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Embla Books ties the knot with two historical romances from Olivia Horrox

Embla Books, the digital-first imprint of Bonnier Books UK, has acquired two “brilliantly stylish” historical novels from debut author, Olivia Horrox.

Hannah Smith, editorial director, acquired world English language rights from Thérèse Coen at Hardman & Swainson.

The first book in the deal is set on the Cornish coast and is described as The Great Gatsby meets Downton Abbey.

Beautiful Little Fools follows the journey of Elizabeth “Birdie” Graham, a young woman who chafes against society’s expectations of marriage and female duty.

Birdie dreams of becoming a professional artist and cuts a deal with her parents: to let her spend a year exploring her creativity at the St. Agnes School of Art in Cornwall, after which she will return home and marry the insufferable but influential and wealthy Charles Bonham, as per her parents’ wishes.

Birdie however, has no intention of ever going back. Free of responsibility for the first time, she finds herself surrounded by a crew of bohemian artists who show her just how dizzying independence can be. And when she meets the magnetic, but troubled, Tremayne family, she will be forced to ask herself exactly what kind of woman and artist she really wants to be.

Hannah Smith said: ‘Beautiful Little Fools has all the style of Gatsby and the romance and character of Downton. It was the perfect read, and Olivia has conjured a vibrant cast here – with a terrifically strong woman at its center.’

Olivia Horrox added: ‘I am so happy that Beautiful Little Fools has found a home with Hannah and the team at Embla. I was blown away by their publishing strategy. They are a truly dynamic and exciting imprint to be working with and I can’t wait to see what we can achieve together.’

Beautiful Little Fools will publish in eBook, audio and print on demand paperback in September 2022. The second book under contract will publish in 2023.