Monday, April 22, 2013

It's here!

It’s here, it’s here, it’s here! Behind the Courtesan is finally out there for the world to enjoy. But I warn you, this book is intense and you’re not always going to like Blake or Sophia but you will love the story… Who doesn’t love a good love story? (and check out the beautiful cover!!)

When courtesan Sophia Martin returns to the village she fled as a young woman, she knows it won't be a happy reunion--but she can't refuse her brother's request to attend his expectant wife. Trapped until the baby arrives, she must navigate the social rift she caused when she left to pursue a disreputable life--and keep the true reason for her departure from the man she once loved, the bastard son of the Duke who ruined her.

Blake Vale has never forgotten Sophia, but he can't accept the decisions she made, the courtesan's life she leads, or the fact she's cast aside her true self. Plain old Sophia has to be inside this hardened woman somewhere, and he's determined to make her see she doesn't need rich men to be happy, and that their future has nothing to do with the past.

When the dukedom suddenly falls within his reach, Blake must come to terms with his own past and his birthright, and what that means for his future...and Sophia.

And now let's get a taste of what you're in for... 

When you imagine a first kiss between would be lovers, do you see in your mind a tender meeting of the lips, an eruption of invisible butterflies and soft caresses? Or is it the frantic can’t-get-close-enough, hands in hair, mashing of bodies and short breaths, lust driving the moment on and on? I envision all of those things in a romance novel but what happens when the hero and heroine have an intense dislike of each other or each other’s actions? What happens when emotions are so high and the tension so thick that that first kiss almost never comes…
‘His warm lips brushed against her forehead, her cheeks, her eyelid, first one and then the other, but it felt wrong. It had to be her decision, her instigating the contact, her in control.’

Being a London Courtesan means Sophia has to stay in control of every situation with members of the opposite sex. She is adept at manipulation and self preservation but after spending time with a man she is unable to lead, things quickly spiral out of her hands. But perhaps being able to let go is the gift his hatred of her occupation could bring her? Maybe she doesn’t have to play the courtesan with him…

‘For if the truth were told, she wanted him to kiss her. She wanted to feel the texture of his unshaven face against her cheek, across her stomach, the inside of her thigh.’

But then again, stubborn pride—in a time where that may have been all you had left in your arsenal— makes you irrational and prone to doing the one thing you said you wouldn’t.

‘“Can you forget who I am?”
It was on the tip of his tongue to ask her once again who she really was, but it wasn’t the time. “I’ll never forget who you are.” When she made as if to wrench herself from his grip, he softened his tone, pulled her closer again so they were nose to nose. “You’re the woman who saved my life, who gathered firewood and kept me warm. You fixed me when you should have kicked me and left me on the road to die. I know who you are and I’ll never forget that. Neither should you.”’

Even though this is no apology and wouldn’t work in this day and age, it’s a huge sacrifice for an obstinate man of the Regency era who still knows how to hold a grudge fourteen years later. Some things you just never, ever get over.

‘It was a bad idea. He didn’t even like her. But none of that mattered when he placed both of his huge warm hands against her flushed cheeks, tipped her head back and touched his lips to hers.’

And sometimes we forget what it was we were so angry about…

‘At first his kiss was gentle, protective, caring; he didn’t crowd or push her.’

…and the rest of the time, none of it matters in the face of true passion.

‘She sighed again and leaned into him. He treated her with such reverence and she wanted to let him, but when she touched her tongue to his, the fire grew in her belly to a raging inferno and she did something no courtesan should ever do. She lost control.’

So finally, Blake and Sophia get their first kiss. He doesn’t apologise for his treating her harshly, especially since her reappearance reminds him of the hurt and betrayal he suffered at her fleeing and yes, he is a stubborn ass like most men. Even knowing the full story doesn’t necessarily erase the past. Nor should it. But Sophia isn’t looking for a sorry. She isn’t even looking for his love. All she craves at the end of the day is to belong. She craves acceptance and understanding, a little normality.

And it wouldn’t be a happily ever after if she didn’t get everything she wanted now, would it?

You can find Behind the Courtesan at Carina Press, Amazon, B&N, All Romance eBooks and where all good ebooks are sold. (But might have to wait for tonight with the USA time difference t actually read it.)

You can find me at or Facebook - Bronwyn Stuart Romance Author and Twitter @bronwynstuart



Joanna Lloyd said...

Great post and loved the excerpt from the book, Bronwyn...your heroine sounds very intriguing. Good luck with the release.

Bronwyn said...

Thank you Joanna!

Alison Stuart said...

Congratulations on the new release, Bronwyn. Loved the excerpt :-)