Please welcome Natasha Blackthorne to my blog today…
I just love Lily’s writing because it is so emotional and sexy and she paints such vivid pictures with her words. So, it was a real honor to be invited to her blog today for a guest post.
Lily asked me to talk about what drew me to write erotic historical romance. When I was about six, the other people in my house were watching Dark Shadows. I was playing with my Barbies and couldn’t have cared less but then I glanced at the TV. It happened to be an episode set in the late 1700s. I immediately got this aching, nostalgic feeling in the center of my chest. I asked the adults, what is that place, where is it, can we go there? I had a deep longing to be there.
The first time I picked up a Laurie Ingalls Wilder book, it was On The Banks of Plum Creek, I was just enthralled. I rapidly devoured all the series. And I wanted desperately to be able to jump into those pages and live there. My love for history had begun.
I read so many wonderful adventure based historical romances and I also discovered history books that explored the more sensual and decadent sides to the historical eras that enchanted me so much. I developed a greater love for that fabulous combination of history and sex. It added a personal dimension to history that fired my imagination as never before. Well, truthfully, there’s a lot of sex at the heart of what occurs history, no matter that they don’t teach that in the textbooks.
In college I majored in history. I still love reading all kinds of history and historical biography. I want to know what it would feel like to really live in those people’s skins, to breathe the air that they did. What was it like to struggle against the social and moral expectations in those periods?
I write to explore and to live the experiences of the characters. That’s where my drive to write comes from. I enjoy exploring the characters at their deepest emotional and most intimate levels and so writing erotic romance was natural for me.
My series set in Federalist/Regency Era America is called Wild, Wicked and Wanton. This series is concerned with themes of sexual shame. I explore how people cope with their sexual needs and their sexual shame in a time when people in general do not speak openly about such things.
The first two books of the Wild, Wicked and Wanton series, Grey’s Lady and White Lace and Promises, explore the story of a beautiful but impoverished young woman of illegitimate birth named Beth. She is a sexually aggressive and very in touch with her own body and sexual needs. How would a woman like this cope when the feminine ideal of the time, a lady, is expected to behave chastely?
My series set in Regency era England titled Regency Risks, deals with aspects of fear, emotional repression and sexuality. The first book, A Measured Risk, tells the story of a young widow who is suffering from what we would call Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Shy, bookish Anne Bourchier, the dowager Countess of Cranfield, finds herself imprisoned by a deep emotional trauma. This trauma developed because her husband was killed while being held in her arms during a carriage accident. She survived the accident but the emotional trauma is slowly killing her inside.
When her late husband’s cousin comes home for the hunting season, she suddenly finds her private world invaded by a loud, fast crowd that pushes the limits of what is considered scandalous. Anne has been relegated to the position of an unwanted relic. She’s about to meet Jonathon Lloyd, the Earl of Ruel.
Jon is something she has never encountered before. He is the bravest, strongest willed man she has ever met. He fascinates her. She begins to wonder if he can help her overcome her fears.
These are the types of issues that really fuel my writing and are the heart and soul of what led me to write erotic historical romance.
I’d like to share a little more about A Measured Risk with you.
Erotica Romance ~ Light BDSM ~ Rubenesque / BBW ~ Regency Historical ~ Novel Length 84,000 Words
He is her most dangerous temptation and now he is demanding her submission. Dare she take the risk?
Book one in the Regency Risks Series
Emotionally scarred in the horrific accident that took her husband's life, Lady Cranfield is imprisoned by her lingering terror of horses and carriages. She longed to be closer to the fascinating Earl of Ruel. She sensed intuitively that he could teach her how to overcome the terrors that held her in bondage.
And now she's willing to risk almost anything-her reputation, even her virtue-to find out. But what he proposes startles her.
When the shy, studious and socially awkward young widow approached him, Ruel instantly sensed she would be the sweetest, most submissive experience of a lifetime-if only he can gain her total and complete trust. He makes her a non-negotiable offer. His help in return for her submission and obedience.
But Lady Cranfield grew up neglected by her ducal parents, raised by servants and then later ignored by her handsome, charming husband. She’s learnt to protect her heart at all costs and she trusts no one but herself.
How can the jaded Earl of Ruel break through her self-protective defences and show her how to love when he has spent his lifetime avoiding that tender trap?
Excerpt from A Measured Risk
©Copyright Natasha Blackthorne 2012, 2013
She backed all the way into the bookcase.
“Why did you run away?” His deep voice settled in her belly, rich and warm, like crème brûlée on a cold winter’s night.
“Because I wanted you to follow.” She tried to sound sophisticated and seductive, but her voice choked off on the last word.
Ruel placed his hand on the shelf above her head and blocked her path to the door. His tall, solidly muscled body leaned over her, surrounding her with the sumptuous, sinful scents of tobacco, Scotch whisky and something masculine and undeniably dangerous. A slow, sensual smile stretched his hard mouth.
