Tag Archives: regency

Book Review: Petticoats and Promises by Penelope Friday

Petticoats and Promises by Penelope Friday

I may be out of the loop, but this is the first time I’ve ever read a Regency book with same-sex lovers. Sure, they mentioned the lifestyle in Lost in Austen, but only as a joke and plot device. To see an actual lesbian affair, treated with respect and reality in play was quite different. I was worried at first about how the author would handle the societal expectations and restrictions, but this book was a pleasant surprise.

Serena is a young girl very close to come-out age. Her BFF, Clara, is about to have her London season and Serena gets to go with her.  However, when Serena’s dad runs into financial issues and can’t pay for Serena’s trip, the two girls are plunged into turmoil.

You see, Serena and Clara have a secret. They are in love with each other and the thought of being apart for a whole season inspires Clara to ask her disapproving mother if Serena can come along.

The girls travel to London and enjoy the season by going to balls and meeting other Debs. But living in the same house and experiencing the fun city life, proves too tantalizing. In a moment of overwhelming indulgence, they are caught kissing by Clara’s mom and are parted for good.

Serena is sent back home and spirals into a depression. She totally expects to never love again until she meets another woman who also loves women.

I really enjoyed this book and I think the way the author dealt with her parent reactions was interesting. I also liked how she explained what might have happened to a gay woman in those days. The decisions a woman might have to make in those days to keep her secret quiet and to be free to at least have children, are hard ones. I think this was a brave, inspirational story that needed to be told. I’m looking forward to checking out her other books soon.

Review: Ruined Reputations by Lela Bay

Ruined Reputations by Lela Bay

A pair of delightful tales from a new Regency author. I personally like the second one better because it’s a bit steamer, but they are both fun stories.

“The Unusual Manners of Mr. Arrons” is a sweet romance and speaks more of the comedy of manners popular in Regency tales. I would expect nothing less of a tale began in church. This is a story about hats and birds. It’s comical and I like that neither the author nor her characters take themselves very seriously. There is a different kind of love here between a fashionista and an odd gentleman from out of town that isn’t familiar with societal ways. I didn’t connect with any character in particular, it was more like watching a humorous stage play.

The second story, Virtue’s Temptation is about a selfish, flighty young woman named Bitsy who you just want to smack. Eleanor, an older and wiser woman, tries to step in to help, but Bitsy may not head her warnings. When an acquaintance of Bitsy’s comes in to aid them, Eleanor questions her own heart. Is it as broke as she thought, or will she find love again?

The male lead in this story is yummy and worth ruining a few reputations for. For you Pride and Prejudice lovers out there, this tale reminds me of Lydia. What would have happened had a wiser female observed her running off with Wickham? Are girls like Lydia and Bitsy destined to be ruined, or can they head the warnings long enough to save themselves and their families heartache?

I would like to see a sequel to this. What exactly happens after they go to Mr. Stinson’s large estate?

Lord Harrington’s Lost Doe, 99 cents on Kindle! #ilovemrgrumpy

I’m excited to announce
Lord Harrington’s Lost Doe
is now only 99 cents on Kindle!
Get this special for only one week.
November 22nd-28th

LHLDNewFrontLord Alexander Harrington’s life is rather tame until a shoeless, coatless waif is found wandering his estate with no memory of who she is. Despite his stoicism, Lord Harrington finds himself drawn to the lost girl who he compares to a scared doe. Caring for her illness despite speculation of her mental state, he develops feelings for her.

Is she an escaped lunatic, or simply a lost woman desperately in need of his help? A revelation about his own family’s history with the mental asylum down the road causes him to question his feelings. When a massive fire breaks out on estate grounds, will he lose her forever?

#ilovemrgrumpy

Also, meet Mr. Grumpy’s friend, Mr. Gloomy in… Meant to Be…KISSED

Meant to Be…KISSED is available as an ebook on Amazon.

Meant to Be Press announces the release of Meant to Be…KISSED (Love Notes Book 2). This is the second collection of sweet of stories from Meant to Be Press authors. This heartwarming collection is themed around winter kisses. The two primary stories are historical romances, with a bonus contemporary flash fiction piece from Meant to Be Press’s newest author, M. M. Genet.

