Whenever I’m asked about my books, I’m at a loss about how to condense them. Should I talk about the stock swindle that cost my hero’s father his fortune? Should I mention that our heroine Daisy and Lucian (the vexed viscount in the title) knew each other as children and didn’t exactly see eye to eye? (Lucian would remind me that he has the scar to prove it!) Should I explain that Lucian is desperate to follow the clues to an ancient Roman treasure, but he can’t openly accept Daisy’s help because his father blames her uncle for his financial ruin? Would readers be interested in the secondary romance that takes place in Roman Britain?  Or should I focus on Daisy’s scheme to get around Lucian’s reluctance by masquerading as a courtesan by night, while bedeviling him as herself by day?

When I decided Daisy would pretend to be courtesan in VEXING THE VISCOUNT, I knew this well-born miss would need some help if she was going to be convincing as a “Woman of Pleasure.” Since Daisy is the sort to enjoy a good book, I helped her discover the secret diary of a notorious French courtesan, Blanche La Tour. Not only does Blanche offer Daisy practical sensual advice, she waxes philosophical and displays a sardonic wit.

This is hardly surprising since courtesans were the rock stars of their day. Not always the greatest beauties of the ages, they possessed spirit and intelligence and a willingness to flout society’s rules. It made them the darlings of the period tabloids. They had star quality. They knew how to gather a crowd and hold court with outrageously witty (and often naughty) banter.

The real Blanche La Tour never makes an entrance in VEXING THE VISCOUNT, but through Daisy’s use of her journal, we come to know this unusual woman. We catch snippets of a courtesan’s memoirs in Daisy’s actions and comments as she tries to convince Lucian that she is a “bird of paradise.”

But I also included short excerpts from Blanche La Tour’s memoirs at the head of many chapters. 

Coquettish advice like:

“In the banquet of love, a kiss is the appetizer.”

“A man must hear a few ‘no’s’ in order to fully appreciate a ‘yes’.”

“There comes a point in every chase where the vixen must slow her pace, lest the hound lose the scent.”

Or a peek into the loneliness of a woman whose lover has deserted her for someone more supple of limb:

“And the Lord God said: ‘It is not good that Man should be alone.’ Perhaps it’s escaped His notice, but it’s no great treat for the Woman either!”

Or even a bit of wisdom:

“The moment when lovers step back and say, ‘I know you. And I won’t turn away,’ is the point when real lovemaking begins.”

Readers who’ve had a sneak peek at VEXING THE VISCOUNT ask me if I’ll ever write Blanche’s story. I might, but it wouldn’t be a traditional romance. I have a feeling her idea of happily ever after might just be as unconventional as the rest of her uproarious life!

Please leave a comment or question today! Someone who lets me know they’ve been here is going to win a shiny new copy of VEXING THE VISCOUNT! And be sure to check back tomorrow to see if YOU are the daily winner!

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http://www.emilybryan.blogspot.com

Vexing the Viscount

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