Dangerous Gentlemen with Beverley Oakley

Thank you so much for inviting me here today, Ivy.

I must admit, I’ve been distracted by our fires north of Melbourne which surrounded our town on two sides and caused mass evacuations. Only a few properties were lost but the earth is charcoal around us for as far as the eye can see.

So it’s been nice to have something to distract me, as in a new release.  

Yes, it’s release day for Dangerous Gentlemen today!  

I’m very excited about this story which is #2 in my Viscount Partington Series of erotic Regencies published by Ellora’s Cave.  

Dangerous Gentlemen can, however, be read entirely on its own as it features a young debutante called Hetty, who is the daughter of my heroine in Book #1.

I love stories of mistaken identities, and there are plenty in this story. Hetty believes her life depends on pretending to be someone else, my hero is mistakenly believed to be a villain, while Hetty’s sister, Araminta, has her own little scheme up her sleeve, based on her own deception. Believe me, Araminta is a piece of work and one day she’ll get her own story but at the moment she’s too fun to include in each book because she’s so self centred and intent on profiting at her sister’s expense. It’s sibling rivalry at its worst. (I happen to have two sisters but they’re both lovely :))

So here’s a little bit about it: the blurb followed by an extract:

DANGEROUS GENTLEMEN

Sequel to Her Gilded Prison

Shy, self-effacing Henrietta knows her place—in her dazzling older sister’s shadow. She’s a little brown peahen to Araminta’s bird of paradise. But when Hetty mistakenly becomes embroiled in the Regency underworld, the innocent debutante finds herself shockingly compromised by the dashing, dangerous Sir Aubrey, the very gentleman her heart desires. And the man Araminta has in her cold, calculating sights.

Branded an enemy of the Crown, bitter over the loss of his wife, Sir Aubrey wants only to lose himself in the warm, willing body of the young “prostitute” Hetty. As he tutors her in the art of lovemaking, Aubrey is pleased to find Hetty not only an ardent student, but a bright, witty and charming companion.

Despite a spoiled Araminta plotting for a marriage offer and a powerful political enemy damaging his reputation, Aubrey may suffer the greatest betrayal at the hands of the little “concubine” who’s managed to breach the stony exterior of his heart.  

A Romantica® historical Regency erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

And here’s the extract:

An Excerpt From: DANGEROUS GENTLEMEN

Copyright © BEVERLEY OAKLEY, 2014

All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.

Miss Hoskings, who declared she was not going to emerge from the mending room until the night was over, bade Hetty a gloomy farewell once Hetty’s skirt was mended but Hetty wasn’t sure she felt like reentering the ballroom either. The only person of any interest had left and she had no wish to endure Araminta’s preening self-satisfaction as she recounted her success with Sir Aubrey who, if he really were such a dangerous man, would consequently be of even greater interest to her sister, she supposed. No, Hetty had no chance.

“Make sure you turn the right way. The ’ouse is a fair rabbit warren of rooms and the gennulmen’s quarters that way.” The old crone stabbed a finger up the stairs to the left. “Even that Sir Aubrey what’s staying ’ere got hisself lost. Put ’is head in ’ere just afore you came to inquire as to which way was the lobby so he could order hisself a carriage.”

Miss Hoskings straightened, her look suddenly interested. “Sir Aubrey is a houseguest, I believe,” she said with a sharp look at Hetty. “Handsome gentleman, don’t you think? And with that unusual hair.”

Just the mere mention of him made Hetty’s heart leap. So Sir Aubrey’s room was just down the passage and up the stairs? She hesitated as the old seamstress closed the door behind her, plunging her into the gloom of the dimly lit corridor.

The stairs beckoned a short distance away.

What would be the harm in a quick look? No one would see her and she could always claim she’d lost her way. She’d be believed and besides, all the chambers would be empty since everyone was at the ball. The night was still young and no one would be returning yet.

Hetty, curious by nature, found this too tantalizing an opportunity to resist. With a furtive look around her, she hurried left and up the stairs, at which point two corridors at right angles disappeared into darkness. Choosing the one to the right, she found herself face-to-face with a series of closed doors.

Foolish, she chided herself. Of course they were closed and she could hardly open them. As she turned back toward the ballroom, a faint light shining from the crack beneath a door that was slightly ajar gleamed beckoningly.

With a furtive look over her shoulder, she approached it, and when she gave the door a little nudge with her foot, it swung open.

Excitement rippled through her.

“Hello?” she asked in a low voice. She took another step into the room. “Is anyone in here?”

Silence greeted her. A low fire burned in the grate before which was a table, against which were propped several items, including a familiar silver-topped cane. Her breath caught in her throat. The last time she’d seen that cane was when Sir Aubrey had exchanged several words with Araminta in the street as Hetty had been bringing up the rear with Mrs. Monks. Of course Sir Aubrey had not looked twice at her, excusing himself before having to be introduced to the younger sister and the chaperone who’d nearly closed the gap.

