New Release!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Join The Wicked Summer Fun! #FreeStuff #GC #Erotic #Erotica #BDSM Lite

Hello and welcome to my post for the Close Encounters of the Wicked Kind Scavenger Hunt! Thank you to Nikki for organizing and hosting this wonderful, wicked event.
I am so happy that you've decided to visit my world of erotic historical romance set in England and America, mostly in the Georgian and Regency era. You can read more about my writing in the right sidebar ----->
So, how's your summer 2013 going so far? I hope you have lots of fun on this wicked scavenger hunt and good luck on winning.
There are TWO giveaways that you can enter:
1. The first one is my blog contest for an Amazon Gift Card. Please fill out the first Rafflecopter at the end of this post, open to all USA residents, aged 18 and older.
2. The second giveaway is an entry for the seriously HUGE Scavenger Hunt Grand Prize. To enter for this giveaway, read the excerpt at the end of this post. Be prepared to answer my question and then fill it in the second Rafflecopter under my name: Natasha Blackthorne.
Here's the question: What specific action/behavior makes Jeanne think that David has suffered a head injury in the war? (Enter your answers on the grand prize Rafflecopter. Please don't put your answer in comments.)

What are other people saying about HER MYSTERY DUKE?


Five Stars From Salacious Reads

"This is another book I simply adored…Her Mystery Duke is another wonderful example of Natasha’s writing and in my humble little opinion historical romance at its best. She always has the right amount of everything going on in her stories, but mainly the base element which is’s hot and downright sexxy... 

Her Mystery Duke is a well executed and thought provoking read. If you have a love of Historical Romances with an erotic twist to the tale…then ladies!…ladies, you have to read Natasha’s work. You will become a fan…I guarantee it."  To read the entire review,please click the button below:


Five Stars From The Lusty Penguin

"Her Mystery Duke, a well-crafted novel brimming with historical detail and entertaining and memorable characters, draws the reader into another stunning and charismatic erotic romance by Natasha Blackthorne.

Jeanne Darling, an aspiring writer and alone since her father’s death, fears her only worth is as a man’s plaything. David Somerville, a delicious alpha male, is a powerful Duke who falls for the much younger Jeanne. Their sexual chemistry is scorching hot from their first intimate encounter, which includes light bondage elements, and sets the tone for their future sexual liaisons...

Blackthorne’s skillful character growth and evocative scenes excite the reader and make Her Mystery Duke a delightfully seductive read." To read entire review, click here.

Five Stars From My Reading Obsession

"Her Mystery Duke is a fantastic historical romance, it is also an outstanding erotic romance together they are one of the better books out so far this year...

David is everything you expect from a Regency era Duke but so much more, he is aloof and demanding at the same time very protective and understanding. By allowing the characters pasts to be unfolded throughout the story we are drawn deeper into them and understand there motivations and fears...

We are treated to many extremely seductive sensual scenes throughout the book as we follow the relationship, political intrigue, class struggles as well as the forming of a unique bond between David and Jeanne..."  Click to read the entire review.


“Smokin' Hot Regency...” Five Stars

"Smokin' Hot Regency...The book shows a wonderful progression of an unusual relationship between Jeanne an David, especially with the social gap between them...The ending is a lovely one, and it doesn't tie up all the issues with a halcyon outlook. It's pretty clear they will still have challenges to work through, but together.

The sex was seriously erotic and totally appropriate. David was a very thoughtful and firm dominant lover to Jeanne's flowering and opening submissive. For me the best dominant is an observant and thoughtful one with, and a good BDSM story has to have this type of dominant man, in control of his own desires, highly aware of and responsive to his submissive's needs and cues, and insistent on honest communication of feelings from both sides. After reading A Measured Risk and after reading Her Mystery Duke, I had the same desire - I want a man like that for my own!"  ~ Reader review from Karen.

Five Stars From Let's Get Romantical

"This classy, very well written tale brings you back in time.

 Its sexy, sensual and erotic...

I enjoyed the characters in this book. These 2 characters had chemistry. They were complete opposites in society but that didn’t stop them. The storyline was very engaging it had me glued to my kindle.

 I know I can depend on Natasha to always deliver a unique refreshing tale that has lots of passion, lust and romance.

