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Posts Tagged ‘Delilah Marvelle’

(School of Gallantry, #5)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb:

The greatest divide between a man and a woman is not the one society sets before them but the one they set before themselves…

After Miss Leona Olivia Webster had allowed herself to fall in love with a dashing childhood friend who had left her scorned and pregnant, she is done chasing her happily-ever-after. Shunned by society, she dedicates herself to raising her young son and putting money in their pockets. She doesn’t expect to be drawn to her latest master, a brooding man of hulking presence who carves random messages into walls with his Persian blade as a means of starting a flirtation.

Malcolm Gregory Thayer, the earl of Brayton, may have dedicated himself to a life of religious virtue after leaving the monastery due to dark tendencies, but after meeting Leona, he begins to yearn for the life that had never been his. When he meets a retired French courtesan who invites him to embrace what he has long feared, he seizes the opportunity to become the man he always wanted to be. His new mission is clear. He intends to finally serve the one thing he never had: his heart.

Warning: This historical romance is cotton candy with a razor on top. Themes include male virginity, BDSM, religion and language you really shouldn’t use at home. If you are easily offended by graphic sex and dirty humor, this book is not for you.

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I love Delilah Marvelle’s books because she is not afraid to embrace darker themes that are rarely found in traditional historical romance and this book is no exception.

The Prologue is very explicit and often brutal but it is essential reading to understand why Malcolm has become the man he is.

Malcolm Gregory Thayer, Earl of Brayton

There is something so fascinating and compelling about Malcolm. He is big and gruff but also kind, generous and compassionate…a complete contradiction. There is also a side to him that he has always suppressed – his liking for pain. Only through iron control has he been able to master his darker desires and he has remained celibate fearing what might happen if he ever lets himself fully embrace who he really is. He longs to be “normal”.

He’d always yearned to be able to gently kiss a woman’s hand without thinking of nipping or biting it. He’d always yearned to be able to bend a woman backward without breaking her back.

Miss Leona Olivia Webster

Despite her reduced circumstances and society’s condemnation, Leona has remained strong and refuses to wallow in self-pity. I admire her for bringing up her son single-handed and her determination to provide a better life for both Jacob and herself. She is a fiercely protective mother with plenty of backbone. I love the scene where she takes on the unscrupulous creditor to retrieve her son’s favourite bear.

“Let go or I swear I’ll swing at more than your pea-sized bollocks, you-you…rumpot!”

There is nothing sweet and tender about their romance and Malcolm is no charming, tender hero but there is just something about him that is so appealing. He struggles with the need to make Leone understand his darker desires but fears revealing the truth could drive her away. I enjoyed seeing this vulnerable side to him.

I thought Ms Marvelle handled Leona’s reactions to Malcolm’s revelations in a realistic way. I could relate to her initial feelings of confusion and disbelief but also her subsequent willingness to understand and accept the man she loves.

She already loved him for being so good, so honorable, so gruff, so stupid, so determined and so everything that wasn’t perfect. He didn’t need to be perfect. He was perfect being imperfect.

The secondary characters not only add richness but are also an integral part of the story, none more so than Madame de Maitenon who has been a favourite of mine throughout the series. Her life experiences have given her a special gift when it comes to understanding and counselling each of her “students”,  just as she does Malcolm…

… it is rather obvious this is merely about teaching yourself to be comfortable with your tendencies. You need to accept them and safely apply them. Nothing more. Once I assist you to fully embrace what you have long denied, I foresee nothing but rainbows in the sky.”

We learn more about Prince Nasser, Malcolm’s friend (I think he is certainly worthy of his own story) and Andrew Holbrook, whose house Malcolm shares, adds some light relief to the proceedings. Leona’s six year old son,Jacob, is simply adorable and his scenes with Malcolm are not only delightful but also serve to reveal a surprisingly different side to our hero. The School of Gallantry itself makes only a brief appearance in this book but the scene there is still quite a memorable one!

Throughout the series Madame de Maitenon has been instrumental in bringing others happiness so I’m thrilled that, at long last, she will finally be getting her own Happy Ever After in The Duke of Andelot due to be published next year.

I have loved all the books in this series whether uproariously funny, deeply touching, intensely emotional, unashamedly romantic, enthralling and emotionally charged or dark and complex. This is a series I can definitely recommend.

REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: SIZZLING

Read November 2014

School of Gallantry series (click on the cover for more details):

Mistress of Pleasure (School of Gallantry #1) by Delilah Marvelle Lord of Pleasure (School of Gallantry #2) by Delilah Marvelle Lady of Pleasure (School of Gallantry #3) by Delilah Marvelle Night of Pleasure (School of Gallantry, #4) by Delilah Marvelle Master of Pleasure (School of Gallantry, #5) by Delilah MarvelleThe Duke of Andelot by Delilah Marvelle – due 2015

I received a copy of this book from the author via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

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This is the final book in Delilah Marvelle’s delightfully wicked School of Gallantry series. If you haven’t read the series yet, you are definitely missing a treat!

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(The Rumor, #3)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

He’s a fighter, not a lover.
But that’s about to change…

Lady Imogene Norwood lives a sheltered life of quiet respectability and routine…until she debuts at her first Season. There among London’s elite she meets the wild and broken Lord Atwood. And the very shy English rose suddenly realizes that a little chaos might just be what her heart desires.

Lord Nathaniel James Atwood doesn’t believe true love exists. Since scandal tore him away from his family at an early age, he has spent his life fighting for what he wants. That attitude has made him a rising star in bare-knuckle boxing, and now leads him back to London to reclaim the life that was stolen from him. But upon meeting the innocent Imogene, his beliefs are trounced…as guarding his heart against her proves to be the fight of his life.

Personal Note: This book can be read as a standalone but there are some scenes which are mirrored in Forever and a Day (book 1) and Forever a Lady (book 2) although seen from a different character’s point of view. These scenes might, therefore, seem confusing if you haven’t read the earlier books.

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An enthralling, gritty and emotionally charged story.

This is the last book in the addictive The Rumor series and we finally discover the truth of the mystery surrounding Lord Nathaniel Atwood’s kidnapping and what happened to him during all the years he was presumed dead.

Nathaniel’s experiences…being locked in a windowless cellar for five years, his father’s betrayal and abandonment of him and the years spent surviving the dangers of New York’s notorious Five Points…have left him with deep emotional scars and a scandalous secret he can never share. Caught between two worlds…’He was neither fop nor street boy‘…he has never felt that he truly belongs anywhere. He enjoys sex but love isn’t an emotion he has ever felt or wanted to. Boxing is the only thing in his life that makes sense…it is what kept him alive on the streets of Five Points. Beneath that tough exterior, Nathaniel’s heart is in the right place. Together with his friend, Matthew Milton, he created the Forty Thieves and is committed to protecting those vulnerable people living in the slums.

Imogene is an unusual heroine. The abuse she suffered at the hands of her governess when she was a child has left her with health problems…fainting spells and a stutter. She is tired of being defined by her illness and longs to be independent and, therefore, no longer a burden to her brother, Henry. Imogene knows the sacrifices Henry has made to ensure she gets the medical treatment she needs and she longs to see her brother happy.

Delilah Marvelle’s stories are always refreshingly different and her characters infinitely fascinating. The brawny, tough, bare-knuckle boxing Nathaniel seems an unlikely pairing for the sweet, innocent, fragile Imogene who is twenty years his junior, but Ms Marvelle makes their romance work so beautifully. Imogene reveals a maturity beyond her years when she shows Nathaniel the patience, understanding and respect that he has never known before. I love how protective Nathaniel is of Imogene and how he gives her a sense of worth and confidence in herself so she no longer has to rely on others. Nathaniel’s desire to be in control all the time extends to the bedroom and adds some spice to the love scenes. I enjoyed seeing him come to love and trust Imogene enough to relinquish that control.

The boxing scenes are so visually compelling and Ms Marvelle conveys the brutal reality of the fights so powerfully.

I guessed the reason for Nathaniel’s kidnapping before it was actually revealed but there is a very dramatic scene towards the end of the book which I certainly didn’t anticipate.

The Epilogue provided the perfect ending to the series.

How I Imagine Nathaniel…

How I Imagine Imogene…

Memorable Moments

Everything about him was so beautifully raw and real. She didn’t realize a man could make a woman’s toes curl in her own slippers.
It was divine. He was divine.

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Now take your fancy prick of a wig and get him before I put your liver into your hand and make you swallow it through your nostrils.”

