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Friday Spotlight with Kristabel Reed

March 30, 2012

We have the fabulous Kristabel Reed stepping under the Spotlight this week. After her guest post and excerpt of her latest, A Regency Ménage Tale, she will be giving away a copy to one lucky commenter. How awesome is that? For those of you looking for more info about Kristabel, her bio is at the bottom of her entry. Now without further ado, let’s get to Kristabel’s guest spot!

Making Jane Austen blush…or how to get away with a very scandalous ménage.

There is a formula for getting away with it. Not just a ménage, though that’s important. But getting away with any scandalous behavior in Regency England that you don’t care to have shared. (Pretty much any era if you think about it!)

1. Choose your servants well.
An improper servant will ruin your perfectly pleasant ménage home life. The nasty gossip the wrong servant can spread will not only ruin your social standing and get you disinvited from the most coveted balls of the season, but that same gossip has the potential to land you and/or your lovers at Newgate Prison. After all, homosexuality was considered a crime punishable by death.
Picking the proper servant is of the upmost importance. Their discretion must be unmatched; they must possess the cleaning skills of a present day forensic specialist wiping the scene of the crime; and they must be properly trained in providing a convenient excuse whenever needed.

2. Choose your confidents carefully.
When in doubt, don’t let it out! If you can’t trust the friend with this salacious secret, then don’t. Much like an improper servant, an improper confident could be the utter ruin of you. It might not necessarily land you in Newgate Prison, but a careless confident will most certainly land you in the scandal sheets.
The proper confident must be chosen wisely and carefully. And preferably this person should be one you hold a scandal over as well!

3. Choose the perfect housing.
Setting up the perfect ménage household isn’t as easy as it seems. Sure, we’d all love it if we could invite a third into the household without raising an eyebrow to the masses. Alas, that’s not always convenient. A proper or reasonably non-flimsy excuse is not always apparent. Therefore, the ménage must go to great lengths to secure the perfect living arrangement excuse.
Among the most viable are: The distant relation who has chosen to live with the wedded couple; the army pal injured in the war while saving his captain (and lover); the lady’s maid or companion; the persistent houseguest; the BFF neighbor with a handy and private doorway, secret entrance, or hidden path to each other’s homes.

But the most important thing in a successful Regency ménage is well, yes love. And desire. And sex. But more importantly, the most critical element in a successful ménage is discretion!

Now it’s your turn…whether you’re a fan of historicals or not, what would you like to see? Just remember, the stricter the social mores, the harder it was to get away with all this…which is part of the fun! So go for it, let your imagination run wild. I’ll be giving away a free PDF to one commenter!

covetCovet: A Regency Ménage Tale

The truest torment is wanting something you know you can never have. Charlotte Tremaine knew this feeling all too well. She covets the freedom to do as she pleases, but has never let herself dream of being with the man she loves. The problem is, she loves two men.
For the last three years, Charlotte has survived her stifling home life by living through correspondence with two childhood friends now off at war. Once they return, will she be able to summon the courage to tell them of her feelings? Or will she let the convenience of mourning an aunt she despised keep her hidden and isolated?
Fear lurks in the shadows and threatens to keep her cloistered. When William Stanton and Grayson, Earl Warrington return from war, she teeters on the brink of having what’s she has always wanted. Torn between William and Grayson, Charlotte must first learn to trust herself before she can trust her heart and body to them.
William dismissed the lingering footman with a scowl and followed Grayson into the other man’s library. He didn’t much care what the servants thought of him, but he wasn’t stupid enough to think they wouldn’t turn around and gossip up one side of Rivenhall and down the other.
What annoyed him was not the eavesdropping servants, but Grayson. Before the door fully closed behind Charlotte, he had turned and left for his private library. Fury in every step, William stalked down the hall. Not bothering to knock, he opened the door and slammed it behind him.
Grayson stood at the window, looking out at the uninspiring February landscape. His hands were clasped behind his back in a classic Grayson pose, and William didn’t need to look to know his jaw would be clenched in annoyance. But annoyance at what?
“Were you as cold to Charlotte these last days as you were to me just now?” he demanded without bothering with polite preamble. “I can take your mercurial moods, Grayson. But she doesn’t deserve them.”
He turned sharply and transferred that glare from the estate grounds to William. William didn’t so much as flinch. He’d seen that glare before, both on and off the battlefield. Grayson had perfected it long before they joined Wellington’s army, and it had served to have even the strongest major quake in their boots.
Tapping his fingers on his leg, William waited, in no mood to mollycoddle his friend.
“Your actions have made it increasingly difficult to sever our ties from her,” Grayson snapped.
“Sever?” William repeated, surprised. Maddened by this attitude he demanded, “Why would we want to sever our ties with her? Last I recall, we were both quite infatuated.”
Grayson took a deep breath and said in a calmer voice, “It’s best for her if we sever our ties.”
Cocking his head to one side, William took a step closer. “It was Charlotte’s letters that kept us both alive and sane,” he said evenly. “Why should we give her up?”
He saw Grayson flinch and for the first time realized his friend held something back. William didn’t know what shocked him more: that Grayson tried to carve Charlotte out of his life with a knife or that he held back anything from William. They’d been the closest of friends since William could remember, had shared everything together.
“Because she deserves more,” he snapped through gritted teeth. “Better.”
“More?” he repeated. “Better? Grayson,” William sighed, “I don’t know where you’re going with this. But if you don’t have the determination to keep Charlotte in your life, I certainly do.”
In the deadliest voice William had ever heard from him, Grayson said quite firmly, “Leave her alone. Let her have a life with someone else.”
The vein in his forehead pounded and Grayson looked as if he might explode. Concerned now, William backed off. He’d just returned not an hour ago and had other things on his mind. Well, no, not really. Charlotte had always been foremost in his thoughts.
But he’d give Grayson the time he so obviously needed.
William nodded and turned to leave the library.
“For her sake,” Grayson began.
William turned back around and held up a hand for him to stop. “I’ve just returned. I’m sure we can save our personal wars for later.”

