Review: Kiss Across Chains (Kiss Across Time, Book 3) by Tracy Cooper-Posey

kiss across chainsSexy Synopsis: Four years doesn’t sound like a long time, but for Taylor and Brody their time living around humans has been fraught with trouble, and they have had to mingle with the ones who could hurt them the most, despite them being vampires and time jumpers. During the First Crusade, they nearly lost Veris, and had to control their time jumping in order to have what they can see as a normal life among the humans bringing up their daughter, Marit.

Queen Tira was her usual self in paying Brody back for defying her; it is almost as though she had in fact taken her wrath out on all three of them in turn. The result of her meddling makes them have to jump back to a time where they could get evidence that she had set Brody up previously, but even that comes with a price as this awakens Brody’s inner turmoil as they have jumped back to Fifth Century Constantinople. As this is all done to save their daughter, Marit, they endure the bitterness and torment that comes with living in a cruel and dangerous age. Brody ends up being a wretched slave, while Taylor plays the wife of a wealthy aristocrat, and searches to save him.

Sizzling bits:

  • The sensual scenes between the three of them is a real heart stopper!
  • Queen Tira’s demanding and dangerous nature.
  • The sensual build up with the three characters.
  • The relationship between Taylor, Brody and Veris.
  • Good character development and good storyline make this a great read.

Bad bits:

  • None at all – it’s an impressive third instalment of the series.

Review: While the first two novels seemed to set the scene for the third one, everything that has followed since has built up to these precious moments between Taylor, Brody and Veris. Book one focussed on Brody and Veris being together, while book two concentrated on Veris and his awful past.

One of the interesting parts of this novel is that Brody has once died in the Hippodrome, and thinks he might die again as he has become human, so as far as the plot is concerned, anything can happen to Veris. Starting to read this one book isn’t the best idea as there is a lot of past story that surrounds the three of them that you have to take in and bear in mind before you even get to this one, and plus which, you’ll miss out on all that burning sensuality between two bisexual men, and their female lover and you wouldn’t want to do that, would you.

This novel can be seen as being more about how Brody feels, and what happened to him in a previous Constantinople. Brody is a genuinely nice man who only wants the best for the four of them – and, as the book shows, he will go to any lengths to show his love for their daughter, and how far he and his partners would go to protect her. I liked the characters and thought they were well developed, especially Brody, as he seems to be the most emotional of the three, and you can’t blame him as he had suffered so much from his abusers in the past, and could do again. This isn’t the sort of novel series you would read to enjoy a normal menage romance novel, there is a lot of pain, and suffering in it that would make it not for the feint hearted. Then again, if you are familiar with Tracy Cooper Posey’s earlier novels, then you will relish this as one of the trio of novels and relish it just as much as I did.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Kiss Across Chains (Kiss Across Time Series)

Audio Review: A Knight in Shining Armor (Montgomery, Book 16) by Jude Deveraux

A Knight in Shining ArmorHeroine: Dougless Montgomery is unhappy but fighting it. She’s determined to make her relationship with a man, who on paper is a great catch. In reality, he’s a douchebag who takes his bitterness about her trust-fund wealth out on her, while pretending he isn’t. He plays just enough of the lover to string her along, but he takes pleasure hurting her feelings and expectations. So is isn’t so surprising to learn, that a romantic trip for two, becomes a miserable nightmare when he insists his daughter tags along, which turns Dougless into the third wheel. Eventually, she snaps on the trip after an encounter with the nasty daughter, and runs weeping into a historic church. Her tears bring to life a man dead 400 years.

Hero: Nicholas Stafford, Earl of Thornwyck, a sixteenth-century knight, is not pleased to be pulled by magic to stand before a strange weeping woman. She is obviously a witch and he must return home because her trickery is too bizarre to contemplate. He especially wants to get back in time to his rightful place to clear his name of the slander of treason and find out who betrayed him to the Queen. He’s convinced staying near the witch woman will eventually send him back, if he helps cure what ails her. But being close to her and learning about her world change his heart forever.

Review: I really can’t stand it when a heroine stays with a fellow who is so obviously bad for her because she fears societal pressures or being alone. I am really unsympathetic toward her situation because she perpetuated it herself. It felt like a huge portion of the book was spent showcasing just how bad her current boyfriend was before the hero was introduced. Thank goodness Audible’s app has the ability to double and triple time the reading speed.