Heart hammering, Hetty closed the door behind her and went to pick up the cane.

How fortunate to have stumbled into Sir Aubrey’s room, she thought when she observed the fine coat lying upon the bed, apparently discarded in favor of what he was wearing tonight.

He really was a nonpareil, wearing his clothes as if they were an extension of his athletic physique.

Yet he was dangerous, she had to remind herself. Meaning she should not be here, which of course she shouldn’t, regardless of whether he was dangerous or not.

But how such a scion of good breeding and genteel society could be guilty of such a heinous crime as treason, Hetty could not imagine. And surely the story of the runaway wife was a gilded one. It was all the stuff of make-believe and Cousin Stephen was only telling Hetty he was dangerous to curb her schoolroom daydreams.

Turning, she saw half protruding from beneath the suit of clothes what appeared to be the edge of a silver, filigreed box. It was partly obscured by the overhang of the counterpane, as if it hadn’t properly been returned to its hiding place.

A moment’s indecision made her pause but soon Hetty was crouching on the floor, closing clammy fingers around the box. Might it contain secrets? Ones that would reveal, conclusively, what Cousin Stephen claimed was true?

Alternatively, proof that would exonerate Sir Aubrey?

Hetty fumbled for the catch. Dear Lord, this was too exciting for words. Perhaps Sir Aubrey was a secret agent working for the English, and Stephen had no idea.

Perhaps he was—

Protesting door hinges made her squeal as the door was flung wide. Hetty let the lid of the box fall and retreated into the shadows as Sir Aubrey strode into the room.

He was breathing heavily as he shrugged off his jacket with a curse, raindrops spattering into the hissing fire as he raked his fingers through his hair. A curious stillness overtook him and he froze, obviously sensing all was not as he left it.

He sniffed the air. “Orange flower water,” he muttered, stepping closer to the fire, fumbling for the tinderbox on the mantelpiece to light a candle.

Immediately he was thrown into sharp relief and as he stared at Hetty, it was not his look of shock and suspicion that made her scream—but the copious amounts of blood that stained his shirtsleeves and once snowy linen cravat.

“God Almighty, who are you?” he demanded as his gaze raked her finery. “You’re no parlor maid, that’s for certain.”

Gaping, unable to formulate a sensible answer, Hetty finally managed, “What happened to your arm, Sir Aubrey? Are you injured?”

“Sir Aubrey, is it? So you know who I am but you still haven’t told me who youare?” He grunted as he looked down at his arm, the bloodied linen shredded over the long graze. “It’s not as bad as it looks and I assure you, I gave a good account of myself.” His laugh was more a sneer. “Indeed, my assailant lies dead in the gutter.”

Hetty gasped. “Dueling?” Myriad questions crowded her mind. Could this be to do with Araminta? Had Sir Aubrey left Araminta in the middle of the ball to fight some other contender for her affections?

“Dueling?” he repeated. He shook his head and Hetty drew back at the coldness in his eyes. “There was nothing noble about my activities this evening. I was set upon in a dark alley. A short scuffle ensued, I drew my knife, then…” With his hand, he made a gesture like the slitting of his throat, adding, “I am slightly wounded but as I said, my attacker does not live to repeat the insult.”

Her horror clearly amused him, for his eyes narrowed while his generous mouth quirked. He looked like an incarnation of the most handsome demon she’d ever seen depicted in the fairy stories she loved to read.

“We all have enemies, madam. Enemies who must be eliminated if we are to breathe freely.”

Please drop by and visit me at my website or blog

Or twitter: @BeverleyOakley

And you can buy Dangerous Gentlemen here.

Beverley Eikli is the author of eight historical romances, three of which have been shortlisted Favourite Historical by Australian Romance Readers Association 

She has worked as a journalist, editor, airborne geophysical survey operator and embraced a life of adventure after meeting her future husband, a handsome Norwegian bush pilot around a camp fire in Botswana.  

Twenty years later, after exploring the world in the back of Cessna 404s and CASA 212s during low-level sorties over the French Guyanese jungle and Greenland’s ice cap, Beverley is back in Australia teaching in the Department of Professional Writing & Editing at Victoria University, as well as teaching Short Courses for the Centre of Adult Education and Macedon Ranges Further Education.

Beverley Oakley, SAVING GRACE and The Cavalier giveaway

Release Day for a sweet, erotic tale of revenge and redemption

By Beverley Oakley

Hi Ivy, it’s great to be back. I love Manic ReadersJ I always get such a warm and wonderful welcome here.

Well, I don’t know what to be more excited about: winning UK publisher Choc-Lit’s Search for an Australian Star competition and having three books due out with them over the next 18 months.

