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Lynne Barron: Unraveling the Earl
Friday, October 21st, 2016

I’ll let you in on a little-known secret—I did not set out to be a writer of erotic historical romance.

When I began my first book I intended the story to fall within the realm of traditional historical romance—a bit of spice sprinkled throughout an otherwise purely romantic tale. The original manuscript was laced with wonderfully trite euphemisms for various parts of the body…nubs, pebbles, pearls, etc. Oh, and just so we don’t ignore the manly parts…member, manhood and staff.

Alas, after months of sending out queries and receiving only silence or politely worded rejections in return, I decided to take a walk on the wild side. I added length and depth (so to speak) to the sex scenes and replaced most of the euphemisms (though not all because, let’s face it, there are only so many synonyms for certain body parts and some euphemisms are too perfect to pass up) with breasts, nipples, clitorises, cocks, shafts and the occasional erection and penis. Oh, and I added a bit of 19th century British slang—my personal favorite being quim.

I did not add a menage a trois, bondage, or even a spanking scene to the book. It was straight lovemaking between a man and a woman without benefit of toys, gadgets, whips or cuffs. And only one instance of rough handling by my hero. To put it simply, the story was barely erotic and then only by the grace of a few added details and naughty words.

Armed with a sexier version of the original manuscript, I sent out another round of queries to publishers of erotic fiction. Much to my delight, I was soon under contract for a three book series with a publisher who shall remain nameless.

Thus Portrait of Passion was born. And soon afterward, died a slow, torturous death. Lost in the netherworld of historical romances that aren’t erotic enough to satisfy fans of the genre, yet a touch (to a cock or clitoris) too racy for readers with a preference for more traditional historicals.

By the time I recognized the abyss into which Portrait of Passion had plummeted, it was too late. I was under contract to write two more erotic historical romance novels to complete the series. I edged Widow’s Wicked Wish a tad nearer to the erotic side only in terms of the frequency of sexual encounters and a faint hint at the darker desires my heroine might enjoy in the not too distant future.

When I began the third book I decided to do more than take a little stroll on the wild side. Unraveling the Earl is a far more wicked and wanton tale, thanks to the heroine who is…well, wicked and wanton. Georgie’s past is littered with debauchery of all sorts, some of which trickles into her relationship with the hero of the story. There is a spanking scene, though it’s only two light taps instigated by the heroine during a light-hearted bit of role-playing. And she does wind up tied to a bedpost with a lavender ribbon, a scene which leads to all sorts of hilarity and mayhem. Oh, and she strips herself bare and diddles her goodies for her hero’s entertainment.

The antics of the heroine of Unraveling the Earl lead me to quite a dilemma, a crisis of conscience you might say.

You see, in preparation for the day the rights for my Idyllwild Series would revert to me, I re-read the first and second stories, marking naughty words and entire paragraphs and pages for deletion or revision in order to transform the stories from barely-erotic to slightly tamer sensual historical romance novels. And hopefully lift them from the abyss so that readers browsing for a historical romance might actually discover them, perhaps even read and enjoy them.

Then I started re-reading Unraveling the Earl.

And I came to the realization that there was no way to transform this tale into anything other than what it is—a story wandering the fine line between erotic and sensual historical romance. A tale of a woman with a past so far beyond checkered it more closely resembles a garish paisley print, an enlightened acceptance of all the many and varied ways men and women make love, and a desire to please her lover in all ways. Thus pleasing herself in the process, selfish bit of muslin that she is.

I love this story, I ate and slept and dreamed this story while writing it. I was tormented and taunted by Georgie’s secrets and motives and her refusal to stay on the path to redemption. I was charmed and enchanted by Henry’s need to peel away her many layers, to discover the inner workings of her mind and finally solve the puzzle that is her heart.

The story simply would not work without her licentiousness, without her willingness to prey upon Henry’s desires for her own selfish ends. If I deleted all the raunchy bits and pieces, the reader would never know Georgie, never see beyond her scheming and lying to the lost and heartbroken woman hiding behind it all, and never believe an inherently good and kind man like Henry could fall in love with her.

