By Beverley Oakley
Honour and loyalty are two of my favourite themes and both feature strongly in my July releases – Lady Lovett’s Little Dilemma, and my English Civil War erotic romance, The Cavalier.
Both books were released within two weeks of each other and are ‘second chance at love’ stories – or at least, being given a second chance in the loving or bedroom department since Lady Lovett’s Little Dilemma features a once-devoted married couple.
However, it’s The Cavalier that is most topical in view of a wonderful competition my publisher Total-E-Bound is hosting to win a Couture Corset (with details to follow).
In writing The Cavalier I was intrigued by the idea of an unexpected, tense reunion between two old lovers set against civil conflict with families and friends fighting on opposing sides.
It is one of four novellas in the Bodices & Boudoirs collection and is a poignant tale of blighted love – and renewed hope – set during the siege of my heroine’s castle in 1648.
Normally I write Regencies but I couldn't resist the opportunity to write about a time in history when the conflict was so raw. Brother could be fighting brother or, in this case, a Puritan woman is faced with her lost love – who turns out to be second-in-command of the King's Men or Cavaliers currently besieging her castle.
Here's a bit of background...
Though it's been eight years since Lady Elizabeth married the brutal Puritan, Silas Drummond, against her will she's been a dutiful and obedient wife.
Then Charles Trethveyan marches into her life offering her a bargain that will save her hated husband's life.
A bargain she can't resist until she learns it's based on a lie.
Not knowing that Charles is acting to save her life, Elizabeth succumbs to her husband's demands that she make the ultimate sacrifice – for the sake of honour.
Death is imminent unless the truth can be revealed in time.
So, that's talking around the topic, which I often do, but below is the official...
The Cavalier Blurb
Drummond Castle, home of staunch Puritan Silas Drummond and his beautiful wife, Elizabeth, has been besieged by Royalist forces. In a bargain to spare her husband’s life Lady Elizabeth has agreed to spend the night with the commander of the hated King’s Men.
Second-in-command, Charles Trethveyan, has other ideas. He’s planned this moment since Elizabeth chose to marry Silas eight years before.
When Elizabeth discovers that her former Cavalier lover has taken the place of his superior, she must decide whether Charles is motivated by love or revenge.
Either way, her response will have devastating consequences.
And here we have an...
Excerpt from a scene in which the depraved commander Reynolds has his eye to the keyhole. My heroine, Elizabeth, is in the bedroom with the man who was once her lover and whom she believes betrayed her, though she still has feelings for him.
Slowly, Elizabeth nodded once. “This is war,” she whispered, simply, “and I want to live. I’ll struggle and scream as I would if it were Reynolds but you have my permission to take me. I’ve dreamed of it.” She said it so he could be under no illusions as to her feelings and was gratified by the brief shock that crossed his face.
Immediately she tried to pull out of his arms. “You betrayed me!” she shrieked. “By God, I rue the day I set eyes on you. You betrayed me. Don’t touch me!”
The play acting had begun.
Total-E-Bound, is offering 100 pounds (about US$155) towards a Couture Corset for the competition winner. To be in the draw, just purchase a copy of any of the four novellas – including The Cavalier – in their Bodices and Boudoirs collection.
So, let's talk about me and my own corset envy.
I’ve always hankered after a corset, even though I’m a country girl now and rarely venture into the Big Smoke. For weeks, however, I've been eyeing a selection of exquisite, high-quality vintage corsets at What Katie Did, a UK company I discovered during my online corset-viewing travels.
It just so happened that in testing the link for this blog, I was lucky enough to return a few minutes ago to What Katie Did and was completely side-tracked by the fact they're having a huge sale ...
So ... I've finally have done what I'd promised myself for ages! I've just ordered a black and red velvet, boned Antoinette corset with a balconette bust which will cinch me into a 20" waist. It'll take a couple of weeks to get from the UK to Australia which will make it too late for me to wear it to the gala Romance Writers of Australia conference on the Gold Coast that I'm attending next week.
However, I'll post pictures on my blog in a couple of weeks.
And here's the product description:
SHOWGIRL VELVET ANTOINETTE CORSET
Anyway, if you love steamy historicals then entering Total-E-Bound's Bodices & Boudoirs competition is easy. Details are here or simply buy The Cavalier here to to be automatically entered into the draw.
BioBeverley Oakley wrote her first romance novel when she was seventeen. However, drowning the heroine on the last page (p550!) was, she discovered, not in the spirit of the genre so her romance-writing career ground to a halt and she became a journalist.
After throwing in her secure job on a metropolitan daily to manage a luxury safari lodge in the Okavango Delta, in Botswana, Beverley discovered a new world of romance and adventure: living in a thatched cottage in the middle of a mopane forest with the handsome bush pilot she met around a camp fire. Seventeen years later, after exploring the world in the back of Cessna 404s and CASA 212s during low-level survey sorties over the French Guyanese jungle and Greenland's ice cap, Beverley is back in Australia living a more conventional life with her husband and two daughters in a pretty country town an hour north of Melbourne
She writes traditional Regency Romance as Beverley Eikli and sensual and erotic historical romance as Beverley Oakley.
Good luck – and have fun!
Buy the book here: http://is.gd/czJUn8