Hello and welcome to my stop on the Fairy Tale Magic Blog Hop. Thank you to Anna of Herding Cats and Burning Soup for organizing and hosting this giveaway hop event.
My favorite fairy tale when I was a child was Sleeping Beauty. What was yours?
|Picture from Amazon.com|
I loved everything about it, the gentle kindness of the heroine, the colorful happy fairy godmothers. I the story on a record and the adults used to play it for me almost every morning when I was a very little girl.
When I got older, movies replaced it in my fascinations. Like Anne of the Thousand Days and later on Excalibur.
|Picture from Amazon.com|
My novella Grey's Lady is a romance with fairy tale/Cinderella aspects set in Regency Era America. A poor but beautiful and impulsive heroine, but who is not so innocent meets a self-controlled shipping magnate. Grey's Lady is the prequel to White Lace and Promises and they are intended to be read in sequence.
Historical Erotica Romance ~ Short Novella Approx. 36,000 Words
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Beth wanted just one naughty carriage ride...
He fascinated her. She wanted him. She seduced him. She had him. Now she's ready to go her own merry way. But he's determined to possess her, body and soul. What can bring a ruthless, powerful gentleman to his knees?
Historical Erotic Romance Set in Regency Era America.
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Book one in the Wild, Wicked and Wanton series
Seeking sexual excitement and conquest, poor but beautiful Beth seduces wealthy merchant prince Grey Sexton, only to find herself the pursued as he seeks to own her body and soul.
Flouting the moral standards of Jeffersonian America, temptress Beth McConnell lets no man touch her heart. Her motto is love them once and leave them burning.
But when she boldly seduces Grey Sexton, a self-controlled merchant prince from New York, she finds herself too fascinated by his ice-over-fire nature to stay away. His possessive determination to own her, body and soul, threatens to expose her secret erotic life to public shame.
But Beth will only surrender her love to a man she can trust. And Grey's materialistic approach to relationships leaves her little reason to believe he can ever give her what she truly needs.
For these two cynical yet lonely people, can deep sexual intimacy work a miracle and lead to the opening of their hearts?
Reader Advisory: Grey's Lady is an erotic / hot historical romance. It contains scenes of frequent, explicit sex and graphic sexual language. It contains a non-traditional romance plot and an unconventional heroine.
*** SHORT NOVELLA Approx. 36,000 words ***
Edition one of Grey's Lady, Carte Blanche series, was published by Total-e-Bound August 8, 2011.
Edition Two, Grey's Lady, Wild, Wicked and Wanton series, has been expanded and fully re-edited.
This is a scroll box below, scroll down to read an excerpt. By reading further, you are affirming that you are 18 years of age or older.
©Copyright Natasha Blackthorne 2012, 2013
Grey couldn’t keep his eyes off her. Philadelphian women were the cream of the Republic, but damn if this one didn’t exceed all previous definitions. Curling wisps of hair escaped from her indigo bonnet and trailed down her graceful neck. He’d never seen hair that color, like champagne shimmering in the moonlight.
She looked up, giving him his first full glance of her face. Sky-blue eyes, full of aching, longing…and something else. Abject sadness. Haunting.
Something caught in his chest. Something reminiscent of pleurisy. Well, it wasn’t surprising. Philadelphia air was notoriously insalubrious and the day was oppressively damp. He blinked, glancing away. Was he losing his wits? “Haunting eyes?” What romantic nonsense. If he didn’t know better, he’d think he was getting a fever.
He glanced at his pocket watch. God, time was crawling. He’d arranged this series of lectures to entice potential investors, as last week in Boston had been most profitable. However, today, Mason’s Bookstore was packed with adolescent boys who sat with their mouths agape, listening to local captains recounting tales of privateering glory. His own speech on how and why to invest in a voyage had been met with yawns and bobbing heads. What a waste of an afternoon.
Shifting in his seat, he sensed her gaze. Lingering. Burning into him. Against his will, he turned back to her. Those eyes seemed to reach across the room, directly into him to touch his emptiness.
