Rakes Rogues and Romance

Historical Romance-Because Passion Lives Forever


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Scandalous couples of the Regency-The Duke and Duchess of Devonshire

So we are here once again to discuss another most interesting couple of the Regency era. the 5th Duke of Devonshire, William Cavendish, and his wife, Georgiana .  The Duchess was born Georgiana Spencer (yes, she was a relation to Princess Diana) and married twenty four year old William, Duke of Devonshire when she was but seventeen years old. Her husband possessed an enormous fortune. They lived a typical noble life, never residing in each other’s pockets, the duke spent most of his evenings at Brooks, his club, while Georgiana used her considerable fortune to gather society around her like a glittering court.

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She and her husband were fervent Whigs and she was an early proponent of woman’s rights, as well as other reforms. Her dinner parties, where she would bring together politicians with the most radical ideas, became legendary. The King hated the Whigs and his son Prince George (later the Prince Regent-Prinny) who was more than happy to irk his father, became a fixture at Georgiana’s table. She loved the thrill of political posturing and would canvass the streets for support, carrying the Whigs foxtails for Charles Fox, the leader of the party.

Georgina was famous not only for her beauty and her political acumen, but also for her gambling obsession. She tried to hide it from her husband, but when she once lost almost all of her four thousand pound yearly allowance, she had to ask her parents to pay the debt for her. The duke found out and paid her parents back, but even though she promised to stop gambling, she couldn’t. Married to one of the wealthiest men in the kingdom, she couldn’t control herself and constantly borrowed money.

It was also rumored that she suffered from anorexia and bulimia.

Georgiana had problems with carrying pregnancies and suffered many miscarriages before giving birth to three girls and finally a boy. The duke had been having an affair at the time of their marriage with his milliner’s assistant, and already had a daughter by her. Typical behavior for the nobility.

Just eight years after her marriage, while on vacation in Bath, the duke and duchess met Lady Elizabeth Foster, (Bess) who quickly became a close friend to Georgian, and an even closer friend to the duke. She was invited to return home to live with them and for the next twenty five years (yes you read that correctly) she lived within the Devonshire household, as best friend to Georgiana and mistress to the duke.  She received letters from the duke declaring how much he missed her and there is speculation there may have been not only a menage a trois type of relationship but a lesbian relationship between Bess and Georgiana. This is all based upon letters written between the three.

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Adultery was so commonplace amongst the nobility, but still there was a warped code of honor. The wife would not take a lover until an heir was produced. Once she accomplished that feat, Georgiana sought her lovers.

No such rules of course existed for the men, and the duke was purported to have had Lady Jersey as one of his many lovers.

Scandalous, no?

No one really understood the nature of the relationships between Bess, the duke and the duchess. Bess herself had many affairs outside of the duke, yet she brought her children to live and be raised with his, in his home  The strangest thing is that Georgiana was fine with it. Was she truly a friend to Georgiana, or was she blackmailing her about her gambling debts and sleeping with her husband for his fortune? Or, did the duchess simply not care, because she had no feelings for the duke?

Because of her massive gambling debts there was a time that the duke and duchess lived apart. He was incensed with her spending and her behavior. However his need for an heir pushed aside his pride and they returned to living with each other again. Finally she gave birth to a son.

Georgiana fell in love for the only time in her life with Charles, Earl Grey (of the tea fame) and to her horror, discovered she was pregnant. When the duke found out he threatened her with divorce. He also threatened her with never seeing her three other children unless she gave up both Grey and their child. She agreed and went abroad and gave birth to a girl. Grey’s parent’s raised her and she never acknowledged her as her own, although she did visit her from time to time. Her affair with Grey ended, as he was unhappy that she chose to give him and their child u.p

Georgiana died possibly of an eye infection or of a liver ailment when she was 49 years old.

The duke married Bess Foster and had the blessing of Georgiana before she died. He and Bess had no legitimate issue. He died at 62.

Georgiana’s son, known as Hart, became known as The Bachelor Duke” because he never married. He intended to marry but she married another.

Here are some of the various people

The Duchess and Bess Foster

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Charles, Earl Grey

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Hart, The Bachelor Duke-6th Duke of Devonshire

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Review-Sophie Jordan’s How To Lose a Bride in One Night

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What woman wouldn’t want to marry a duke? Become a duchess and have the whole world at your feet.

Sounds pretty darn good, now doesn’t it?

Well it does to me!

