Sunday, August 5, 2012

Lady Sarah's Redemption

The Regency Period has been an obsession with me for as long as I can remember, so it was a sad day when I realised I’d finished every Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer Regency Romance published.

By that stage I knew my obsession would only be sated if I wrote my own, so, at 17, I began a rambling attempt which culminated with the drowning, on page 550, of my heroine.

 I’ve learned a lot since then. My heroine, in my first Regency Romance Lady Sarah’s Redemption nearly drowned, but I knew by now that in order for it to be called a romance it had to have a happy ending.

My first three Regencies written under my Beverley Eikli name were passionate stories of angst-filled romance peppered with intrigue, mystery and suspense.

And they all had happy endings.

These romances were originally published by Robert Hale (UK) in hardcover so I am delighted the first two – Lady Sarah’s Redemption and Lady Farquhar’s Butterfly - are now available on kindle.

Below is the premise for Lady Sarah’s Redemption.

When spoiled heiress Lady Sarah Miles assumes the identity of a drowned governess to escape marriage to her best friend, James, she thinks her troubles will be over within the fortnight.

Arriving at the grand estate of reformist MP Roland Hawthorne to take charge of the tortured widower's rebellious sixteen-year-old daughter, Caro, Sarah unexpectedly forms a strong attachment to the occupants of her new household.

But when Sarah’s deceit plays into the hands of an unexpected adversary who uses Caro as a pawn in a high stakes game of revenge, Sarah must risk everything she holds dear - including her love for Roland - to redeem herself.

And here is an excerpt:

Now why was he looking at her like that? Sarah wondered indignantly. Had she dropped sauce upon her dress?
Instantly she saw him colour and his eyes return to her face where they were now fixed, grimly. She stifled the impulse to smile. Oh ho, so the master did appreciate a pretty face and figure. Only right now he was doing his best to fight it.
The observation gave her confidence.
Yes, Sarah had learned a thing or two about men since storming her way out of the schoolroom as a precocious fifteen-year-old to play hostess at her father’s parliamentary dinners after her mother had died.
Mr Hawthorne, however, was unlike any of the men her father entertained. Dangerous radicals like Roland Hawthorne did not receive invitations from Lord Miles.
Yet he hardly looked the threat to law and order, as her father would have maintained. Larchfield, with its exquisite grounds and works or art was a testament to refinement.
Mr Hawthorne, himself, was a fine specimen of civilized manhood, far more to her taste than the pleasure-seeking rakes and popinjays her father entertained and who regularly made up to her. Well, as much as she would allow them. She quickly tired of their vanity and pomposity, although she’d pretended to encourage it. It was, after all, what was expected.
She flashed him another smile and was surprised and gratified by his brief awkwardness.
Clearly, there was more to her employer than met the eye. How intriguing. If this was a man who could smoulder with passion for a heartless beauty seven years ago, thought Sarah, she would be more than interested to find out what excited his passions now that he had apparently adopted a more sober outlook on life.
She bowed her head. “I accept your censure, sir. I will not turn Caro’s head with foolish nonsense. And I shall read the news sheets, for I must admit, I had in fact been reading some gossip column whose talk of the Carlton House Set I had thought might divert the girls—” she stopped, adding ingeniously as she interpreted his glowering look — “with examples of deplorable behaviour to be condemned.”
Mr Hawthorne seemed to struggle for words.
“Miss Morecroft,” he said finally, “you are here to instruct the girls in simple arithmetic, spelling, French and drawing. Not to provide moral guidance. That,” he added, crisply, “is something you can leave to me.”
He nodded in dismissal.
Sarah hesitated, about to cast one of those seductive lures which came naturally and which had successfully hooked many an admirer in the past.
No. Coquetry was not going to win over Mr. Hawthorne despite experience showing her men liked their women beautiful and vacuous. She paused, turning, her hand on the door knob. He nodded stiffly, his eyes nevertheless lingering upon her.
Her heart gave an unexpected little skip. She couldn’t remember when she had last felt such anticipation.  

For a short time Lady Sarah’s Redemption is available on kindle for just 0.99c.

Beverley’s Website
Beverley writes traditional Regency romances as Beverley Eikli and erotic or sensual historicals as Beverley Oakley.


Debby said...

I love Regencies myself. Lady Sarah must be a gutsy heroine.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Beverley Eikli aka Beverley Oakley said...

Hi Debby,

Ah, yes, there's something about a Regency that just evokes an image of wit and sparkle. I love the era!