Or being shortlisted for the second year running for an Australian Romance Readers Award in the Favourite Historical category.

Or perhaps the fact that I finished final edits for my first Ellora’s Cave erotic romance, Her Gilded Prison, due for release in April. Finishing the edits came at a cost, though. I can now add World’s Worst Mother for January 15 to my ARR Award since my poor children spent the day foraging on chocolate and “Hundreds & Thousands” while I wrestled with my deadline. No milk, no bread, no nothing. I was at the supermarket at 6.30am today so we could have breakfast as DH is flying over in LA at the moment.

 

I think, though, the most exciting thing is the release of my erotic short story, Saving Grace.

It’s a sweet, poignant, erotic story and I love my strong but vulnerable heroine. I also love the wronged and noble hero. He’s very young and he, too, is vulnerable in his own way, but by the end of the story they’ve fought the demons that would hobble them from achieving their dreams.

Revenge and redemption are recurring themes in my erotic romances and romantic intrigues. In Saving Grace I’ve explored the shifting balance of power between two rich men and a vulnerable serving girl with a shared history. The story takes up at the point at which justice must be served.

Here’s an excerpt.

 

 

London, 1878

Reclining on the red plush sofa, Grace sipped the sickly sweet orgeat Madame Chambon insisted her girls drink and tried not to think about the night ahead. The others were gathered in companionable groups on the fashionable Egyptian sofas, their heavy scent perfuming the air.

As usual, no one gravitated towards her, though of course later, when their clients came calling, that would no longer be the case. Grace would have preferred the company of a like-minded female rather than the alternative.

An expectant hush fell as the heavy draped and tasselled curtain was drawn aside and Madame Chambon arranged herself theatrically in the opening, ready to address her petites choux.

Ravissement!” she complimented them in thickly accented English, clapping her hands. Grace suspected the elegantly ravaged Madame came from Lambeth rather than the Left Bank. Not that it mattered. No one in this business was who they said they were.

Least of all, Grace.

The girls, awed and anxious, straightened their rich, colourful gowns nervously. Despite her appearance of bonhomie Madame Chambon could turn on a coin. And it was she who ensured the girls did not return to where most of them had been plucked from – the gutter.

“A great opportunity awaits one of you tomorrow,” she addressed them, “for I have just been honoured by the visit of a woman of great discernment …”

A couple of the girls tittered. “A woman?”

They closed their mouths at Madame Chambon’s beady stare, attending as she went on, “who has requested I supply her with one of my loveliest …”

She drew out the pause as several of the brothel’s most popular young ladies preened.

“… most hard-hearted girls.”

All heads turned towards Grace. She blinked. Is that how they regarded her? Hard-hearted?

She simply had nothing left to offer anyone once she’d earned enough to pay her keep and just survive.

Madame Chambon levelled her expectant look upon Grace, whose mouth dropped open in protest. “A woman? But—”

“The woman wants to give her son a present to remember for his twenty-first birthday. She is obviously a very fond mother—” Madame Chambon allowed herself to share the girls’ amusement, adding, “with very good sense in choosing our select establishment to provide him with the very best initiation—” Her smile grew cloying as she continued to look at Grace—“without fear of him being lured into a transfer of affections amidst all the other … ahem … transfers that take place.” Though she made a gesture with her hands to indicate the transfer of money, the girls tittered at the double entendre.

The redhead closest to Grace dug her friend in the ribs. “Grace doesn’t have a heart to lose.” Her whisper resonated.

Nor did Grace have the heart to participate in the banter that followed.

So what if she’d been selected? It was just another job and a good thing she need not worry about eliciting the emotions of a twenty-one-year-old virgin. Pleasing, also, was the knowledge that it would inevitably be over in less than five minutes.

 

Yes, the final four books in the collection of 14 were released on all e-formats, and at all good romance e-tailers, though I’ve only included a link here to Amazon.

So thank you to those who dropped by, and to those who commented for a chance to win a copy of my English Civil War erotic romance, The Cavalier. It’s just had the most lovely review on Two-Lips Reviews, BTW.

 

 

Meanwhile, you can find out more on Beverley’s website, or buy Saving Grace at Amazon and all your favourite e-tailers.

I’d also love it if you could ‘like’ me at my Beverley Oakley FB page

Thank youJ

Romantic Times 2013 get ready for Beverley Oakley with giveaway

Romantic Times 2013 – Here I Come!

When I was growing up we used to play what we called “The Epitaph Game”. As the name suggests, we had to come up with a one-liner we hoped would sum up our lives.