And in Sophie Jordan’s wonderful new release, How to Lose a Bride in One Night, that is what Annalise Hadley thinks she’s achieved. The handsome Duke of Bloodsworth asked her, of the the eligible woman in London to be his duchess. Even though she wasn’t pretty, and her father was a commoner. (Albeit an incredibly wealthy commoner)

And then there was the matter of her limp, from a broken leg that had never healed correctly.

But Bloodsworth was kind considerate and told her none of it mattered. That he wanted her and he intended to marry her.

And they did, and their wedding night was to be a romantic one, spent on the water.

Until….

No I’m not going to tell you what happens

But meet Owen Crawford, the Earl of McDowell who still hasn’t been able to reconcile that he has returned from war and life moved on.  His brother married Owens childhood best friend and they had a baby. Owen might have cared for her as more than just a friend. Not to mention his other brother had died in that same war.

He had become a man he didn’t recognize. Lost, cut off from people, even his family, no matter how they tried to include him. And the nightmares of what he’d done halfway around the world. the death the killing.

He was better off alone.

But Owen was a protector and while he is traveling he spots a lump lying halfway in the river. A bedraggled bundle that turns out to be a body.

The body of a young woman. His protective instincts kick in and he scoops her up and runs into a camp of gypsies. They take the two of them in and help Anna (as she prefers to be called) heal.

You see, Anna doesn’t want to go back to her husband so she pretends not to know who she is. That she’s a duchess. That she’s married.

Instead, she recuperates with the help of Owen. He is drawn to her but doesn’t think he deserves a decent woman, because of what he did in the war. They can’t deny the growing attraction to each other and need one another to help heal their inner demons. He thinks to teach her to protect herself then send her away, but he can’t.

However, secrets will always come out, and when a confrontation with Bloodsworth occurs, Annalise is no longer the shy quiet bride

Owen learns that the heart wants, what the heart wants. And he wants Annalise.

This is a continuation of the Forgotten Princesses series, and it is a wonderful read. Annalise is a very likeable heroine and Owen is a hero you just want to alternatively hug and then shake some sense into.

Sophie Jordan has another winner! I highly recommend this book! I received this book as part of my participation as an Avon Addict.


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The lovely Christy English is here today, discussing her inspirations, little known facts about Love on a Midsummer Night and the fabulous new cover for her next book!

Today I’m thrilled to welcome back Christy English. I had Christy on here when I first began this blog. She was one of the first authors I “met” through the magic of the internet (of course) and she’s one of the loveliest people I have the pleasure of knowing. Even if I’ve never met her face to face! But she promised, the next time she comes to New York, we are going out for pizza!—Or High Tea!

Christy has two wonderful books out , based on her Shakespeare In Love series, so let’s find out what’s been happening with some of our favorite characters.

Hi Nancy! Thank you so much for hosting me  I love being on your blog.

Are you inspired by the Shakespearean plays, and work the story around them, or do you have the story in mind and then discover the play which most accurately interprets your story?

 

What a great question. With the first novel, HOW TO TAME A WILLFUL WIFE, the characters told me their story, and about the third draft I realized that I was writing a version of The Taming of the Shrew. With the next two books, I decided what play I meant to focus on, then I drifted off into the characters’ world, and only to bring myself back to the spirit of the play in the end. That’s why I worked so many dreams and dream imagery into LOVE ON A MIDSUMMER NIGHT. Though there are no literal fairies cavorting through my book, and no magic, I still wanted to capture the essence of the play. And actually, if true love isn’t magic, I don’t know what is.

* Who is the one character in your book who has been speaking the loudest to you, as in “Write My Story.”

Angelique was very patient with me, but the whole time I was writing books one and two, I could hear her delicate foot tapping as she waited for her turn. And she got it. MUCH ADO ABOUT JACK, coming out in February, finally gives her a man who can handle her strength without running away.

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* Tell us a few facts about Pembroke and Arabella that we may not know, but give us some insight into their characters.

 

Pembroke is a man who lost everything: his country, the love of his life, his family, all at the age of 18, when Arabella left him. He went abroad to fight Napoleon, only to discover that he simply could not manage to get killed. Anthony always saved his life, and then he saved Anthony’s, and once that bond was forged, it was unbreakable. Whether as a friend or a lover, Pembroke is a man who loves deeply, passionately, and forever.

Arabella is the kind of woman who has a quiet strength. She survived her childhood in her father’s dark and violent house, only to be married against her will at the age of 17 to a 60 year old man. She endured that marriage, but once her husband died, she decided that she did not want to simply endure her life any longer. She wanted to live with joy. Even if she hadn’t rekindled her love with Pembroke, she would have found a way to live with joy.