“Miss Montague’s Winter Kiss” by Emmy Z. Madrigal turns sadness into hope. Grayson is a man who has lost everything, but Cecelia saves his life and rekindles his belief in love. Broken ice and traumatic losses give way to the start of something new, if only the hero can give up past hurts. As Emmy writes, “It was more of a feeling that, if the flame between them was fanned, they could be happy for the rest of their lives. He’d endured so much grief, she longed to bring him joy.”

#ilovemrgloomy

Regency Romance 2-for-99cents!

99 cent Regency eBooks

November 20-25th: For five days only Ruined Reputations by Lela Bay will be on sale for $0.99!

November 22-28th: For five days only Lord Harrington’s Lost Doe by Emmy Z. Madrigal will be on sale for $0.99!

Lord Harrington’s Lost Doe by Emmy Z. Madrigal

Lord Alexander Harrington’s life is rather tame until a shoeless, coatless waif is found wandering his estate with no memory of who she is. Despite his stoicism, Lord Harrington finds himself drawn to the lost girl who he compares to a scared doe. Caring for her illness despite speculation of her mental state, he develops feelings for her. 

Is she an escaped lunatic, or simply a lost woman desperately in need of his help? A revelation about his own family’s history with the mental asylum down the road causes him to question his feelings. When a massive fire breaks out on estate grounds, will he lose her forever?


 

Ruined Reputations by Lela Bay 

Rumors of Mr. Aarons unconventional ways are confirmed when he nearly yanks the bonnet off Emmaline’s cousin’s head. Drawn by his charm and good looks, Emmaline finds herself assisting him in his mysterious mission.

His obscure search appears to lead to her cousin, beautiful Catherine Connersfield. She is the more sensible choice, but will she have him? More to the point, will Emmaline let her?

New Reading! Enter raffle to win books!

Meant to Be Press celebrates the release of Meant to Be…KISSED

Meant to Be…KISSED is available as an ebook on Amazon.

Meant to Be Press announces the release of Meant to Be…KISSED (Love Notes Book 2). This is the second collection of sweet of stories from Meant to Be Press authors. This heartwarming collection is themed around winter kisses. The two primary stories are historical romances, with a bonus contemporary flash fiction piece from Meant to Be Press’s newest author, M. M. Genet.

“Miss Montague’s Winter Kiss” by Emmy Z. Madrigal turns sadness into hope. Grayson is a man who has lost everything, but Cecelia saves his life and rekindles his belief in love. Broken ice and traumatic losses give way to the start of something new, if only the hero can give up past hurts. As Emmy writes, “It was more of a feeling that, if the flame between them was fanned, they could be happy for the rest of their lives. He’d endured so much grief, she longed to bring him joy.”

Meant to Be Press is celebrating the release with sales and raffles!

November 20-25th: For five days only, Tempo of Temptations by Lela Bay and Lord Harrington’s Lost Doe by Emmy Z. Madrigal will be on sale for $0.99 each!

November 19-30th enter to win free Meant to Be Press ebooks. Prizes include the Meant to Be…MINE anthology, Tempo of Temptations by Lela Bay, Lord Harrington’s Lost Doe by Emmy Z. Madrigal, and The Harpist by M. M. Genet and Michele Roger.

Enter the raffle!

About Meant to Be…KISSED

Love sweet romance? Meant to Be…KISSED is a collection of short stories to sample Meant to Be Press romance authors.

“The Grand Gesture” by Lela Bay, takes a public humiliation and turns it into an act of heroism. Rosamund Windham, daughter to the duke, literally drops herself into a pool of filth to save an innocent and in the process befriends the girl’s brother. His sister quotes him as saying, “You can’t just throw two people together and expect sparks. It takes the right sorts, like flint and steel. They may not look like they go together until they hit up against each other. Then, sparks.”

“Miss Montague’s Winter Kiss” by Emmy Z. Madrigal turns sadness into hope. Grayson is a man who has lost everything, but Cecelia saves his life and rekindles his belief in love. Broken ice and traumatic losses give way to the start of something new, if only the hero can give up past hurts. As Emmy writes, “It was more of a feeling that, if the flame between them was fanned, they could be happy for the rest of their lives. He’d endured so much grief, she longed to bring him joy.”

