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Tag Archives: historical romance

The Devil Take You by H K Carlton (@authorhkcarlton) #HistoricalRomance #ScottishRomance #HighlanderRomance #ScottishWarsofIndependence #HistoricalFiction

Thank you so much for hosting, today. I’m excited to once again share this story with readers. The Devil Take You, is a bit different for a historical romance. Though it’s still heaped with historical significance of the time—set in 1307 during the Scottish Wars of Independence and the story also focuses on, of course, a romance, but the ‘hero’ is the villain.

I wanted to create an anti-hero, a severely flawed, cruel, and malevolent character with no hope of redemption.

Meet Gard Marschand—known in the Highlands as the legendary devil—an evildoer of epic proportions. Marauder, murderer, thief, a man hell bent on revenge. He is prepared to do anything, no matter how heinous to accomplish his goals. This man is nobody’s hero. But even in his wickedness, he still holds to his own moral code, skewed as it may seem to decent folk.

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Bringing the Goddess Aphrodite to Erotic Romance by Anh Leod

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Some characters are never going to get together unless their world is turned on its axis. I never liked those kinds of romances where the characters mostly just seem like they are dating. I want action, drama, short, intense timelines. Maybe none of it is realistic or very smart in real life terms, but it is certainly exciting to read. After all, it’s a romance novel. There is a basic assumption that both the hero and heroine are good, worthy people. Once they work through their difficulties and grow emotionally, there’s no long term risk that the match is going to turn out to be a bad one.

It’s romance!

In Aphrodite’s Necklace, I have a hero and a heroine who would never, ever get together in real life. It’s the 1830s. The heroine is the virginal daughter of the house. A wealthy house. Her family needs her to marry. The hero is the family butler! The heroine, Emily, describes him as such: “Coxe, if he weren’t such an insufferably stuffy bore, would be a handsome man, with unruly mahogany hair that flopped on his brow no matter how much Macassar hair oil he applied, and only the most delicate of side-whiskers. His jaw was very square and the molded lips above her were tight with disapproval.”

So yes, he’s hot, but so far beneath her as to be unimaginable. And yet, he’s handy. To bring these two together despite Victorian mores, I have the Greek goddess Aphrodite cast a spell upon them. It is only when they become unwitting lovers that they can discover each other’s true worth as a romantic partner and fight back against the society that would keep them apart.

Now that’s my idea of a fun, erotic romance!

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EXCERPT

Emily caught a glimpse of the mysterious woman in the doorway that opened onto the corridor. She walked forward as quickly as she could without losing all decorum, but the woman had vanished into the hall. Nearly skipping in her eagerness to reach her, Emily didn’t see the obstacle until she stumbled over it.

A candelabra cast its light to the floor and she saw what had impeded her progress, nearly causing her to fall. She gasped and reached down a hand. It was the woman in red’s necklace.

How could she have missed her jewels tumbling to the floor? Emily examined the piece. The clasp was undone, though it didn’t appear to be broken. Perhaps it was loose, or hadn’t been fastened properly. Emily saw the winking diamonds and sparkling emeralds were quite real. If it were hers she could sell it for not only a significant dowry, but also a year’s household expenses.

Holding such expensive gems made her feel funny, as if her heart and senses wanted to jump out of her skin. What felt almost like a cool breeze lifted her skirt and the air caressed her womanflesh. She shuddered and looked around. Thankfully, no one was paying any attention to her.

Holding the necklace and feeling quite steamy in her private area, she stepped into the hallway. She pressed her thighs together and when she separated them, they were sticky with some kind of hot fluid that had moistened her inside. She swallowed her shock as her nipples thrust against her corset. What was happening to her?

Once again, she saw Coxe coming toward her. She must have strayed too far from the party for a second time. This time, instead of embarrassment at shirking her duties, she felt a hot flush of excitement. She folded her arms around herself and leaned against the wall.

Her face felt feverish and she licked her lips, thirsty despite the lemonade she had so recently finished.

“Are you well, Miss Rogers?” Coxe asked. She saw genuine emotion in his eyes, an unusual concern for her as she held up the necklace to him.

“Where did it come from?” he asked, touching the pearl drop at the end of the necklace’s center stones.

She watched with wonder as his entire body shuddered and when he looked at her again, his eyes were alight with the same kind of fever she was experiencing.

“The lady in red,” she whispered, “I saw it on her before.”

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About Anh Leod

Anh Leod, AKA Heather Hiestand, was born in Illinois, but her family migrated west before she started school. Since then she has claimed Washington State as home, except for a few years in California. She wrote her first story at age seven and went on to major in creative writing at the University of Washington. Her first published fiction was a mystery short story, but since then it has been all about the many flavors of romance. Heather’s first published romance short story was set in the Victorian period, and she continues to return, fascinated by the rapid changes of the nineteenth century. The author of many novels, novellas, and short stories, she has achieved best-seller status at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. With her husband and son, she makes her home in a small town and supposedly works out of her tiny office, though she mostly writes in her easy chair in the living room.

