You’ve come a long way, baby…
Welcome to 1488 Spain when warriors were super macho and women were glad of it. Yeah, right. That might work for some delicate Spanish flowers, but not any heroine I’d cheer for.
One thing I love about historical romances is changing character expectations on gender. You know, women were born to yield by a decree of nature, God, and man. Right. Watching a heroine prove she has a mind of her own and an inner fire no one will quench is sexy, fun, and oh-so romantic especially when the hero finally gets it. Making him and his lady equal partners who face constant danger from outside forces and their own feelings is magic. It’s how love begins and feels real on the page.
Loving Lies isn’t the first erotic historical I’ve written, but it was one of the hardest. Maintaining accuracy with details was a major reason. For example, what the characters wear. Online, I researched Spanish clothing in 1488 and found zip, nada, nothing. There was tons of info on English clothing but nothing on Spain. Eventually, I pulled up paintings from that period and described the garments from them.
Another difficulty was dialogue. During the late fifteenth century, folks didn’t use contractions. At all. I challenge anyone to write dialogue without contractions and try to make it sound natural. It was murder.
Still, I thoroughly enjoyed Isabella and Fernando’s tale. They’ll be in my heart forever. Unexpected lovers who were simply meant to be despite countless obstacles they faced from the beginning.
To illustrate: In protecting her sister Sancha, Isabella lands on the auction block in Granada. Next stop, being a concubine in the Sultan’s harem. Enter Fernando—a warrior-knight and Sancha’s betrothed. At this point, it would seem Isabella is home free. No way. Since Fernando and Sancha’s betrothal was arranged when they were children, he doesn’t remember her at all and believes Isabella’s his betrothed. She could tell him how wrong he is; however, Sancha doesn’t want to marry anyone, especially a stranger she’s determined to loathe.
Isabella finds Fernando just about perfect. Sexy as sin and commanding as all get out…in a playful way. Early in the plot, Isabella’s reluctant to eat an orange Fernando gives her. Although he claims to be Fernando de Zayas, what if he’s lying? What if her greedy uncle sent him to do her in? Here’s a brief excerpt:
He took the fruit. “If I release you, will you promise not to flee?”
“Will you promise not to pursue me if I do?”
His smile was slow and filled with raw male lust. “I would run you down to the earth in a moment and take my pleasure with you.”
Keeping her head and virtue on their journey to her father’s castle is no small feat, especially with Fernando wooing her, while she bewitches him.
In this tale, both lovers come a long way, eventually ending in each other’s arms where they definitely belong.
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Deception knows no limits. Passion knows no bounds.
When she’s kidnapped, Senorita Isabella knows the men have been sent by her uncle in a murderous attempt to control her family’s fortune. But when she is rescued by a dashing and mysterious warrior, Isabella can’t imagine why a stranger would risk his life for her—until she discovers her rescuer believes she’s someone else….
Fernando de Zayas loves nothing more than the cry of battle. Defying death is his way of life. But when he discovers his betrothed has been kidnapped, he rushes to her aid—never suspecting that spirited beauty would soothe his warrior heart…
With her uncle’s minions close on their heels, Isabella finds herself drawing closer to Fernando. But as the desire between them builds, her secret could keep them apart forever…
Tina is an Amazon and international bestselling novelist in erotic, paranormal, contemporary and historical romance for Kensington, Samhain Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, Siren Publishing, Booktrope, Luminosity, Decadent, and indie. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work. Three of her erotic novels (Freeing the Beast, Come and Get Your Love, and Wicked Takeover) were Readers’ Choice Award winners. Another three (Adored, Lush Velvet Nights, and Deep, Dark, Delicious) were named finalists in the EPIC competition. Sensual Stranger, her erotic contemporary romance, was chosen Book of the Year at the French review site Blue Moon reviews. The Golden Nib Award at Miz Love Loves Books was created specifically for her erotic romance Lush Velvet Nights. Two of her titles (The Yearning and Deep, Dark, Delicious) received an Award of Merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competition. Take Me Away and Adored both won second place in the NEC RWA contest (different years). Tina is featured in the Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. Before penning romances, she worked at a major Hollywood production company in Story Direction.
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