Spotlight on Delilah Marvelle and …

Night of Pleasure (final) @ 2700 high res‘Night of Pleasure’

BOOK BLURB: An arranged marriage is daunting, but not as daunting as seducing a spouse whose passions you do not understand…

Derek Charles Holbrook, Viscount Banfield, knew his fate since he was seventeen when his father announced his union to the beautiful but mysterious American girl by the name of Miss Grey. To protect the troubled estate, Derek submits to his father’s wishes, not realizing he’s about to entangle himself in a hell of a lot more than marriage.

Miss Clementine Henrietta Grey may be worth millions, but not a single coin has ever bought her a smidge of happiness. When she marries the charasmatic and dashing Viscount Banfield, whose only strife in life appears to be the uneven seams in his coat, she finds that siring the heir he wants requires far more than her heart is prepared to give.

Unable to seduce his overly-serious and reluctant wife, Derek realizes his dreams of creating a loving family has turned into a nightmare. But with the unexpected assistance of a retired courtesan and her outrageous school, Derek and Clementine discover that passion is a language spoken not just from the body, but from the mind, heart and soul.

Buy Links: Amazon / B&N / Kobo / iBooks

WARNING: This book is Rated Double S (Sweaty & Sinful) and contains strong language and sexual content which may cause respectable people to swoon.

THE SCHOOL OF GALLANTRY SERIES:

Book 1, Mistress of Pleasure
Book 2, Lord of Pleasure
Book 3, Lady of Pleasure
Book 3.5, Romancing Lady Stone
Book 4, Night of Pleasure
Book 5, Master of Pleasure

Excerpt:  Here 

REVIEW: Delilah Marvelle is one of my favorite authors and her books are greatly anticipated by me. When I heard that she was continuing her School of Gallantry series, I literally went and bought all the earlier books so I could be brought up to date with all the characters in it. By the way, you don’t have to run out and do the same. Each of these stories is well written as a standalone, but if you want to know the origins behind the school of gallantry, you should get them all.

As usual Ms. Marvelle does an excellent job in creating characters that are fun, witty and passionate about life. I adored Derek, the hero of this tale. How could I not to?! When first we meet him, he’s just a young ‘randy’ man and so charming and personable. I loved the way he falls for Clementine, heart and soul, as soon as he lays eyes on her.

Clementine’s character was much complex and her relationship with her father, as well as her feelings about the relationship he had with her mother, was something she carried deep within her and the fear of passion in any capacity was something she avoided like a plague.

They both needed the School of Gallantry to point them in the right direction and eradicate their mutual fears, his of overwhelming her with his all-consuming passion for her, and hers of being consumed by his passion to a point where she may turn into what her mother was.  Both needed to allow the other full access of each others feelings, good and bad, in order to successfully become one.

I also loved the secondary character of Clementine’s friend, Nasser. What a great character he was. I greatly admired Clementine’s loyalty to him and the scenes between all three, especially the ones between Derek and Nasser, are sweet, caring, sad and funny all at the same time.

This is another well-written, emotional, fast-paced and very sensual story of two young, strong and complex beings that need each other badly to be complete.

I love all Ms. Marvell’s books, but honestly, out of all her heroes, Derek just took my breath away! I hope you give him a try. Loved it!!!

*Melanie for b2b.

*Book provided by the publisher.

Maire Claremont THE DARK AFFAIR tour banner

Giveaway:

1 Winner/ $5 Amazon GC. 

DelilahMarvelleAUTHOR BIO: Delilah Marvelle is the winner of the Reviewer’s Choice for Best Sensual Historical Romance of the Year and had Booklist name her historical romance ‘Forever and a Day’ one of the TOP 10 Romances of the year.

When she isn’t writing, she’s digging through inappropriate research books that include anything in history having to do with courtesans, brothels, sexual contraptions that were never properly used and other fascinating forms of dirty history that never made it into college textbooks. You can visit her at her website at:

Social Media: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Delilah’s Newsletter / Goodreads Page

Delilah Marvelle stops by b2b…

Today we welcome an author I love a lot and her 2008 debut book….

‘Mistress of Pleasure’ by Delilah Marvelle

MOP DMBOOK BLURB: Granddaughter of a renowned courtesan, Maybelle de Maitenon has no interest in her grandmother’s school in London where gentlemen receive instruction–in the art of seduction. Her only desire in life is to remain independent, free from men and the shackles of marriage. But when Maybelle lays eyes on Edmund Worthington, the Duke of Rutherford, at a soirée, and hears of his scandalous reputation, she decides he’s the perfect person for her to have a tryst with no strings attached. . .