Once the hero is introduced the story and romance crackle like wild fire and take off just as fast. I loved their interactions, I loved the hero’s attempts to learn and understand modern society, I loved how they plan a future and the magic of time strips it from them. I especially loved when the heroine goes back in time to a point prior to him jumping forward and the hero had to fall for her a second time. Angsty and delicious. So much good stuff happened in the past. I really loved how both parties jumped and learned about the other’s time period and life.

BUT!!!!

Why is it that the hero and heroine do not actually wind up together? I do not care for this look-alike nonsense at all. Very frustrating. Extremely frustrating. Everything was great until “Bam!” Time separates them permanently and that’s it. No more time pretzels to bring the hero forward or the heroine backward. Not cool. It’s not the same, because the hero’s physical twin or reincarnation or whatever does not have the hero’s memories.

Narrator: Steve West, had a great voice. Had to turn the reading speed up though because he reads very slow and precisely. It’s very British in its reading in a good way, especially sped up a bit. I loved his accent.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: A Knight in Shining Armor

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Review: The Stem of Time by Janeau L’voe

stem of timeReviewed by Book Glancer

The Stem of Time was a novella that I picked up on Amazon for only $0.99, but I’m really glad I found it.

The book is a fast fun read, with a little sizzle, and a whole of lot mind-bending time travelling.

Jillian, a dedicated scientist, is determined to cure cancer. She’s obsessed with curing cancer, so much so that she’s invented a time stem – a way to cheat time and get much more time out of the day that everyone else does.
Little does she know that messing with time is illegal in the year 2180.

When a time enforcement officer is sent to kill her, Jillian is caught off guard. But then, so is he.
Holden wasn’t expecting what he found when he was sent back in time to take care of the lawbreaker by the Council. He does a little rule bending himself in order to make things right.

But he wants something in return – and that something is Jillian as his wife.

I loved Holden! He was hot, hot, hot! And Jillian is smart and naive at the same time. They were wonderful characters and I feel like I now them and miss them after finishing The Stem of Time.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: The Stem of Time

A Husband and Wife Collaboration

TMWLJAGuest blog by Sally O’Roake, author of Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen

In spite of the fact that my name alone appears on the cover, The Man Who Loved Jane Austen was, in truth, very much a collaboration with my late husband F. Michael O’Rourke. Kelly, my step-daughter called us an awesome team and we were, in all respects; our life together was a true collaboration. Many projects came out of that collaboration, among them two feature films, a few television pilots and several books including Christmas At Sea Pines Cottage, Maiden Stone Lighthouse and, of course, The Man Who Loved Jane Austen.

The road to The Man Who Loved Jane Austen was rather circuitous and, I’m afraid, not particularly romantic even though Mike called it the ultimate valentine because it was brought to life by the love we had for each other.

Technically, I suppose that road began when I was fifteen years old and read Pride and Prejudice, enjoying it thoroughly. One Sunday afternoon a very disappointing film version of it was on television. Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier were much too old to be playing the 20 year old Elizabeth and the 28 year old Darcy but changing the story was entirely unacceptable to my youthful psyche (and my adult psyche). It was my first taste of what Hollywood can and often does do to novels. After that I watched every version of the story but never found one worthy of the book. Then in 1995, as all of you know, the ultimate P&P was produced. A&E along with the BBC did the Andrew Davies/Simon Langton/Sue Britwistle mini-series, staring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth. FINALLY a wonderful portrayal of the classic novel.

Moving on to late 1999, the health department recommended that Mike and I vacate our home because of toxic mold, requiring us to leave most of our belongings in the contaminated house. After a few months in a hotel it felt like we never talked or thought about anything but the mold and the pending law suit; our life had seemingly come to a screeching halt. In an attempt to, at the very least, not think about it all the time, we sat down and watched the six hour Pride and Prejudice; in its entirety. It worked; we stopped obsessing about the house and, in fact, the marathon inspired me to read all of Jane Austen’s books.

LighthouseFor some reason I had never noticed that there is a theme in all her writings, maybe it was because I’d never read them one after the other but this time I did and found that she made every heroine strong, relatively independent and quite intelligent; not completely unusual in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries however, what made Austen different was not the strong women but the men who loved them for that strength. It made me want to know more about her, why in an era where women were basically chattel did she feel free enough to write such stories. After delving into her life by reading several biographies, I came to believe she wrote Elizabeth Bennet and the others, in large part, because her father and brothers were fairly opened minded and that along with their support and strong belief in her talent was at the center of her success.