* Can we have a sneak peek into MUCH ADO ABOUT JACK?

 

The third book was the most fun to write, I think because it was such a joy to see Angelique finally meet her match. She is a cynical woman who secretly hides a soft heart, and when she finds a man who can love her for who she is, her strengths and weaknesses both, it is a wonderful thing to see.

The other reason I enjoyed writing MUCH ADO ABOUT JACK is the fun byplay between Angelique and her sea captain. Like Beatrice and Benedict in the play Much Ado About Nothing, these two verbally spar as part of their love play, and it was a lot of fun to listen in.

* I sensed that Angelique still had unresolved feelings for Anthony, is that something that is dealt with in “Much Ado?”

It’s funny. When I started book three, I knew that Angelique did indeed have unresolved feelings for Anthony. I was shocked to find out as I wrote the third book that he also has unresolved feelings for her. It’s interesting to watch Anthony react to Angelique’s new man, as he does in MUCH ADO ABOUT JACK. But Angelique’s man can hold his ground, and then some, even with Anthony. And that’s saying something.

Speaking of sneak peaks, I want to offer you the first real showing of the cover for MUCH ADO ABOUT JACK…this is the first time I’ve revealed it on a blog, even my own, and I am so happy it can be here on your site.

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Thank you so  much for this treat!

Um Hello…Wow! That is one fabulous cover, Christy! I’ve always loved the beautiful gowns, but I wonder what is it that draws my eyes to Jack’s book. Hmmm. Let’s just stare at it for a while and maybe I can come up with an idea!!

Thanks so much for being here and sharing these little tidbits with us.

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Christy’s website


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Back Again-Whip out those Excerpts!

Yes it is that time of the week again. time for you to whip out and share your 500 word or less excerpt, (PG-13 please). Post your buy links and beautiful covers. Or, post your Work in Progress! I’ve been writing and revising but I’ll give the opening of my WIP.

Hope had yet to be beaten out of eighteen-year-old Lady Victoria Aldridge. She still believed true love could be found on the dance floors and within the overheated ballrooms of the ton. She dared to dream of her own happily ever after, like the ending of the fairy-tales she read to her sisters when they were younger.

With nervous anticipation, she tugged at the skirts of her pale pink muslin ballgown, as Viscount Fairley escorted her to the floor for their dance. All through the bowing and curtsying, the intricate steps and the sway of the music, Victoria led herself to believe perhaps this man might be the one who could save her. Like the stories of old, she wanted to believe true love conquered all.

At each and every dance throughout the Season, when her partner placed his hand upon her arm she recoiled, shrinking away from him.  Tonight she made a special effort, willing herself to accept his hands and the closeness of his body. To relax and enjoy the dance.

Her brave attempt remained a futile dream.

No matter how brief the contact, when the viscount touched her during the dance moves, even through her satin gloves and his, it took all her strength not to flinch, or pull away. She wanted to shriek with frustration.

How was she to meet a man and fall in love, if she couldn’t bear to have him touch her?


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Scandalous Couples of the Regency-Caroline Lamb and Lord Byron

Though their affair lasted less than six months, it was the source of legend, a love affair that even two hundred years later, still has people talking. Everyone who has studied poetry and literature, be it in high school or college, knows of Lord Byron. He was the source of many women’s dreams during the Regency for his poetry and his brooding, sulky beauty,

It should be noted that he was born with a club foot and was attracted to both men and women. That didn’t stop all of England from their fascination with his life.

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What do we know of his most famous lover-Lady Caroline Lamb? The lady had a most interesting, yet troubled life. Her father was the Earl of Bessborough and her mother was the sister of Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire, a scandalous woman in her own right. Her mother who suffered from emotional problems all her life, couldn’t handle the equally emotional Caroline and sent her to live with a servant in Italy, for the first six years of her life, Caroline had no formal education, yet she was surprisingly well read and loved to discuss poetry, and literature. Upon her return, she lived with her aunt, the duchess for the next 15 years of her life, until her marriage at the age of twenty. She complained until that point, she lived in veritable isolation, for her aunt was very overprotective of her, and the family doctor warned that she should be kept away from anything that might stir passion or excitement. Such as reading and writing poetry. She failed to listen to the advice.

Her marriage to William Lamb, heir to Viscount Melbourne, was a relatively quiet one, although she had to deal with the death of several of their children as well as raising their only child who had emotional issues. Lamb did care for her, but she was a restless woman and he allowed her freedom, which may be the reason why she was attracted to Lord Byron. At first, she refused an introduction, not liking the fact that he was the center of groups of fawning women. She called him  “Mad Bad and Dangerous To Know” .

