Posts Tagged ‘Regency’

Five Reasons Women Had it Better in Regency Times

Ok, so they couldn’t vote, husbands and fathers had total control over their lives and the fashions occasionally cracked a rib or two, but there were some upsides to being a woman in the 18th Century. From all-night parties to wet nurses, Historical author Joanna Taylor explains.

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1. All nighters

With no licensing laws and plenty of private parties, revellers went on all night. Popular gatherings like masquerade balls served an extra dinner at midnight to keep the revellers dancing until dawn. And with wine glasses around 2/3rds smaller than our modern-day buckets, people got less drunk (or at least paced themselves) and had more staying power.

Party-goers even breakfasted on the remains of the dinner from the night before and headed out to the nearest tavern. Time to party like it’s 1799 …

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2. Credit in your husband’s name

Regency women had no rights whatsoever to their own money. But this turned in women’s favour when London shops began issuing huge store credit. Female shoppers could rack up a huge bill and put it in their husband’s name. If he couldn’t cover the store charges, she was exempt from any prosecution or responsibility. But he was liable to pay her bill. This was such a problem for one poor Regency husband that he even took a newspaper advertisement with his wife’s description asking shops not to serve her. Spend it up ladies!

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3. High maintenance desserts

Labour intensive cakes were the order of the day. As was elaborate sugar-work. Antoine Careme, celebrity Regency chef of the day constructed jaw-dropping constructions in sugar. These included a table length ‘extraordinaire’ model of a Grecian temple and a replica of the Brighton Pavilion.

In domestic kitchens recipes included seed cake (beaten for two hours) and steamed puddings boiled overnight in cloths. Marzipan sweets, cream pastries and all manner of other delicacies also made it onto the table. Hot chocolate was routinely served for breakfast. And plumpness was fashionable. For women with a sweet tooth, Regency was their time to shine.

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4. Tailor-made clothes

Size 10 waist with a size 12 bust? Don’t worry about it! Your dressmaker will take your preferred fabric and map it perfectly to your exact size. Favourite dress chafing after a few too many plum puddings? No problem! Have it let out for pennies. Ready-to-wear is decades away and as long as you secure the fabric of your choice you can be sure the dress will fit.  Better yet those flattering Regency waistlines hide a multitude of sins.

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5. Wet nurses

For Regency mummies, there was no agonising over whether breast is best. They simply handed their tots to an experienced wet nurse and she did the rest. Fashionable Parisians took this one step further and farmed their children out to country wet nurses until they were two. So no late night feeds, maternity bras or sterilising bottles for these ladies. They went back to the serious business of socialising within weeks of giving birth. Why let a baby get in the way of a good party?

Enjoyed reading this? Masquerade, Joanna Taylor’s Regency take on Pretty Woman, is out NOW!

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Readers review Masquerade by Joanna Taylor

Masquerade by Joanna Taylor Masquerade by Joanna Taylor is addictive, engrossing and available to buy NOW! Some of our readers were lucky enough to receive an advance copy of Masquerade – here’s what they thought:

Masquerade is a delightful new book about Regency London, the main characters are warm and engaging especially Lizzy the main character who really has you believing in her and wanting everything to turn out well for her.  Lizzy is a girl from a brothel who still has something of the country girl about her and although the hero is a Lord she still has much more knowledge of the world and life than he does.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and read it in only a couple of days, the writing style is easy and holds your attention throughout.  I enjoyed reading about Lizzy’s exploits especially when she got one over on one of her rivals which was well deserved.  I would like to read more about Lizzy’s future if the author sees fit to write a sequel.

The book is well written by someone who I haven’t read before but shall now look out for.

Jane

Masquerade by Joanna Taylor is a love story set in Regency London and the author’s experience is quickly apparent as she draws you into the story right from the start of the book.  Her descriptive skill makes it easy to imagine the time, the place and the characters, who seem utterly credible in spite of their language occasionally becoming a little stilted and unnatural.  The main characters are immensely likable, which adds greatly to the enjoyment of the story.  Lizzy is a street girl but her intelligence, strength of character, resilience and positive attitude make her someone to be admired rather than despised or pitied.  Edward, Lord Hay, is a kind, calm man whose inherent niceness prevents the reader from judging him too harshly for paying a prostitute for services rendered.