Finally, as a bonus, check out the contemporary romance flash fiction from Meant to Be Press’s newest author M. M. Genet, “A Year and a Day.” Behold of the promise of the future.

Like the seasons, love has many variations, so let these stories inspire you to discard what holds you back and welcome new opportunities.

Meant to Be…KISSED is available as an ebook on Amazon.

Read it for free through Kindle Unlimited, and remember to enter the raffle for other Meant to Be Press romances!

Guest Blog: Meet the Hero of The Unusual Manners of Mr. Aarons

Meet the Hero of “The Unusual Manners of Mr. Aarons” by Lela Bay

Thank you for having me on your blog, Emmy Z. Madrigal.

Although stories that dark and dramatic are enjoyable, sometimes it’s a relief to indulge in a romance that’s funny and bright. The first story in Ruined Reputations, “The Unusual Manners of Mr. Aarons,” is a lighthearted affair that plays with the conventions of a Regency romance. In the tale, Emmaline is constantly amazed at Mr. Aarons lack of convention. Undaunted, and driven by larger concerns, he drags Emmaline into his unusual quest.

Their very first meeting is filled with heroic promise, as Mr. Aarons insists on being introduced to Emmaline’s cousin, the lovely Catherine Connersfield. The result is less than heroic.

“A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Mr. Aarons. I understand you’re staying in town with the Mayor?”

“Only while seeking my own residence for the summer,” he agreed. His voice was warm and deep. “Your hat is lovely.”

“My hat?” Catherine raised a hand to check the impressive structure. Bemused, she added, “How kind of you to notice.”

Rather than bow, he reached toward Catherine. He tugged on her hat with untoward familiarity. “Perhaps you can tell me where…?”

Rather than submit to his impertinence, Catherine reared like an unbroken horse.

A collective gasp left the watchers, smothering the rest of his sentence as his grip pulled the confection over Catherine’s forehead. Berries and doves cascaded to the ground. A ribbon hung in her hair, dragging her head down and throwing her wrapped braids into disarray. She squealed in shock, batting at the mess and grabbing the bonnet, still half-attached to her coiffure.

Mr. Aarons stood in shock, hand still extended.

Emmaline stepped between them, swooped up the abused bonnet and smoothed Catherine’s hair.

Aunt cried and Uncle shouted for the carriage. In the hubbub, they got Catherine seated inside. Her face glowed red and tears streaked her cheeks, though whether from sadness or pure fury, well…Emmaline had a good guess. She wouldn’t want to be Mr. Aarons should he make the mistake of crossing paths with Miss Catherine Connersfield again.

She peered out the window as they drew away from the church. A grim-faced Mr. Aarons watched the carriage depart, his hand still gripping a single long feather.

Emmaline pursed her lips and studied the hat in her lap, noticing a large gap where he’d helped himself to a handful of decorations. Really, what had come over him?

Recovering her words, Catherine shouted, “He plucked me!”

Emmaline and Catherine stared at each other and dissolved into a fit of giggles. Aunt Prue, sitting across from them, fanned herself with a handkerchief and Uncle drove the horses as if his daughter had been accosted for more than a few feathers and a paste cherry.

The girls’ fit of laughter lasted all the way until they reached home.

The second story, “Virtue’s Temptation,” is still humorous, but takes a darker, sexier turn as Eleanor Sinclair attempts to chaperone Bitsy, her unwilling charge, home while keeping her reputation intact.

Check out the pair of tales in Ruined Reputations by Lela Bay.

Learn more about Lela Bay at Lelabayblog.com


Lela lives in a modest house with her husband, children, and pets. Despite living in the far north, she requires a certain amount of sunshine each day or she gets grumpy. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys strolling, gardening, reading, and tea time with friends.

She enjoys stories with intimacy and humor.