This book is a must read, you will NOT be disappointed."  To read the entire review,please click here.

Five Stars From Author Patricia Green

"Her Mystery Duke is an excellent novel with a believable heroine and good plot development. I enjoyed the erotic aspects of the book, and found the characters to be human but romanticized in the best possible way...The hero is...masterful, experienced, and not quite perfect...Their erotic play is totally consensual, sexy and satisfying.

And never fear, there’s a happy ending waiting for you.

I love Natasha Blackthorne’s books. Her work stands out among historical erotic romance writers. I highly recommend this book." To read the entire review,please click here.

Five Stars from reader Lisa Jo

 " I just loved this book…I loved Jeanne Darling (she was a darling!)…I also love David Somerville, the stuffy, alpha Duke of Hartley who also turned out to be such a tender soul…

Tender moments, HOT BONDAGE, feisty heroine...Everything a good erotic historical novel should have." A review for HER MYSTERY DUKE by reader Lisa Jo.

Erotica Romance ~ Light BDSM ~ Rubenesque / BBW ~ Regency
Historical ~ May-Dec ~ Novel Length, approx. 85,000 words. For Adults 18+ Only.

Is he the answer to all her naughty dreams?




Chapter One

London, England

January 1813


Indecent. The tall gentleman’s stare was the most blatantly indecent assault Jeanne

had ever encountered. Deeper than intense. Intimate, as though he knew everything thing

about her.

That penetrating gaze set her palms sweating and made her mouth dry. It was a

direct threat. No one could possibly know her. She kept herself too well protected,

hidden beneath layers of aloof disinterest. Yet she found herself unable to look away.

She just sat there and let that gaze burn her. Burn through the wall she kept between

herself and the world. It even seeped under her skin and melted her blood into warmed


A single pane of rain-splattered glass separated them. The thudding of her heart in

her ears blocked out the sounds from the common room of the coffee shop and created a

sense of isolation.

He wore no hat and his hair lay plastered like spilt black ink streaked across his

high, broad forehead. Rain dripped over hard, chiseled cheekbones, down an aquiline

nose and square jaw, over shoulders that were made even more impossibly broad by a

dark blue greatcoat.

He was like something from a dream. A harlot’s very naughty dream.

Oh, really. A handsome, mysterious stranger, one who was intensely interested in

her and seemed to know all about her? Her imagination was running away with her,

taking on a life of its own. She closed her eyes and shook her head slightly. The wine

hadn’t been that strong as to make her conjure carnal fantasies in mid-afternoon. In

public. She dared to look again.

The tall gentleman was gone.

There, see? An author of fairy stories couldn’t be fooled by a waking dream. And

yet cold, heaviness sank through her insides, a feeling of loss. How utterly ridiculous.

Irritated with herself, Jeanne bent over her mug, inhaling the fruity, spicy scent of

mulled wine, and listened to the low rumble of conversations around her. Mrs. Roberts

had a new blue bonnet and she was preening like a peacock. Mr. Taylor announced to

his friends that he’d just become engaged to Miss Smith and his companions were

alternately ribbing and toasting him.

Once a week, she ventured from her garret to this coffee shop to be among people,

as an observer. A customer, keeping a protective distance.

“Miss Darling.” The slightly nervous, boyish voice broke into her peace. “You

usually come here on Saturday.”

She forced the irritation from her expression and looked up to meet his freckled

face. “Yes, Paul, this week I decided on a change.”

She kept her tone cool and polite, as always.

Mr. Ratherford, her publisher, had sent a note, informing her that she should present

herself at his offices in two weeks and bring the fairy tales he’d requested. As an author

of children’s stories, she’d been working for months on the stories but she still had one

more story to write, the grand finale in what she hoped would be a published leatherbound volume of the stories. However, she’d been unable to write for several weeks.

The harder she tried to create a story, the less she liked anything she wrote. Today, that

note had put her into a state of desperation. She’d come here to try and stimulate her

mind. It had worked a little too well judging from the daydream of the handsome,

mysterious stranger.

“A special occasion?” Paul’s words cut into her thoughts again.

Oh bother! She took a deep breath and struggled to find more patience. Once Paul

Cook started, he never let up. But he was just a boy, and a kind one at that. She bit back

an impatient response.