Another thing that struck me, particularly in Pride and Prejudice was Darcy’s ability to look at himself, be dissatisfied and make a concerted effort to reverse his attitudes because as he said after Elizabeth accepts his second proposal, You shewed me how insufficient were all my pretensions to please a woman worthy of being pleased.” To me Darcy felt more like a modern man than a Regency aristocrat.

When Mike suggested that we start a new project by resurrecting a time travel story I had started some time before. I countered that rather than write about a twenty-first century woman who goes into the future we write about a twenty-first century man who falls back into the England of 1810 and becomes Jane Austen’s muse and perhaps one of the most quixotic heroes ever written; Fitzwilliam Darcy.

We considered many scenarios before settling on Darcy being the wealthy owner of a two hundred year old Virginia horse breeding estate, Pemberley Farms. The back story we created for his ancestors, was touched on when Eliza is presented to the guests at Darcy’s Rose Ball.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI know that many people consider love stories better if they end unhappily, if not tragically (A Walk to Remember; Message in a Bottle; The Way We Were; The Bridges of Madison County) but I prefer a happy ending, therefore a modern woman had to be able to compete with Jane Austen. New York artist Eliza Knight does just that.

We discussed making Eliza a poor, struggling artist then decided that we didn’t want it to be a ‘Cinderella’ story; you know, rich guy falls for poor girl and they live happily ever after. So she became a relatively successful artist of fantasy drawings that are used on greeting cards, stationary as well as prints. That success allows her to buy an antique vanity and it is behind the vanity’s mirror that she discovers letters to and from Jane Austen and Fitzwilliam Darcy, triggering the story.

After completing the manuscript, we type-set, printed and hand bound copies to give as gifts to family and friends. It was received with spirited enthusiasm and Mike and I were proud of our nice little story. Then my world crashed, in November 2001, two weeks before his sixtieth birthday Mike died suddenly; we hadn’t gotten out of the house soon enough.

The Man Who Loved Jane Austen was published in 2006. The publisher didn’t want two names on the cover and preferred the one be mine since I would be doing the promotion. I regret not insisting that Mike’s name be used on the cover as a tribute to him. But regret serves no useful purpose and at least his work is being enjoyed by people all over the world.

SeaPinesCottageTaking into consideration that no journal or diary kept by Jane Austen has survived, I started what was going to be a fun little project, to create a journal that would be Jane’s point of view of the events of Spring 1810 when she met Darcy. At the end of one journal entry she is wondering what Mr. Darcy is doing at that moment, suddenly I was writing the sequel to The Man Who Loved Jane Austen.

Besides who was I to try and write as if I was Jane Austen? Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen is no longer a journal but it does reacquaint readers with 21st century American horseman Fitzwilliam Darcy and his influence on the English novelist and her writings; at the same time delving into the complex nature of the man who became the embodiment of one of the most romantic characters in English literature.

The blossoming romance between Fitzwilliam Darcy and Eliza Knight, the modern-day woman who gave Darcy the letters proving that he did make a trip through time and met Jane Austen, is juxtaposed with Jane’s life as she copes with the subtle celebrity of being the ‘Lady’ who wrote Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice.

AustenticityAustenticity.com, the website where Eliza first discovers that Fitzwilliam Darcy is real (even if she doesn’t believe it at first) is now also real. I’ve owned the domain since we wrote the book and have now created ‘the everything Austen’ site. Come, visit and spend a bit of time with the inimitable and much beloved author.

Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen is now available in trade paperback as well as most eBook formats from most on-line retailers.

Find me at:

http://sallysmithorourke.com (blog)

http://www.facebook.com/sally.s.orourke

https://twitter.com/Chawton1810 (@Chawton1810)

YAJA

Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen

Chapter 5

Although the sun was fully up in the Virginia summer sky, it was not yet hot. Fitz found jumping exhilarating; the cool morning air caressing his face, and Lord Nelson, so strong and graceful, took all the jumps with no effort.

Heritage Week was over so things could get back to normal. He shrugged. Whatever normal is. He realized there was a very good chance that his normal was about to change radically. Eliza’s letter—the one she had found written to him from Jane—had ended his search for the truth of his Regency encounter. But Eliza did much more than give him the letter.

He had been merely surviving, not living, in the years since his mother’s death. He’d thrown himself into the business of Pemberley Farms to the exclusion of almost everything else. Eliza’s arrival had heralded an acute awareness of that fact. It was as though a light was suddenly shining so he could see the world around him. She made him want to live again. And she had given him the letter… Jane’s letter.

Fitz reined Lord Nelson to a walk as they entered the cool shade of the woods on the edge of his property.