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“You underestimate a woman’s worth and her ability to redefine a man. A woman can give you hope in a world that has none. She can fight for you when you have ceased fighting for yourself and everything you believe in.”

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“I’m trying to save your pretty ass from getting spanked.”
Her brow creased. “You shouldn’t use words like that. Or tea is out of the question.
” He rolled his eyes. “Unless tea involves you fully naked with your arms tied behind your back, I’m not interested.”
She gasped. “No waltz for you, either.”

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God, but she was stealing away pieces of his heart. A heart he didn’t know he had to give.

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I am sad to see the end of this series but I will be eagerly waiting to see what other reading pleasures Delilah Marvelle has in store for me.

REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

Read August 2014

The Rumor series (click on the books for more details):

Important Note from Ms Marvelle’s Website:

Bonus Chapters from Forever Mine that were not included in this Prequel Novella are available for free download. These two bonus chapters are the untold story of what happened to Nathaniel from Augustine’s point of view. The publisher removed these two chapters from Forever Mine, despite my insisting upon their importance to the series and the novella. Which is why I am offering them for free. I feel this story and the entire series is incomplete without them, and in my opinion, are critical in understanding Nathaniel’s story whom the entire series is based on. I have provided the link to her website:
http://www.delilahmarvelle.com/#!forever_mine/c19oc

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ABOUT THE BOOKS:

A boxed set with ten sizzling historical romances from ten bestselling historical romance authors. Fall in love with fabulous tales of intrigue, suspense, wit, and passion featuring dukes, rogues, alpha heroes…and the women who can’t resist them. JUST 99 CENTS from July 27 – Sept. 21—then it disappears FOREVER!

Scoundrel Ever After by Darcy Burke – Once upon a time there was a very bad boy who met a very nice girl….

Lady of Pleasure by Delilah Marvelle – Educating a man in the art of love takes time. Lots of it.

Sonata for a Scoundrel by Anthea Lawson – Passion and secrets simmer against the glittering backdrop of 19th century musical celebrity.

To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield by Bronwen Evans – What’s a lady to do when a notorious rake wins her estate in a game of cards?

Undone by Lila DiPasqua – One steamy, emotionally charged retelling of Rapunzel…Rescuing this beauty from the ‘tower’ is only the beginning…

The Problem with Seduction by Emma Locke – Elizabeth Spencer needs a man. She doesn’t need to like him—because while she needs a man, she doesn’t particularly want one.

A Dangerous Invitation by Erica Monroe – Daniel O’Reilly returns to win back Kate Morgan’s heart and prove he’s innocent of murder.

Once Upon a Duke by Eva Devon – A widow looking to get seduced. A duke more than willing to oblige.

Great & Unfortunate Desires by Gina Danna – A marquis with a guilty past takes a bride in a world where love is fatal.

Dark Surrender By Erica Ridley – Trapped in darkness…. Their passion burns bright!

 

Buy Links:

iTunes: coming soon

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About Darcy Burke:

A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her devoted husband, their two great kids, and two Bengal cats. In her “spare” time Darcy is a serial volunteer enrolled in a 12-step program where one learns to say “no,” but she keeps having to start over. She’s also a fair-weather runner, and her happy places are Disneyland and Labor Day weekend at the Gorge.

Website: http://www.darcyburke.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DarcyBurkeFans

Twitter: https://twitter.com/darcyburke

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5823441.Darcy_Burke

Newsletter: http://www.darcyburke.com/newsletter/

 

About Bronwen Evans

USA Today Bestselling Author Bronwen Evans grew up loving books. She writes both historical and contemporary sexy romances for the modern woman who likes intelligent, spirited heroines, and compassionate alpha heroes.

Her debut Regency romance, Invitation to Ruin won the RomCon Readers’ Crown Best Historical 2012, and was an RT Reviewers’ Choice Nominee Best First Historical 2011. Her first self-published novella, To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield, was a FINALIST in the Kindle Book Review Indie Romance Book of the Year 201,2 and a finalist in the RomCon Readers’ Crown Best Historical 2013. Her first contemporary released December 2012, The Reluctant Wife, won the RomCon Readers’ Crown Best Category 2013.

