by Heather Boyd
Series: Distinguished Rogues #7
Pub. Date: Dec. 8, 2015
Publisher: LLD Press
Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)
Richard Hill, the Earl of Windermere, might desperately require a wife and heir, but thoughts of duty fly from his mind when he rescues Esme, Lady Heathcote, from the embarrassment of a failed affair. They usually never agree about anything. He’s never even kissed the vexing widow. But when the opportunity arises to whisk her away for a no-strings-attached rendezvous, Richard can’t imagine a better way to spend a moonlit evening.
Esme has never lacked for admirers, but having Lord Windermere’s company goes a long way to ease the pain of losing her suddenly betrothed lover. And when Windermere suggests an affair, Esme is intrigued by the blazing-hot connection even while knowing their relationship has no future beyond his house party.
But as with any temptation, it’s a bargain they’ll soon regret.
Read an Excerpt
The hallway beyond the drawing room was filled to bursting with chattering guests and she moved smoothly through them, nodding and speaking occasionally to some. While she admired the elegance and comforts to be found in Lord Windermere’s home, she kept her eye out for Meriwether. She turned into the library, but the room was startlingly empty.
“Looking for me?” Windermere asked as he came to stand near. His gaze raked her from head to toe in the most gauche way.
Arrogant and presumptuous. “Hardly. You should pay more attention to your guests and the health of your servants.”
Instead of taking the hint that she wasn’t in the mood to talk, he caught her hand and raised it to his lips. His blue eyes danced with amusement. “I do love when you’re friendly. How have you been, Esme?”
She scowled at him and withdrew her hand to her side. “I’ve not given you leave to use my first name and I am not of a mood to spar with you. Go back to your other guests for amusement and send your butler to his bed. Anyone can see he’s on the verge of collapse tonight.”
“I already banished Oswin to rest.” He laughed suddenly. “Young Pip has assumed his duties until Collins comes up.”
“Just as well,” she replied, thankful for such sensible decisions at last.
“Only you would ever dare tell me what to do in my own home. I wanted to thank you for coming,” Windermere murmured. “But to convince everyone we’re not at odds, you will have to talk to me occasionally with a little less acid in your tone.”
“We’ve spoken as much as needed to quell any gossip.” She smiled at him. “Or was it your wish to have me chivvy you out of your mopes too.”
“I will say again you were right.” Windermere sighed and raked a hand through his dark, wavy hair. “You’re enjoying rubbing my nose in that business with Lady Bartlett, aren’t you?”
“Perhaps.” She smothered a laugh. He hadn’t wanted to believe he was being used until it was almost too late to extract himself from the connection. “You were so indignant that day, and after venting your pique at me, you charged down the street—on foot of all things, my man and your horse trailing after. I laughed for at least a whole day afterward. But I am sorry you were let down.”
He inhaled sharply, his jaw clenching before he relaxed and shook his head. “No, you’re not. You’re positively gloating that you were proved right about her.”
About the Author
Bestselling historical author Heather Boyd believes every character she creates deserves their own happily-ever-after, no matter how much trouble she puts them through. With that goal in mind, she writes sizzling regency romance stories that skirt the boundaries of propriety to keep readers enthralled until the wee hours of the morning. Heather has published over twenty novels and shorter works. Catch her latest news www.heather-boyd.com. She lives north of Sydney, Australia, and does her best to wrangle her testosterone-fuelled family (including cat Morpheus) into submission.
Connect with Heather:
So Heather, tell us how you decided to entertain the masses with your writing. What made you select historical romance over one of the other romantic subgenres?
I have always been a reader but it wasn’t until a family holiday about 8 years ago that I had time to put pen to paper. My kids were older and I didn’t have to watch them quite so carefully by then. I attempted something that I thought was brilliant but seriously, the story just didn’t go anywhere. When I first started writing, the books I’d been reading definitely influenced my direction of experimentation. I’d gone through many genre-reading phases--contemporary, science fiction, fantasy, paranormal. Regency romances were the ones that kept me up late until I finished the book (hello 4am), made me want to fact check unfamiliar words, and made me laugh out loud no matter where I was. That seemed a good place to start with my writing and I never looked back or wandered into another era.