Unbridled passion has again muddied Edmund Worthington’s family name. After his very public dalliance with the strikingly beautiful and sensual Maybelle, his mother insists he marry her. But much to the Duke’s surprise, Maybelle scoffs at his proposal. Never has he encountered such a brazen–and maddeningly irresistible–woman. But when Maybelle’s grandmother falls ill, forcing Maybelle to take over the operation of her school, Edmund devises a plan to make her his. He enrolls in the school, where no one other than Maybelle must give him expert lessons in carnal pleasure. . .

Dear Reader,

Mistress of Pleasure is the very first book I ever published.  As a result, it will always be near and dear to my heart.  I was inspired to write the series when I stumbled across a lesser known courtesan by the name of Ninon de L’Enclos who was known to host philosophical ‘classes’ for men to discuss love, sex and life. Just know the school is not as far fetched as you think!

Much Love,

Delilah Marvelle

EXCERPT:

Lesson One

What defines a woman?

Why, she does, of course. —The School of Gallantry​

London, England—May 1830​​

When Maybelle first discovered at the tender age of twelve that her beautiful, silver-haired grandmother was in fact a French courtesan, it had been most…awkward. Yet equally fascinating, to say the least.

Being left in the care of such a sexually liberated woman certainly made for an unusual upbringing. For instance, French was taught, not out of cultural or educational necessity, but because her grandmother believed that the rolling off of French from one’s tongue was erotic. As such, French words always had to be sprinkled here and there like powdered sugar over the not-so-orgasmic English language. At fourteen, Maybelle refused to adhere to the woman’s ridiculous French/English rule. Mostly because she felt like a want-wit who couldn’t decide between two languages.

At fifteen, Maybelle was further astonished to discover that naughty little books were not only permitted. They were required. So unlike other girls who took to sneaking pornographic books and keeping them under their bedroom pillows, Maybelle was forced to sneak volumes of Voltaire. For there was only so much copulation a girl could ingest day in and day out.

Needless to say, after spending nine years under the perpetual rule of her grandmother, there really wasn’t much in this world that could actually astound her.

Or at least that is what she’d thought.

Maybelle eyed the full glass of cognac, which had been set onto the gleaming surface of the walnut table before her, and heaved out an exasperated sigh as she eased into one of the parlor chairs. She had expected the last morning spent with her grandmother to be difficult. But cognac? Honestly.

She met her grandmother’s attentive gaze from across the French crimson parlor and drawled, “I take it there is no tea in the cupboards?”

“Och. Tea. The English are overly obsessed with it.” Her grandmother rose from the settee, rustling not only her full verdant skirts but also all three sets of stringed pearls dangling over her more-than-generous bosom. “We have every right to toast to all of our upcoming adventures. After all, you will finally get to visit your beloved Egypt, while I, I will finally have my School of Gallantry.”

Maybelle paused. Then blinked. “Your School of Gallantry?”

“Ah.” Her grandmother bustled over toward the small writing bureau set in the corner of the parlor and snatched up a piece of parchment from atop a pile of correspondences. Turning, she bustled back again and halted before Maybelle. Smiling ever so charmingly, she held out the sizable cream-colored parchment by the tips of her manicured fingers.

Maybelle stared at the parchment dangling before her.

MADAME THÉRÈSE’S SCHOOL OF GALLANTRY

ALL GENTLEMEN WELCOME.

LEARN FROM THE MOST CELEBRATED

DEMIMONDAINE OF FRANCE

EVERYTHING THERE IS TO KNOW ABOUT LOVE AND     SEDUCTION.

ONLY A LIMITED AMOUNT OF

APPLICATIONS ARE BEING ACCEPTED

AT 11 BERWICK STREET.

DISCRETION IS GUARANTEED AND ADVISED.​

Well. That certainly explained why her grandmother had kept to herself these past few months. She’d been busy creating a school. For men.  Heaven help her. This was going to follow her straight to the pyramids. At least the woman had used a nom de plume. Although it was only a matter of time before the gossip papers found out who was really behind it.

“Well?” her grandmother prodded, still holding out the advertisement. “What do you think?”

Ever since her father’s death left her in the care of his mother, she often felt as if she were the guardian. And enough was damn well enough.  Maybelle rose from her parlor chair and snatched hold of the parchment. “Our reputation is already limp. Why on earth do you feel the need to flog it to death? You promised Papa that you’d never return to being a demimondaine. You promised.”

Her grandmother arched a silver brow. “This is not a return. I am merely selling techniques.”