Website: http://www.bronwenevans.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bronwenevansauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bronwenevans_NZ

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4331713.Bronwen_Evans

Newsletter: sign up at the top of Bronwen’s website

About Lila DiPasqua:

Lila DiPasqua is a multi-published, national bestselling author of historical romance with heat. Her novels are published by Penguin/Berkley, as well as having self-published works.

She is best known for her critically acclaimed Fiery Tales series. Her books have been featured on Doubleday and Rhapsody Book Clubs.

She lives with her husband and three children in Canada and is a firm believer in the happily-ever-after.

Website: http://liladipasqua.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LilaDiPasquaAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/liladipasqua

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3234450.Lila_DiPasqua

Newsletter: sign up on the sidebar of Lila’s website

About Delilah Marvelle:

Delilah Marvelle is the winner of the Reviewer’s Choice for Best Sensual Historical Romance of the Year and had Booklist name her historical romance ‘Forever and a Day’ one of the TOP 10 Romances of the year. When she isn’t writing, she’s digging through inappropriate research books that include anything in history having to do with courtesans, brothels, sexual contraptions that were never properly used and other fascinating forms of dirty history that didn’t make it into college textbooks. She includes all of her research in her books to ensure countless hours of entertainment and continues to take pride in knowing more about dirty history than most people feel comfortable with.

Website: http://www.delilahmarvelle.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delilah-Marvelle/73234401876

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DelilahMarvelle

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1423331.Delilah_Marvelle

Newsletter: http://delilahmarvelle.wordpress.com/

About Erica Ridley:

Erica Ridley learned to read when she was three, which was about the same time she decided to be a writer when she grew up.

She is the author of three Gothic romances, Too Wicked to Kiss, Too Sinful to Deny and Dark Surrender, the vampire romance “Never Been Bitten” in the paranormal romance anthology Born To Bite, contemporary paranormal romances Charmed and Midwinter Magic, and the holiday fantasy romance Let It Snow.

When not reading or writing romances, Erica can be found riding camels in Africa, zip-lining through rainforests in Costa Rica, or getting hopelessly lost in the middle of Budapest.

Website: http://www.ericaridley.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ericaridley

Twitter: https://twitter.com/EricaRidley

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3087787.Erica_Ridley

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/EricaRidleyVIPs

About Emma Locke:

Emma Locke is a writer and engineer living in the Pacific Northwest, where she loves hiking with her dog, hot yoga and riding out the annual 330 days of rain. Hiking and yoga give her time to plot, the lack of sun makes for perfect writing weather, and as for her day job, the dichotomy seems to work: her analytic side ensures her passionate, satisfying love stories don’t mulch under her bed, and her author side forces her to keep writing more.

Website: http://www.emmalocke.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorEmmaLocke

Twitter: https://twitter.com/EmmaLockeAuthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6749632.Emma_Locke

Newsletter: sign up at the bottom of Emma’s website

About Gina Danna:

Gina has spent the better part of her life reading. History has been her love and she spent numerous hours devouring historical romance stories, dreaming of writing one of her own. Years later, after receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees in History, writing academic research papers and writing for museum programs and events, she finally found the time to write her own stories of historical romantic fiction.

Now, under the supervision of her three dogs and three cats, she writes amid a library of research books, with her only true break away is to spend time with her other life long dream – her Arabian horse – with him, her muse can play.

Website: http://ginadanna.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GinaDannaAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GinaDanna1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7141882.Gina_Danna

About Erica Monroe:

Erica Monroe is a bestselling author of emotional, suspenseful romance. Though she has a Bachelor’s degree in writing, she’s been a secretary, a barista, and a retail assistant. Now Erica spends her days crafting lovable rogues and feisty heroines for her historical and new adult series. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina, and the Beau Monde Regency Romance chapter. When not writing, she is a chronic TV watcher, sci-fi junkie, lover of pit bulls, and shoe fashionista. She lives in the suburbs of North Carolina with her husband, two dogs, and a cat.

Website: http://ericamonroe.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EricaMonroeWrites

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ericajmonroe

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7280359.Erica_Monroe

Newsletter: sign up on Erica’s website sidebar

About Eva Devon:

Author of sexy and laugh out loud funny Regencies, I’m also Maire Claremont, creator of dark and angsty Victorians!