Social Media Links

Website: http://www.anhleod.com

Blog: http://heatherhiestand.com/blog/

Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Heather-HiestandAnh-Leod/24271017921?ref=br_tf

Twitter http://twitter.com/heatherhiestand

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/heatherhiestand/

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Scandalously YoursBuy links:

Amazon.com— http://amzn.to/1QG7y2d

Amazon UK– http://amzn.to/1POPAdZ

All Romance Ebooks– http://bit.ly/1Vk1rED

Kobo– https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/scandalously-yours-2-166.html

Smashwords– https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/612550?ref=cw1985

Books will also be available at barnesandnoble.com and iTunes (Apple), but buy links are not yet available for them.

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Make sure to follow the whole tour—the more posts you visit throughout, the more chances you’ll get to enter the giveaway. The tour dates are here: http://www.writermarketing.co.uk/prpromotion/blog-tours/currently-on-tour/scandalously-yours/

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Borgia Fever – Passion and Poison by Michelle Kelly

Borgia FeverIf like me you were a fan of the Showtime series ‘The Borgias’ or more specifically of Francois Arnaud (Cesare Borgia) and his super tight black breeches, then you’ll understand why I chose Borgia Rome as the setting for my second slice of historical erotic romance for the Harlequin ‘Undone’ series.

Two main themes stood out for me while researching the period; passion and the art of poison. The Italians have often been perceived as a passionate lot, and the lustful, vengeful and decadent Borgia family probably contributed more than their fair share to this stereotype (although they were in fact Spanish by blood).

Nothing rouses some life-affirming erotic desire than a close brush with death, with may explain why lust was so readily in the air in Renaissance Rome, as when the key players of the age weren’t trying to get each other into bed, they were trying to kill one another off. In Borgia circles, poison was often the weapon of choice.

The high and holy of Rome were far from immune, with regular allegations of poisoning being aimed at each other by Cardinals and even Popes, in particular the notorious Pope Alexander, otherwise known as Rodrigo Borgia. His daughter, the infamous Lucrezia, reportedly had a special ‘poison ring’ made for her, with a small secret compartment in which she could keep a few drops of the mysterious Borgia poison, cantarella, should she need to murder someone at short notice. Pope Alexander and his children, Lucrezia and Cesare, were a legend in their own lifetime, and a dinner party invitation from the family was enough to fill their contemporaries with horror.

It was clear to me then that my story would revolve around these themes; poison, revenge, passion and of course lust. In ‘Borgia Fever’ Bella is an apothecary involved way over her head in a Borgia poison plot, and when the darkly seductive Marco comes to arrest her, well, it would be rude not to let them indulge their attraction for one another…

 

Extract from ‘Borgia Fever’.

He backed her against a stone wall, out of sight of the revellers, and she felt the cold against her back in stark contrast to the heat of him in front of her. His hips pressed against the folds of her skirt and she could feel his hardness against her as his tongue explored her mouth. There was no coolness to him now; she could feel the need in his body, in the way his hands gripped her, and she responded with a passion to match, a part of her hardly able to believe this was happening. His mouth moved away from hers only to leave a burning trail of kisses down her neck, over her collarbone and across the tops of her breasts where they swelled above the low neckline of her gown. She gasped as she felt her nipples stiffen under the thin material, wanting his mouth and hands around them. A growing need coiled in the depths of her body, chasing away any thoughts of caution. She was not Bella any longer, spending her days poring over her books or making up tinctures or bartering with merchants, she was a woman at the court of the Borgia, where pleasure was as important as duty. Where indeed, pleasure was a duty.

‘You’re wearing far too many clothes,’ he said.

 

‘Borgia Fever’ is published in ebook by Harlequin Mills and Boon on 2 Feb, available from all major digital retailers or directly from Harlequin.

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Michelle KellyMichelle Kelly is a writer, teacher and mother of two. having a passion for history and being a hopeless romantic (as well as having a thing for heroes in tight breeches) makes writing historical erotic romance something of a dream come true. As well as being the most fun she’s ever had with her clothes on.

A Dead Man’s Debt by Grace Elliot

A Dead Man's DebtBlurb

After publicly humiliating a suitor, Celeste Armitage is sent from the ton in disgrace. Exiled to the country she discovers a sketch book of nude studies and is shaken to discover the artist is her hostess’s eldest son, Ranulf Charing, Lord Cadnum. This darkly cynical lord is exactly the sort of dissipated rogue she most despises – and yet her blood heats at the thought of him!