It was after reading his poem, Childe Harold I, that she wrote him an anonymous letter, praising his passion, his beauty and his soul.

Lord George Gordon Byron was born in Scotland, inheriting his English title at the age of ten. The title came with an estate, but no money for its upkeep. His family also had no money and the estate fell into disrepair, and his debts mounted. As a young man he wrote poetry that had been denigrated as obscene and was burned and later, poetry that was more mature (although written before he turned twenty) that was dedicated to a man whom Byron was reported to have been in love with.  After he received several scathingly negative reviews of his work, he escaped his overwhelming poverty by taking a Grand Tour of Europe, and the Mediterranean. There he could explore not only his poetic freedom, but sexual freedom as well. He stayed in Greece and Turkey, composing the first two cantos of Childe Harold.

He returned to England and once Childe Harold  was published he became famous, almost overnight, taking his place among the London aristocrats. He used his position in the House of Lords to talk about Social Reform,

It was in that atmosphere that he met Caroline Lamb. Later on he would deny it, but when they first met and began their affair, their obsession with each other was mutual. He wanted her as much as she wanted him. The passion was intense and open, yet it burned only for a short while, at least for Caroline.

She wrote him scores of letters and poems of her own but Byron was warned not to answer them so as not to cause a scandal. At dances, she was not invited to, she would wait in the street for him. If they were together, he could not dance due to his club foot, but she would sit with him.

But for Byron, she was just one of a long line of women (and men). He also had an affair with Percy Shelley’s sister in law and was rumored to be the father of her child. (Or it could’ve been Shelley’s). Because for Byron, the thrill was in the chase and conquest, after several months his interest began to fade in her and he broke off the affair.

Unfortunately for  Byron, Caroline did not go gently into the night. She turned into somewhat of a stalker for want of a better word. At one point they planned to elope and she dressed as a page boy to come to his house. After Byron was persuaded not to run off with her, Caroline refused to leave, picked up a knife and began stabbing at herself. Finally, Byron was able to calm her down and send her home.

The final straw occurred when she sent him her pubic hair in an envelope. (No you cannot make this stuff up people.) After all the scandalous behavior, she kept threatening again to run off with Byron. Her father in law, Viscount Melbourne, wanted her to send her to Ireland, and called her bluff, telling her Byron didn’t want her anymore. Melbourne contacted Byron to go to her and tell her how he felt.

Byron told her to leave England and go to Ireland with her husband. They did, but only stayed several months. Caroline treasured the final letter of Byron to her, which sounded more like a man still in love, than a man who was secretly relieved his troublesome lover was out of the picture and could now say whatever he wanted:

“My dearest Caroline, – If tears which you saw and know I am not apt to shed, – if the agitation in which I parted from you – if all I have said and done, and am still but too ready to say and do, have not sufficiently proved what my real feelings are, and must ever be towards you, my love, I have no other proof to offer… You know I would with pleasure give up all here and all beyond the grave for you, and in refraining from this, must my motives be misunderstood? I care not who knows this, what use is made of it…. I was an am yours freely and most entirely, to obey, to honor, love, – and fly with you when, where, and how you yourself might and may determine.”

Of course he began another affair almost immediately after she left.

When she returned to London, Byron had already taken up with another woman who was a friend of Caroline’s, Jane, Countess of Oxford. Byron and Caroline did meet several times in public and were civil to each other. Until that is he decided to marry. At that point she would show up at his house unannounced, write him and his ex lover letters and follow him at a ball they attended together, grabbing a knife and cutting herself once again. His wife, Anne Isabella Noel Byron (the lady had quite an story involving her names and inheritance, for anyone interested). She was a prim, intellectual woman, not the sort one would’ve thought Byron would be interested in, but it only made him most anxious to have her, after she refused his suit over and over. They were married by special license. The marriage was troubled from the start-Byron was heavily in debt, drank and had several extra marital affairs.  The couple had a daughter, Ada, who grew up to be a brilliant mathematician, Ada Lovelace (she was the Countess of Lovelace, but everyone called her Ada Lovelace)

Byron’s wife sued him for divorce,, claiming his extra-marital affairs, including the one with Caroline. She spoke with Caroline Lamb and took notes, using her statements against Byron in court. she also accused him of incest with his half-sister and sodomy.