And so, I only made some minor revisions, gave all three stories fresh edits and beautiful new covers, and re-released them in the hope that readers would be willing to walk the fine line between erotic and sensual historical romance to discover my books. And that when they did, like Henry, they would fall in love with Georgie, just as she is.

“I was never good or clean or whole, my lord. I have always been wicked and broken and dirty. I am vengeful and covetous and impulsive and selfish, and I like that about myself. I like my murky morals and my stubborn streak and my dubious loyalty and my greedy desire to claim what I want, no matter the cost. I like it all and what’s more so do you.”      —Miss Georgie Buchanan 

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The Earl of Hastings’ reputation as London’s greatest gift to the ladies has taken on a life of its own and he is only too happy to live up to in one Mayfair bedchamber after another. Until he encounters a lady more interested in poking around his country estate than sampling his lauded charms.

Georgiana Buchanan is a woman with murky morals, warped notions of right and wrong, a talent for dancing around the truth, and a penchant for attending weddings and funerals without invitation.

When Georgie catches Henry’s roving eye, she turns the tables on the arrogant scoundrel, introducing him to a world of sensual delights and unraveling his vaunted control before fleeing into the night.

Henry is determined to make the elusive Georgiana his mistress while the lady wants only to use his desire to further her own schemes. When they find themselves marooned at Idyllwild during a summer storm, they will both discover they’ve gotten more than they bargained for.

The great lummox was lounging at the table with a napkin tucked into the lapels of his brocade dressing gown when Georgie emerged from the bathing room. 

With a pheasant leg in one hand and a brandy snifter in the other, Hastings looked up from the table with a lopsided smile that did queer things to her insides. Which infuriated her to no end.

She breezed by him in search of her gown only to come up short when she did not find it lying on the floor where she’d left it. Spinning about to face him, she battled to hold on to her temper. “Where are my clothes?”

“I sent them to be pressed,” he answered, ducking his head over his plate. “The servants will return them in the morning.”

She opened her mouth to demand that he fetch them back immediately. She could hardly sneak about his house naked. And she had no intention of remaining under his roof until morning.

But he was tucking into his dinner as if he hadn’t eaten in three days and drinking brandy like it was water.

Surely he would be snoring in his bed before long.

With that thought uppermost in her mind, Georgie marched to his dresser and rifled through the drawers until she found rows of pressed white shirts. Removing one, she pulled it over her head and rolled up the sleeves before turning to wander about the perimeter of the room. She extinguished every candle in the sconces that dotted the walls until the room was a patchwork of dark shadows and golden light from a handful of tapered candles spaced about the room.

Two orgasms, a little food, a quantity of brandy and a darkened room ought to put the lord to sleep.

Georgie joined Hastings at the table, dropping into the empty chair with a sigh.

“Sure and that was poorly done, my lord,” she admonished, lifting the lid of a silver platter to find an entire roast pheasant, less the leg his lordship was currently devouring, swimming in a congealing sauce of some sort.

“Why did you run off?” he asked. “I had every intention of seeing to your pleasure just as soon as I’d regained my wits.”

Seeing to her pleasure? Was it possible the man did not realize she’d climaxed the moment he’d breached her body?

If the cocky lord couldn’t recognize a woman in the throes of a rollicking good release nor pull out before reaching his own, he most assuredly did not deserve the reputation he’d somehow earned. Nor did he deserve to be enlightened. In fact he deserved to be tormented a bit.

“No need,” she assured him, dropping the lid with a clatter. “I saw to it myself.”

Hastings made a choking sound and she darted a quick glance his way as she lifted another lid. He was staring at her from comically round eyes, a flush spreading over his cheeks.

“You saw to your own pleasure?” he croaked out. “Just now? In my bathing room?”