The book touches on many serious subjects, such as women’s rights and the vulnerability of certain groups in society who struggle to survive due to gender, class, economic factors etc.  However, although the reader may pause to reflect on such matters and on the differences between people (as well as the similarities under the surface) it is very easy reading and first and foremost an absolute ‘feel good’ story.

Lynne 

Not the typical book I would read but boy was I hooked to it , Loved it for various reasons but mainly because of the developing romance between two characters with two totally different starts in life. Definitely worth a read!

Emma

Joanna’s first historical novel is a must read book. I’m a fan of her spotlight series so I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. A true love story set in the late 1700’s, Lizzy is a girl with a personality. No simpering heroines here! Edward, stiff and formal at times, is different with Lizzy around and enjoys her outspokenness and lively nature. Throughout their time together Lizzy evaluates her future and makes a decision that will change both of their lives forever.

Tracey 

Masquerade was a lovely read. It flowed beautifully and I wanted to read more. I’m hoping that Joanna will write more books like this in the future.  I will definitely be reading them if she does. Having read the Spotlight series by Ms Taylor I was intrigued to see if she could make the transition to a Regency romance. The answer? – Yes, she can.

The heroine was believable, had a history and wasn’t some innocent thing who had no wits about her.
The nuances and ridiculousness of the Regency era was well written even mentioning how uncomfortable the clothing was. I loved the story and guessed the correct answer at the end!! If you love a period romance you won’t go wrong with this book.

Rebecca

An incredibly easy book to read, you just want to carry on reading and reading. Lord Hays sounds quite incredible – in fact totally irresistible. I found the section about the Vauxhall Gardens really interesting. I had heard of them, but reading this book, you could really imagine them and there was so much detail about what really happened there.

Sheri 

Masquerade tells the story of Lizzy, a working girl, and Edward, a nobleman, set during Regency London.  It begins beautifully, the first 3 or 4 chapters describe the start of Lizzy’s day in Piccadilly and contain some of the best ‘scene setting’ I’ve read for the period it is set in.  The writing flows easily and I was drawn in to the story to the point that I just carried on till I finished at 2.30 in the morning.

Though I really enjoyed the story, it wasn’t the story I was expecting to read. From the blurb on the back, I was expecting a dark, mysterious, erotic story.  However by about chapter 6, I realized the book is a close retelling of a very famous film from several years ago.  It’s very cleverly done and great fun guessing or realizing how the scenes from the film (which is set in the 20th century) have been covered, but if you know the film well, you won’t get many surprises and just like the film, it’s a sweet romance, rather than an erotic grand passion.  I do think though that the author does write beautifully about the regency period and I would love her next book to be an original, slightly darker, more erotic tale set during this time.

Sarah

I was sent a copy of Masquerade to review and i must say it wasn’t what i was expecting at all.I was hooked from the first page and was rooting for Lizzie all the way through the story.At heart is a genuine love story which has echoes of Pretty Woman but is set in the Regency era.
We find out how how difficult life is for the lower classes and the dream of finding a rich lord for these girls to take them out of their poverty and this is.exactly what happens to Lizzie.
The descriptions are vivid and the plot is engaging and you want to find out if Lizzie has met the man of her dreams and will she let him through her wall or will she be too scared to get her heart broken again.You fall in love with her character she is is a country girl who is really kind, innocent, trying to be a working girl and also trying to toughen herself up and she is extremely intelligent and well read.But fallen on hard times after being duped into becoming a working girl.
A really enjoyable love story without any of the sex scences that have become the norm these days-i really enjoyed it because of that!