Jokingly, the family – dad, my two sisters and I –  all agreed our mother’s should be: “She was a good worker” without realising what a tragic prophecy it would turn out to be. Born and brought up in an affluent suburb of Pretoria, South Africa, in the 1930s mum moved, after marrying dad, to the remote highlands of the African mountain kingdom of Lesotho, where I was born. After Lesotho gained independence we emigrated to Australia where she embraced a life that was far more strenuous than her previous, having now three children and no help compared to life as the District Commissioner’s wife when she had no children and a staff of three, not counting the gardeners.

 

Mum loved Australia and I had an enormously happy childhood full of adventure, one of the biggest being the life-long family project my sisters and I embarked upon with mum and dad: building the family home out of mud bricks we’d made and stockpiled over five years. The house – which we still own as a B&B called Bronte Manor –  was two-storey, with cathedral doors and antique sash windows and we used to camp on our 80-acre property in South Australia’s beautiful wine growing district, the Clare Valley, while we wallowed in mud or laid the brick floors in herringbone patterns to set off the baronial fire place. Mum put so much effort into that house.

 

Three weeks after mum and dad made the big move from the city to live permanently at Bronte Manor following dad’s retirement, mum died unexpectedly. Her heart had been weakened more than any of us realized as a result of experimental breast cancer treatment and her determination to apply a thick polish treatment to the floor was too much for her.

When I think back to the hilarity of The Epitaph Game I wish we’d decided mum’s should be: “She lived a life of Adventure”. It would have been true and it epitomized her spirit. However, that was what I’d chosen as mine all those years ago, and mum was my biggest advocate, pressing me to follow the much more risky but exciting path I ultimately chose, despite the fact I was on track to marry my teenage sweetheart of eight years, now a stockbroker, and I was likely to live just round the corner from her rather than across the globe, as transpired.

For it was on the last day of a working holiday, around a camp fire in Botswana’s beautiful Okavangao Delta, that I met my future husband: a handsome Norwegian bush pilot.

In our eighteen years of marriage Eivind and I have lived in Botswana, Namibia, Solomon Islands, Norway, Japan and Australia. While based in Canada for three years we worked for a geophysical survey company on long contracts in French Guiana and Greenland. My job was operating the survey equipment in the back of low-flying Cessna 404s and CASA212s and it was exciting never knowing where we’d be sent next. I didn’t always fly with Eivind, though, and I found that being cocooned for long periods of time with a lonely pilot was a great apprenticeship for a romance author. In the evenings I often retreated to my room (when I was on a separate contract to Eivind) where I would weave dramatic and romantic plots as an escape from playing cards or drinking beer. It was the beginning of my career as a romance author.

Eivind and I have been settled for nearly five years now in a pretty country town north of Melbourne. Eivind is a long haul pilot and we’re contemplating our next exciting holiday: a motorcycle camping trip through Nevada (whooping it up in Las Vegas) and California before I head off to Kansas City for the Romantic Times Convention 2013 to celebrate the release of my first Ellora’s Cave Erotic Regency Romance, Her Gilded Prison and my first Pan Macmillan release in the Hot Down Under collection, Saving Grace.

The trip will be a bit of a 50th birthday present for Eivind and I know it’ll be a blast!

Hopefully I’ll see some of you in Kansas City. I’ve not been there before but I’ll be in fabulous company which will include my critique partner, Jess Dee, as well as my fellow Hot Down Under author friends, Lexxie Couper and Rhian Cahill.

And as I soar through the canyons on the back of Eivind’s bike I’ll think of mum’s adventurous spirit soaring with me, and of how much she’d have loved to have met the grandchildren who remind me so much of her.

Saving Grace  will be released on Jan 01, 2013. To celebrate I’m offering readers an e-copy of The Cavalier, my short novella set during the English Civil War in which a reluctantly-wed Puritan woman finds that the man leading the enemy forces besieging her castle is in fact the Cavalier lover she was forced by her father to relinquish eight years previously.  See below for how to enter the giveaway.

In the meantime, here’s the blurb and a brief extract from Saving Grace.

It’s 1878 and London’s most hard-hearted prostitute is preparing for her next client.

Saving Grace is about a beautiful prostitute whose hated life is thrust upon her as a result of safeguarding the secret of the man she once loved and whom she believes betrayed her.

 

 

 

 

London, 1878

Reclining on the red plush sofa, Grace sipped the sickly sweet orgeat Madame Chambon insisted her girls drink and tried not to think about the night ahead. The others were gathered in companionable groups on the fashionable Egyptian sofas, their heavy scent perfuming the air.

As usual, no one gravitated towards her, though of course later, when their clients came calling, that would no longer be the case. Grace would have preferred the company of a like-minded female rather than the alternative.

An expectant hush fell as the heavy draped and tasselled curtain was drawn aside and Madame Chambon arranged herself theatrically in the opening, ready to address her petites choux.

