Four women of the Regency, ahead of their time in their wants and desires. Trapped into a mold that doesn’t fit well, each strikes out to find their own paths – and are helped along the way by four Regency gentlemen who have no idea that their worlds are about to be turned upside down!
The Regency is a natural home for romance, although the actual situation of many women, even titled ones, was far from fulfilling. So find out how Miranda, Beatrice, Louisa and Poppy changed the world to fit their desires rather than the other way around.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Regency erotic romances were few and far between when I originally wrote these stories. Many readers felt (and still do) that introducing a steamy sensual component is inappropriate for this genre. I disagree. There definitely was sex going on in the Regency – and a lot of it. I knew it was time to bring my love of Regency romances into my writing career and show that one can remain true to the genre even while leaving the door to the bedroom open. These books were best sellers when released individually and now continue to ride high as a full length novel – with a new generation of Regency lovers.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Each of these women has a unique strength – whether it’s driven by necessity, desperation, desire or suppressed passions. I love strong women who aren’t afraid to fight for what they want. No matter if they’re wearing jeans or a ballgown!!
Looking at her reflection in the tall mirror, Miranda Montvale realized that this scheme was complete and utter madness.
The neckline of her dress was definitely too low. She tugged, but nothing would make it rise more than a fraction of an inch and she was desperately afraid that if she sneezed her nipples would make their debut.
It had to be one of the worst ideas she’d ever had. She turned to the woman seated behind her. “Are you sure about this dress, Letty?”
Letitia Randolph stood and stretched, pushing her hand to her lower back to ease the ache.
“I mean, being enceinte, you might be prey to some odd fancies, you know…”
“Miranda, this is not an odd fancy. Nor is it actually my idea. Nor do I get ‘odd fancies’. I am expecting a child, not insane. Although I must admit there have been times when I’ve wondered if they were one and the same…” she sighed and eased her bulky body back onto the chair.
Miranda turned back to the looking glass. “Well, it still looks indecent,” she complained, twisting this way and that to see her reflection.
Letty sighed. “It’s supposed to look indecent. How are you going to catch Nicholas Barbour’s attention, let alone seduce him into bed, if you don’t look indecent?”
Miranda bit her lip.
“Look, ‘Randa, if you don’t want to go through with this, I’ve told you that John and I will raise the money for you somehow…”
Miranda immediately shook her head, sending fiery curls shimmering around her neck and shoulders. “You and John are the closest thing to family I have. You have your own responsibilities and problems, and I’ll not be the one to add to them. This plan will work. I know it…”
“I hope you’re right. I still think that attempting to win ‘The Barb’s’ bet is a dangerous and silly plan. But I understand.” Letty looked down and smoothed her hand over her belly. “In fact, I have to confess that if it hadn’t been for John, well…I might have thought about…just thought about, you understand…”
Miranda turned smiling eyes on her friend. “You mean you’d have joined the eager throng of women determined to satisfy Nicholas Barbour?”
“Well, he is rather delicious-looking, all that hard muscle under those exquisitely cut jackets, and his thighs…Mmm.”
“Letty.” admonished Miranda. “You’re a married woman.”
“Yes, I know,” grinned Letty. “That’s a rather obvious fact right now,” she glanced down at the next generation of Randolphs. “And I’d never consider doing anything at all with anyone other than John, but let’s be honest, Nick Barbour is one glorious specimen of manhood.” She licked her lips.
“A specimen who, apparently, is unable to reach his own satisfaction.” Miranda gazed at her reflection.
“So ‘t’is said. Have you seen him?”
A brief impression of midnight blue eyes, wind tossed hair and an arrogant air flashed through Miranda’s mind. “Only once—while riding. He galloped past at a furious pace. And oh my, he did have very strong thighs…” She blushed.
“That’s not the only thing that is supposed to be strong. You know why they call him ‘the Barb’?”
“Because of his similarity to a Barbarian, I would suppose,” answered Miranda, tucking a wayward curl into its correct position.
“Oh no,” chuckled Letty. “It’s because his—um—equipment is rather like a horse’s. You know, that famous Arabian stallion…The Barb?”
Miranda turned wide eyes on Letty. “Really?”
“Really.” This time it was a definite giggle. “Of course, having been married, you’ll not be shocked, right?”
Miranda snorted inelegantly.
Letty bit her lip, annoyed at herself for reminding her dearest friend of the disastrous marriage from which the death of her husband had liberated her.
“Marriage meant little in the way of physical activities for me, Letty. We’ve discussed that before.”
“Yes, I know, and the fact that Lord Montvale was old enough to be your grandfather certainly didn’t help.”
“And you don’t understand how he could only have…have taken me once. It’s the truth. After that first time he never touched me. He’d just—look.”