Sandra

Masquerade is quite simply a beautiful, mesmerising and breath taking love story with a difference. Lizzy and Lord Hays are polar opposites in society, she is the commoner from the gutters whilst he is the highly ambitious aristocrat. But as the two meet and are both drawn to each other it soon becomes clear that once you remove all of those trappings which we cloud ourselves in we are indeed all the same, money or no money. Regency London is portrayed vividly in this book from the dizziness and facade of the high society balls to the slums of the gutters and you can almost envisage yourself in Lizzy’s place.
Joanna has drawn two characters who are very likeable, Lizzy has something about her which you can’t help but root for her and Lord Hays is quite simply delicious (picture a more approachable and albeit sexy Mr Darcy and you’re half way there!) But it is the chemistry which sizzles throughout the story which is the real winning aspect of this book. What did surprise me most about Masquerade though was the lack of explicit sexual scenes but what was in its place was just enough to keep me wanting more and indeed using more imagination and I think this worked in the books favour and was actually a breath of fresh air for a change!
I really didn’t want their journey to end and therefore I tried to delay the ending as much as possible but seeing as this is a book you will want to devour in an instant this was no mean feat! It would therefore be a real treat to see a follow up…

Clair

Very pleased to have been chosen as a reviewer. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel set in Regency London. Lizzie is a strong engaging character that you can’t fail to like from the start. Once we’re introduced to Lord Hays you know they’ll get together at the end but the question is how. What rocky road will they travel, who and what are their stumbling blocks?

I would have liked it to have had a little more depth to the historical background but although I have a love of history, I read very little historical romance in comparison, so perhaps this is the norm. The details reflect the times very well, from the lives of the downtrodden prostitutes to the ‘lucky’ courtesans, from the stirrings of social conscience towards the slave trade, and the chance of a new life in the New World.

Is there a follow-up? I hope so. I will certainly try Joanna Taylor’s other titles under her pseudonym as CS Quinn.

Andy

Read an extract from Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover

Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover is the fabulous final installment in Sarah MacLean’s Rules of Scoundrels series. We’ve got an exclusive extract for you to read.

What’s more, if you share this extract by clicking the button below, you’ll unlock an EXCLUSIVE interview Sarah conducted with the Scoundrels. It’s well worth it, we promise. Go ahead, read, share and enjoy!

Never Judge a Lady By Her Cover by Sarah MacLean – Chapter One

Erin Knightley’s English Adventure – Part 3

In this last installment of Erin Knightley‘s adventures in England, we come back to the beginning, to that fated day when she would finally try . . . black pudding . . .

Which brings us back to the hockey puck . . .

We were staying at a delightful little bed and breakfast that was probably a good 200 years old, tucked away deep in the country. The floorboards were squeaky, the stairs precipitously steep, and the bathroom roughly the size of my broom closet. In other words, it was terribly rustic and charming. But when the kind innkeeper got it in his head that we should try his famous black pudding, well, what was a girl to do?

So I ate it. The pudding, with the oh-so-appetizing ingredient of pig’s blood, somehow passed my lips, and it was . . . not awful. Meatier than I expected, a little bready like stuffing, and not at all gelatinous like us Americans expect when encountering something called pudding. Thank God – things would have gone very differently if it had been wiggly! Still, I can now say that I have experienced it, and when my characters refer to it, you can rest assured this author knows what she’s talking about.

And no, I won’t be eating it again 😉

So wrong-side driving, a bit of rain, and one slightly embarrassing mishap involving a radiator, a sleepy, robe-wearing innkeeper, and a nearly melted television aside, this trip was truly everything I hoped it would be. I certainly hope that my writing will be that much richer in the future because of it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to treat myself to a cream tea. I’ll leave the pudding to you, dear reader.

 

Come back soon, Erin! We promise we won’t make you eat pig’s blood again! WE PROMISE!!!!!

 

The Baron Next Door is out now in both paperback and ebook. The Earl I Adore releases on the 6th of January 2015  in both paperback and ebook!

Erin Knightley’s English Adventure – Part 2!

Read on for Part 2 of what happened once Erin Knightley alighted on English soil . . .

With my mother as my traveling companion and nine glorious days set aside for the experience, I anxiously awaited the trip for what it was: a dream come true. And was it ever! First things first: shortly after arriving, I met my editor, Anna, and publicist, Clara, at Fortnum and Mason for my very first tea. Oh, the decadence! Smartly attired waiters, gentle piano music in the background, personal pots of fragrant teas, and a delectable selection of finger foods. This was where I encountered that oft-mentioned treat of the Regency novels: clotted cream. My characters had eaten it, yes, but I had no idea what it actually looked like, let alone what it tasted like!

Astonished that I had never tried it, Anna and Clara watched with interest as I topped a scone. I was thinking it might be closer to whip cream, but quickly discovered it was more of a pot of buttery clouds than sweetened fluff. So rich, so creamy, so perfectly delicious – I could easily see why the lords and ladies of the ton would indulge!

