Historical romance holds a special fascination for me because during my research – which sometimes takes over my life – I come across the most fascinating details of ordinary life in historic eras.
Poignant stories about people who battled the odds and survived, despite the hardships and brutality of the era they lived in. And then, in complete contrast, glimpsing the decadent and often indolent lives led by the upper classes in each era makes me even more aware of how different all levels of life were to ours now.
All classes had the opportunity to embrace love and romance so, rather than dwell too much on the grimmer parts of life, I get to show couples when they first meet, describe their romantic liaisons in detail, and push them along the path to happy-ever-after. Historical romances show some strong heroes and heroines who battle their way through the story and end up with a loving marriage and children to raise. Sigh!
Contemporary romances also have the heroes and heroines battling the odds to end up together but, for me, being able to add all the historical details makes the romance extra exciting. Letting readers travel to distant countries and immerse themselves in the look and feel of the time. Historical romance adds that extra layer of excitement to a story.
For example, having a contemporary heroine dressed in shorts and a T-shirt is good, but imagine being able to dress that heroine in exquisite finery. Flamboyant gowns and bonnets and shawls such as Lady Rebecca Jamsion and her sisters wear in the 1840s in London.
And having a bike riding modern hero clad in tight fitting bike leathers is also good, excellent really! But then picture that same strapping hero outfitted in thigh hugging breeches, a coat wrapping smoothly over his wide strong shoulders, knee high boots and carrying a whip.
Oh, yes, please! I do love those images. Even more than our modern day heroes.
Title: Embracing Scandal by Suzi Love
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Genre: Historical, Romance
Print Length: 423 pages
After Lady Rebecca Jamison, a mathematical genius, saves her family from financial ruin by secretly investing in railway stocks on the London stock exchange, a greedy syndicate, desperate for Becca’s calculations and predictions, murders her friend and threatens the Jamison family, forcing Becca to beg assistance from her childhood friend, Cayle St. Martin.
The newly titled Duke of Sherwyn has returned to London after five years on the continent extending his family’s shipping interests. He’s shunned his privileged London life and his father’s unbending attitudes, and becomes committed to employing the spying tactics he learned on the continent to help Becca indict the syndicate—and using his skills as a lover to seduce her into his bed.
But how will Cayle be able to convince Becca, a determinedly self-sufficient spinster, that he can be more to her than just a protector?
Sensuality Level: Sensual
Lady Rebecca Jamison watched Cayle. Under the rules of etiquette, she must remember to address him as Your Grace or Sherwyn in public, despite knowing he’d abhorred the bowing and scraping expected by dukes, including his father.
Becca tried to judge his level of inebriation and his reaction to her news, though she was wise enough to stay out of arm’s reach. In the past, her knight in shining armour had constantly overreacted if he thought her adventures, or misadventures, placed her in harm’s way.
“Please, my dear.” The new duke’s fists unfurled as he flung his arms wide in a dramatic gesture. “Go ahead and clarify that terrifying statement.” His voice lifted another octave.“Before my hair turns completely white. Or my legs give out.”
Neither Cayle’s fury nor his towering size frightened Becca. But she was terrified that the city would awaken and the streets fill with people before he became calm and rational and listened to her plea for his help in collecting the final proof that would send at least a dozen of their peers to prison for illegal trading practices.
“Or even worse.” He voice was a low snarl as he pointed at the floor. “I misplace the contents of my heaving stomach all over the duchess’s prized carpet.”
Becca winced. For the tenth time she listed to herself the reasons she’d bravely bearded this particular panther in his lair.
To protect her family.
To secure the nest eggs saved by the fallen women at the shelter.
To save her own life.
As the new Duke of Sherwyn, Cayle was her best, or possibly only, chance to do all that and to keep her promise to Scotland Yard. She hoped he’d listen with an open mind. Hoped he’d comprehend how much danger her family and friends were in without realising how close she had come to also being murdered.
“I’d gone to Peggy’s cottage to collect some letters she’d written on behalf of our Women’s Society. The door was ajar. I knocked but Peggy didn’t answer so I went inside.”
Peggy had been sprawled across the floor, her sturdy legs protruding at odd angles from her yellowing nightgown. Her hair had been matted with blood and tangled in the strings of her dislodged nightcap and her plait had been a rusty red mess instead of a neat tail of plain brown.
“I can’t sleep. Every time I close my eyes, I see the murderer standing over Peggy’s battered body. But he runs towards me. Not away.” She shuddered and closed her eyes.
Fingers brushed her cheek. “Becca, I’ll not let anyone harm you.”
“If I’d only arrived at Peggy’s cottage a few minutes earlier.”
“Stop it. You mustn’t blame yourself.”
“How can I not? One life has already been destroyed because of me. My friend was killed. Her body discarded like a tattered rag doll.”
His bloodshot gaze narrowed on her face. “So, knowing how your mind works, you’ll try to focus the consortium on yourself, and thereby keep everyone else out of danger.” He raised a brow. “Am I correct?”
Damned man was still a mind reading menace. “You’re wrong. I’ve little wish to confront those men by myself. But neither will I allow anyone else to be hurt.”
“And who protects you from the current set of fire–breathing dragons?”
She raised her chin. “I’ve outgrown such childishness.” She lowered herself to the closest settee, a demonstration of ladylike maturity and a reprieve for her trembling knees.
Her romances, ranging from sexy to erotic, are set in Britain, Australia, and the South Pacific, while her historical romances take place during her beloved late Regency to very early Victorian years. Best of all, Suzi loves exploring the many-layered and ever-changing aspects of society from the end of the Regency through to Queen Victoria’s very early reign.
Her titled heroes and heroines may appear to live privileged lives in and around London, but these strong characters challenge traditional manners, morals, and occupations, either through necessity or desire, and expose the seamier sides of tonnish life. Though Suzi’s books often have a grittier side, she tries to make history fun, one year at a time.
Apart from writing and reading, her favorite thing is traveling. She loves to visit historically famous places and speak with fascinating people and uses her research in her vivid and romantic books.
Ms. Love’s Links: Suzi Love’s Daily Gossip * Suzi Love’s Web roundup * Website * Pinterest * Goodreads * Facebook Fan Page * Twitter * Diigo Research Links * Delicious * Picasa Web Albums * Google + * Flickr * LinkedIn * Sultry Scribes – Aussie romance authors * Historical Hearts – Australian historical romance authors * Ladies in Red – Crimson Romance authors * Read about Suzi Love – Author Bio at Crimson Romance
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