Thursday, May 25, 2017

Unmasking the Earl by Elizabeth Keysian ~ Guest Post and Giveaway

Title: Unmasking the Earl (Wayward in Wessex #2)
Genre: Historical Romance
Length: 280 pages
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, Scandalous
Release Date: May 15, 2017

Devastated by the disappearance of his sister, the Earl of Stranraer has gone to extraordinary lengths to find the notorious rake responsible, and enters his household incognito to wreak his vengeance. But his enemy has an unexpected protector—the innocent but headstrong Miss Cassandra Blythe.

Cassie is determined to learn the art of seduction. But she is blindsided by her body's thrilling response to the wrong man—a mysterious servant who shows up at the most inauspicious moments to spoil her lessons in love with warnings of her imminent ruin. When she learns the handsome servant's identity and the reason for his deception, she resolves to help Stranraer, but only if he abandons his vow to destroy his enemy.

The earl is sorely tempted to give the meddlesome beauty a lesson in seduction she’ll never forget. But she turns the tables, and he gets his own lesson in forgiveness…and love.

Meshing strong women in a time period where men ruled.

What famous women can you think of from the British Regency period c.1795-1837? Off the top of my head, I came up with: Mary Shelley (writer of Frankenstein and wife of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley); Jane Austen; Queen Charlotte and Queen Caroline; Princess Charlotte (George IV's heir, who died in childbed); Lady Caroline Lamb (the poet Byron's mistress); and Lady Emma Hamilton (Admiral Lord Nelson's mistress).

Portrait of Emma Hart, later Lady Hamilton
So by my reckoning—and this is very much a personal opinion—in order for a woman to have any influence at a time when men held all the power, she had to be a well-educated writer of poetry or prose, have royal blood, or—and you can call me cynical—be prepared to welcome a powerful man to her bed.

I like to think there were other ways for Regency women to wield power besides the options above, and it is becoming increasingly clear, through the work of social historians, that there were. Just because there were rulebooks on etiquette, deportment and education for women which prepared them solely to become wives and mothers, does not mean that every woman followed these rules. In breaking them, some women found a freedom of which they had never before dreamed.
Princess Mary, one of George IV's daughters

My Regency heroines in Distracting the Duke and Unmasking the Earl are rule breakers. In my opinion, a story would be deadly dull if everyone behaved as they were supposed to. Lady Clara —from Distracting the Duke—is a widow, and can therefore be assumed to know her way around the bedchamber, although all is not what it seems on this score. However, Cassandra Blythe, heroine of Unmasking the Earl, is, except in her vivid imagination, a complete innocent at the start of the book. She does not yearn for power—what she wants is love, but gets rather more than she bargained for, and from a completely unexpected direction. But love, true love, brings a power all of its own, and we must imagine that Cassie, once she has secured her Happy Ever After, will use the power she has gained to make the world a better place. But how does she reach that Happy Ever After? You will just have to read the book and see.

Author Bio:
Elizabeth first started writing fiction when she was eight, encouraged to do so by her Head Teacher father, who needed something to keep her quiet during school holidays. Her favorite topics were mermaids, ghosts, Norman knights and quests, and she illustrated and decorated her own books. She emerged from the world of her imagination to read History at the University of London, after which she spent many years working as an archaeologist and artifact illustrator. She then became a primary school teacher, after which she moved to museum education work, and display and collections management.

Elizabeth has been involved in Medieval, Tudor, and English Civil War re-enactment and has enjoyed sword-play and traditional archery, excelling in neither. She lived for seven years on a Knights Templar estate in Essex where she pursued her interest in historical textiles, cookery and medicine. She loves anything to do with the past, and still looks down holes in the ground to see if there’s anything archaeological in them. There generally isn’t.

She has written fifteen historical romances since moving to the West of England in 1997, the landscape and history of which have inspired the “Wayward in Wessex” series. Book #1 in the series, “Distracting the Duke”, has recently been published by Entangled Publishing.


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