Website: http://www.maireclaremont.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Eva-Devon/1464806663776356

Twitter: https://twitter.com/evadevonauthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8333263.Eva_Devon

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/YoZbD

About Anthea Lawson:

Anthea Lawson, called “a new star of Historical Romance” by Booklist, has won readers with her combination of spicy love scenes and elegant prose. Her first novel, PASSIONATE, was a Best First Book finalist in the prestigious Romance Writers of America RITA awards.

Anthea also writes award-winning YA Urban Fantasy under the pen name Anthea Sharp.

Website: http://anthealawson.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AntheaLawson

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AntheaLawson

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2436762.Anthea_Lawson

Newsletter: https://tinyletter.com/AntheaLawson

 

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Q & A WITH DELILAH MARVELLE:

What’s your favorite historical romance?
All of them.

What is the first romance novel you ever read?
Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught

Would you want to live in the time you write about? What would you love? Hate?
A duke! I want a title to go with my bad boy!

If given the choice between a duke, a rogue, or an alpha hero, which would you choose?
Hm, I’d prefer all three wrapped into one.  😉  That said, I’ve always had a thing for rogues…

What tempts you? (Chocolate, caviar, long walks on the beach…)
My husband without his shirt on. *waggling brows*

Rapid fire round:

Designer purses or Target special?
Target Special.

Heels or flip flops?
 Heels

Rich or famous?
 Rich

American hottie or sexy Brit?
Sexy Brit.

Where’s your happy place?
Home.

 

Excerpt from LADY OF PLEASURE:

He trailed his gaze to the table and eyed her.

She stiffly and wordlessly gestured to the table, asking him to sit on the jam-spattered side. Where he belonged.

He eyed her again and carefully setting the closed small wicked basket beside his chair, pushed aside the tails of his coat with a hand and sat. He shifted, scanning the spangled table of jam and half-eaten scones.  “Is there a reason the scones are bleeding?”

If she wasn’t so angry, she would have laughed. But he wasn’t going to win that easily. Oh, no. No, no, no. “They must have known you were coming and themselves on the knife.”

He stared. “You aren’t going to make this easy for me, are you?”

She stared back and coolly said, “No.”

He leaned forward and toward her and was about to prop an arm against the table when he realized there was too much jam to bother. He sat back against the chair. “Now I know what the jam is for.”

She really was brilliant.

 

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FACEBOOK PARTY

https://www.facebook.com/events/250318105177956/

Wednesday, July 30th

6PM-11PM EST

Chat with the authors and win prizes!

Also, be sure to like each author’s Facebook page so you’ll see the WEEKLY GIVEAWAYS they have going on while Tempted by His Touch is on sale. You don’t want to miss an exciting moment of this extravaganza!

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THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

Grand prize: iPad Mini (16GB) with surprise bonus print books [Open to US/CA]

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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TOUR SCHEDULE:

July 27:

Embracing Romance
http://embracingromance.com/

Love Historicals
http://www.lovehistoricals.com/

Buried Under Romance
http://www.buriedunderromance.com/

For The Love of Bookends
http://loveofbookends.blogspot.com/

 

July 28:

Dashing Duchesses
http://dashingduchesses.com/

What I’m Reading
http://sillymelody.blogspot.com/

Love Saves The World
http://www.lovesavestheworld.com/

Rakes & Rascals
rakesandrascals.wordpress.com

 

July 29:

Hawt Reads
http://hawtreads.wordpress.com/

Doing Some Reading
http://doingsomereading.wordpress.com/

Tears of Crimson
http://www.tearsofcrimson.com/

Romancing Rakes For The Love of Romance
http://romancingrakes4theluvofromance.blogspot.com/

 

July 30:

Romance Reader Girl
http://romancereadergirl.com/

History Hoydens
http://historyhoydens.blogspot.com/

Mary Gramlich
http://marygramlich.blogspot.com/

 

July 31:

Adria’s Romance Reviews
http://adriasromancereviews.blogspot.com/

Swanangel15s Book Reviews
http://swanangel15home.blogspot.com/

Historical Romance Lover
http://historicalromancelover.blogspot.com/

What’s A Nice Girl Like You Doing On A Blog Like This?
http://nicegirlonablog.blogspot.ca/

 

August 1:

Bookworm 2 Bookworm
http://bookworm2bookworm.wordpress.com/

Rookie Romance
http://rookieromance.blogspot.com/

Book Obsessed Chicks
http://book-obsessed-chicks.blogspot.com/

Pretty Girls Read Books
http://opinionatedperson.wordpress.com/

 

August 2:

Eskimo Princess Book Reviews
http://eskimoprincess.blogspot.com/

Ramblings From This Chick
http://ramblingsfromthischick.blogspot.com/

Book Loving Mamas
http://booklovinmamas.com/

Historical Fiction Obsession
http://historicalfictionobsession.blogspot.com

 

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DON’T MISS THIS AMAZING OFFER!!