Ravissement!” she complimented them in thickly accented English, clapping her hands. Grace suspected the elegantly ravaged Madam came from Lambeth rather than the Left Bank. Not that it mattered. No one in this business was who they said they were.

Least of all, Grace.

The girls, awed and anxious, straightened their rich, colourful gowns nervously. Despite her appearance of bonhomie Madame Chambon could turn on a coin. And it was she who ensured they did not return to where most of them had been plucked – the gutter.

“A great opportunity awaits one of you for tomorrow,” she addressed them, “for I have just been honoured by the visit of a woman of great discernment…”

A couple of the girls tittered. “A woman-?”

They closed their mouths at Madame Chambon’s beady stare, attending as she went on, “who has requested I supply her with one of my loveliest…”

She drew out the pause as several of the brothel’s most popular young ladies preened.

“… most hard-hearted girls.”

All heads turned towards Grace. She blinked. Is that how they regarded her? Hard-hearted?

She simply had nothing left to offer anyone once she’d earned enough to pay her keep and just survive.

Madame Chambon levelled her expectant look upon Grace whose mouth dropped open in protest. “A woman? But-”

“The woman wants to give her son a present to remember for his twenty-first birthday. She is obviously a very fond mother-” Madame Chambon allowed herself to share the girls’ amusement, adding, “with very good sense in choosing our select establishment to provide him with the very best initiation-” Her smile grew cloying as she continued to look at Grace – “without fear of him being lured into a transaction that includes a transfer of affections amidst all the other … ahem … transfers that take place.” Though she made a gesture with her hands to indicate the transfer of money, the girls tittered at the double entendre.

The redhead closest to Grace dug her friend in the ribs. “Grace doesn’t have a heart to lose.” Her whisper resonated.

Nor did Grace have the heart to participate in the banter that followed.

So what if she’d been selected? It was just another job and a good thing she need not worry about eliciting the emotions of a twenty-one-year old virgin. Pleasing, also, was the knowledge that it would inevitably be over in less than five minutes.

 

Thank you, everyone, for dropping by tonight. I’ve never regretted choosing the adventurous path and marrying a pilot in whose company I’d spent only 2 weeks. However during long periods of separation it’s nice to communicate with other readers and authors during events like this.

 

 Beverley is giving away an ecopy of her novella, THE CAVALIER, to one lucky commenter.  Tell us, what one line might sum up your life?   Giveaway ends @12am est 11-19-12.  Winner announced shortly thereafter.  Looking forward to seeing what y’all come up with. 🙂

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 Bronte Manor, family’s B&B in S.Australia’s Clare Valley

Beverley Oakley asks readers, what makes a hero sexy, with giveaway

Hi Ivy and everyone at Manic Readers,

It’s great to be back though I feel I’m always racing to keep up with this crazy double life I’m leading. I had no idea that writing under a pseudonym in addition to my original writing name would actually mean that I almost doubled my workload in so many areas. It’s been fun but it’s been hectic. And if writing and promo aren’t enough, my latest venture is costuming.

Yes, it’s huge fun as I prepare for my forthcoming series of library and author talks wearing my 1760s court gown, which I’ve constructed from old raw silk scarlet curtains and brocade using genuine patterns taken from gowns of the era. I’ve also made the genuine corset and panniers of the era, which I’m detailing with construction tips and photographs in my newsletter (so if anyone’s interested in costume and its related history, you might want to subscribe) and I’m wearing – and revealing – everything costume-related during my talks.

On the writing side, recent exciting developments include the cover art I received two days ago for my new 10K short story Saving Grace (under my Beverley Oakley name) that Pan Macmillan Momentum will release in January. I’m also told by my Ellora’s Cave editor that I can expect the cover art from my upcoming erotic Regency novella, Her Gilded Prison, any day now – hopefully with a release date. The series is about a viscount and his legitimate two daughters by his wife, and his illegitimate son and daughter by his mistress. As you can imagine, in the early nineteenth century the stigma of being a bastard was huge, so each of these children gets their own story with their lives intertwining between polite society, the demimonde and the hardships of genteel poverty and being a governess.

 

My most current news is the release of my Regency Historical Intrigue – A Little Deception – under my Beverley Eikli name. It was nominated Favourite Historical in 2011 by ARRA (Australian Romance Readers Association). In the original version I had to cut 15,000 words in order to fit the requisite 224 pages without making the font too small. It came out in hardcover but a couple of months ago my rights reverted to me and I was thrilled to have the benefit of time  – plus reviews – to tweak, add and restructure in order to maximize the potential of the subplots.

So if you love subplots, intrigue, villains – or in this case, villainesses – with lashings of romance, then you might like A Little Deception.

A one-night charade to save the family sugar plantation wins loyal and determined Rose Chesterfield more than she bargained for – marriage to the deliciously notorious rake, Viscount Rampton.  