Miranda blushed still at the memories of standing nude before her elderly husband in a pose of his choice, being examined by him and his trusty eyeglass. Even though he hadn’t laid a hand on her, there was something infinitely more uncomfortable about being examined while naked than being held while naked.
“Well, it’s distinctly odd. And it did nothing to prepare you for Nick Barbour, that’s definite,” nodded Letty.
“It sounds as though there is little that would prepare anyone for Nick Barbour,” said Miranda ruefully. “If there wasn’t the matter of ten thousand pounds riding on this silly bet, do you think I’d go within two miles of that man?”
Letitia gazed at her friend, standing tall and proud like an Amazon warrior in black velvet. Privately she considered Miranda an excellent match for Nick Barbour, but knew she’d never be able to voice the opinion out loud.
Carefully, she considered her next words. “Lord Nicholas Barbour has offered ten thousand pounds to the woman who can satisfy him while he is within her body. That should tell you something right there. They say he’s very big, Miranda. So big that none of his mistresses thus far have been able to take him to the point of release inside their bodies. Do you understand?”
“Oh yes, I understand very well…” a small smile curved Miranda’s full lips.
“Let me worry about that, Letty. For ten thousand pounds, I can be the best henhouse for the biggest cock to roost in.”
Letitia gasped and then burst out laughing.
“If anyone can, you can, Miranda dearest. Especially in that gown…”
Both women turned to the glass as Miranda fastened the black velvet mask over the top half of her face.
The gown was sensational against the white of her rounded breasts and the violent red of her hair. Miranda’s eyes glittered through the slits in the velvet mask, and she giggled as she raised her hem slightly and showed off her shockingly black stockings, held up by black ribbon garters. A tiny red satin rose in the center of each garter was the only color she had allowed.
She stood tall, towering over her pregnant friend by almost a foot. Letty knew that if Miranda had not been married so young to Lord Montvale and whisked off to the wilds of Yorkshire, she would have been termed “Goddess” of the Ton within weeks of making her debut.
“Do you have your invitation?” she asked nervously.
“And your carriage?”
“The crest has been covered, the driver is a hire for the evening, and I have taken every precaution, Letty. Stop fussing.”
“How can I not fuss? You have almost no experience with men, yet you have managed to procure an invitation—heaven knows how—to the home of one of the most licentious men in England. There, you intend to seduce him into bed, and get him to scream out his pleasure while he’s buried to the hilt inside you, thus winning you ten thousand pounds. Which you will then take home to Yorkshire with you and use to secure Montvale House in your name. Did I mention everything?”
“There is something very, very wrong with this plan.”
Miranda widened her green eyes and stared innocently through the mask at her friend. “Wrong? How can anything be wrong?”
“Well, what you’re thinking about doing—it’s not—you shouldn’t—you are…”
“I’m a widow who is going to be homeless soon if I don’t get money quickly.” Miranda reached for her cloak. “I won’t be a burden on my friends, and this is as good a way as any to solve my problems, don’t you think?”
She took one last glance into the mirror then turned away and straightened her shoulders. A small smile curved around her generous lips.
“You’re looking forward to it, aren’t you?” asked Letty in disbelief. “You’re actually excited by the idea of seducing one of the biggest rakes in the country, and I’m not just talking about his reputation.”
“You said it yourself, Letty dear. Nick Barbour is quite a man. I cannot, in all fairness, say I am adverse to the idea of—shall we say—trying him on for size?”
Letty sputtered and threw her hands in the air. “You’d better tell me every single detail. Take notes—no, better yet, take measurements.”
The laughter of both women rolled through the entrance hall as they neared the door where Miranda’s carriage was waiting.
Letty reached for her friend and gave her a quick, awkward hug. “Be careful, Miranda. This man is no-one’s toy…”
“Perhaps he’ll be mine by the time this night is over. One never knows. Don’t worry, Letty, I’ll be fine.”
Miranda grinned conspiratorially, and leaned over to drop a light kiss on her friend’s cheek. She turned and left a worried-looking Letty in the middle of her foyer.
Sahara Kelly was born and raised in England, less than twenty miles from Jane Austen’s home. Reading was a major part of her education, as was writing. Dickens, Thackeray, Hardy…Shakespeare of course, all played a large role in forming her literary persona. When her family uprooted to the other side of the Atlantic, Sahara brought her love of books with her, along with her collection of Barbara Cartlands, Ian Flemings and the much-loved Saint series by Leslie Charteris – most of which she still possesses. It wasn’t long before that first novel appeared and the door opened to the world of eBooks some years later. At that point, Sahara never looked back and has been working full time as a writer (and mom) ever since. There are now at least fifty or so books out there with her name on them, and – she hopes – more to come. Not all are Regencies, of course, even though that is a genre so close to her heart. Please feel free to check out her Amazon.com page to see her body of work.
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