What a fanciful notion. His wits must be addled.
She didn’t drop her gaze, as a modest woman might. Instead, she appraised him, boldly weighing and measuring. A hint of tongue flirted along her pink lips. Her eyes smoldered as if she’d read his every erotic longing and fantasy.
He shifted again, trying to adjust for the heated blood rushing into his cock. The corners of her mouth turned up and humor glinted in her eyes. Clearly, she found his interest amusing. She found him amusing.
By God then, I’ll have her beneath me, writhing and begging me fuck her.
Damned if he wouldn’t.
The fervor of his thoughts shocked him back to his senses. People were talking and laughing and moving around. The lecture was over and he prepared to leave. Yet he found himself standing at the windows, transfixed by the rain sheeting down.
“My goodness.” The breathy feminine voice hit him low in his gut and he didn’t have to look to know who spoke. Something primal pounded through his blood. An urge to turn, grasp her by the back of her hair, and kiss her with such brute force she would run.
Shaken, he took several long, deep breaths before he trusted himself enough to turn to her.
“It’s so hard, isn’t it?” she said, in breathy, bedchamber tones.
“Pardon me, madam?”
“The rain, it’s coming down so hard today. Buckets and buckets full.” Her voice sounded sincere but her eyes glimmered with mirth.
“Yes, it is.” He kept his tone cool, polite.
“And everything is getting so…” Again, she let her little pink tongue snake over her lip. “Wet.”
He should have laughed at such talk. Such a lack of finesse. However, she stood so close, his arm almost touched her breast. So close, her tangy, sweet, gardenia-like scent became intoxicating.
“Pardon me, madam, but do you have some question about investing in a privateer venture?”
“Oh, no, they answered all my questions in the lecture.”
“But how could they have? You came in after the part about investing.”
“I didn’t really have any particular questions. I come to all the lectures here.” She glanced at the chalkboard on the opposite wall where the lecturers were posted. “You are Mr. Asahel de Grijs Sexton of New York?”
“At your service.”
“You middle name means gray, like your eyes, correct?”
“Yes. It’s Dutch.” It had been his mother’s maiden name.
“And you’re here to invest in privateering voyages for the expected war?” She took hold of the curtain’s thick, gold, braided cord.
“I own some ships and take on investors. I also invest in other voyages. It’s a numbers game for safety.”
She gave a soft sigh—no, it was more like a moan. A lush bedroom sound which made his lower belly tighten. “Well, I was wondering…” Her fingers caressed up and down the braided cord in a way that could only be described as suggestive. Sinfully so. Right here in the bookstore.
A tide of lust like he’d never felt before boiled in his blood and stiffened his cock.
“I—I was wondering…” Her fingers trailed one last time before she dropped the cord. A half-smile curved her lips.
“Yes, madam?” The steadiness of his voice amazed him.
“Could you—” She drew her lashes down as her lips spread in a slow, sensual smile. “Would you be so kind as to give me a ride in your carriage?”
The inflection in her voice gave no doubt as to what kind of ride she meant. He definitely should not accept. For years now, he’d held to a steadfast rule against dallying with women under thirty. They could prove so troublesome. And this particular young woman seemed so…irregular, such an odd air of boldness contradicted by an awkward ingenuousness. A little recklessness there, too. In any case, he already kept a satisfactory mistress here in Philadelphia.
He couldn’t tolerate complications in his personal life.
The shimmering beauty of her eyes seemed to dim and composure seemed to falter, as though a lovely flower were wilting for lack of water and sunlight. As though she sensed his forthcoming rejection.
Did it matter so much to her then?
His heart pounded into a galloping beat. A heady thrill that could not be said to be wholly carnal. A sense of arousal like he’d not known in years. He craved to experience this peculiar, audacious girl.
And what true gentleman could disappoint a lady? He offered his arm. “Come then.”
She raised fine, pale, gold brows. “I cannot be seen leaving here in your company.”
“Drive around the block and wait there. I shall come along presently.”
“It’s raining like the flood. You cannot walk in that.”
