Monday, 26 November 2012

Compromising the Marquess

Welcome to the Hot Autumn Nights Blog Hop. 

Grand Prize!

In addition to the giveaway at each blog, one commenter from the tour will win a $140 gift card to Barnes & Noble or Amazon, winners choice.
So, what's my idea of a hot autumn night? Well, as a Brit now living in warmer climes, I get very nostalgic come autumn. For me it conjures up images of roaring log fires, the curtains closed against the nasty weather, a decent glass of wine close at hand and, naturally, a good book.

If I’m not reading someone else’s, I’m either busy writing one or dreaming up a plot for the next one. Plot ideas come in the strangest guises and at the most unexpected times. Take Compromising the Marquess for instance. It’s the first in a four book series published by Carina Press charting the fortunes of the Forster dynasty. The idea for it came to me when I was watching Prince William’s wedding. That got me thinking about his mother and how the paparazzi had hounded her to her death. That, in turn, got me thinking about the history of newspapers in England.

The Times started out as the Daily Universal Register in 1785. An underwriter at Lloyds incurred huge losses due to a hurricane in Jamaica and sought to recoup them through a typesetting process, producing advertising sheets to promote the venture. This, in time, led to the infamous scandal sheets that abounded in the Regency period, so loved by the ordinary people, and that could make or break reputations.

My heroine Leah supports herself and her sister by writing snippets of society gossip for one such publication. When she and Beth remove to the south coast for the benefit of Beth’s health, Leah’s opportunities are severely curtailed, until she meets the powerful and compelling Hal Forster, Marquess of Denby. She erroneously reports that he’s about to marry a local lady, thereby putting him in a compromising position. Worse, she suspects him of working against British interests. Disguised as a lad, she attends a bare knuckle fight held behind the local tavern, which is where she first meets Hal. He sees through her disguise immediately and this is how he talks to her:-

Hal felt a devilish desire to teach her a lesson. “Come inside, lads, and have some ale. It’s cold as the grave out here.”
“No, it’s all right,” she said. Hal shot the woman—Miss Elliott, was it?—an inquisitive glance. She looked away, apparently realizing that she’d spoken in her own voice. “We need to be getting back.” This time her words were a gravelly slur, partly because she’d pulled a muffler over her mouth, covering half her features with it, but leaving the row of freckles that bedecked her retroussé nose delightfully exposed. Hal hadn’t known that he held freckles in such high regard.
“Nonsense.” Hal clapped her on the back. She flinched but gamely stood her ground. “I wouldn’t hear of it.”
“Oh, very well then.”
The dog inserted itself between Hal and the woman as the three of them walked towards the tavern. It alternately growled and wagged, proving itself to be a most inept guardian.
Hal bent to scratch its ears. “What do you call the mutt?”
“Pickle,” said the lad. “He’s a stray.”
“Nice dog.”
“He’s good at catching rats,” the girl said with the hint of a mischievous smile.
Ah, so she knew who he was. “I’ll bear that in mind if I ever find my home infested.”
They entered the tavern. It was packed but Hal managed to secure a small table in the corner and ordered tankards of ale for the three of them. They were plonked on the table by a barmaid whose bosom literally spilled out of her bodice as she leaned over Hal’s shoulder. She roared with laughter, adjusted her clothing and directed a cheeky wink at him. Ale slopped over the table, trickling onto the girl’s lap. Hal had to resist the urge to wipe it away.
Miss Elliott’s eyes almost popped out of her head as she looked round the place. It must have been obvious that there were many gentlemen present, congenially rubbing shoulders with the lower classes, all rank forgotten as they bonded over a sporting event. His brother Robert was leaning against the bar, deep in conversation with a crew member from Hal’s boat.
The few wenches in the place were rushed, quite literally, off their feet as men paid for their favours. Miss Elliott’s gaze was fixed on Sally, a regular at the Boar’s Head, who was all but giving herself to a bosun at the next table. Hal nodded at the bosun—his own bosun, as it happened. He took the hint, stood up and led Sally outside.
“Want a piece of Sally, do you, lad?”
“Er, no, of course not.” The girl shook her head. “Whatever do you mean?”
“Come on now, we’re all men of the world here and I saw you looking.” Hal was hard-pressed to keep his amusement in check. “I can arrange it, if you like, once she’s free. Shouldn’t be long.”
“Er, no thanks.”
“What’s your name, boy?”
“Leon. What’s yours?”
Hmm, clever. Flick had mentioned her name was Leah. “Henry,” he said truthfully. “Haven’t seen you around these parts before. Where do you work?”
“We’re…er, looking for work. This is my brother, Jonny.”
“What sort of work are you after?”
“Anything that pays.”
“Well, I might be able to help you there. Are you willing to go to sea?”
“No,” said Jonny.
“Yes,” said the girl.
Hal leaned back and flashed an amiable smile. “Well, which is it?”
“We have a few possibilities on land,” Miss Elliott said, appearing to recall that she had the welfare of an ailing sister to consider. “Besides, now that I think about it, I get seasick.”
“That’s unfortunate.” Hal lifted his tankard and hid a smile behind it. He was enjoying himself enormously, pitting his wits against the girl. She was quick on the uptake but no match for him. “You haven’t touched your ale, Leon. Something wrong with it?”
She picked up the tankard, took too long a draught and choked on it. Hal reached across and slapped her across her narrow shoulders.
“Sorry, did I hurt you?” Hal smiled at the chit. “A strong lad like you. Didn’t think you’d hurt so easily.”
“It’s nothing.” She hid her face behind her tankard, much as Hal had done earlier, presumably in the vain hope of disguising a fiery blush.
“We’d better be getting along, mi…I mean, Leon,” Jonny said, draining his tankard and standing up.
“Oh?” Hal raised one brow. “Do you have to be somewhere?”
“Well, er…there might be some work for us tomorrow and so we have to be up early to stand a chance of being taken on.”
Hal stood also, focusing his attention on Miss Elliott, who remained seated. He could vaguely detect the swell of her breasts, even though he suspected that she’d bound them before covering them with several layers of clothing. “Well, if you change your mind about the work at sea, you can always find me here.”
“What sort of work would it be?” she asked, ignoring Jonny when he tugged at her sleeve. Presumably he’d noticed more than one person glancing at her with speculative interest as soon as she stood up and displayed her appealing posterior. Hal should have anticipated that but he’d been having too much fun teasing her and, for once, had relaxed his guard.
“Oh, just general deckhand duties. You wouldn’t mind that so much, would you, Leon? Bunking down with a lot of other lads can be quite jolly.”
Miss Elliott swallowed, her blush deepening. “Well, I—”
“Not shy, are you? We’re all made the same way.” The extent of Hal’s desire to discover exactly how Miss Elliott was put together surprised him. That tempting derriere, those deliciously slender thighs, caused no end of inappropriate thoughts to tumble through his head. He didn’t need the distraction of inquisitive virgins to deflect him from his purpose.