Her concentration, her peace, however: they were gone. Never mind. The wind was

howling with more intensity outside, and the winter’s day was growing dark far too

early. It was time to leave.

As she reached down to retrieve her reticule, the odor of wet wool intruded on her

senses, mingled with the citrus-soapy scent of a gentleman’s shaving lotion. A body

close to hers. Too close. She jerked her head up and faced her waking dream.

His greatcoat was opened to reveal a fine, silk, embroidered waistcoat that

encompassed a broad chest, which narrowed into a flat-as-boards stomach. Water

dripped from his hair, leaving wet spots on his hopelessly crushed cravat. He didn’t

seem to be aware of his dishevelment.

She met his eyes. His gaze intensified, turning to brilliant, intimidating greenish fire,

like an emerald catching the sunlight. Thick, dark lashes and heavy black brows made

the color appear even richer.


His voice was deep yet hushed and utterly masculine. It sent another curl of heat

through her, stronger, penetrating all the way down from her chest to her navel and into

her womb. However, it was the note of despair that made her catch her breath.

Pressure swelled in her throat, a pang of sympathy. Sympathy for others was the

most dangerous emotion of all. It could lead one to make painful, unwise sacrifices.

She’d never had such an immediate reaction like this to any man. Tingles raced from

her midsection to her toes, not arousal this time but an urge to run. He was dangerous.

And Thérèse? Clearly he was grossly mistaken. Or foxed.

She stood, then took a deep breath, released it, and raised her brows in a haughty

mask. “Pardon me, sir?”

His expression sharpened. He took her arm, harshly. “Don’t toy with me.”

She pulled back and he tightened his grip. His hand was large. His hold stronger

than any gentleman she’d known.

He leaned so close she could have brushed her lips against his. “Don’t pretend that

you don’t know me!”

His deep, hushed voice sent pleasurable shivers through her but Jeanne pushed the

sensation aside. As his hot breath wafted over her, she inhaled deeply but couldn’t

detect any odor of spirits. Nor were the pupils of his eyes dilated, as they might be if he

were under the influence of some strong drug. Prickles raced over her scalp like a

thousand needles.

Perhaps the gentleman wasn’t in full control over his mental faculties. Dear God.

Just like Papa. She’d spent her youth caring for her father in his varying stages of

insanity. Life with him had become a prison. Since his death, she had lived in fear of the

unbalanced. Another series of prickles raced over her scalp.

She met the stranger’s gaze levelly. “What’s your game?”

“Thérèse, don‘t be this way.” His whisper, laced with steel, was so low, that she

unwittingly leaned closer. “We needn’t make any dramatics here. We’re going home.”

This near to him, Jeanne noted the glassiness of his eyes. Again, she sniffed. No hint

of alcohol. But then again, having experienced all of Papa’s variances of sanity, she had

an instinct for spotting others who were likewise afflicted. This man was definitely

afflicted in his mind.

This was the exact situation she always dreaded. Since her girlhood, she always

watched others, seeking any sign of madness. She’d had to cope with Papa, that had

been her duty, but she was always careful to keep others who showed any inkling of

mental instability at a safe distance. How stupid of her to have let herself be distracted

by this man’s masculine beauty.

Angry at herself, she jerked her arm, trying once again to free herself. His grip

remained relentless.

“Thérèse!” Again, the low steely whisper. “Behave yourself.”

How unwise of her. An insane person could react unpredictably. She ought not to

provoke him. Yet she knew it was important to present a strong, confident front.

“Sir, I am not your Thérèse and have no wish to be. So please unhand me.” Her

heart was hammering at her chest wall so violently, she had trouble keeping her voice

even. She lifted her chin and stared at him steadily. “Now.”

“You are deliberately pushing me, Thérèse. I don’t appreciate it.”

Boots sounded on the floorboards. The sound drew her attention to how quiet the

public room had become. She glanced around. The other patrons were staring.

“Miss Darling, is everything all right?”

The tall gentleman turned to Paul and regarded him with an icy, haughty stare. “The

lady is a friend. Please go back to your counter and mind your business.”

At the velvet over iron tone, the young man’s eyes grew round. He took one step

backward and then another, then stood looking uneasy.

“Are you having a spot of trouble here, Miss Darling?”

Jeanne turned to face the shop owner, a large, barrel-chested man.