“Do you think I shall melt?” Her deep and throaty laugh resonated deep in his balls.
“I think a gentleman doesn’t expect a lady to walk in the rain.”
She laughed again. “Oh, but I am not a lady.”
“Don’t talk like that.” His harsh tone puzzled him. Where had it come from? But her self-denigrating tone angered him.
“Did my fine silk gown fool you?” She plucked her coarse wool skirt. Her fingerless nankeen gloves revealed digits reddened as though they spent hours soaked in lye. The sharp contrast with her refined loveliness made his throat burn and he swallowed tightly.
She sighed. He glanced up. Her face was sincere now. Beautiful. How many times had he repeated that today? God, he was making a jackass of himself. But what did she really want from him? She was bold, yes, but she lacked the hardened look of a girl on the town. Maybe poverty had forced her into temporary whoring.
He noticed, painfully, the obvious worn quality of her clothing. He’d always believed that for a man of wealth like himself to pursue an impoverished woman was like a fox narrowing his attention on a henhouse.
Maybe she didn’t really want this. Maybe she was simply desperate for coin.
“You need money?” The hoarse terseness of his whisper surprised him. But if she were doing this only because she needed money, he’d give it to her. And watch her walk away.
“I don’t want your money.” She turned her gaze to him. Bold, blue, and full of unmistakable longing. “I only want a ride.”
* * * *
Alone with her in the carriage, Grey took her hand. “What is your name?”
He exhaled her name, cupping her face and rubbing his thumbs over the hollow beneath her cheekbones. The sensation was pure luxury, a texture like creamy satin.
She closed her eyes, lifted her face. Barely aware he still moved closer, he felt her soft mouth under his with a sense of shock. She moaned and opened her mouth, all hot, wet, and spicy-sweet, like mulled cider against his tongue.
He moved his hands down the coarse wool of her back, pulling her closer. The folds of his cravat rustled, crisply crushing. She cried out.
Damn. His cravat pin.
He leaned away, stripped his coat off, plucked off the offending pin and came back to her. She laughed and tugged at his cravat until it came loose. Her grip tight on the two loose ends, she pulled him close to her face and held him in place.
Her taste was so intoxicating. He ravished her mouth without mercy. She returned his strokes measure for measure until they were forced to stop and pant for breath.
Fuck, she was so intense.
So willing and wanton and womanly.
Her fire consumed him. Part of himself, the gentleman, watched appalled as he hooked his hand around the dampened hem of her coarse wool skirt, pushed it up in one swift motion, baring her to the waist. She gasped then laughed again.
His determination to possess her body and soul threatens to expose her secret sexual life to public shame.
"The emotional battle between Grey and Beth and within Grey himself was wonderful to read."
~ Dark Haven Maven Reviews
Two Lips Reviews honored Grey's Lady with the "Reviewer's Choice Award"
"...wickedly hot...a woman who is quietly determined to own her sexuality and make her own rules. With likeable characters, frank and occasionally bawdy dialogue, Ms. Blackthorne's book captured my attention from the first page...The scenes between Beth and Grey are not only smoking hot but full of verbal give and take." ~ Rose of Two Lips Reviews.
Miz Love and Crew Love Books rated Grey's Lady a "Top Pick"
"Grey Sexton...the most controlling, out-of-control, gorgeously outrageous package of masculine arrogance I ever wanted to bed. Pair him with beautiful Beth McConnell--a lady who is very much not a lady--and you have...sumptuous dynamite. Dark, light; virile, feminine; rich, not-so-rich; big, small. Smoldering...The sex scenes are indescribably arousing. Particularly a scene with a costly pearl necklace..a must-read. Cute, hot-as-hell sexy and lovely, eloquent prose to boot..." ~ Miz Z of Miz Love and Crew Love Books.
"This was an intriguing look into the sex lives of two people constrained by the era they were born in. ... Grey and Beth were perfect for one another but feared revealing themselves fully. ... A very emotional read that really had an edge in political influences that drove the characters." ~ Chris of Night Owl Reviews, Sept 21, 2011.
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