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                  JoannaM

 

Congratulations, Joanna . I have passed your email address to Delilah that she can send you the $5 Amazon Gift Card.

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I’m thrilled to welcome the fabulous Delilah Marvelle as my guest on Rakes and Rascals today.  Delilah recently released NIGHT OF PLEASURE, the fourth book in her delightfully wicked School of Gallantry series, and she’s talking about what inspired the series.  It’s over to you, Delilah…


THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE SCHOOL OF GALLANTRY

For those of you who don’t know about my School of Gallantry Series, please allow me to give you the quick lowdown of what you can expect. It’s a very quirky, very sexy historical romance series about couples who in one form or another get pulled into a “school” led by a retired French courtesan who educates men in the topic of love and seduction. It’s cheeky and believe it or not “The School of Gallantry” is based on real history.

The inspiration behind Madame de Maitenon, my silver haired retired French courtesan and headmistress of the School of Gallantry comes from a real life figure, Ninon de L’Enclos. I stumbled across her name during some research for another book and the more I unearthed about this woman and her personal history, the more I realized I *had* to create an equally fascinating character and a series around her.

Ninon de L’Enclos was born in Paris in 1620 and came from an interesting family. Her father had been exiled from France for participating in a duel. When her mother died, and having no siblings or family, she decided to enter a convent. Of course, Ninon didn’t last very long and a year later, she left the convent and decided to strike out on her own using her wit and her body to make her fortune. And she was a huge success. How did she decide to go from convent to courtesan? The one thing Ninon wanted was to remain unmarried. That left a woman only one of two choices back in those days to survive. She either went into a convent or turned to the life of a courtesan. She figured out pretty quickly that there wasn’t any fun to be had at that convent…lol.

Once Ninon went out into the world, she actually became well known for her passionate involvement in the literary arts, not just the sexual arts. She interacted and encouraged writers such as Molière to fame and even left money from her estate to her accountant’s son, Francois Arouet, better known to the world as Voltaire. Voltaire has Ninon herself to thank for his education. Without the money she had left him, who knows if we would have ever heard of him. This is why my readers will see references to Voltaire sprinkled throughout my School of Gallantry books. Because it is my ultimate nod to Ninon de L’Enclos.

After reading all about her life, and all of her letters, it was the older Ninon who ultimately fascinated me. She took on many lovers throughout her life, but never more than one at a time and involved herself with powerful, wealthy men, such as the King’s cousin and dukes. Perhaps the most heartbreaking, yet fascinating is the story about her son. Ninon involved herself with a wealthy, powerful man and bore him a son. This man took the son from Ninon and asked that she never disclose herself as being the boy’s mother. She agreed and watched her son grow up from a distance. Imagine her astonishment when her fully grown son appears at her door one day and ardently pleads to her if she’d take him into her bed. Ehm. Talk about awkward. At first, she simply denied him and brushed him off, hoping that his pride would simply squash whatever hopes he had. But her son was so obsessed and so in love with her that he simply wouldn’t give her peace. Ninon knew she had to reveal the truth to him if only to get him to stop. When she revealed the truth, her son committed suicide that same day by impaling himself on his own sword. It was a tragedy that haunted Ninon for the rest of her days. A tragedy I made sure that my own character, Madame de Maitenon lived with.

Because such tragedies often lead to great wisdom. (Don’t we know it…) she thrived on using her experience and applying it to her world. When she wasn’t bedding her current lover, she held literary events and discussions with aristocratic men having to do with philosophy, life, love, and sex. It was a “school” of sorts she had created and she had quite the following of men. In the early stages of creating my books, I decided to take these “discussions” of hers with men and turn it into an actual school. Hence the creation of the School of Gallantry.

