|Compromising the Marquess.|
Wendy Soliman, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about Compromising the Marquess.
Genre: Regency Romance
Publisher: Carina Press
Buy Links: Carina Press http://bit.ly/TA6VOg Amazon.com http://amzn.to/TZgDHT Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/QllKUf
Length: 83,000 words
Heat Rating: Steamy
Tagline: A sparkling Regency in which a marquess finds his destiny in an impecunious siren with a beautiful voice and a scorching pen.
Leah Elliott and her sister Bethany remove to the south coast, where Leah makes a living by picking up tidbits of gossip for a scandal sheet about the local family of consequence, the Forsters. She erroneously reports that the marquess, Hal Forster, is about to marry a local lady. To make up for her mistake, Leah offers to act as Hal's paramour. In return he agrees to educate her in matters of romantic love, acting out scenes from Fanny Hill, a book which they have both read.
Leah discovers that Hal has a young Frenchman hidden on his boat, which makes her suspicious. During a grand ball at Forster Hall, the Frenchman kidnaps Leah, using her to lure Hal into a trap. Using her wits, Leah manages to warn the man she has fallen in love with that he's in deadly peril. Managing to overcome his foes, Hal concentrates on discovering the truth behind the fire that killed Leah's father and supposedly destroyed the rare books he so treasured. His efforts lead them both into more danger when they have a deadly confrontation with a scoundrel at an inn in the backstreets of London.
Has Leah led the man she loves into a trap from which he's unable to escape.
What are your main characters' names, ages and occupations?
My Hero, Hal Forster, is Marquess of Denby. Aged thirty, he not only carries out covert assignments for the government but also has responsibility for his three younger siblings.
At 21 Leah Elliott must support herself and her sister by whatever means she can. If that means writing gossip for a scurrilous scandal sheet then so be it.
"What's going on?" she asked.
"Dunno, but I think it might be a mill."
"A bare-knuckle fight."
"I know what a mill is."
But she'd never seen one and wasn't sure if she actually wanted to. A moment's indecision was all it took to bring her to her senses. She was here to investigate and she couldn't back down now, just because she didn't much care for the sight of blood.
She could see money changing hands. A man in a threadbare greatcoat and top hat was accepting bets. There was almost a carnival atmosphere as the group swelled in numbers, trading rowdy greetings and good-natured insults. Men stamped their feet, impatient for the activity to begin, others busied themselves with foaming tankards of ale.
After about fifteen minutes, two men appeared, stripped to the waist. Clearly, they were the fighters. Leah crawled out of her hiding place.
"Here, where are you going, miss?"
"To watch, of course."
"I don't think you should--"
"Nonsense! This is very interesting."
Before Jonny could formulate further objections, Leah crept to the edge of the ring of men, standing on her toes and peering between their shoulders to get the best view that she could. The easiest place to hide was in a crowd. Besides, she'd never seen a man anything other than fully clothed before. If she was to be a full-fledged reporter, she really needed to broaden her horizons.
Frankly, she was rather fascinated by what she saw. Muscled torsos, at least when their owners were literally fighting fit, were strangely compelling. Perhaps she could write something about that for the paper--give a female's point of view without making it too apparent that it was written by a woman. Mr. Morris might find that sufficiently different to appeal.
When the fighting started, Leah was impressed by the combatants' skill. She was equally horrified by their brutality and single-minded determination to inflict as much damage on one another as possible. Kill or be killed, she supposed, hoping that thought didn't reflect their true purpose.
The two men danced round each another, seeming to know exactly when to strike. The noise was deafening as the spectators screamed for blood. They shouted encouragement and raucous comments, as though men beating the life out of one another was a cause for celebration. Leah felt she ought to be repelled but became caught up in the excitement of the event in spite of her misgivings. The smaller man's nose cracked beneath an especially vicious blow that he failed to avoid. The crowd erupted into loud cheering as his opponent went in for the kill, pounding the poor man's face until it was a river of blood.
Leah looked away, feeling slightly sick but unwilling to admit as much to Jonny. Not that he would have noticed. He was totally taken up with the spectacle, face shining as he cheered loudly each time a blow landed. Leah directed her gaze round the clearing, seemingly the only person present not entirely focused on the fight. If someone was using the event as cover for something illegal, she ought to have been alert to that possibility rather than following the action, willing the smaller man to succeed.
"Have you seen anything suspicious?" she asked Jonny.
"Only that chap's left hook," Jonny replied, his gaze still fastened on the fight.
"Oh, my goodness, the small man's got up again." Leah felt extreme agitation. "Surely he ought to stay down. We must do something to stop this!" She dashed forward. "He'll be killed if we don't."
Jonny grabbed her arm, showing a surprising amount of strength for such a thin youth. "You'll be the one killed if you try that."
"Maybe, but this is barbaric--"
"The small chap knows he has to fight on. There would be a riot if he gave in so easily."
"So easily? He just--"
Another loud cheer, Jonny contributing to it as enthusiastically as anyone. "Did you see that, miss? I told you the little guy wasn't finished. He just planted the big chap a right facer."
Leah blinked, hardly able to believe her eyes. The larger man was now the one prostrate on the ground. His smaller opponent stood over him on swaying legs, blood covering his torso, ready to strike again if his foe was foolish enough to stir. It seemed that he wasn't. The fight was over.
Men started to move and Leah suddenly had a clear view of the men standing across from her. She gasped when she noticed a tall man in well-cut clothes, blond hair tied back in a queue, looking directly at her.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I owe that to the wonderful British Romantic Novelists' Association. I joined when I started writing seriously and thanks to their New Writer's Scheme was able to find a home for my first five regencies with a small London publisher.
If you could change something about your first book, what would it be?
Just about everything! I think I made the mistake common to new writers and way overwrote the thing. Far too many adjectives and 'telling not showing'. I couldn't see it at the time, of course, but when I came to re-release the book with an e-publisher, I was able to put that right.
How do you cope with stress as an author?
Wine helps – a lot! So too does chocolate and going for long solitary walks with my dog to clear my head and make sense of life.
Which statement is more like you?
"I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because I do things as fast as possible."
Please complete the sentences
I love pizza with wine.
I'm always ready for wine.
When I'm alone I drink wine.
You'd never be able to tell, but I love wine.
If I had a halo it would be tipsy.
If I could fly I could avoid airports for the rest of my life.
I can never relax because I've always got stories waiting to be told.
Lady Hartley's Inheritance
The Social Outcast
The Carstairs' Conspiracy
A Bittersweet Proposal
A Reason to Rebel
Of Dukes and Deceptions
A Scandalous Proposition
The Perfect Impostor
A Class Apart
The Name of the Game
Books Coming Soon
The Forsters # 2 – Beguiling the Barrister – Carina Press June 2013
The Forsters # 3 – Finessing the Contessa
Lethal Business – Carina Press – March 2013
Forgotten Heiress – Samhain February 2013
I'm giving away a copy of Compromising the Marquess. Just leave a comment here, along with your contact details, telling me why you enjoy Regency romances. Good luck!
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