Ranulf Charing, Lord Cadnum is being blackmailed over his late brother’s debts. Whilst visiting his mother, he discovers her new companion, Miss Celeste Armitage, to be a woman of unusual perception and starts to fall in love. But then the jealous fury of the blackmailer is unleashed and Cadnum must cast Celeste aside in order to protect her. However, in underestimating her resolve to clear his name – Cadnum places his true love in mortal danger…

 

Available from
Amazon US 
Amazon UK
Smashwords

 

Excerpt

So be it.  Cadnum gritted his teeth as he grasped the leading leg and pushed.  It was like fighting against a brick wall, the calf barely moving.  A lamb was difficult enough; how much more so a calf?  Just as he was wondering if one man was strong enough, a shower of pebbles rattled down the bank.  Concentrating on the calf, he barked to whomever approached, “Don’t just stand there.  Get down here!”

“I beg your pardon!” a woman’s voice answered.

With a flash of annoyance, he glanced upward.

A wide eyed young woman wearing a straw bonnet peered down.  “I say, is everything all right?”

“Does it look all right?” he muttered under his breath.  All he needed was some sensitive miss fainting on him.  “Go!  Fetch help from the house.”

He saw her hesitate, biting her top lip.  “But you need help now.”

A contraction clamped around his arm as the cow’s tail switched across his face, stinging his eyes like a cat-o-nine-tails.

In a flurry of muslin and lace, the miss slid down the bank, landing with a thud in the ditch.

“Ouch.”  She rubbed her ankle.

Cadnum glared back, dark eyes flashing.  “You should have gone to the house.”  Damn it all, she could make herself useful then.  “Hold the tail aside.”

Pulling a face, she limped over.  His gaze lingered; up close, she merited a second glance.  Of middle height with a tidy waist and curves where God intended them, she appeared quick-witted and bright-eyed.  Without further ado, she stripped off her gloves, throwing them onto a bramble bush.  Long, sensitive fingers grasped the muddy tail.

Practical, he thought, silently impressed.  “Why didn’t you go for help?”

“There isn’t time.”  Her bonnet slipped backwards, revealing a quirky face with a pointed chin, her lips finely drawn with an arched cupid’s bow.  The sort of face an artist could lose himself in; all shades of the sea were found in deep emerald eyes framed by a tangle of chestnut hair.

Cadnum tightened his grasp and pushed.  Sweat beading his brow.  The calf retreated an inch.

“What are you doing?”  Her voice was gentle and calm, if somewhat deep for a woman.

He guessed it would be husky in bed, whispering over a pillow after a night of passion.  Her eyes were on him, deep green eyes, lively and entrancing.  He suddenly remembered that he was undressed to the waist, her curious gaze on his skin as he imagined those lily-white hands gliding over his naked chest, her almond shaped nails digging into his skin.  He shook away the thought, trying to remember her question.

She watched with innocence and interest, blushing faintly in a charming way; and yet, he realized, she was no wilting flower.  He shook his head.  The woman had asked a question; damn it, he would answer.

“The calf is breech,” he grunted. “I need to push her back into the womb to turn her.”  He wanted to shock this stranger, to test how bold she truly was.

She stared back, biting her top lip, exaggerating her snub nose.  “Ah!”  Her gaze met his.

“Think of the calf as a carriage in a narrow driveway.  To turn it around, you push it back into the stable yard.”

“What can I do to help?”

“Nothing,” he growled.

Throwing him an angry look, she anchored the tail with a log and scrambled around to the beast’s head.  After a moment’s thought, she placed her pelisse under the cow’s head, stroking the broad nose and crooning words of comfort.

“She’s relaxing.”  Cadnum’s arm was numb from the contractions.  He fell forward as the first leg finally slid back into the womb.  “That helps.”  His hair had come free from the ribbon, falling thickly about his shoulders.  He glanced at the woman.  She was leaning forward, her bosom straining a tight bodice, a satisfying cleavage between her breasts.  He swallowed hard.  She was odd looking, he decided, not exactly beautiful but eye catching nonetheless.  Her face showed character and determination.  Her complexion was too healthy to be fashionable, all rosy cheeked and peppered with freckles.

The woman glared at him now, her skin glowing bright pink.  Had he been staring?  His heart raced as he returned to the calving.

Timing his efforts, he used all his strength to push the second leg back.  His shoulder felt as if it were being ripped from the socket.  With gritted teeth, he found a slippery hoof and clung to it, guiding it from the womb into the birth passage.  Grimacing with the effort, he found the other foreleg, dragging it forward to match its mate.  Pulling first one leg, then the other, he inched them forward.

The muscles of his back burned as he braced, digging his heels into the damp earth.  He pulled in time to the cow’s weakening contractions, but as her effort became more feeble, even that assistance was lost.  The beast lay stretched on her side, head extended, breathing erratically and growing weaker by the second.  It was going to be a close thing; all the effort would be for naught if he couldn’t pull the calf out soon.