Caroline’s health grew increasingly precarious. She wrote her own novel, “Glenarvon” which was based on Byron and drew him in a very poor light. When she found out he died, she wanted to know his last words. Byron died when he was thirty six.

She and her husband separated but were still close until she died. She was forty two years old.

Her husband later would become Prime Minister under Queen Victoria.

This was his sister, Augusta Leigh

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These were his other lovers, Clare Clairmont and Jane, Countess of Oxford:

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This was his wife, Anne Isabella

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Her are some letters written by Byron

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Here is the printed cover for Childe Harold

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The letter Caroline Lamb wrote to Byron about Childe Harold

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Review-Laura Lee Guhrke’s “When the Marquess Met His Match”

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I’ve always loved Ms. Guhrke’s books. I’ve read her Abandoned at the Altar series, her Girl Bachelor series and her stand alones, like Guilty Pleasures (Love this one) and His Every Kiss (OK I LOVE this one too!) so when I found out she as an Avon writer and would have a chance to read and review her books I was very psyched. I received this ARC of When the Marquess Met His Match and right away I was hooked.  To tell you how much I enjoyed the book, I read it on a holiday where I couldn’t eat or drink and I still couldn’t put it down. It sucked me in and I finished it in one day.

We start out with the premise of Lady Belinda Featherstone, an American and widow. Snubbed in America as being nouveau riche, she looked to England to find a titled lord and love.  She married a man who never loved her, but rather loved her fortune, which he was quick to run through.  Her hopes and dreams for a loving marriage to an English peer were dashed as he rarely bedded her and died in the arms of his mistress.  After his death she then befriended many of the rich American heiresses who in reality did come to England late in the nineteenth century to marry English peers who needed their fortunes.

Belinda made several successful matches and a young girl who was very dear to her, Rosalie, had now come to England to meet and marry an English lord. At this time, Nicholas, Marquess of Trubridge returned to England from carousing about the continent to find that his father, the Duke of Landsdowne, was cutting him off unless he married well. And married the woman he picked out for him.  Nichloas and his father never got along as his father sought to control every aspect of his life, including setting Nicholas up to compromise a woman so he wouldn’t marry the woman he loved, a woman the Duke deemed unworthy. Nick’s life’s ambition became to do the opposite of what his father wanted.

This story is a somewhat different romance, as we have a rake who falls for the woman and has to fight for her love. Belinda was hurt so badly by her husband she doesn’t know who or what to trust.  She fights her feelings for Nicholas, and he merely bides his time, proving that he loved her.

I loved Nicholas. He started off as a devil may care rogue, but hid a heart of gold and a sensitive nature. Belinda took a little more time to warm up to , but she had been hurt so badly by her husband I understood her reluctance to give her heart away.

You will love this sweet, sexy and heartwarming romance. The ending is wonderful. you are rooting for the two of them against the Duke right to the end, and there is a great set-up for the next book.

Laura Lee Guhrke has a winner!


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Yes, It’s Back…Time For Whip It Out Wednesday-Post Your Excerpts!

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Ah, I bet you all thought I’d forgotten. Or relegated it to the little blog posts in the sky.

Not on your life!

So dear authors, published and pre-published, come share your 500 words excerpts of your release, your WIP, (PG-13 please) and included your buylinks, covers, all the good stuff!. i know so many of you have fantastic new releases (or about to be released). We want to see them!


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Scandalous Regency Couples-Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Shelley

I love reading about scandalous love affairs. Throughout history, men have fallen prey to temptresses and temptation, often resulting in disaster for themselves, but making for some of our most beautiful poetry and love stories.

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So today, I’m looking at scandalous love affairs in the Regency period, and the first couple whom I will discuss are Percy Bysshe Shelley, the poet and his lover turned wife, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley. (Yes her mother was the famous feminist, Mary Wollstonecraft, whose name pops up in many Regency novels).

Percy Shelley was a pacifist, an atheist and a believer in social justice. While at Oxford he wrote a paper entitled “The Necessity of Atheism” under a pseudonym. Naturally this did not sit well with his professors at this time in history. One did not espouse that God might not exist. After he was exposed as the author he was expelled.

Although he also didn’t believe in the concept of organized marriage, he did elope to Scotland with the sixteen year old daughter of a tavern owner, Harriet Westbrook.  He continued to write political pamphlets and essays on controversial subject matters. He also became addicted to laudanum which he took to stave off nervous attacks.

At some point in 1812, he met William Godwin and his family, including sister Mary. Still married to Harriet, he fell in love with Mary and they began an affair. When both Mary’s father and Harriet persuaded Mary to stop seeing Shelley, he threatened suicide. At that point Percy Shelly and Mary Godwin ran off to Europe together.