Now available where ebooks are sold!
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About the Author:
Kristabel Reed lives on the East Coast and loves to explore the steamier side of historical romance. “There are so many sexy situations that didn’t just pop up in the 21st century and my goal is to burst the myth of the prim and proper debutante.”

She loves romances but historical ménages particularly which add an element of danger and discovery not seen in contemporaries. Historically speaking, unusual romantic connections put lives on the line-people were ostracized and some even put to the death.

In the coming year, Kristabel is going to try her hand at mainstream historicals with an added element of eroticism, which she hopes won’t be too overt.

She loves reading, watching old movies, and anything Cary Grant. And is always interested in talking about erotic romance, so drop her a line: or Tweet her ; find her blog.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. March 30, 2012 3:41 pm

    Thanks for having me today! So…how would you get around all this strictness?

    • March 30, 2012 5:49 pm

      I find you can get away with anything when you “take your dog for a walk”. 😉

  2. March 30, 2012 3:41 pm

    And don’t forget to leave your email for a chance at a copy of the PDF!

  3. March 30, 2012 4:10 pm

    Wow, sounds great! Okay, got an idea…… neighbors long standing, men childhood friends. One with the title marries their lady….. tunnel under the house, maybe even a subterrain room built under the two houses. 🙂

    • March 30, 2012 5:51 pm

      Sounds awesome, Lyssa! And then there can be a tornado that wipes out their houses, but they are unaware of it because they’re in their secret underground hideout. 😀

    • March 31, 2012 9:02 am by the way, forgot. Lol

      Tornadoes in England? But the great fire maybe. Lol

  4. March 30, 2012 6:43 pm

    I LOVE the idea of rooms beneath the houses! No, wait, they don’t konw about the tornado because they’re taking the dog for a walk. 😉

    Yeah, I really like that idea. I’d toyed with the tunnel idea, but the subterrain rooms is so much cooler.

  5. March 30, 2012 11:04 pm

    Oh, I love it. Hot and steamy and would probably make the babes in Austen’s time stroke out from impropriety.

  6. March 31, 2012 2:28 am

    Exactly, Amberr! Anything to shock the sensibilities. The more debauched the better. 🙂

  7. rainethomas permalink
    March 31, 2012 12:09 pm

    Oh, my! I LOVE Regency settings, and this excerpt portrays a couple of intriguing male leads. I’m now following you on Twitter, Kristabel. Please consider me a new fan!

  8. March 31, 2012 12:09 pm

    As a historical fiction writer, I absolutely love this: “There are so many sexy situations that didn’t just pop up in the 21st century and my goal is to burst the myth of the prim and proper debutante.”

  9. March 31, 2012 3:17 pm

    Thanks for the follow, Raine! I love the Regency as well, and being able to show the so-called hidden side of it is just plain FUN!

    Kelly, isn’t it great! Contemporaries are great, and I enjoy them, but it’s not like (as my grandmother tells me) the next generation invented sex.


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