“I’m sorry,” she replied, her temper falling away at the look of astonishment on his face. She peered into the second platter. Shaved beef on toast swimming in gravy. “Did you want to watch?”

“Sweet mercy,” he murmured.

“Does one of these dishes contain vegetables?”

“Would you allow me to watch you…” He waved his hand about, dripping sauce on the tablecloth.

“Bring myself to climax?” she finished for him, finally finding a porcelain dish filled with potatoes and white beans in butter.

“That is a sight I would truly love to see.”

“I imagine one woman diddles herself much like the next.” Georgie heaped potatoes and beans onto her plate before slathering butter on two thick slices of bread.

Lord Hastings watched her, both elbows propped on the table, his fowl forgotten in his hand.

“Or perhaps not,” she reconsidered, delighted by his wonder despite her intention to remain untouched by his boyish charm. “Perhaps some women use the right hand while others use the left.”

“Which do you use?”

“The right. The left is for tweaking my titties.”

Hastings dropped the pheasant leg onto his plate and fell back against his chair with a groan.

Georgie let him stew on that while she dug into her meal, discovering with the first bite that she was quite ravenous.

And why not? She’d been pacing the warped boards of her rented rooms for the better part of three days with her stomach in knots, undone by the news that the Countess of Hastings had passed away.

“You’ve beautiful breasts,” the earl said some minutes later.

Looking up from her plate she eyed him suspiciously, not at all certain he wasn’t toying with her.

“Truly,” he assured her with a grin. “Quite the loveliest titties I’ve ever seen.”

“Thank you,” she replied on a huff of laughter.

“Your nipples are like ripe berries,” he continued, his eyes dropping to her chest.

Georgie looked down, not the least bit surprised to see the sensitive buds clearly visible beneath the fine cotton of his shirt. Under their combined regard, her nipples hardened and lengthened, pressing against the fabric. Heat pooled between her legs and it was all she could do not to squirm in her seat.

She might have erred when she’d decided to torture the man for his transgressions, most specifically spending his seed in her body and failing to recognize the gift of her climax. The diddling of her quim and fondling of her nipples likely weren’t subjects destined to put the earl to sleep.

“Eat your dinner, my lord,” she murmured, plucking up another piece of bread and heaping butter on it.

“Henry,” he corrected, apparently not inclined to adhere to her gentle command. “I’d much rather eat your berries.

“Does that sort of nonsense customarily work for you?” she asked, genuinely curious.

“Nonsense?”

“Eat your berries,” she mimicked. “Play my pipe. Has that ever worked for you?”

“I seem to recall you on your knees before me not too long ago,” he pointed out with a chuckle.

“It wasn’t because you’d compared your prick to a pipe, of that you can be certain,” she replied, amused by his arrogance.

“I don’t give a fig as to the why of it,” he said.

“No, I don’t suppose you do,” she agreed knowing full well he’d be less than pleased if he knew the true reason she’d fallen to her knees before him.

 

*~*~*

Amazon Link for Unraveling the Earl:  https://www.amazon.com/Unraveling-Earl-Idyllwild-Book-3-ebook/dp/B01ICNOTBW/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Author Bio

lbauthor-picLynne Barron always wanted to be a writer, if only she could decide what to write. Every Creative Writing teacher and college professor advised her to write about what you know. But what did she know? She knew she enjoyed reading romance novels whenever she could find the time between studying, working and raising her son as a single mother. She knew quite a bit about women’s lives in the Regency and Victorian era from years spent bouncing back and forth between European History and English Literature as a major in college. She knew precious little about romance except to know it was more than a card and a dozen red roses on Valentine’s Day. Then she met her wonderfully romantic husband and finally she knew. Passion, Love and Romance. And she began to write. Lynne lives in Florida with her husband, son and a menagerie of rescued pets.

My Website Link: http://www.lynnebarron.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LynneBarronRomanceAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lynnebarron06
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Lynne-Barron/e/B00IQS82DU/

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