“A love match!” proclaims London’s catch of the season who happily admits he has been hoist on his own petard.  

 

But when his new wife is implicated in the theft of several diamond necklaces Rampton wonders if her deception goes beyond trapping him into marriage. Is she the innocent she claims, or a scheming fortune hunter with a penchant for money, mischief and men?  

This extract takes place when Viscount Rampton visits Rose for the first time, alone.

His eyes held hers and a smile curled the corners of his lips. This time Rose had no response. Her heart thudded so painfully she wondered whether he could hear it. She schooled herself to remain still, not to squirm with embarrassment or appear too eager. Nor to turn him away with a lack of enthusiasm.

‘I looked in at Almack’s briefly.’ He remained standing a few feet from her, his hands clasped behind his back. ‘In case you had chosen to accompany your family, after all. When I saw you had not I was concerned …’ His voice trailed away and his intensely blue eyes bored into hers before he added softly, ‘that you might be lonely.’

Still Rose made no rejoinder. It was hard enough just forcing herself to breathe. Every nerve ending was like a taut violin string, heat prickled the surface of her skin and the most unbearable longing threatened to turn her into a fool. No, she had no choice but to wait, then act accordingly.

‘Come here,’ he said, softly, and Rose felt her body answer the summons before her mind had time to fully comprehend. Without conscious thought she’d closed the distance between them and was abandoning good sense with the breath that left her body in a whoosh as she raised her lips to meet his.

There were no gentle preliminaries. Hot and demanding, his mouth covered hers as he cupped her face, almost drinking her in and she, seemingly boneless, wilted in his embrace.

His lips burned hers as he growled against them, ‘I’ve looked forward to this moment since I first laid eyes on you,’ before resuming his passionate assault, his hands roaming over her body, cupping her bottom as he drew her against him.

Dear Lord, it was terrifying, and it was wicked and oh, so exhilarating. She was an innocent. Inexperienced. She knew she should be shocked by the liberties and the jutting angles of his masculinity but her body answered with equal ardour as her hands twined behind his neck and her tongue tangled with his in a dance of seduction that could have no happy resolution – but she could take what he offered, now, and she’d have that to sustain her for the rest of her days.

She squirmed at the disconcerting feeling of molten liquid pooling in her lower belly but she only pressed herself closer for in the drawing room she was still mistress of her own destiny and her reputation was preserved. She could show him how much she desired him but when he released her, here it would end.

‘You are wicked, my lord,’ she told him, kissing his ear, running her palms over the roughness of his angular cheekbones and reveling in his caresses, arching into him as he contoured her body without shame, knowing that he would realise it could go no further since she was, in his eyes, a married woman, and that she was due to leave the country in a few short weeks.

‘And you are a minx,’ he muttered against her throat, drawing back at the sound of heavy footsteps in the passage, and adding, just before Edith made her presence known, ‘but don’t you think you’ve got the better of me.’

Rose widened her eyes and smiled into his face, still only inches from hers. ‘Time will tell, my lord,’ she said, with emphasised coquetry. She sighed as she stepped backwards and out of his embrace. ‘I am mindful of the fact I am deeply in your debt.’

He reached out one hand to stroke her jawline. ‘Yes, you’d do well to remember that,’ he murmured.

Now, A Little Deception doesn’t venture too much into the bedroom, however if you like the idea of a happily married couple struggling with the issue of repeated conceptions yet being victims of their times (the Regency era) you might enjoy Lady Lovett’s Little Dilemma, which is published by Total-e-Bound and now, together with my other Beverley Oakley erotic historicals, available on Amazon.

Wind whipped the branches of the tree against her bedchamber window. A storm was brewing, said Tom, the footman. He should know, for he was a farmer’s son.

But Cressida was a parson’s daughter and she knew nothing about anything except what was required of her to be a good wife.

She drew the counterpane up to her chin and shivered, wishing it were with anticipation at the same time that she wished Justin were cuddled warmly against her. But that was not to be, not tonight.

At first, the limpid look in Justin’s eye when he’d held her hand in that tawdry sitting room at Mrs Plumb’s had sliced away at her soul. She’d seen the hunter in him size up his quarry. At eighteen she’d been easy prey, falling into his arms during their first waltz. There’d been no chase on Justin’s part, for their hearts and minds had been as one from the start.

He’d quickly realised it was Cressida, though, in that shabby little sitting room in that wicked house. She knew Justin too well. His sudden stillness and the change in his tone had alerted her to the fact that he knew exactly who she was.

Without missing a beat he’d continued the charade while her brain had been in a whirl as to whether to admit her identity. Yet when Justin so willingly endorsed their play-acting, the exciting possibilities had quickly taken on a life of their own.

He’d agreed to an assignation a week hence. Her body pulsed at the thought before fear intruded that he’d come to her too soon. How could she hold him at bay? In a week she’d have all the tools and knowledge she needed to be everything Justin could desire.

