Help me welcome Jenna Jaxon to the blog today! She has a special giveaway! ANYONE who comment and leaves an email address will receive an e-copy of her book, Betrothal!
The Scandals of the 18th Century
One of the reasons I decided to set my House of Pleasure
series, of which Only Scandal Will Do is the first book, in the 18th
century instead of the more popular Regency period, was the reputation of the
period for being much wilder, more dangerous, more colorful.I’d been introduced to the Georgian
period--named for the three Hanoverian kings who reigned throughout the
century--in Jo Beverley’s Malloren series and fell in love with the colorful
lifestyle that seems to alternate between the Age of Reason and the Age of
I love the fact that aristocratic men during this period
wore bold colors, powdered wigs, and face paint (in some instances), yet
beneath the surface were deadly competitors skilled with sword and pistol, had
voracious appetites where women were concerned, and could converse on a myriad
of topics that would leave us scratching our heads today.This is the stuff of which heroes are made.
But men don’t always act like heroes.
Shameful behavior dominated the 18th century.Some I managed to include in Only Scandal
Will Do: the death of the Earl of Ferrers--the last peer to be hanged for
murder; the erotic art of Françoise Boucher; and Harris’s List of Prostitutes.
A couple of major scandals also made headlines.
Lady Worsley, a notorious woman who reputedly took 27
lovers, was accused by her husband of spending the night in a hotel with George
Maurice Bisset, a captain attached to the Isle of Wight militia.The exact charge was “criminal conversation.”When charged, Bisset’s story was that Lord
Worsley, the Governor of the Isle of Wight, knew about the affair and even
encouraged it!The trial transcript
suggests that in one instance Lord Worsley assisted Bisset in watching Lady
Worsley take a bath by letting him standing on his shoulders.This testimony drew forth cartoons depicting
the act that inflamed the scandal.After
the trial the Worsleys separated.
The other scandal concerned Sir Paul Joddrell, assigned to
the prestigious post of physician to the Nawab of Arcot in Madras. Soon after
arriving, however, Joddrell was rumored to have conducted a ménage a trois with
his wife and another woman, a Mrs. Cummings.The scandal ended up ruining Joddrell’s reputation; he and his wife were
ostracized by Madras society, his pay from the Nawab was withheld, and he died
destitute in Madras.
With all this wild behavior going on, I figured Duncan would
fit right in.Only Scandal Will Do
is a novel that takes the wicked behavior of the era and turns it into true
romance.I do hope you “Enjoy the
AG: He has the woman of his dreams, but what price will
he have to pay to win her heart?
Kidnapped and sold at auction in a London brothel, Lady
Katarina Fitzwilliam squelches an undeniable attraction to the masked stranger
who purchased her, pits her wits against him, and escapes him and the scandal
that would ruin her life.
Unable to resist temptation in a London brothel, Duncan
Ferrers, Marquess of Dalbury, purchases a fiery beauty. She claims she's a
lady, but how can she be? No lady of his acquaintance in polite society is
anything like her. Then he discovers she is who she says, and that this latest
romp has compromised her reputation. He knows how that is. One more scandal and
he'll be cast out of London society, but he needs a wife who'll provide an heir
to carry on his illustrious family's name. He seeks out Katarina, intending
only to scotch the scandal, but instead finds his heart ensnared. He's betting
their future he'll capture her heart, but does he have what it
takes to win the wager?
WARNING: A blade-wielding heroine who crosses swords with
a master of sensuality.
Only Scandal Will Do:
the marquess said, taking her limp, cold hand. “I have been looking forward to
this moment ever since I heard you were in London.”
That voice sent
shivers down her spine. She remembered well the arrogance in it when he’d
declared himself her master. Soft and silky now, his mouth poised over her
hand, and the words sent searing heat that penetrated her long kidskin gloves.
Only sheer determination kept her from snatching it out of his grasp, and fear
at what might be said if she acted in any way as though she had met this man
before. No one must know.
She made herself
look at his face, into the dark brown eyes that gleamed with…apprehension?
Amusement? Katarina twitched her mouth into what hopefully passed for a smile
and said, “I am delighted to make your acquaintance as well, Lord Dalbury.
Although I must confess that until just now I had not heard your name.”
Although pleased to hear how strong her voice sounded, she feared she might
choke on the lies she spouted. Kat slipped her hand from his and a measure of
Jack was deep in
his conversation with Lord Braeton, completely unconcerned about her. She tried
to refrain from looking at the marquess, but he demanded her attention by
addressing her again.
“I almost missed
the pleasure of making your acquaintance, Lady Katarina. I left the ball just
before midnight, but one of my carriage horses came up lame and I returned to
ask Braeton for the loan of a replacement. Lady Luck surely smiled on me tonight.”
His wide smile seemed genuine, his voice tinged with a hint of relief.
She sighed. Her
last night in England and Lady Luck had to favor this fellow.
He continued on,
disregarding her silence. “I understand from Lord Braeton that you and your
brother only arrived from the colonies three months ago, Lady Katarina.”
She found it hard
to keep her tone civil. “Yes, my lord. We came to England in early February.”
As she had told him before! It helped not to look at his eyes. Instead she
fastened her gaze on his cheek. He would likely carry those scars the rest of
his life. She hoped it hurt his vanity every time he looked in the mirror.
He apparently saw
where her gaze lay, for he ran his finger down the center mark. “Ah, I see you
are curious about my wounds.” He shifted his weight slightly, drawing her a
little away from the others.
“Is it a war
wound, my lord?” she asked, feeling the return of her confidence.
“It is a badge of
honor I wear, given to me by a worthy opponent who I underestimated in many ways.
I now regret the chance encounter, Lady Katarina.” He lowered his voice. “She
did not deserve the treatment she had at my hands. I make my most sincere
apology for doubting her words to me.”
Kat stiffened at
this offering. How could he stand there and try to apologize so cavalierly in a
crowded ballroom? “Whoever she is, then, Lord Dalbury,” she said sweetly, “I
hope your opponent is more forgiving than I would be.”
Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of
historical and contemporary romance. Her historical romance, Only Scandal Will Do, the first in a series
of five interconnecting novels, was released in July 2012. Her contemporary
works include Hog Wild, Almost Perfect, and 7 Days of
Seduction.She is a PAN member of
Romance Writers of America as well as a member of Chesapeake Romance Writers.
Her medieval romance, Time Enough to Love, is being published this year
as a series of three novellas.The first
book, Betrothal, released on April 19th.
Jenna has been
reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager. A
romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist,
suspense, a surprise. She tries to incorporate all of these elements into
her own stories. She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of
pets. When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the
theatre, working with local theatres as a director. She often feels she
is directing her characters on their own private stage.
equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she
starts she just can’t stop.