Emboldened by the success, I eagerly went about experiencing even more. A tour of the Tower of London? Check! Hyde Park? Check! A spot of tea and a bun at The Pump Room in Bath? Check! We explored Sydney gardens, which was such a big part of The Earl I Adore, and we toured the Assembly Rooms, which was prominent in all three of the Prelude to a Kiss Series. We stayed in a Georgian townhome with its original 1790 kitchen (and kindly ignored the slightly burnt toast). We ogled Chatsworth and ooo’d and ahh’d our way through Blenheim Palace and Stourhead. I soaked in every detail of the fabrics, furniture, and furnishings of those glorious old homes, and paid more attention than was probably proper to the detailed and often naughty ceiling murals and statues.

It was all so very magical and wonderful (minus that one time I almost got us hit by a bus five minutes after picking up the rental car, which we’ll just pretend never happened).

 

Check back tomorrow for the final part of Erin’s trip! Does she eat the black pudding? Have we scarred her for life?!

Erin Knightley’s English Adventure!

Blightly was honoured recently with a visit from one of our favourite authors, Erin Knightley! Her warm and clever Regency romance The Baron Next Door had only just come out in paperback and we were getting reading for the upcoming sequel The Earl I Adore!

Over the next three days Erin will be telling the story of her trip to England where she visited the inspirations for her books! Keep reading below for Part 1 of Erin Knightley‘s English Adventures!

 

 

 

 

I sat there, staring at the plate before me, trying to figure out how I had gotten into this. The eggs, rasher of bacon, and toast were normal enough—delicious even—but beside them was a round, black, hockey puck slab of food, the likes of which I had never laid eyes on.

“Go on,” the innkeeper said, nodding encouragingly. “You’ll love it, I promise!” His charming enthusiasm was endearing, despite the eyebrow-raising breakfast he had just set in front of me.

Right. When in Rome, etc., etc. I took a deep breath, cut the tiniest morsel you have ever seen from the black disk, and crossed my fingers that my constitution was as good as my characters’ in the Regency world in which I write. 

I, Erin Knightley, romance author, world traveler, and thoroughly modern girl, was about to try black pudding.

So, dear reader, you may be wondering how I came about finding myself in this position, some 4,000 miles away from my cozy little house on a lake in North Carolina and the obligatory bowl of cereal with which I usually break my fast.

It had all started with an email. “Congrats!” it had said, the exclamation point effusive coming from my wonderful agent. “Piatkus has purchased the UK rights to both The Baron Next Door and The Earl I Adore!” It went on to explain that in a few short months, my Regency-set novels would be on the shelves of the country I had adored since the moment I picked up WHITNEY, MY LOVE back in the ‘90s.

And thus began my giddy, gleeful planning of a trip to England to coincide with the debut of The Baron Next Door. Not only could I meet my new publisher, sign books, and stay at the quaintest of quaint bed and breakfasts across the country, but this was my chance to really research the places I wrote about. Oh, to wander the venerated halls of manor houses, to visit the streets Jane Austen had tread, and traverse the ‘rolling countryside’ so often described in Regency-set novels (guilty!). I wanted to sample the traditional English fare, take tea with a side of scones, and discover what, exactly, clotted cream was.

Check back tomorrow for more of Erin’s story!

The Baron Next Door is out now in ebook and paperback!

Happy publication day, Emma Jane Holloway!

What would you do if the regency man you adored knocked on your door not with a bouquet of flowers, but a gun powered by coal? Or if the carriage to the ball floated above the roofs of London in a dirigible?

If you’re a steampunk fan, then Emma Jane Holloway‘s Baskerville Affair series will sweep you off your feet! And if you’re only just dipping your toes in the water, this is the perfect introduction! And how about exploring more into the world of steampunk? Let Emma be your guide in these brilliant web posts!

Over the Effing Rainbow

Bitten By Books

Keeping reading for more information on the first book, A Study in Silks, and click here for more on all three.

Evelina Cooper, the niece of the great Sherlock Holmes, is poised to enjoy her first Season in London Society. But there’s a murderer to deal with – not to mention missing automatons, a sorcerer, and a talking mouse.