Blog: http://lelabayblog.wordpress.com
Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/lelabay

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bay_lela

RUINED REPUTATIONS

“A tantalizing pair of Regency tales.” ~Emmy Z. Madrigal

“Ruined Reputations is a love letter to high romance of the Brontes with the meticulous eye for detail that readers crave like oxygen itself.” ~MJ Sherry-author of the Back Page Babylon series

–The Unusual Manners of Mr. Aarons–

Rumors of Mr. Aarons unconventional ways are confirmed when he nearly yanks the bonnet off Emmaline’s cousin’s head. Drawn by his charm and good looks, Emmaline finds herself assisting him in his mysterious mission.

His obscure search appears to lead to her cousin, beautiful Catherine Connersfield. She is the more sensible choice, but will she have him? More to the point, will Emmaline let her?

–Virtue’s Temptation–

Experience has taught Eleanor it’s better to be practical than passionate.

When she discovers Bitsy eloping with her French tutor, scandal threatens to ruin the girl.

To keep her reputation intact, Eleanor reluctantly chaperones the rebellious heiress.

Eleanor’s spotless character protects Bitsy, but behaving respectably proves difficult when tempted by the dangerously attractive Mr. Stinson.

If she fails it will end with … Ruined Reputations.

Review: A Peculiar Engagement by Kara Louise

A Peculiar Engagement by Kara Louise is an interesting take on the life of one of Pride and Prejudice‘s lesser loved characters. Lady Catherine’s daughter, Anne de Bourgh.

I have to say I have never once wondered how Anne felt, what her child was like, or what happened to her after Darcy and Lizzy got together, but for those of you who have wondered, this is your answer. This book not only explains Anne’s view of the whole Lady Catherine-planned engagement of her daughter to Mr. Darcy, but it flashes back to their childhoods. Part adulthood and part childhood, this story flips back and forth, explaining their relationship as cousins. Their first meeting, as they both lost their parents at the same time and wrote letters to each other of encouragement, and how as they grew older the pressure of engagement infected their otherwise pleasant relationship.

While this book may not wow Darcy fanatics, it does give a nice glimpse of his possible childhood. It also connects another of Kara Louise’s variations, Mr. Darcy’s Rival.

My favorite bits of information gleaned from this book are:

  • Getting a glimpse of Anne’s father before he passed. Hard to imagine what kind of man would put up with Lady Catherine.
  • Richard (Col. Fitzwilliam) I’ve always liked him but he really comes alive in this book. I like the way Kara portrayed him here.
  • Seeing the “Georgianna goes to Ramsgate” situation arise while Darcy is at Rosings and Anne encourages him to investigate.
  • The fact that Anne is a writer and publishes books behind Lady Catherine’s back. Take that!
  • The connection this book has to Kara Louise’s Mr. Darcy’s Rival book.
  • Anne’s love interest is rather interesting and I love how the elopement is conducted.

A line from this book I find especially inspirational is what Anne’s love tells her when she mourns not being able to do things because of her asthma.

“Do not regret what you cannot do. You must allow yourself to fully enjoy those things you can do and be thankful for those blessings.”

This is a quote I will be putting up in my office to remind myself everyday. After being in a wheelchair for seven months last year, I could have used this little insight during recovery! But it’s a good thing to remember at all times.

While I’m not a fan of Anne de Bourgh in general and probably would not have read a book centered on her except for Kara Louise writing it, I am glad I did read this book for the pieces it filled in for me.

Now, if she’d only write a Colonel Fitzwilliam book! 🙂

Review: Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

I absolutely adore this book. I read the first couple pages of Edenbrooke over a few days, but when Marianne’s personality started showing, I was caught and could not put it down. I read chapters three-to the end and in captured anticipation.

Marianne is a country mouse who’s staying with her grumpy grandmother in Bath and being stalked by a creepy wet-mouth dude who writes bad poetry about her. Her twin, Cecily, is a city mouse so she’s off in London enjoying her season with aims to capture a rich, titled husband. Marianne is happy not to be in the society crush, but when Cecily writes to invite her to a country estate named Edenbrooke, she can’t resist.

Adventure and excitement thrill Marianne as she sets off for Edenbrooke, but when a highwayman shoots her carriage driver on the way, stealing her mother’s locket and leaving her and her maid stranded in the wilderness, it seems she may never reach the estate. Somehow Marianne finds the strength to get to an inn and even saves the carriage driver’s life.