Jane. He had spent more than three years seeking proof of his meeting with her and of her feelings for him. Almost as if he’d been transported again back to Chawton in 1810, the image of Jane’s sweet face flooded his mind. He thought back to that morning and his inauspicious entrance into Jane Austen’s life.

The combination of his head injury and the laudanum prescribed by Mr. Hudson, the Austen family physician, caused Darcy to slip in and out of consciousness. He tried to sit up, the effort making him dizzy.

Jane gently laid a hand on his chest. “Please, Mr. Darcy, Mr. Hudson wants you to remain still.”

Through a cotton mouth, his head spinning, Darcy asked, “Mr. Hudson?”

“The doctor,” Jane said. “You must rest now Mr. Darcy.” The American looked at her face. Her curiosity was palpable even in his drugged state. Unable to think clearly, never mind responding to questions he wasn’t sure he could answer, he closed his eyes completely and turned his head away.

Jane returned to her vanity table where she continued to write; a single candle and the flames in the fireplace her only light. Interrupted in her writing by a low murmur from Darcy, she took the candle and quietly approached the bed. He was tossing back and forth, his face flushed and contorted; he was speaking in quiet tones, a hodgepodge of words that meant nothing to her. He spoke what she could only suppose were the nonsensical ramblings of a sick brain; she attributed words like television and jet to his head injury and delirium. She placed her hand softly on his cheek and was distressed by the heat radiating from him. Using fresh linen soaked in water from the pitcher on her wash stand, Jane swabbed his face and neck, then laid it across his forehead. It seemed to calm him and she went back to her writing.

Each time he grew restless Jane stopped writing and went to the bed to refresh the linen with cool water. After three episodes in close succession she remained on the edge of the bed so she was at hand, and each time he started to toss and turn she would caress his face and neck with the cool, damp linen in hopes that it would, in time, reduce his fever.

She stayed there until Darcy’s features turned placid and he was breathing more evenly. He finally seemed to be sleeping comfortably. She laid her small, soft hand on his cheek. The fever was broken. She dropped the cloth into the basin. Stiff from sitting in one position for so long without support, she stood up and stretched. She was not particularly tired but needed to get some rest.

Quietly she crossed the wooden floor and slipped the small pages of writing she was working on into the drawer of the vanity, then took a nightgown from the closet next to the fireplace. Glancing back at the bed she stepped behind the screen.

He opened his eyes just enough to see her slender, full-breasted figure silhouetted on the muslin screen, back-lit by the remnants of the fire as the light fabric of her nightgown floated down to envelope her.

Jane stopped at the bed before making her way to Cassandra’s room for a few hours of sleep. As she stood over him he watched surreptitiously through the veil of his eyelashes. She leaned down and whispered, “Good night, Mr. Darcy,” almost brushing his lips with her own. In spite of his continuing laudanum haze, he could see that her eyes were filled with a tenderness that caused him to grab her hand as she straightened up; he didn’t want her to go.

Without opening his eyes or letting go of her hand he said, “Please don’t leave me.”

Unsure whether this was further evidence of the delirium or whether he was actually requesting her presence, she pulled her hand away. He did not move to take it again but said, “Please, stay.”

Cognizant of Mr. Hudson’s admonition of keeping the injured American calm and concerned her leaving might agitate him, Jane sat once again on the edge of the bed. Darcy smiled in the flickering flame of the dying fire. He said nothing more but gently took her hand. He did not relinquish it again until she rose to move to a chair by the side of the bed where she finally slept.

The movement woke him. His mind finally clear of drugs, he scanned the room in the dim, pre-dawn light. There were no electrical outlets or switches, no lamps, television or telephone, and the only clock appeared to be pendulum driven. Everyone he’d seen wore costumes similar to the ones people wore to the Rose Ball. Those things and the medical treatment he had received led him to the inexplicable conclusion that somehow he’d fallen into another time—a time when Jane Austen was alive.

And there she sat, serene in what had to be an uncomfortable position for sleep; his nurse, his savior and much prettier than she was depicted in the only portrait of her to survive to the twenty-first century. She was not the brazen hussy of Darcy family lore but a sweet and loving woman who took care of him without concern for her own safety or expecting anything in return. His mother would have said she was a true Christian.

As he watched her in the pale light of the dying embers his head started to throb as though a nail was being driven through it. He closed his eyes and blessed sleep overtook him.