Compromising the Marquess – A sparkling Regency in which a marquess finds his destiny in an impecunious siren with a beautiful voice and a scorching pen.

I' m giving a copy of Compromising the Marquess away. Just leave a comment, and your contact details, telling me what you most enjoy about Regency romances. Good luck!

Compromising the Marquess Available from Carina Press
Barnes & Noble

Find out more about me and my books at my website:
I’m on Facebook as Wendy Soliman – Author or follow me on twitter @wendyswriter

Thanks for stopping by.



  1. In Regency romances I enjoy romance (of course), fashion, but mostly the manners of that time cause it makes the chemistry between characters more interesting and appealing to me. :)


  2. Regency romances are not my fav, but I love the clothes! bookedandloadedATgmailDOTcom

  3. i love the gallentness of the time

  4. I'm not a big fan of regency romance but the clothes are usually gorgeous!

    raynman1979 at yahoo dot com

  5. Cozy warm on my couch with special treats all kids asleep and my Kindle. Thanks for the chance to win some great prizes.


  6. I like time and language about regency romances the most :)

  7. I love snuggling up under blankets and then reading a book by the fireplace

  8. What I love about Regency romances, I love the era period, the clothing is beautiful , I love how the guys are gentlemen even when they might be rakes.

    Dawna Newman

  9. I love Regency romances because the men were gentlemen with good manners.


  10. reading them on a long night at work
    kimberly holgate

  11. My ideal for an autumn night, in my lounge chair with a thow. My favorite dog on my lap. And finally, a book in my hand. Ahh heaven.

    Now with my sweetie, suggling on the couch and laughter. Not only is it a turn on, it's hot! Amazon, kindle ebook.

  12. I adore the Regency time period. Rakes and ballgowns are awesome!


  13. I've always loved Regency stories, from the first time a read a Georgette Heyer - they are so romantic with the gowns & balls and focus on marriage, plus they often have some fun adventure thrown in.

    sallans d at yahoo dot com

  14. I really enjoy reading Regency books Thank you for the great giveaway! What a fun blog hop thanks for the chance!
    Latisha D

  15. I love a great cup of coffee or two....and my Kindle. I love this time period.

  16. Regency is fun to read because it's so different from my day to day life.
    A regency romance would go great with a nice Autumn night...LOL

    koonie2888 at yahoo dot com

  17. The book sounds AMAZING!! Thanks for the giveaway!


  18. My perfect night is hot chocolate and two kitties curled up.

    smurfettev AT gmail DOT com

  19. I'm a huge fan of Regency romances - the warm burning hearths, chicken broth simmering in a cauldron over a pit fire, the goose feather pellet to sleep on - that's the way to spend an Autumn night. It might be primitive by modern standards but there is a dreamy feel in historical romances. Regency Romances are timeless and inspire me all year round. Love them.
    susan_francesny[at] hotmail[dot]com

  20. I love the forbbideness of love between the characters!
    Thanks for the great giveaway!

    kacidesigns AT yahoo DOT com

  21. I am a lover of almost all romance genre but I'm not a reader of regency, historical or victorian romances. I have a hard time relating to the characters. I'm sure they are wonderful to those who enjoy them. I also appreciate how much work goes into writing them because of the history facts.

    Thanks for the opportunity to meet you and share.

    Belinda G
    belgre AT comcast DOT net

  22. I love every kind of romance book!

  23. I love anything romance.
    magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

  24. The reason I love regency books is just everything about them. I love all the lords and ladies and the balls and gowns and all the strange little societal rules.

    JYL22075 at gmail dot com

  25. I love all kind of romance books and it depends on what kind of mood I'm in which I read.
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

  26. Regency romance is what I cut my teeth on in the romance department. So it's hard to tell why I love reading them.

    Raonaid at

  27. Terrific blog. Great hopping with you.


  28. I love reading romance because there is always a HEA!
    Thanks for contest

  29. Thanks for sharing the great post :)
    Seems like it'll be a great read...


  30. I am not a huge fan of Regency Romance, but I know my sister is. She says its because it was such a time of beauty and manners. I personally don't get it, but I know she would enjoy your book. I will have to pass your name on to her. (Unless I win, then I will get to pass on a book and be a Hero *g*)

    Thanks for a great giveaway.

  31. Thanks for the amazing giveaway!
    elizabeth @ bookattict . com

  32. Thanks for the awesome hop and giveaway! Best wishes and many blessings to you and yours! :)