Although she supposed to be an elegant young lady, she’s funny and adventurous and clumsy which makes her highly entertaining to read.

The gentleman in this story is unexpected and charming as well, although you aren’t quite sure who she’ll end up with in the end. The journey getting there is fun and satisfying.

There are so many gem scenes in this book, I found myself unable to take a break as I had to find out what happened next! Delightful side characters also made the tale fun and I found the family she stayed with to be refreshingly kind. Too many of the Regency upper class in books tend to be ugly self-serving jerks. The Wyndham family is completely the opposite. They are kind, compassionate, and really seem to care about their guests. There’s no talk about high society and how she doesn’t fit in, which I would assume was more the case when people came to stay with you in those days.

I really enjoyed reading this book and will look for more from this writer.

How I Accidentally Wrote a Regency Novella

Okay, laugh, but it’s true. My Regency Novella Lord Harrington’s Lost Doe, was a total accident. This story is also a testament to how some little spec of an idea can spin into a huge idea, so don’t discount any of them!

Here’s how it all went down…

My writing friend Heather and I were chatting one day about how we love Regency Romances and wouldn’t it be fun to write one of our own? Then we cooked up a brilliant little plan.

Wait. Back up. A little background on us first. I am primarily a Contemporary Romance gal. I write this sweet little New Adult series, Sweet Dreams, all about music people. If I’m not writing that, I’m writing Horror. Heather on the other hand is primarily a Science Fiction writer and has a YA zombie series called Plague Masters. We’ve tried to write stories together, but it never works. Whether it’s because we both have to be in charge, or the fact that she’s a plotter and I’m a pantser, I’m not sure. Give us a list of items and we will have totally polar opposite ideas on how to write them into a story. It just doesn’t work.

So back to the brilliant plan. We’d each create a character that the other “finds” in their story. There were multiple parts to this plan because, well, we’re nothing if not elaborate.

We decided the character we created for the each other would be found having no memory—the old amnesia trope. We also decided one of us would write a man and the other a woman so we wouldn’t both be planning the same character. Next, we gave each other a little time to create the character in full. Where they came from, who they were running from, etc… But we kept it from one another. Then…just to torture ourselves, we would reveal the character slowly to one another as we wrote.

First, I got a character sheet with just a description of the girl and how she was found. Enter, the little lost doe, blonde haired, ghostly white, wearing only a nightgown. After a few pages of finding her, I asked for the second clue. Second, I was given an item she carried with her. Some sort of clue of where she was from. Insert a pair of men’s spectacles. Third, Heather gave me a person that came looking for her. Enter, the evil step-mother. And finally, the last piece of the puzzle, a full character sheet with name, where she came from, why she was running, etc… Once we got all the clues and sewed it up, we’d have nice little short stories (3,000-5,000 words) we could package together in a mini eBook. Or so we thought. Best laid plans and all that.

So I begin writing my story about Lord Harrington sitting up in his Northern estate, brooding over something, his Lost Doe arrives, and my inspiration carries me away on a fast moving locomotive! 30,000 words later, my Lord has discovered the truth about his little Lost Doe, and a novella is born.

And THAT is how I accidentally wrote a Regency Novella.

It was loads of fun and I’d love to do it again, but first Heather and I have to decide on another theme. That could take years!

Lord Harrington’s Lost Doe, only one more day! #ilovemrgrumpy

I’m excited to announce
Lord Harrington’s Lost Doe
is now only 99 cents on Kindle!
Get this special for only one week.
Feb 7th- Feb 14th

LHLDNewFrontLord Alexander Harrington’s life is rather tame until a shoeless, coatless waif is found wandering his estate with no memory of who she is. Despite his stoicism, Lord Harrington finds himself drawn to the lost girl who he compares to a scared doe. Caring for her illness despite speculation of her mental state, he develops feelings for her.

Is she an escaped lunatic, or simply a lost woman desperately in need of his help? A revelation about his own family’s history with the mental asylum down the road causes him to question his feelings. When a massive fire breaks out on estate grounds, will he lose her forever?

#ilovemrgrumpy