When they returned to England in 1815 Harriet had given birth to Shelley’s son and Mary was also pregnant, but her baby died son after birth. She became pregnant once again and she, and Shelley stayed at a residence by Lake  Geneva, near Lord Byron’s, which was where her famous ghost story, Frankenstein was written.

When they returned to London a year later, Shelley’s wife committed suicide, drowning herself in the Serpentine. Supposedly she had never stopped loving Shelley, but at the time of her death was pregnant by an army officer with whom she was having an affair. Shelly and Mary  got married that same year.

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The Shelly’s left England to live in Italy and joined Mary’s sister Claire, who was Byron’s mistress (I’ll talk about their story at another time). Mary finished her Frankenstein story and Shelly helped the poor. He also helped himself to Claire, for it was rumored that he was the father of her second child. He wrote that he felt great love for the two sisters.. and always was a proponent of free love. Obviously.

they suffered through the deaths of several of their children and it took a toll on their marriage and in the summer of 1822, he decided to spend time sailing with his friends, even though he couldn’t swim and had nearly drowned one time years earlier. A sudden storm blew up and he and the other two members of the crew drowned.

Mary Shelly, of course, finished the great work of Frankenstein and raised their remaining son after returning to England. she died of a brain tumor at the age of 52.

Pretty scandalous, right? Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction

Below is Shelly’s last letter to Mary and the manuscript of Frankenstein

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Reviews- Romancing Lady Stone by Delilah Marvelle and A Rake’s Midnight Kiss, by Anna Campbell

Today I am repaying the favor of two of my favorite romance authors, Anna Campbell and Delilah Marvelle, for writing such wonderful books. I have reviews of  ‘Romancing Lady Stone’, by Delilah Marvelle and ‘ A Rake’s Midnight Kiss’, by Anna Campbell

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It is an understatement to say that Delilah Marvelle is a wonderful writer. It is also not an understatement to say that when you read a book by Delilah, there is always something special and delicious, sort of like a BIG box of Belgian chocolate.

Romancing Lady Stone is the story of Konstantin Levin, raised as a gentleman, but forced to act as a criminal to avoid a life of crime to avoid debtor’s prison , has been granted a new lease on life by the Duc de Andelot ,a mysterious masked benefactor, whose life he saved. He will travel to London to meet Monsieur le Duc and be able to live the life he always wished he could.  But sometime Fate throws something, or someone into your perfectly laid plans.

What you need to remember while readeing this book, is that important things always happen at midnight

Lady Cecelia Stone is a forty year old widow who has traveled to Russia in the hopes of preventing her young son from marrying an actress twenty years his senior. However, when she awakens, instead of being in the coach she hired with her papers and her traveling companion, she is alone, with a strange man, no companion, no money and no clothes.

Such begins the story of these two wonderful people, who come together under duress and unusual circumstances. Cecelia who although married before, never experienced love and passion but is undeniably attracted to the protective, solicitous and undeniably attractive Konstantin. Konstantin has never reconciled himself to his criminal past and is looking forward to moving to England and then starting anew. But meeting Cecelia awakens desires and feelings he can’t control, and at the first opportunity, he leaves her, believing he isn’t good enough for her.

Of course, that isn’t the end for the couple. Cecelia can’t forget him.  Add in one dark and mysterious French duke, and Cecelia’s adorable daughters, whom I love, and this lovely novela will become one of your favorite reads. This book has a lovely and wonderful epilogue that made me happy for the rest of the day. Delilah has done it, once again and I can’t recommend this book highly enough!

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Yes, I’ve said it before but it never gets old and it bears repeating. I love Anna. I love the way she writes, so full of emotion, heart and soul. Her characters feel, and because of her expressive, beautiful writing, you feel for them too.

So when Anna came out with her Sons of Sins series, I was right on that happy bandwagon. A Rake’s Midnight Kiss is the second of the trilogy (although who knows if there may be more…) and is the story of the scandalous Lord Harmsworth, who can’t live down the scandal of his birth. For while he was acknowledged by his father as legitimate, the entire Ton knew better, as his father had not been in the country for well over a year.  He wants to recover the famous Harmsworth jewel, which he believes can restore his family status by cementing his position as the family heir. Unfortunately, he doesn’t possess it and he discovers it is hidden, out in the country under the very studious nose of Miss Genevieve Barrett.