The stranger exhaled long and loud. A sound of complete exasperation. “As I told

the boy, the lady is a rather close friend. I would appreciate a little privacy.”

The shop owner turned to her. “Miss Darling?”

Her heart froze and her chest constricted. She placed a hand to her throat. She didn’t

know what to say.

“The gent don’t look right to me.” The owner’s wife squinted at the stranger.

Jeanne glanced at the gentleman’s handsome profile and the proud jut of his jaw. He

gazed at her sideways and she caught her breath. There was something about that brief

gaze. A lost, disorientated air. Just like Papa when he had been in one of his worst

spells and he was trying to hide it by acting arrogantly assertive.

But she had seen. The stranger was truly not in his right mind.

He swayed then braced his large hands on the back of the chair and caught himself.

Arrogance fell over his face like a mask.

Jeanne’s throat ached. He was so vulnerable. So alone.

Mrs. Cook motioned to the chair Jeanne had vacated. “Sir, you better sit.”

The gentleman stared at the matron—well, rather he glowered down his nose at her.

“If you please, the lady and I have some personal business to attend to.”

His eyes jerked from side to side. At the alarming motion, Jeanne started. He

seemed to lurch forward. She looked down and saw his hands gripping the chair back.

The knuckles were white. The ache in her throat increased.


Jeanne glanced back at Mrs. Cook. The woman wrinkled her forehead. “Go fetch

Dr. Miller.”

Paul walked to the door.

“Quickly now.” Mrs. Cook’s voice carried urgency and she made a shooing motion.

A doctor.

Memories rose in Jeanne’s mind. Her father screaming, his face contorted in torment

as the doctor painted yet another mustard plaster on his skin in an attempt to draw the

poisonous humors out. The endless purges and emetics. The excruciating blisters on his

skin and the agonizing dry heaves. None of it did anything to cure Papa’s mad fits and

mental lapses. And then finally, the insane asylum.

It is how they would deal with this obviously touched gentleman. As though her

stays had suddenly shrunk, her chest constricted. No, no, it wasn’t her place to step out

of her way to aid this gentleman. He wasn’t her responsibility. She owed him nothing.

Her breathing came shorter, faster. It wasn’t safe to stick one’s neck out. And yet the

words rose. She tried to hold them back but they burst out, “There‘s no need for a


Mrs. Cook frowned deeper. “But he called you Thérèse. That’s a French girl’s

name, not yours.”

“He is calling me by my middle name.” Jeanne held her breath and waited to see if

this lie would be accepted.

Mrs. Cook blinked several times. “You have a French middle name?”

“Yes. My mother’s mother was French.” Another lie.

The matron’s eyes narrowed. “Just how does this gentleman know you? He seems

very well off to be on familiar terms with a decent girl from around here.”

Jeanne caught herself biting her lip. She quickly released it and gave the first answer

that came to mind. “He’s my cousin, on my mother’s side, twice removed.”

Again, Mrs. Cook blinked a few times then her mouth twisted until she looked like

she’d just tasted a particularly sour lemon.

“My cousin is not well.”

“Apparently. More likely drunk as a lord.” Mrs. Cook’s tone became sourer than her

expression. “I don’t like this.”

“Pardon me?” Jeanne tried for genteel outrage.

Mrs. Cook’s tone became sharper. “I have known you since you started coming here

on Saturdays with your Papa. I always thought you were such a dedicated daughter. A

good girl. But I don’t like having fancy pieces courting trade in my shop.”

“Mrs. Cook, this man is my cousin.”

“A wealthy relation who didn’t help you when your dear Papa was ill?”

“My cousin was out of the country at that time—he was in India, making his


Mrs. Cook looked from Jeanne to the gentleman and back. Several times. “I don’t

see any family resemblance.”

Jeanne swallowed against a tightening throat. Could everyone hear the pounding of

her heart? “I favor my father’s side. He—he is my cousin.”

Her voice came out so strained that she cringed internally.

The matron’s expression hardened. “I think you met this gentleman under less than

respectable conditions. Perhaps in a place where you’re known by a false name, a fancy

French name to make yourself sound more interesting to wealthy gentlemen.”

Jeanne’s mouth dried and anxiety twisted her insides. “That’s not how it happened.”