Without a doubt, Ninon was known for her quips and wit. She had great sayings like, “Much more genius is needed to make love than to command armies.” And my favorite “The resistance of a woman is not always a proof of her virtue, but more frequently of her experience.” These fabulous quotes of hers gave me ideas upon ideas as to how my imaginary school should be run as well as the sort of quotes I wanted to see at the beginning of each chapter within my books. Hence the lessons. Call it a tribute, if you will, to the fabulous Ninon.

What is perhaps the most fascinating aspect of Ninon and why I created an elderly courtesan for my series as opposed to a young one, is that the older Ninon got, the more sought after she became by men. Unlike most courtesans who were all forced to retire due to age and lack of beauty, Ninon’s circle of admirers grew because they simply could not get enough of her wit and charm. Even women flocked to her for advice. One of my favorite stories about Ninon is when she was approached by a young gentleman who desperately wanted to bed her, but she really didn’t care for him. So she told him, “When I turn 80.” The man was so obsessed with her, that he waited, and when she turned 80, he showed up at her door saying it was time. Ninon was so amused by the man, she bed him for the hell of it. Her approach toward life and the amount of wealth and power she acquired in her lifetime is beyond the comprehension of even a modern woman. I hail her for this alone. Ninon died at 84 and left her vast fortune to friends and admirers.

I would also like to add that Madame de Maitenon also shares a lot of characteristics with own grandmother. My grandmother is a retired opera singer who once had the honor of singing with Pavarotti. Even though she is in her 70’s, she looks like she’s 50. Men of all ages stare at her and drool because she wears things I know I could never pull off. Amusingly enough, she has always oozed of sex but could never say the word sex. She always refers to sex as “Poom-poom.” And this is exactly why my French courtesan says “Poom-poom” because she is a combination between Ninon and my grandmother. And yes, my dearest grandmother knows I ripped off her antics and is rather pleased with it, lol.

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About Night of Pleasure:

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(School of Gallantry, #4)

 Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb

An arranged marriage is daunting, but not as daunting as seducing a spouse whose passions you do not understand…

​Derek Charles Holbrook, Viscount Banfield, knew his fate since he was seventeen when his father announced his union to the beautiful but mysterious American girl by the name of Miss Grey.
To protect the troubled estate, Derek submits to his father’s wishes, not realizing he’s about to entangle himself in a hell of a lot more than marriage.

Miss Clementine Henrietta Grey may be worth millions, but not a single coin has ever bought her a smidge of happiness. When she marries the charismatic and dashing Viscount Banfield, whose only strife in life appears to be the uneven seams in his coat, she finds that siring the heir he wants requires far more than her heart is prepared to give.

Unable to seduce his overly-serious and reluctant wife, Derek realizes his dreams of creating a loving family has turned into a nightmare. But with the unexpected assistance of a retired courtesan and her outrageous school, Derek and Clementine discover that passion is a language spoken not just from the body, but from the mind, heart and soul.

Excerpt Link: http://bit.ly/Or75YH

Goodreads Page: http://bit.ly/1lE9gU6

Buy Links:

iBooks: coming soon


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Meet Delilah:

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Delilah Marvelle is the winner of the Reviewer’s Choice for Best Sensual Historical Romance of the Year and had Booklist name her historical romance ‘Forever and a Day’ one of the TOP 10 Romances of the year. When she isn’t writing, she’s digging through inappropriate research books that include anything in history having to do with courtesans, brothels, sexual contraptions that were never properly used and other fascinating forms of dirty history that never made it into college textbooks. You can visit her at her website at www.DelilahMarvelle.com

Links:

Website: www.DelilahMarvelle.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delilah-Marvelle/73234401876
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DelilahMarvelle
Delilah’s Newsletter: http://delilahmarvelle.wordpress.com/

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Delilah is giving away a $5 Amazon gift card (US/CA only).  Leave a comment and your email address to be eligible for the Giveaway.

The Giveaway will last one week from March 29th to April 5th.