In a Victorian era ruled by a council of ruthless steam barons, mechanical power is the real monarch and sorcery the demon enemy of the Empire. Nevertheless, the most coveted weapon is magic that can run machines – something Evelina has secretly mastered. But rather than making her fortune, her special talents could mean death or an eternity as a guest of Her Majesty’s secret laboratories. What’s a polite young lady to do but mind her manners and pray she’s never found out?

But then there’s that murder. As Sherlock Holmes’s niece, Evelina should be able to find the answers, but she has a lot to learn. And the first decision she has to make is whether to trust the handsome, clever rake who makes her breath come faster, or the dashing trick rider who would dare anything for her if she would only just ask.

 

 

Happy Publication Day to Laura Wright and Erin Knightley!

Happy Tuesday! And what a great one it is, because we have not one, but TWO incredible publications out today for Entice! Where do you wish to go first? The Cavanaugh Ranch or Regency England?

Have a look below and pick your (tasty) poison . . .

Branded by Laura Wright

In the small town of River Black, Texas, sits the Triple C – a working cattle ranch that sustains the town. But it also holds painful memories and shocking secrets for the Cavanaugh brothers . . .

When the Cavanaugh brothers return home for their father’s funeral, they discover unexpected evidence of the old man’s surprising double life – a son named Blue, who wants the Triple C Ranch as much as they do. The eldest son, Deacon, a wealthy businessman who couldn’t wait to leave the ranch and move on with his life, is looking to use his powerful connections to stop Blue at any cost. He never expected the ranch’s forewoman, Mackenzie Byrd, to get in his way.

Mac knows Deacon means to destroy the ranch and therefore destroy her livelihood. But as the two battle for control, their attraction builds. Now Deacon is faced with the choice of a lifetime: Take down the Triple C to feed his need for revenge, or embrace the love of the one person who has broken down every barrier to his heart.

 

The Baron Next Door by Erin Knightley

Charity Effington learned two valuable lessons from her first betrothal:


1) When one loses the attention of an earl, one gains the attention of every gossip in London
2) Despite the lingering scandal, she’s not prepared to marry for anything less than love

After an exhausting Season spent at the mercy of the whispering Ton, Bath’s first annual music festival offers Charity the perfect escape: freedom to indulge her true passion and play the pianoforte to her heart’s content. That is, until their insufferably rude, though undeniably handsome, neighbour tells her to keep the “infernal racket” to a minimum.

Hugh Danby, Baron Cadgwith, is in Bath to heal hidden wounds, both mental and physical. He may think he’s finally put an end to the noise next door, but he has no idea what he’s begun. The more he discovers about Charity, the more he finds her bothersome, vexing, and . . . inexplicably enchanting. Before long, Hugh suspects that even if his body heals, it’s his heart that might end up broken.

A special letter from Eloisa James to her UK readers . . .

Eloisa James authorHappy publication day, Eloisa James! Your UK readers having been waiting for this book with bated breath!

Readers, see below for a special message meant especially for you!

 

 

Hello to my UK readers!

I’m so happy to know that Three Weeks with Lady X in finally on the shelves, in e-readers – hopefully in your hands!  Every once in a while a writer creates a pair of characters so witty and smart that she truly wishes they were her friends in real life, rather than just on the page – and for me, India and Thorn are that pair.  When I wrote the Desperate Duchesses series, I fell in love with the Duke of Viliers’s scrappy, illegitimate son, Tobias.  It took a while, but I finally realized that a Georgian boy can grow into a Regency hero . . . and before I knew it, Tobias had been to Eton, renamed himself Thorn and was demanding a book of his own!

There’s no need to have read the Desperate Duchesses series before this one – Three Weeks with Lady X truly stands alone.  But in case you have read those earlier books, the Duke and Duchess of Villiers (from A Duke of Her Own) play Cupid, and it’s rather fun to meet them again.

I hope you love India & Thorn as much as I do.  If you get a chance, please do let me know on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/eloisajames) or by email (eloisa@eloisajames.com).  I answer all my own email – it can take me a few weeks when a book first comes out, but I’d love to know what you think!

Three Weeks with Lady X is out now in all good bookstores and ereaders everywhere!