***

Jane was an incredibly strong, intelligent, willful and virtuous woman who followed the propriety of the day… mostly. During the last three years he’d often wondered what might have happened between them if he’d been forced to stay in early nineteenth-century England. Of course with the way her brothers felt about him, he probably wouldn’t have seen her again.

If the circumstances had been different would he have married her? He could have been happy with her, he supposed, but over the years he’d come to realize that the love he felt for her was based on who she was, the awe in which he held her, caring for him when she certainly didn’t have to, loving him. Then again, did she love him? She had never said it and the letter Eliza had found and given him showed obvious affection but she urged him to find his true love. Apparently she didn’t think she was it. Had they ever loved each other or had it just been a fling across the ages?

He laughed. What difference did any of it make? Jane Austen had been dead for almost two hundred years. Still, the undisputed icon of witty English romance had kissed him whether she loved him or not. He still had to pinch himself to believe it had ever happened.

He had no such questions about Eliza. Everything felt right when he was with her. This was no fling. He had no idea where they were headed, but for the first time in years he was looking forward to the rest of his life. As long as Eliza was with him he didn’t care where they were headed.

Fitz and Lord Nelson crossed the bridge at a leisurely gait; the ground fog was burning off in the warm morning sun. Had it really been only two days since he and the great stallion were galloping across the bridge before the fog had lifted and run Eliza off the road and into a muddy drainage ditch? He hadn’t even realized she was there until it had happened. When he did, he brought Nelson to a stop and, without questioning who she was or why she was walking along a road on his property, he had lifted her onto Lord Nelson’s back and then swung up behind her. She was slightly light headed from the sudden fall, and once on the horse she had leaned against his chest and he’d had to control a strong desire to kiss the top of her head. He still didn’t understand how a complete stranger could make him feel that way, but he didn’t really care. From the first moment, being with her felt right and wonderful and that was all that mattered.

She had touched something in him that no one else ever had, including Jane, even before he knew her. At the Austen exhibit at the New York Public Library he had found himself staring at her. He laughed remembering that he had thought of her as a raven-haired beauty. Then two days ago she had come out of the fog and into his life.

He had told her his story about jumping through a rift in time and meeting Jane Austen. It had been very difficult at first, but once he started it tumbled out and had been a relief that he wasn’t carrying it around anymore. It was as though a weight had been lifted and this slight, feisty New Yorker had done the lifting. She had listened to him with an intensity that had made her a part of the story. She had been kind and compassionate—he had seen real grief when she asked him about leaving Jane—and she had given him the letter that answered his questions about whether he’d actually met Jane Austen and how Jane felt about him.

Jane would always hold a special place in his heart, but Eliza held his heart. Maybe it was too early to take it all for love, but it certainly felt the way he’d always thought love is supposed to feel.

Horse and rider stepped out from the cool canopy of the woods and into the warm summer sun. Spurring his favorite horse to a full gallop Fitz guided him over every fence and stream on their way back to the barn.

Christmas At Sea Pines Cottage Trailer:

Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen – The Man Who Loved Jane Austen Trailer:

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Review: A Light on the Veranda by Ciji Ware

light verandaReviewed by Cara Lynn

This is a re-publishing of her novel. I read an uncorrected advance copy.

This was a hard book for me to get into. It wasn’t until I was on about page 200 when I began to figure it out. Perhaps that was because it took me so long to read the first 200 pages that I might not have remembered clues given earlier. Who knows.

The basic story is about a harpist Daphne Whitaker Duvallon who wishes to attend her brother’s wedding (and perform). Her conductor in NYC, Rafe, who also happens to be an ex-lover, fires her from her position. She goes to the wedding anyway. About a year earlier, she had literally stopped her wedding to Jack when she discovered her soon-to-be husband in the throes of making love to someone else. (She announces that at the wedding.) He holds a grudge; she is terribly hurt. He sabotages her harp just before her brother’s wedding.

Enter Sim Hopkins, a bird photographer, whose marriage ended disastrously in divorce when he was not home when his wife loses a baby. His ex-wife is a lawyer that Jack hires to push through disposing toxic waste too close to the bird sanctuary. Of course Jack does this after researching Sim on the Internet and knowing that he and Daphne are getting close. Daphne tries, unsuccessfully, to convince Sim that they are up to no good.

Both of them hear a harp playing in the middle of the night when no one is there. They are in two separate locations.

In a way, this book is a sort of time-travel gothic romance. Daphne finds herself transported back into the past when she hears certain sounds or music. She witnesses the people; she isn’t part of it. (That wasn’t clear to me in the beginning.) Whether Sim has any similar experiences, we don’t know.

