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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Guest post with Kristabel Reed

The Lack of the Death of the Regency

And how sex enhances it.

The publishing industry has long said Regency Romances are DOA. Seriously? Are they blind, or simply hoping Regency Romances are dead?

Harlequin has an entire historical line devoted to it--Sourcebooks has a whole line and now seems to have the rights to all Georgette Heyer’s titles. In fact, Sourcebooks were one of the first to publish the What Happened Next stories of Jane Austen’s beloved books long before it became popular. (I’m looking at you, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies!)

Elosia James, Sabrina Jeffries, Victorian Alexander, and Stephanie Laurens are laughing at that DOA pronouncement all the way to the bank. Clearly that saying is proved wrong.

Our love affair with all things Jane Austen and the strict mores of the Regency era has never died and will never die. Even renowned mystery diva, P.D. James has a new book out Death Comes to Pemberley.

And those Regency stories a little left of center…such as the erotic ones I see more and more of, or my Regency Ménage Tales. The one common factor among all these is the romance (no matter how hot or not) among the propriety of it all.

Hearts and minds were lost to Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice (or at least Colin Firth or Matthew Macfadyen) and many romance writers and readers have benefitted from that attraction. Mystique? Or maybe just the fact that what historical romance lover doesn’t love the sly looks given between lovers during a dance, from across the ballroom, or in a horse-drawn carriage?


In Risqué: A Regency Ménage Tale, I take all that, all the sly looks, the hidden caresses, the secrecy needed to stay clear of the malicious gossip of the ton, and make my characters’ lives miserable. Why? Because a romance isn’t good until there’s angst tossed in.

What attracts you to an historical? What makes them so fascinating? Or if you don’t like historicals, why not? Comment here and be entered to win either Risqué or a $5 Barnes and Noble gift card. Two winners will be drawn at random on Friday (12/30/2011), one for the book, one for the gift card.

Risqué: A Regency Ménage Tale Blurb from Chapter 2:

Stretching languidly in bed, Alix finally decided to open her eyes and face the day. Not that she was in any rush to leave the bed.

Kane’s scent still faintly surrounded her, even though it had been a full day and night since their encounter. She shivered in remembered pleasure, fingers drifting over her breasts. He hadn’t left immediately after she’d collapsed in his arms. She didn’t recall him moving, but Alix did recall waking to his fingers doing delicious things to her body.

He hadn’t teased then, but had built her orgasm so swiftly she climaxed from his mouth and fingers alone. They hadn’t the time to indulge in all she’d wished to, and Alix frowned now as she thought of Kane.

She still wanted him. Wanted to tie him to the bed and be tied by him. Wondered if he would take her from behind, teach her that particular pleasure she longed to experience.

Sighing, she turned her head into the pillow and breathed deeply, annoyed with her foolishness. She’d told her maid, Marguerite, not to bother with the bed linens. Alix sighed again, and shrugged it all off. In the privacy of her bedroom, she could be just as young and sentimental as she wanted.

Not that she’d ever let anyone other than Marguerite see that side of her. Emily might suspect her sentimental streak, but her closest friend would never tell a soul.

Kane had left just before the break of dawn, striding arrogantly through the servants’ entrance in the rear of her St. James townhouse. A practiced rake, without doubt. Alix could appreciate his skill in stealth as well as his skill in a great many other things.

With one final stretch, Alix rose and walked naked across her room to the looking glass. Her vibrant auburn hair framed her face in a riot of curls, and the wanton look about her lingered. But the red love bites adorning her rose-tinted skin caught her attention.

Yesterday she’d received friends in her own parlor, but today she had several places to visit. She’d have to wear a higher neckline than usual if she intended to engage socially these next few nights. A bother, certainly, but not without its most pleasurable cause.

Dismissing her reflection, Alix tugged her robe on and went about her morning rituals. It was another two hours before Marguerite had her dressed and presentable for Emily’s political gathering. And she wondered if Mr. Huntington would be in attendance.

As she descended the stairs, mind still on the delectable Mr. Huntington, Beckett extended a silver tray topped by a sealed missive.