He appeared different. Softer. More approachable.
At the change, her insides seemed to flip over.
“Well, sweeting, getting us off alone was a very inspired idea.” He touched one of her fallen ringlets. “I am bored to distraction with endless talk of hunting and fencing.”
As he slowly wrapped the curl around two fingers, he brushed her collarbone. Fiery sparks tingled down her spine, so intense that she shivered and her nipples beaded, pressing against her stays. By some instinct she hadn’t even known she possessed, she arched her back, presenting herself for his assessment.
His eyes shone so vividly blue against his bronzed face that they resembled cornflowers. She swallowed tightly and wished for a long drink of claret. This more personal side of him suddenly seemed far more hazardous than his usually fierce exterior.
Well, no matter. There was nothing to fear. She would allow only as much contact as need be to get to know him a little. Since being torn from her lonely yet secure life in Ireland and thrust into Society at age sixteen, she’d spent her time allowing people only as near as was comfortable. She was an expert at emotional evasion.
It should be easy to regain her control.
But now, as rays of the late-afternoon sun played over his pale hair, turning it the colour of winter wheat, all her carefully rehearsed words flew from her mind.
Say something—anything—else he will think you’re a bird-wit.
An intimate smile, one that invited her to play, tugged at his mouth.
“In a situation like this, alone with a gentleman, it’s perfectly normal for a lady to feel some apprehension.” His hushed voice, barely audible above the piano and boisterous singing from down the corridor, accentuated their isolation. His gaze became so piercing that she had to lower her eyes.
He brushed his fingertips over her cheek. “She will invariably ask herself if he will try to kiss her.”
She jerked her eyes back to his face. God, he couldn’t mean to—not yet, surely… Peculiar, heated chills swept over her. She tried to take a step back, but found her arse flush against the bookshelf.
He leaned closer; so close that his Scotch-scented breath tickled her face. “And just in case you are wondering, Lady Cranfield—the answer is most assuredly yes.”
She should demand that he put his arm down so she could pass by and leave. She really should. But she couldn’t stop looking at his hard mouth and wondering what it would feel like upon hers. He was so close to her that his breath blew on her lips. If she moved but a fraction, she’d be kissing him.
Dear God. Her breaths began to come very fast and short. Her throat went tight with a suppressed moan.
His eyes burnt as brightly as aquamarines. He looked so fierce. If he kissed her, if he dared… Oh God, it would be so harsh. That cruel-looking mouth could express itself no other way.
Excitement rushed through her, sending tingles to every point of her body, even her toes.
But no, he wouldn’t. Not yet.
He kept leaning closer. He didn’t close his eyes. Instead, he seemed to focus all the harder upon her.
Her heart pounding, unable to move away, she braced herself for his assault.
His lips brushed hers, barely. A gossamer caress.
He lifted his head.
It was done.
And it hadn’t even begun.
He held her chin, appearing so cool, so unaffected. His kiss had seemed to sear her. An urge to put her fingers to her lips arose in her. She resisted it, for it would give away too much of how she was affected.
Never show your feelings.
He traced his thumb along her lower lip, slowly, deliberately, as he studied her with eyes that now glittered with something powerful and predatory. Heat pooled in her pelvis, low and spreading even lower.
She went weak all over, as if she’d lain in a sunny window seat for too long. Her knees almost buckled. She forced them to lock. To be strong.
It should not have affected her so profoundly. It had been just a peck—not a true kiss at all. William had poured out all of his skill upon her and hadn’t garnered even a tenth of the reaction in her that this man’s peck had.
Ruel traced her jaw line with his fingertips. Unthinkingly, she leaned in to his touch.
“Of course, once he has kissed her, then it’s his turn to wonder…” His voice sounded unnaturally loud in her ears. “How will she respond? Will she withdraw, or can he ignite some hidden fire?”
She sensed that he was toying with her. She didn’t understand flirtation—why had she imagined she could carry off this ruse? Was he making advances in order to have a laugh with Francesca and her simpering friends later? Hurt blossomed in her chest. She resented him for that. She ought to feel indignant, superior, uncaring—anything but hurt.
“Please don’t make sport of me.”
She cringed. Was that quavering, pleading voice really hers?
An infinitesimal pause. “Now, why on earth would I do such a thing?” His voice was as smooth as velvet.
“To please your vanity,” she replied, trying to regain her wits.
“Here.” He placed her hand to his chest. The contours of his muscles were hard, powerfully developed. Even more so than she’d expected. His body heat radiated through the satin and, beneath her hand, his heart’s beat was rapid and strong.
“Is that vanity?” He put a finger under her chin, giving her no choice but to face him. “Is it?” He gentled his grip.
The warmth in his voice settled over her like luscious hot chocolate. Melting her insides to quivering burgoo, rendering her speechless, unable to move.
“My dear, lovely Lady Cranfield, I am going kiss you again.”
* * *
Thank you, Lily, for hosting me today.
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