“I’d appreciate if you took your cousin and left. I’d also appreciate if you never

came back. I run a decent shop here, not a place of disorderly assignation.”

Jeanne sucked in a deep breath. That had hurt. More than she wished to admit. This

was her place of comfort and respite when her isolation became too much. And she was

a horrible liar. But what else could she have done? Consigned this poor soul to

Bedlam? Oh God. She’d known he was dangerous. Why hadn’t she listened to that inner


She glanced up at the gentleman. He was gazing at her with an odd, confused

expression. Might he be ill, instead of insane? Surely, if he were that ill, he’d be in bed.

She reached a hand to him. “Let’s leave.”

The gentleman released the chair then took her hand and laced his fingers with hers

as naturally as though he’d always done so. “Come, Thérèse.”

They walked sedately out of the coffee shop, just like that, with their hands


The rain had let up yet the wind still gusted. With her free hand, she readjusted her

scarf. His hold remained firm on her hand until they had traveled a block away. The

strength of his grip sent prickles of fear darting into her. He could easily overpower

her, if his insane whim so dictated.

He stopped just as they were about to turn the corner, and he looked down at her. A

slight smile softened his mouth. “My darling.”

Dear heavens, he was such a gorgeous man. But he was still a madman. Dangerous,

utterly dangerous. Any sensible person knew well to be frightened of the insane, she

more than anyone. She returned his smile but only to placate him.

“Are we headed in the proper direction for the mews?” he asked.

“Yes, we are. They are just down this street and to the right.”

“Esau has the carriage there.”

Well, there it was. She’d done her part keeping him out of the clutches of an

overzealous doctor. God and this Esau fellow would have to watch over him now. She

wasn’t about to get anywhere near his carriage and risk him shoving her bodily into it.

She offered another, hopefully warm, smile.

She must have succeeded for he relaxed his grip on her hand and they resumed

walking. As they rounded the corner, she slipped her hand from his.

And ran.


Her heart pounded and she ran faster.

“Stop, please. For the love of God!” His tone was hollow with desolation. Her

sympathy panged her yet again. Unwittingly, she glanced over her shoulder.

Wind whipped the gentleman’s dark forelock. He leaned against a street lamp, one

hand holding his side. He appeared to be panting for breath, his expression a mask of

loss and despair.

Just like Papa. She’d seen those emotions on her father’s face too many times. But

the expression appeared so out of place on such an arrogant, masculine face. Her heart

constricted. She turned back to face the direction she was running and put all her energy

into it.

Something came between her foot and the pavement. She lost her balance and fell

forward. As the bricks rose to meet her, she threw her hands out to brace her fall. She

cried out then reeled from the fall. Her arm began to burn like fire. She knew she

wouldn’t be able to run easily for much longer.

She hauled herself to her feet and scanned the shop fronts.

Mrs. Mason’s Bakery.

Relief washed over her. Mrs. Mason had always been friendly. She had even given

her day-old bread on days when she couldn’t pay.

She darted into the shop and the scent of baking bread and spicy cinnamon and

apples comforted her.

“Good day, Miss Darling!” Mrs. Mason sang out. “What shall it be today?

“I think I’ll have whatever smells of apples and spice.”

“You sit and I’ll bring it right out.”

Jeanne sank into the nearest chair. Moments later, Mrs. Mason brought hot tea and

apple pie. But Jeanne found the pie tasted like ashes and could only manage a few tiny

bites. Unable to stop twitching and fidgeting, she kept catching herself glancing back at

the window.

She jerked her head away.

No, don’t look. He is not your affair.

She forced herself to focus on Mrs. Mason’s steady chatter. The wind made a long,

low, threatening howling sound. Such a dreadful day. What about—

No, he isn’t your responsibility.

A loud crash seemed to rumble through her body and shake her bones and resound in

the pit of her stomach.

What happened? An accident? A carriage trying to avoid a disorientated pedestrian

and yet hitting them all the same?

She jumped to her feet and rushed to the window. Some crates had blown over. Men

were shouting and running about. The sky had grown darker.

Against all her caution, her gaze was drawn back to the direction whence she had


Oh God, there he was, staggering down the street in a wavering pattern. For such a

stalwart-looking man, the gentleman walked so oddly, so slowly. Had he been in the

war perhaps and suffered some irreparable head injury that had left him this way?