She didn’t have them now. She was as ignorant of the practicalities as she’d ever been, but she knew now that precautions were possible.

Of course, her kindly friend at Mrs Plumb’s would advise her to explain everything to Justin. But how could Cressida tell him everything? Panic banished reason. All she wanted was one more week—then she’d be all-powerful in her knowledge. Miss Mariah could help her with the words she needed. Cressida had not the vocabulary, much less the knowledge, to say what she needed to.

A familiar step sounded just outside her room. With a start of horror she jerked upright, drawing the counterpane up to her neck as the door opened slowly, faint light spilling in from the corridor.

Her breath caught, the words she might have used—should have used—dying in her throat.

 

                                       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’d like to be in the draw for a give-away of an ecopy of either my historical intrigue – Lady Farquhar’s Butterfly – or my erotic Regency, Rake’s Honour, I’d love to hear your thoughts on what makes a hero sexy.  Ends @12 am est 10-20-12. Winners will be announced shortly thereafter.  Good Luck!

 

Thanks so much for dropping by.

Beverley

Manic Readers Lady Lovett’s Little Dilemma

Manic Readers Rake’s Honour Review

 A Little Deception

Lady Lovett’s Little Dilemma

And visit me here:

 Beverley Oakley

Beverley Eikli

Beverley Oakley on FB

Beverley Eikli’s blog

Beverley Oakley on Twitter

Beverley Eikli                               Beverley Oakley

                                                                                                                                                  
Amazon Release -A Little Deception       Coming soon from Momentum: Saving Grace                           

In Praise of (supportive) Husbands by Beverley Oakley aka Beverley Eikli with giveaway

My darling husband often tells me I have a devious mind. He means it in the nicest possible way. As one of of my greatest fans (I’m afraid mine are the only historical romances he reads) he’s the kind of man who’ll interpret that far-away look in my eye as I’m doing the washing up as serious plotting rather than boredom.  And praise me for my dedication to my craft. 

When I first met this gorgeous Norwegian bush pilot, whose name is Eivind, around a camp fire in Botswana the evening before I was to fly home to Australia to my stockbroker boyfriend of eight years, I was surprised at the interest he showed in the historical romance I’d spent the previous three years writing.

 And when the stockbroker boyfriend moved onto greener pastures and I wrote to Eivind on the excuse of asking him to meet my sister at Maun airport (as she was following in my footsteps to manage a safari camp in Botswana), Eivind wrote back and asked for a floppy disk of my book. (Yes, this was 18 years ago and e-mail was not a form of communication in Botswana at that time.)

 The darling man ploughed through all 500 pages of it before jumping onto a plane eight months later and flying to my home in Adelaide, South Australia, to ask me to marry him – though I don’t believe his proposal was entirely due to the quality of the never-to-be published romance I’d written.

Nevertheless, he’s remained a huge support with his encouragement. 

Often, when I’ve finished writing a book I’ll take the children out and he’ll spend a day with his feet up reading my all-but-final draft on his iPad before I return – with nails bitten down to the quick – to await his verdict.

Sometimes he’ll simply say: “It was great. I love the way your mind works” before presenting me with his useful fine-edits. On a different occasion he’ll shake his head – like he did with my Regency Intrigue Lady Farquhar’s Butterfly written under my Beverley Eikli name – and say, “Your villain did not get what he deserved! You’ve got to make Olivia just give it to him when she gets the chance!

So, having in a sense been given permission, I launched into that creepy crypt scene with fists flying and pistols pounding.

It wasn’t until round three, though, that we were all happy…. except my villain, of course. 

One of the few stories my husband hasn’t read – because he was doing his Boeing 737 Command – is my latest erotic English Civil War release, The Cavalier. It’s also the one I’m most interested and anxious to have his verdict on as the story takes place on the eve – and during the siege – of my heroine’s castle and it contains lots of the stuff men like to read.

The Cavalier is an action-packed 20,000-word erotic drama full of lusty exploits, passion, tender moments, revenge and sword play.

And I’m really keen to hear his opinion – from a man’s point of view, not a husband’s.

 

 

Drummond Castle, home of staunch Puritan Silas Drummond and his beautiful wife, Elizabeth, has been besieged by Royalist forces. In a bargain to spare her husband’s life Lady Elizabeth has agreed to spend the night with the commander of the hated King’s Men. 

Second-in-command, Charles Trethveyan, has other ideas. He’s planned this moment since Elizabeth chose to marry Silas eight years before.

 When Elizabeth discovers that her former Cavalier lover has taken the place of his superior, she must decide whether Charles is motivated by love or revenge.

Either way, her response will have devastating consequences.

The Cavalier is available on pre-order discount until July 16, when it’s officially released.

