when it was new! It’s been out in the world all this time, metamorphosing.

This was a bit like that. I wrote In for a Penny more than ten years ago; I’ve been growing up all this time, and Nev and Penny and their friends haven’t, so nothing I write about them now will quite match. In some ways, this story is maybe a self-indulgent exercise in letting them grow up too, just a little.

But I loved writing it! As Penny learned, there’s nothing wrong with indulging yourself now and then! Hopefully I’m indulging you, too.

free short story

You can read the story over at my Patreon, here.

The post is open access, so you don’t have to be a patron to read it (although of course if you wanted to support me, I’d be obsequiously grateful!!…sorry, it’s Mr. Collins jokes full time over at my Patreon).

IN FOR A PENNY is just 199 pennies!

My debut, In for a Penny, turned 10 this week! To celebrate, I put the book on sale for just $1.99 at all retailers.

kindle · kobo · nook · apple

Amazon and Apple have already dropped the price, and the others should follow in the next day or two.

Follow the celebration on Twitter (where I’ll be playing the Rom Com Game on Tuesday) and Patreon (where I’ll be taking prompts for flashfiction on Wednesday)!

[Read more about the book]

Upcoming romance event + 10 year pubiversary celebration!

Philly Loves Romance presents:


Sunday, February 15 | 12-4PM | Parkway Central Library lobby | 1901 Vine St., Philadelphia


Join local romance authors (including me!!) in the lobby of the Parkway Central Library for a day of Valentine’s fun! A dozen local authors will be selling and signing their romance novels. There will be snacks, drinks, and a craft station where all ages can make valentines to your local library branch, your favorite book, or that special someone you forgot to give one to the day before. Chat with romance authors, discover new books to love, and go on a Blind Date with a Book.

Full details here on the Free Library website.

I won’t be bringing all my books, so if there’s one you know you want, just hit reply and tell me! I will also be bringing all the kids’ Valentines cards I’ve accumulated over the years–Harry Potter, WWE, and Star Wars (“Join the Resistance, Valentine”). I can sign one to you, or you can take one to give a friend!

FlASHfiction Wednesday

Feb. 23 is the 10 year anniversary of In for a Penny‘s release–in other words, my 10 year publiversary! Since the Wednesday after is Ash Wednesday, I figured I’d celebrate by writing flashfiction for my Patreon patrons…

This is open to ALL patrons, even if you only give $1 a month!

(For those of you who haven’t done a flashfiction day with me before, basically, in the comments of the 2/26 Spoiler Wednesday post, you can give me a prompt related to any of the characters or to the world of any of my books, and I’ll write you at least 100 words of fiction in response. Almost anything goes, so start brainstorming now!

I promise to do at least the first 10 prompts I receive–if there’s something you really want, maybe set a Google reminder? The post will go up on 2/26/2020 at 12PM Philadelphia time.

I’m still slowly reorganizing all the extras on my site, so be patient with me if you have to scroll through comments because anchor links are broken, but you can find all the mini-stories from previous flashfiction days here.)

If you aren’t already a patron, you can join here!

I’ll also be playing the Rom-Com Game on Twitter that Tuesday (2/25), so keep an eye out!!

Just to get corny for a second: thanks for all your support in the years since my debut. You are the wind beneath my wings.

(That has been my in-joke with myself for years and I can’t even remember what it’s a reference to? I think maybe the Buffy episode where she and Spike think they’re going to get married??…MWAHAHAHA YES I WAS RIGHT

…but also you are. For realsies.)

(Image credit: Illustration from “The Russian Story Book” by Richard Wilson, illustrated by Frank C. Papé, 1916. Via Wikimedia Commons.

Other Wikimedia Commons images I considered to illustrate you being the wind beneath my wings:

Here’s to our next ten years together!