Suffice it to say that the lives of the ancestors are in some ways influencing the present. And they are thoroughly unlikeable, with a couple of exceptions, as well as mentally off, shades of Jane Eyre with the crazy wife in the upper rooms, then the daughter with similar issues put in an insane asylum when she doesn’t deserve it by a tyrant of a second husband after her money, stillborns, forced marital ‘rights’. Even with the geneologies in the front of the book, I had a hard time keeping them straight. This is the deep south, in the time of slavery.

The book flips back and forth from present day to the past.

Both Sim and Daphne are wounded by their own pasts, let alone their ancestors.

Be warned: There is abortion, miscarriage, stillborn, suicides, insanity, disfigurement, a Gothic-type denouement.

Recommended: If you like reading about the past and the above situations.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Buy: Light on the Veranda

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If You Could Live in Any Period Setting and Fall in Love, When Would You Go?

Guest Post by Sandra Scholes

I am a lover of period romance novels, and I would like to say that I’m not fussy about what period novels I read, but I would be lying. The Regency period is as romantic as it gets for me; I like the setting, the architecture, the underlying passion that makes them so rakish, even in polite society circles. Everyone has their own period idea of what setting and period they would choose to fall in love. It could be the Middle Ages, Roman times, Georgian, Edwardian or Victorian, but which period sends your heart a flutter enough to fall in love?

1.) Regency

Everyone associates the Regency period with Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice these days as they have read them or seen them brought to life on TV, but there is more to this period than meets the eye, and it’s no wonder it was seen as one of the most romantic periods since the Victorians. One look at Mr. Darcy in his tight pants, taking off his shirt is enough to make any woman swoon!

2.) Edwardian

This was a time when opulence and extravagance still ruled, but for the last time; before World War I took hold on Europe. Edward took over the throne after Prince Albert’s death and Queen Victoria’s mourning, and refusal to keep up with her duties as queen. Casual flings were among the fun they got up to in upper class society as long as they maintained there were a certain amount of rules to follow.

3.) Victorian

Queen Victoria lost her dear husband, Albert and was forever clothed in mourning outfits that showed he had been the only man for her, and she could not take another man at her side. This, for many people was the one of the most progressive eras, but also the most repressive and prudish. There were many new art styles, and scientific discoveries
made in this time. The Bronte’s, Lord Tennyson and Oscar Wilde were some of the Victorian eras most interesting writers; not forgetting Oscar’s scandal with men which has spawned some rather immersive LGBT Victorian writing.

4.) Georgian

George I ruled this era having come all the way from Germany. Not having spoke any English, or fitted in with anyone else in society, he was seen as an unpopular king and spent most of his time in Germany while others considered his being there political. It is considered a decadent era where the filthy rich were idle as lampooned in popular
comedy Blackadder the Third.

5.) Roman

These people had a rich history steeped in discovery, conquest, and enjoyment of all the senses. They favoured romantic attachments with either men or women, or both and had no hang-ups about what others would think about them. Some women think a man in a toga is a sensual thing, and a woman in even less might be a blessing. Think of the
Spartacus: Blood and Sand series where men were gladiators, sweating and fighting shirtless in deadly arenas.

6.) Frontier/Western

This isn’t just about the Indians who featured highly in the setting; women can’t resist the sight of a cowboy in leathers and hat, sporting jeans in calf length boots with spurs. These men are rough and ready to help a woman in distress. Everyone loves a cowboy especially if they are Clint Eastwood or John Wayne no nonsense types. There are the
good guys, but as we all know, the bad guys are out there too and dressed in black.

7.) Medieval

It was a rough time for most ordinary people, but girls still had the time to fantasize about knights in shining armour who would whisk them away from the doldrums of a boring lifestyle. Think of castles, fairy tales and men like King Arthur, along with his Knights of the Round Table. Don’t forget Mordred, Merlin or Guinevere – they play their
part in a difficult period in history.

8.) Elizabethan England

Daughter of Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth Tudor, or Queen Elizabeth as she would come to be known ruled after her father, King Henry VIII died and her mother was beheaded. She swore that she would never marry once she had witnessed her mother being dragged away for execution, and remained so until she died. It didn’t stop her having a few men at her
side, though. The Elizabethan era proved to be a very romantic one where William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe were the playwrights of the day, and Sir Francis Drake was one of the best seafarers known.