 

 

I usually write Regency Romances – either traditional under my Beverley Eikli name, or sensual or erotic under my pseudonym, Beverley Oakley. However this gritty, sometimes brutal story had been begging to be written for a long time. I love historical author Pamela Belle’s work. Her brilliant English Civil War Wintercombe series has resonated over decades with me. I’ve also devoured everything I can find to do with seventeenth century diarist Samuel Pepys and his life. As a history major and lover of social histories for as long as I can remember, I’m comfortable with the time period.

Honour and loyalty are two of my favourite themes and integral to a romance set against civil conflict when families and friends could be fighting on opposing sides.

Writing it made me feel that the pen really is mightier than the sword. (Despite what my husband might think.)

Beverley is generously giving away winners choice of an ecopy of RAKE’S HOUNOUR or LADY LOVETT’S LITTLE DILEMMA.  Giveaway ends @12am est 7-20-12.  Good luck!  Beverley has some lovely wicked twists to her stories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can read more about my erotic Historicals written as Beverley Oakley and my Historical Intrigues written as Beverley Eikli by visiting my website at.

You can also visit my blog:, find me on FB  or at Twitter

 

 

What Competitions Can Teach You By Beverley Oakley

When I was eight months pregnant with my eldest daughter (now ten), I received the results for my first entry in a Romance Writers of Australia competition.

It’s a day I’ll never forget. On the pavement by our inner city Perth townhouse next to the mailbox, I wept tears of mortification on the shoulder of my sympathetic, long-suffering husband.

The thick packet of score sheets I’d just opened with such hope and trepidation announced that I had ranked second to last with a score of 47%, a percentage that would be forever tattooed onto my brain.

Fortunately, with bolstering from my husband and the fact that I had been bitten by the writing bug, my despair turned to determination. This was the first time I’d entered a competition, I reasoned. I was still learning.

After a couple of weeks I was able to look more objectively at the feedback and to my surprise found that the main issue was one shared by all three judges. They couldn’t sympathise with my heroine.

What? I thought. How could anyone not like Fanny Brightwell? OK, so she was bold, brassy and ambitious but wouldn’t anyone in her perilous social and financial situation take the risks she took?

By the time I’d created Fanny for this first competition all those years ago Fanny and I had become best friends. The fact that the judges could see so  so few redeeming qualities was as much my fault as hers, I realised.

Fanny and I had work to do and I couldn’t let her down.

After some serious coaching on how to help Fanny make a better first impression, how to tone down the ‘rough diamond’ side of her personality and how to make the judges weep with empathetic understanding of her difficulties, I re-entered her into the same RWA Single Title & Loving it! competition the following year.

And won.

Avon editor, Erika Tsang, was the final judge and she requested the manuscript which became a rambling tale written far too hastily and which was, not surprisingly, rejected. (At that stage in my writing career it always took me a few goes to get it right.)

Shortly afterwards I sold two books with better mannered heroines and Fanny Brightwell was relegated to the sidelines. Not a place a girl like her is prepared to wait for too long.

After working really hard to get my third book in I came up for air and there was Fanny, demanding attention.

Glad to be released from the bottom drawer, Fanny Brightwell told me she was ready to be further re-moulded. Together we brushed up her deportment lessons, ironed out a few rough patches and rewrote her story.

The result is Rake’s Honour, a short novel with a long history. So far Fanny has had a very good reception. Like me, she’s learned the hard way but she has staying power.

A necessary attribute in any business, especially writing.

 

London’s most daring debutante, Miss Fanny Brightwell is about to embark upon the biggest gamble of her life.

Victory means marriage to Viscount Fenton, the man of her dreams, and a life of pleasure. Failure means she’ll be forever beholden to the odious dilettante, Lord Slyther.

However both men have underestimated the woman they desire.

 

 

 

 

 

Buy at Total E-Bound

 

Beverley Oakley wrote her first romance novel when she was seventeen. However, drowning the heroine on the last page (p550!) was, she discovered, not in the spirit of the genre so her romance-writing career ground to a halt and she became a journalist.

Throwing in her secure job on a metropolitan daily to manage a luxury safari lodge in the Okavango Delta, in Botswana, led her into a new world of romance and adventure: living in a thatched cottage in the middle of a mopane forest with the handsome bush pilot she met around a camp fire.

Seventeen years later, after exploring the world in the back of Cessna 404s and CASA 212s during low-level survey sorties over the French Guyanese jungle and Greenland’s ice cap, Beverley is back in Australia living a more conventional life with her husband and two daughters in a pretty country town an hour north of Melbourne. She writes traditional Regency Romance as Beverley Eikli and sensual historical romance as Beverley Oakley.

 

She’d love you to visit her at her siteblog, like her on FB, or follow her on Twitter.

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