When Sir Richard discovers who has the jewel, he sneaks into the house to snatch it back, only he ends up snatching a kiss from a lovely lady. He then masquerades as a scholarly student, worming his way into her home and ultimately into her heart. It’s not an easy road to love, as Genevieve believes she is a spinster and is most untrustworthy of this strange man.

Who is is and why does he smell so familiar?

Genevive is a brilliant scholar, who has been writing her father’s academic articles for years, without credit to her name. She has been given the jewel and has no intention of giving it up, no matter how hard this mysterious stranger tries to seduce it out of her. Nor is she willing to marry and give herself and her jewel over to an odious Marquess.

When attacks on her home star occurring with frequency, she knows it is concerning the jewel.  For only a moment, Genevieve believes Richard is gulity. Richard has his own ideas who the criminal is. I enjoyed seeing  Jonas Merrick and of course Cam, the Duke of Sedgemoor back in the picture

(And being the shameless Book Slut that I am, I can’t WAIT for Cam’s book)

I won’t give the ending away, but it is a sweet moment for Richard when he realizes he has fallen for a woman who he normally wouldn’t have given a second thought to.

And, I will agree that this epilogue is probably the BEST ONE EVER…snuggle up with a big box of tissues and let the tears flow.


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Today I have the lovely Collette Cameron, author of The Viscount’s Vow

I love having my fabulous critique partners on my blog to introduce you all to their wonderful books. Today I have Collette Cameron who is here to discuss her second book, The Viscount’s Vow.  If you haven’t read her first book, Highlander’s Hope, you must, must get it..Scottish men, kilts, castles….sigh….

Let’s meet Collette!

1.Right off the bat, Why Blue Rose? What is the significance of the blue rose to you?

My favorite color has always been blue, royal or cobalt actually.  And I’m a flower nut. Most of the rooms in my house have some kind of floral decoration.  When I was trying to come up with a snappy memorable branding as an author, I wanted something unusual but romantic.

I was standing in the kitchen one day and Blue Rose Romance just popped into my head. It was perfect considering how many things I own with blue roses on them. And the whole romance, mystery aura works well too because though blue roses don’t grow in nature, they are loaded with symbolism.

I have an entire page dedicated to them and their meaning on my blog.

http://www.blueroseromance.com/p/blue-rose.html

2. Your Regency characters are so well developed, but are not the traditional lords and ladies. What was your inspiration for the series you are writing now, especially, Vangie being a gypsy?

I adore the Regency era, but I wanted to add other equally romantic cultures.  Next to the Regency and Victorian eras, there pretty much isn’t anything I don’t love about historicals set in Scotland, and most especially a Highlander.

When I was trying to decide which to write first, a Regency or a Highlanders, by daughter said, “Do both.”  I thought, “Why not?” and did.

When it came time to write The Viscount’s Vow I was searching for another unique culture  to blend with the Regency.  Gypsies, or the Roma as they prefer to be called, have a rich heritage in most of Europe.  I thought it would prove to be interesting to take the highly proper, and so status conscience haute ton and mesh it with some very nontraditional behaviors of the Roma.

I’m pretty tickled with the outcome.

3.How many books are planned in this series. Can you give us some hints?

I’m finishing up the third book, The Earl’s Enticement, in what I’m calling the Blue Rose Series, only because there are blue rose referenced in all three books.  That story is about Adaira and Roark who are introduced in Highlander’s Hope.

I’ve introduced a character in The Earl’s Enticement, Flynn Templeton who is the Earl of Luxmoore, because I had a  stand-alone I’m dying to write. I’d already decided on a Highland saga for Ewan’s cousins and siblings, so Flynn had to be created. I’m really excited about writing book four and have to keep telling the characters to wait their turn.

I have at least three more books based on secondary characters introduced in Highlander’s Hope too.

Isn’t this a gorgeous cover?

TheViscountsVow3_850

4. Tell us about The Viscount’s Vow.

Well, Ian, the Viscount Warrick is a bit of a cad in the beginning. He listens to gossip about Vangie (I like to think it was grief that made him such a boor) and blames her for the deaths of his father and brother. He thinks she’s a  promiscuous wanton and he’d determined she put her in her place.

What he doesn’t count on is her becoming faint during while they waltz and when she swoons on the terrace, he tries to  help her. It leads to a huge scandal and they are forced to marry.  Ian quickly realizes he’s made a mistake, but Vangie still thinks he’s a foul-tempered blackguard.

Things get even more complicated when they arrive at his estate but I won’t spoil that for the readers.