Almost completely in front of the shop, he glanced up. He had that lost, desolate


Her throat burned.

His gaze sharpened. Homed in on her.

Oh, damn. How stupid of her. Of course, he’d seen her at the window. She stepped

back several paces. But it was too late. He began walking toward the door.

“Isn’t it just awful weather, Miss Darling?” Mrs. Mason exclaimed. “My Ben can

take you home in the gig later, if you like. Come sit back down and have a chat.”

Jeanne didn’t answer, her gaze was fixed on the gentleman as he reached for the

door. He was coming in. And he looked absolutely furious, in a cold, controlled way

that was all the more frightening. Her hand flew to her mouth to stop the cry of protest

that sprung from the depths of her and she backed away from the window.

The tiny bell tinkled as he entered, an incongruously gay herald. His eyes blazed

into hers. She gave a little squeak and took several steps backwards until her bottom hit

one of the display cases.


Open to all persons 18 years of age and older who reside in the USA.

Disclaimers: By commenting and entering the contest, you are stating that you are 18 or older and have reached the age of majority in your country/state of residence. Void where prohibited by law. By entering the contest, you are stating that it is legal for you to do so. This giveaway will be subject to my giveaway policies.

To Enter my blog contest drawing for an Amazon Gift Card, please fill out the Rafflecopter directly below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

To Enter the GRAND PRIZE drawing, please fill out Rafflecopter number two below.

Don't forget to put your answers for the scavenger hunt on the rafflecopter form. My entry is marked with my name:  Natasha Blackthorne.

What was that question again?

The answer to my question can be found in the excerpt above in this post: What specific action/behavior makes Jeanne think that David has suffered a head injury in the war? (Enter your answers on the grand prize Rafflecopter. Please don't put your answer in comments or else I will have to delete it by order of the scavenger hunt hostess, Nikki.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To visit the other blogs in this scavenger hunt event, please click on the button below:



  1. Hi Natasha!

    You already know how much I love your books but I'm thrilled that the heroine of Her Mystery Duke shares my name!

    We've had lots of rain here but it looks like finally the sun will be shinning and we'll be able to sit at the beach and enjoy the ocean in front of us while reading your books!

    I hope the sun is shinning where you are and you get to enjoy your summer with fair winds and following seas!

  2. My summer is hot hot , too hot. Thank goodness we have an A/C. Stay cool . And enjoy reading.

  3. My summer is going good. Left FL to fly to MN with the kids to spend a few weeks with Grandma, Grandpa and family. Enjoying the cooler weather and some extra help with the kids :-)

  4. Summer always means the beach. I love the beach.

  5. Hello!! Summer is insanely busy here! You would think that having the summer off would be relaxing...not in this house. In my efforts to keep the kids busy I have also made me busy! Lots of soccer and hockey camps as well as Kids College. This is the first week we have had to relax. So enjoying our time!
    bournmelissa at hotmail dot com

  6. Summer has been rather wet, but enjoying puttering around in the garden and yard.
    skpetal at hotmail dot com

  7. Summer has been HOT the last few days on the East coast!!

  8. My summer's been okay so far. It's even better when my hubby has the day off.

  9. Summer has been BUSY!! In between looking at college apps for my daughter, doing science experiments with my son, reading and all the day-to-day fun; I'm exhausted!

  10. How is my summer so far? WELL, considering that I HATE the summer--the heat, humidity, mosquitos, tourists, etc.--it's dragging. LOL.

  11. Great, I've spent all my time reading as many books as I can.

  12. Wet and not the good kind, either. It has rained at least 4 days every,week since May.

  13. Summer 2013 is ok so far...could do without this heat!! ;)

    Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  14. So far the summer has been very hot. However, I have enjoyed some really good books :) Thank you for participating in the fun scavenger hunt!

  15. to be honest we scared my daughters ashes aug 21 anniversary of her murder court is in sept and my mother 84 broke her hip my sister had surgery and I just went to dr. because ( good and bad to me) feel no pain when I get cut dr says is dangerous so its been a miserable summer so far and I hope next summer will be much better because the hold family is miserable right now we all just take it day by day


Search This Blog

Blog Archive

.scrollbox { height:100px; width:400px; overflow:auto; }