9.) Dark Ages/Viking

The longboats drifted along treacherous seas, they had gods who were powerful and brave, and the berserkers liked to go about pillaging, but these Vikings liked other things too, they liked their women, and, if the woman was game enough, they could have a handsome, strong, blue-eyed blond hugging them at night beside a nice warm campfire, forever protected and cared for.

10.) American Civil War/Reconstruction

With the Southern belle all primped and preened, often fanning her while men fall all over her by the dozen, this can be seen as one of the best eras to be romanced in even though the war was raging. Women are dressed in satins and silks, with more modern types of make-up than their predecessors. This could easily be one of the most impressive.

11.) Historical Romance

As this one is more about certain earlier time periods such as the Egyptians, Celts, and Greeks, these can be some of the most overlooked eras, even though romantic men and women have had novels written about them; Alexander the Great, and Queen Cleopatra for example.

For me it would have to be the Regency era. Men were rangy and handsome, well-mannered, but underneath it all, their hearts burned with a passion they couldn’t let out to their spouse – many found solace in other women’s bedchambers, but this was an era of beauty and extravagance in every way, from the food they ate, to the luxurious balls they hosted and the women they bedded.

What do you think? Was the Regency period the most romantic? Or are there some you think better settings for romance novels.

Photo Credits: Kıvanç Niş

Have You Kissed a Stranger Today?

Guest blog by BL Bonita, author of Romancing a Stranger

Silly question, I know, but it does happen. Maybe you’ve gone on a blind date and at the end of the evening, as the guy drops you off at your doorstep, you decide to reward him with a little peck. Maybe some random hunk saved your life from a would-be killer, and you felt it fitting to show him how thankful you are with a kiss. A little out there, maybe, but hey, crazier things have happened.

Like in my upcoming time travel, Romancing a Stranger. My heroine, Milli, finds a strange globe on her doorstep and brings it inside her home. That little mistake (or blessing?) changes her life in a way she could never have imagined. From 2010 back to 1889 Boston, life is quite different. For a modern and very willful woman like Milli, hanging with the crowd is more than a little awkward.

Not only does she have to hold her tongue and be reasonably proper, she must also search for a way back home—all while playing the role of wife to a man she doesn’t know. After all, she’s the modern version of his real wife. But why was she sent to the past, and where is the woman she replaced?

ROMANCING A STRANGER – available March 19 at Noble Romance Publishing.

She’s tough enough to survive anything . . . or so she thinks.

Either Milli Bishop is drunk out of her mind, or she seriously just woke up one-hundred years in the past. One minute she’s gazing at an amethyst ball; the next she’s fainting in the arms of a stranger . . . who claims to be her husband. Can she find her way back to the future, or will the taste of a real gentleman be too irresistible to escape?

He’s bored and lonely . . . until she comes along.

Warden Blackwood is confused by the sudden change in his estranged wife and believes she’s cut a path out of her head. Once frigid and indifferent, she’s suddenly arousing him with her scandalous seduction and shocking language. Should he continue his pursuit of a mistress—or tame his wayward wife? Only time will tell . . . .

Excerpt:

From what little moonlight trickled in through the windows, she could tell it was a study or library. All three walls were covered with bookshelves, the fourth encasing a fireplace. She walked around the room, splaying her fingertips over the backs of the two winged-back chairs and then over the mantle. The room smelled like cigar, brandy, and Warden. She might be in a strange place, in a completely different time, but, for some reason, the scent of him kept her sane.

Maybe he—

A beam of moonlight glinted off something round sitting on the desk. It reflected like light off a purple mirror. Purple.

The amethyst ball!

How could this be? Did the globe come back to the past with her? Would it bring her back?

She rubbed it. Nothing happened. No glowing light, not a damn thing. The prickle of tears made her blink rapidly. She may have come to enjoy her time here, but she still had the urge to go home. She wanted to see her friends, wanted to get back to work writing her weekly newspaper columns.

She rubbed it harder this time, desperate for the globe to save her.

Nothing.

A sob wrenched from her throat.

“Be careful. You might disturb its purpose.”

Milli spun around with a gasp. The silhouette of a tall man stood on the threshold, leaning casually against the door frame. She knew, even without seeing his face, it was Warden.

“Its purpose?”

Warden stepped into the room and gently closed the door behind him. If it wasn’t for her instant attraction to the man, and the knowledge that he was her husband, she might’ve been scared. A beam of silvery light bathed his face. His dark-angel looks made her heart pound harder. He was so tall and broad and deliciously sexy, but, at the moment, he looked deeply troubled.

“You don’t remember? Ah, that’s right; Josephine mentioned you’ve forgotten everything, including me.”