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I have over 250 books on my TBR pile and I’m determined to make inroads into reducing that number by the end of the year. So I’m challenging myself to read each month…

~ A book that has been languishing at the bottom of my pile
~ A book by a new-to-me author
~ A book in a continuing series or a completely new series
~ A book by one of my favourite authors
~ A book selected completely at random

This is my list of books for March…


A book that has been languishing at the bottom of my pile:

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HE WOVE A SPELL AROUND HER HEART

Handsome and powerful, with enough Comanche blood coursing through his veins to make him a little bit dangerous, Chase Wolf was used to getting what he wanted. So when Chase saw Franny–a golden-haired angel with deep green eyes, delicate features, and the sweetest smile–he set out to make her his.

As tempted as Franny was, she had too many secrets to let someone enter her world–secrets that would send any reasonable man packing. But Chase was far from reasonable, and despite her desperate attempts to push him away, he would not let her past destroy their future. For his Comanche heart knew that no price was too great to pay for love, happiness, and most of all, magic.

A book by a new-to-me author:

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How to Stop a Wedding

Young, widowed, and penniless, Lily Andrews, the Countess of Merrill,has strong opinions on marriage. When she spots a certain engagement announcement in The Times, she decides to take action. She will not allow another hapless girl to fall prey to a man—particularly the scoundrel who broke her heart five years ago. Anonymously she writes and distributes a pamphlet entitled “Secrets of a Wedding Night,” knowing it will find its way into his intended’s innocent hands…

How to Seduce a Widow

Devon Morgan, the Marquis of Colton, desires a good wife and mother to his son—someone completely unlike Lily Andrews, the heartless beauty who led him on a merry chase five years ago only to reject him. When Devon’s new fiancée cries off after reading a certain scandalous pamphlet, he vows to track down the author and make her pay. But when he learns it’s his former fiancée Lily, he issues a challenge: write a retraction or prepare to be seduced—to find out how wonderful a wedding night can be…

A book in a continuing series or a completely new series:

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Like all the Jaded Gentlemen, Dr. Rowan West may have his secrets, but he’s done his best to forgive the ghosts of his past and move on with his life. Until the beautiful Miss Gayle Renshaw appears on his doorstep, jeopardizing his medical practice, his reputation, and, worst of all, his heart.

In her desperation to become a doctor, Gayle uses what she knows of Rowan’s fiancée’s mysterious death to blackmail him into taking her on as an apprentice. With his back against the wall, Rowan agrees, but quickly discovers that Gayle isn’t as heartless as she seems. Captivated by his tenacious and brilliant new student, Rowan finds himself surrendering to temptation, just as the enemies of the Jaded start to encroach. Now, with both their lives threatened, Rowan may be forced to give up the woman he loves to save her life…

A book by one of my favourite authors:

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An arranged marriage is daunting, but not as daunting as seducing a spouse whose passions you do not understand…

Derek Charles Holbrook, Viscount Banfield, knew his fate since he was seventeen when his father announced his union to the beautiful but mysterious American girl by the name of Miss Grey.
To protect the troubled estate, Derek submits to his father’s wishes, not realizing he’s about to entangle himself in a hell of a lot more than marriage.

Miss Clementine Henrietta Grey may be worth millions, but not a single coin has ever bought her a smidge of happiness. When she marries the charasmatic and dashing Viscount Banfield, whose only strife in life appears to be the uneven seams in his coat, she finds that siring the heir he wants requires far more than her heart is prepared to give.

Unable to seduce his overly-serious and reluctant wife, Derek realizes his dreams of creating a loving family has turned into a nightmare. But with the unexpected assistance of a retired courtesan and her outrageous school, Derek and Clementine discover that passion is a language spoken not just from the body, but from the mind, heart and soul.

A book selected completely at random:

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Fate has thrown two sworn enemies…

Of all the hotel rooms rented by all the adulterous politicians in Chicago, female Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Lynde had to choose the one next to 1308, where some hot-and-heavy lovemaking ends with a death. And of all the FBI agents in Illinois, it had to be Special Agent Jack Pallas who gets assigned to this high-profile homicide. The same Jack Pallas who still blames Cameron for a botched crackdown three years ago—and for nearly ruining his career.

Into each other’s arms…

Work with Cameron Lynde? Are they kidding? Maybe, Jack thinks, this is some kind of welcome-back prank after his stint away from Chicago. But it’s no joke; the pair is going to have to put their rocky past behind them and focus on the case at hand. That is, if they can cut back on the razor-sharp jibes—and smother the flame of their sizzling-hot sexual tension.

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