After minutes of heaving, two small cream hooves presented themselves.  Cadnum sat back on his heels, sweat dripping into his eyes.  So intense had been his concentration that he’d completely forgotten the woman.  But there she was, slightly pale but watching him intently.

“I need your help…” It wasn’t so very difficult to say.  The woman nodded silently, her face so serious he almost laughed.  “The cow’s spent, she can’t push any more.  I need you to pull with me.”

Licking her lips she nodded weakly.

“Come here.  Grasp my waist.  Pull when I say.”

She stood and, with a whisper of skirts, was at his side.  As her arms wound hesitantly around his waist, he suppressed a shiver of excitement.  Her hands where peach soft and cool.  She smelled of lemongrass.

“Hold tight.”

The thin feminine arms around the hard plain of his belly made his body ache unexpectedly.

“Pull as hard as you can, when I say,” he barked more gruffly than he intended.  “Now.”

Digging his heels into the dirt, his muscles strained as he struggled to keep hold of the slippery hooves.  But his attention was not wholly on the calf as he became aware of the press of her breasts against his bare back, of her sweet warm breath against his neck.  If he wasn’t mistaken, he could feel her heart hammering against his ribs.

With a desperate heave, he pulled the calf and the woman pulled him.  The calf moved another few inches, the forelegs exposed to the wrist joint.

“Again,” he urged.

Another pull and half the forelegs were out.

“Stop.  I need to check if the calf’s head is coming nose forward.”

The woman released him.  Glancing over his shoulder, he noticed her pink tongue darted out of her mouth to moisten her dry lips.

Turning back to the cow, he knelt, feeling inside, satisfied that he could feel a muzzle lined neatly along the forelegs.

“Nearly there.”

The woman’s arms circled back around his waist, wiry with feminine strength.  This time they fitted snugly, her cheek against his back.  A ringlet had broken free of her chignon, brushing his skin.  His groin tightened—much to his annoyance.

“Ready?  Heave!”  Never had he been more glad of the distraction from a woman’s unnerving affect on his body.  He noticed her soft mossy eyes and sweetly tempting curves, yet her bravery and determination excited him most.  Innocent, yet bold.

The calf slithered free with a slippery suck, sliding to the ground in a flood of fluid and membranes.  Man and woman rolled backwards.  Cadnum landed on her skirts, pinning her down.  Her face was flushed, her pupils large.  He stared into her eyes, which were framed with thick dark lashes now modestly brushing her cheek.  He noticed her breathing heavily, a sheen of sweat on her neck, chest heaving.

Neither moved.

The temptation to lean forward and claim a kiss was dizzying.  It was like looking up at a high church tower against scudding clouds, making him giddy.

Scowling, he turned away.  When had he become such a cad that he’d consider taking advantage of an innocent stranger?  He deserved to be horse whipped.  It didn’t help that the throb in his groin reminded him of his weakness.

“The calf?” a small clear voice questioned.

It was a bull calf, steaming slightly in the cool morning air.  Hooking a finger in the calf’s mouth, he cleared away the mucus.

“The cord.  I need to tie off the cord.  Quick, find me something.”

With a whisper of satin, she held out the ribbon from her bonnet.

“Will this do?”

When she didn’t immediately release it, it occurred to him that she was waiting for him to say thank you.  He acquiesced.  With a humph she handed over the ribbon.

As he worked, she stood, regarding the newborn with wonder.  For some inexplicable reason he wanted to hold her tightly in his arms and smooth her hair, to kiss that perfect oval of a mouth.  Damn her for distracting him!

Cadnum rounded on her, squaring his bare chest.  She recoiled, threatened by his unabashed maleness.  She shrank back, making Cadnum angry at himself for frightening her.

“Well don’t just stand there, now go and fetch help!  Tell them to send men to the ditch between the five acre field and the hazel copse.”  Her presence had become intolerable, eating away at his self-control.  “Look sharp about it!”

She jumped and scrambled up the bank with a flash of neat ankle, but not before giving him on last angry glare.

A wave of heat washed over Ranulf, who silently gave thanks that her back was turned.  It was not his habit to ravish complete strangers, especially those so obviously gently born.  But for some reason that was exactly what he wanted to do to this mysterious chestnut haired stranger.  Only as she disappeared over the brow of the hill did it occur to him to inquire who this practical Miss was and what she was doing on his land.

Author Bio

Grace Elliot leads a double life as a veterinarian by day and author of historical romance by night. She is housekeeping staff to five cats, two teenage sons, one husband and a bearded dragon (not in order of importance)

Fall in Love with History (blog) http://graceelliot-author.blogspot.com

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