Let’s have a peek and read an enticing blurb:

The Viscount’s Vow Excerpt

He drew her hand through the curve of his elbow. Tucking it near his side, he covered her fingers possessively with his. “Do you feel strong enough to take a stroll in the garden? They’re untidy, but still quite charming.”

“Oh, yes. I’ve admired the grounds from the tower window—”

She changed the subject abruptly. “I’d love to go outdoors. It’s a beautiful day.”

He guided her onto the rear terrace. Vangie stood gazing at the beauty before her. Weathered, whimsical stone statuary speckled the gardens and pathways, though several were chipped or missing limbs.

Apparently, at one time, one of the gardeners was adept with sheers. Several evergreens had been sculpted into fanciful topiaries, though it was difficult now to determine precisely what some of the shapes were.

“Ian, is that a horse?” She pointed to the four-legged bush.

“Indeed. And over there is what used to be a bear.” He indicated a large humped shrub with blobs for ears. “And that one is. . .”

“Don’t tell me. A pig?”

“Madam, you insult me. Pig indeed. That, my dear lady is a noble hunting hound.”

She giggled. “It has no nose or tail, and it is short and fat.”

He cocked his head and studied the shrub. A deep chuckle rumbled through his chest.

“A pig-hound, then.”

“Can we walk the gardens?” Three weeks of staring at them from the tower window made Vangie eager to explore the gardens in person.

Ian flashed a charming smile. “What and leave these zoological masterpieces?”

Vangie laughed. She’d not felt this carefree in ages. His good humor was contagious. And the sun felt marvelous. Closing her eyes, she turned her face upward, savoring its warm rays. A soft kiss brushed her mouth. Her eyes flew open.

She stared at his finely sculpted lips. They had been warm and soft on hers. Her tongue trailed the seam of her mouth trying to capture the sensation of his lips on hers again.

His knowing chuckle drew her from her reverie. “I thought you wanted to see the estate?”

5. Do you ever see yourself branching out to other genres?  Quite possibly, but not for some time. I have so  many historicals bouncing around in my head. I do have an idea for a historical paranormal trilogy and even  a contemporary.  I’ve also got several ideas for inspirationals. We’ll see what happens.

6. We know your penchant for using “interesting” words to describe your characters. (LOL) What are some of your favorite words you’ve come across to use.

Now I’m blushing.   I used twiddle poop in The Viscount’s Vow. I love the sound of taradiddle and bumblebroth, oh, and cork-brained.  There are a several Romani words I like too.  Two of my favorites are purrini , which means sweetheart  and shukkari, which means beautiful.

The Viscount’s Vow -  Blurb

 

Amidst murder and betrayal, destiny and hearts collide when scandal forces a viscount and a  gypsy noblewoman to marry in this Regency romance, sprinkled with suspense and humor.

Part Romani, part English noblewoman, Evangeline Caruthers is the last woman in England Ian Hamilton, the Viscount Warrick, could ever love—an immoral wanton responsible for his brother’s and father’s deaths. She thinks he’s a foul-tempered blackguard, who after setting out to cause her downfall, finds himself forced to marry her—snared in the trap of his own making.

 

When Vangie learns the marriage ceremony itself may have been a ruse, she flees to her gypsy relatives, declaring herself divorced from Ian under Romani law. He pursues her to the gypsy encampment, and when the handsome gypsy king offers to take Ian’s place in Vangie’s bed, jealousy stirs hot and dangerous.

 

At last, under a balmy starlit sky, Ian and Vangie breech the chasm separating them. Peril lurks though. Ian’s the last in his line, and his stepmother intends to dispose of the newlyweds so her daughter can inherit his estate. Only by trusting each other can they overcome scandal and murderous betrayal.

 

“A brilliant tale combining Regency romance with exotic Romani culture.”

One lucky commenter will win a copy of The Viscount’s Vow, so come say hi !

 

Collette Cameron

Collette Cameron Bio

 

Multi-published historical romance author Collette Cameron has a BS in Liberal Studies and a Master’s in Teaching. She only teaches part-time so she has time for her greatest passion: writing. Collette’s been married for 30 years, has 3 amazing adult children, and 5 dachshunds. Collette loves a good joke, inspirational quotes, flowers, the beach, trivia, birds, shabby chic, and Cadbury Chocolate. You’ll always find dogs, birds, quirky—sometimes naughty—humor, and a dash of inspiration in her novels. Her motto for life? You can’t have too much chocolate, too many hugs, or too many flowers. She’s thinking about adding shoes to that list.

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