She ignored his sarcastic tone. “I asked you a question.”

Warden stared at her, his feelings unreadable. “Saska’s globe is given to the one you love. If that love is returned, all of your dreams come true.”

Saska. Another piece of the puzzle.

“Where did you get it?”

“From the leader of the traveling Finnish Romas. Saska himself.”

“Why would you give it to me?”

In two strides he was in front of her. Milli had to crane her neck to gaze up at him. His dark eyes singed a burning path up her arms when he stared down at her. His hand cupped over hers holding the globe.

“It took weeks for me to find you the perfect gift. When I gave it to you before the party, you barely glanced at it. Do you know how hurtful it is to love someone, to give them everything they want, only to have them act as though you don’t exist?”

“I’m not who you think—”

“Why did you come to the study, Millicent? You never come to this room. In fact, you never come near me.” His piercing gaze made her skin tingle and heart pound. “What do you want from me?”

Milli fought for some explanation, some kind of reasoning. The things he said about her were confusing. “I—I was looking for my globe. I want it back.”

He stood so close she could feel the heat of his body and smell the booze on his breath.

“How about I give you another gift instead?”

“Another—?”

Warden seized her wrists. Startled, she dropped the globe and it rolled away. He pulled her roughly against him and sealed her mouth with his. The kiss was demanding, meant to hurt . . . to punish. She whimpered as their mouths met in a heated battle. Caught between the urge to push him away and her body’s hot reaction, she felt light-headed and nervous, but, most of all, wanted.

His kiss was so good, so tantalizing. Aching with need, Milli pushed up on her tiptoes and arched her back, pressed her chest hard against him. Warden groaned and slid his tongue in her mouth, deliciously sliding along hers. Hot and cold shivers rushed through her, making her pulse between her thighs. She wanted to take him in, deep and hard, and forget about this craziness.

She may not know exactly where she was, or how she’d get home, but she was sure this tension between them could be eased by one thing.

She wanted to show him that whoever Mrs. Blackwood was before was not the same woman standing before him.

Would you fit in with the proper crowd and enjoy the everyday duties expected of a woman back then, or would you be under lock and key in a madhouse with me? 😉

Thank you Love Romance Passion for having me here today!

BL Bonita

Author Bio:

BL Bonita lives in Eastern Ontario with her retired USMC Captain, however, she grew up in the lush wilderness of Northern Ontario at a family-owned hunting/fishing resort. Nature has always inspired her to write, and her imagination is as wild as her memories of the bush. Some call her funny, some call her a little crazy, and to her family, she’s the black sheep of the bunch. BL writes multiple categories/themes of erotic romance, always with a touch of humor and wild adventure—a reflection of her own life. And of course, strong coffee is a necessity while the writing bug has her in its fiery grip.

GIVEAWAY: Comment for a chance to win a download of Romancing a Stranger! Deadline to enter is March 20. Open to all! Good luck!

Right Man, Wrong Time

Guest Post by Susanna Kearsley, author of The Rose Garden

One of my very first crushes was Errol Flynn. I still remember the Saturday afternoon I sat and watched Captain Blood on TV in our family room—I would have been about twelve at the time—and fell head over heels for that dashing guy wearing the cape slung across his one shoulder, the way that he usually wore it in films, so his sword arm stayed free. I was totally smitten…and totally crushed when I learned that the man I’d just fallen in love with on screen had been dead twenty years.

That’s the thing about films—you can find yourself being attracted to men who are no longer living. This happens sometimes in my research as well, when I come across letters or journals from someone whose thoughts I begin to connect with, until I think how much I would have enjoyed sitting down face-to-face with them, getting to know them.

One of the great things about being a writer is that I can bridge that time barrier whenever I choose. I can resurrect those men I’ve met in letters, interact with them, and let them walk and talk and breathe, but it’s a far cry, still, from truly meeting them.

The same year I saw Captain Blood I also watched a made-for-TV movie called The Two Worlds of Jennie Logan, in which Lindsay Wagner travelled back in time thanks to an antique dress and met her soulmate in the past, the man that she was meant to love and be with.

That’s likely what set me to wondering, what if the right man for you really did live in some other time? And it’s probably that thought that, thirty years later, inspired me to do what I’d always said I’d never do: write a time travel story.

I’m still searching, though, for a time-travelling dress that can carry me back to the forties so I can get Errol Flynn’s autograph…

What about you? Have you ever found yourself liking a person long dead?

Buy: The Rose Garden