“Good day, madam,” he said with a slight bow. “A messenger delivered this note an hour ago, and the carriage is waiting for you just outside, as you requested.”

Alix took the note with a nod and a smile. “Thank you, Beckett. I’ll be out momentarily.” She dismissed the servant with another smile and diverted from her intended destination into her parlor. She closed the pocket doors behind her and stared at the linen paper, folded precisely down the center. There was no indication as to the sender and a simple wax rose sealed the note.

Opening the missive, Alix sat on the settee. She had no idea why she wanted privacy to read a simple letter, but instinct drove her to the parlor where none would disturb her.

I remember the feel of you; my tongue remembers the exquisite taste of you. Your moans and sighs were the sweetest of sounds, the most intoxicating.

Do not neglect this servant of yours.

It wasn’t signed, but Alix had no need for a signature. Kane. Heart racing both in need and excitement, Alix hurried from the parlor to her study. She quickly inked a reply and sealed it. Instructing Beckett to find a street urchin and have the note delivered immediately, Alix exited the house, the thrum of anticipation humming through her body.

I imagine your next visit, perhaps tied to my bed with a silken scarf. Under my control, my power, so I may devour every delicious inch of you.

10 comments:

Kristabel Reed said...

Thanks for having me today! What's your take on historicals? (Sweet OR Sexy?)

Tina Donahue said...

It's a pleasure, Kristabel. I've always enjoyed Regencies. Yours sounds absolutely delish. :)

Renee Vincent said...

Wow, I loved that excerpt, Kristabel. And yes I agree with you. Regency is not dead, nor will it ever be. I read historical all the time and I love them. Add a touch of alpha male boldness and a little scandal and you have yourself a great read. haha

Long live the historical!

Kristabel Reed said...

Renee, I agree-long live the historical! :) Could be the scandal that makes them so interesting, because of all the strictness of the day, any little impropriety and you're a ruined woman. If you're caught of course.

The trick is not to be caught!

Shelley Munro said...

Hi Kristabel,

I'm a fan of regency historicals too. I enjoy the society rules and the clothes of the time. Combined with an alpha hero and a heroine to upset the hero's balanced life, I think it provides excellent fodder for stories. Loved the excerpt :)

Fiona McGier said...

Okay, I'll be the devil's advocate here. I despise regencies. My Mom who used to devour romances by the bagful, would read aloud from a Georgette Heyer book and roar with laughter at the stilted language and ridiculously strict morals. She hated that there wasn't any sex in them and would drop-kick them across the room, then return them to her sisters.

Me, I find the idea of sex without birth control to be truly scary! And I know a little about how women must have felt back then, because my Mom and all of her sisters were raised to keep their legs crossed until they got married. None of them were happy about that, and they all warned me not to believe in that "saving yourself" crap...which I didn't. But back in the regency days, the wealthy folks were the ones who had to be concerned with marriage, because paternity had to be iron-clad so men could know they were leaving their wealth to THEIR kids, not someone else's. That's the whole reason for marriage. No one cared if the poor screwed each other, because they had nothing to leave to their families. The books are always about the wealthy, and none of them would have stooped to marry a poor person...have sex with them, yes, but marry? Puh-leeze!

jean hart stewart said...

Lovely teaser...and regencies will never be out of style...Jean

Kristabel Reed said...

Shelly,

Thanks for stopping by! I do love the clothes, and I find the rules of society fascenating. No one can deliver a insult quite like a Regency story. (Can you tell I've watched too many Jane Austen movies?)

Kristabel Reed said...

Fiona, Wow! Thanks for your thoughts, and I do agree with some of them. Now, let's see:

Agreed--Georgette Heyer is not a favorite. I use her for plots, social mores, and slang. Would I read one of her books now? Nope.

Sex without birth control, in historicals there was no such thing as birth control as we know it today. Do I find this scary? Oh yeah! But if it's all you know...

Now, I won't get into the rich-poor part of your post. This is very true, but there was no middle class back then, and even cotemporary romances don't really cover this.

However, I will say that love is love, romance is romance, and if you're lucky enough to find love, no matter what the era, then you're lucky.

Kristabel Reed said...

Jean,

I think you're absolutely right! And I love that about the era.