Are you a historical guru or do you research the time periods of your stories? If you research each story... tell us a little about it. How long does it take and what types of information are you looking for?
I do a lot of research. There is so much we can’t know about the regency since we’re not living in that era. But even if we had lived in the early 1800’s it was only the wealthy that could afford the best education for their children. I read and research information from that period all the time and tuck bits and pieces away for current or future stories. Original correspondence, books and journals published in that era are the best starting point. I have a number of 200 year old books in my library and I’m always on the lookout for more.
Do your characters spring out of your head fully formed, or do you base your characters on real people (famous or otherwise)?
My characters spring into my head fully formed but they don’t reveal all their little quirks and traits until I’m writing their book. Until I start, they pester me!
Do you have any interesting, funny or just plain weird writing quirks?
I wish I did. Comfortable chair, water, some tunes playing and I’m happy. How do other writers answer that question? Maybe I need some quirks too.
Your newest release, Reason to Wed, is the latest in the Distinguished Rogues series. For those who haven't read the series, can you tell us about it?
Reason to Wed is about Lady Heathcote and Lord Windermere, two people who’ve known each other for a long time and tend to irritate each other. Richard and Esme were friendly enemies who’ve recently become the focus of nasty gossip. Here’s the blurb: Richard Hill, the Earl of Windermere, might desperately require a wife and heir, but thoughts of duty fly from his mind when he rescues Esme, Lady Heathcote, from the embarrassment of a failed affair. They usually never agree about anything. He’s never even kissed the vexing widow. But when the opportunity arises to whisk her away for a no-strings-attached rendezvous, Richard can’t imagine a better way to spend a moonlit evening.
Esme has never lacked for admirers, but having Lord Windermere’s company goes a long way to ease the pain of losing her suddenly betrothed lover. And when Windermere suggests an affair, Esme is intrigued by the blazing-hot connection even while knowing their relationship has no future beyond his house party. But as with any temptation, it’s a bargain they’ll soon regret.
So what starts as an attempt to quell the rumors ends up being so much more than they expected. They discover unexpected passion that surpasses their wildest dreams, and a solid friendship begins to bloom. It was wonderful to write a romance for mature individuals who were straightforward in expressing their desire for each other and what they want in life. Reason to Wed is the seventh story in the Distinguished Rogues Series. The rogues are gentlemen of the ton who misbehave frequently and my ladies are outgoing originals who like to challenge the way things are, and the rogues too.
You have three other series out, want to tell us a little about those?
Besides the Distinguished Rogues I have the Wild Randalls series – a four book series about a family that was torn apart by greed and fear, scattering the siblings far and wide. It’s about family, forgiveness and making a new start.
The Miss Mayhem series is also four stories and set in the seaside town of Brighton. The four very different young women who buck convention at every turn in the hope of finding their place in the world lead their gentlemen on a merry chase. I just published the last book in the series and I already miss them and their antics.
I also write gay historical romance because you can never have too many heroes! Everyone deserves a happy-ever-after in my opinion. The Hunt Club series is about the members of an exclusive and decadent London Gentleman’s club where satisfying their passions can have dangerous consequences.
What are you working on now?
At the moment I’m working on a new series of books that will release in the second quarter of 2016. At this very early stage there are no firm book titles or series name chosen as yet. That will come later when I’ve finished the first draft of the first book and start work on the second story. What I can share is that the new series will boast dashing naval heroes, damsels in demand, and plenty of sexy time. I’m upping the heat for this series and love pushing the boundaries of regency era propriety. Keep watch on my blog for news of the series exact release date.
Finally, give us 3 fun-to-know facts about Heather Boyd!
- I have a cuddly large cat but I need Teflon grade lap rugs to avoid being clawed to death. He’s adorable but very restless.
- I adore fog. I will deliberately walk into it, drive through it, just for the experience. It’s kinda like walking in the rain but less damp. It’s the simple things in life that make me smile.
- I have 8 rules I live by – ‘Choose a dentist that isn’t stingy with painkillers’ is right at the top.