“Techniques?” Maybelle smacked the parchment with the back of her hand. “It’s ludicrous. What man would ever admit to needing lessons in seduction? You of all people should know that it comes natural to men.”

“Does it? How odd. I suppose the thirty men who have already enlisted are merely looking for entertainment.” With that, her grandmother snatched the advertisement back and smoothed the edges of it carefully between her manicured fingers.

Maybelle’s heart jumped. Thirty men had already enlisted?! Who on earth were all these naughty blighters? And what did they think they were going to learn?

Calm. She needed to remain calm. There had to be a perfectly good reason for all this. There were always reasons. No matter how far-fetched. “Are we having trouble with our finances?” she prodded, stepping toward her. “Is that it?”

Her grandmother frowned. “Non. Our finances are exceptionally good. Although I did have some assistance from the lovely widow Lady Chartwell. The woman fondly shares my vision of educating men.”

Maybelle’s eyes widened. England’s widows were actually donating to this plight? Although Maybelle wanted to outright demand why her grandmother would stoop to such a crude level of disrespect toward herself, her lips were simply too numb to form a single intelligible word.

“You are not pleased, I see.” Her grandmother sighed heavily and wandered back toward the bureau, carefully setting the advertisement onto it. She tilted her head to one side, causing her thick, silver chignon to shift, and centered the parchment before her as if she were straightening a painting. “London has always been so boring compared to Paris. I am used to more excitement. More passion. As you know, I have long sworn off my occupation and sadly, have no great grandchildren to occupy my time. What is worse, you and I have completely different interests. A pile of old rocks set upon endless hot sand is nothing short of torture. I am too delicate for such things.”

Oh dear God. There it was again. The pity-me routine. “No one forced you to stay in London. You chose to stay here. Furthermore, I won’t have you calling the pyramids a pile of old rocks. They are amazing historic monuments worthy of genuine fascination. I’ve already postponed my trip four times because of you and every time I was forced to pay my designated traveling companion ten pounds despite the fact that I never traveled anywhere.”

Maybelle crossed her arms over her chest. “So what is it that you want this time? Aside from great grandchildren.”

Her grandmother turned and feigned shock as her slender hand flew to her bosom. “Want? What would make you think that I want anything?”

Maybelle narrowed her gaze knowing a seasoned actress had stepped onstage. “You know exactly how I feel about these things, which is why you are trying to leverage this against me. Otherwise, you would have never told me. You would have waited until I left England and then opened the school.”

Those soft blue eyes, which were a mere shade darker than her own, remained fixed on Maybelle. “I am not trying to leverage anything. The advertisements have long been sent and the townhouse rented. It is done, chère. Classes begin next week. And in the end, I confess that the most difficult aspect was having to choose only four out of the thirty who had originally enlisted.”

Maybelle hesitated then drawled, “You are renting out an entire townhouse to host only four men?”

“Oui, but it is only temporary. Until I regulate the schedule and coordinate the lesson plans. As time goes on, I will add more men. Which of course will mean more work. It will require more teachers. More hosts. More toys.” Her grandmother paused and eyed her. “You would not consider staying and becoming a hostess for a few months, would you? Though we should qualify you more by dispensing of your virginity.”

Maybelle choked on a horrified gasp, then quickly cleared her throat. Twice. “I believe you are the only grandmother in the history of England to ever say such a thing to her granddaughter. That aside, do you even realize what you’ll be promoting by opening such a school? Do you?”

A mischievous smile appeared on those full pink lips. “I will proudly be promoting the pleasure of all my fellow women who are fortunate enough to come across my étudiants.”

EXCERPT continued here.

Available as eBook only: Amazon / Kobo / B & N

***   ***   ***

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Delilah MarvelleAUTHOR INFO: Delilah Marvelle is the winner of the Reviewer’s Choice for Best Sensual Historical Romance of the Year and had Booklist name her historical romance ‘Forever and a Day’ one of the TOP 10 Romance of 2012.

When she isn’t writing, she’s digging through historically inappropriate research books that make her poor husband blush. She hangs out on Facebook  and Tweeter.

You can visit her at her website or her blog that explores the naughtier side of history.

COVER REVEAL for ‘Romancing Lady Stone’ by Delilah Marvelle

RLS DMBOOK BLURB: He believes in destiny. She just wants to survive it…

At forty, Lady Cecilia Evangeline Stone thinks she has everything a woman could ever want. A title, a fortune, and four children who make her proud. After a marriage of convenience that was anything but convenient, she has no desire to complicate her life by including a man in it again. When her eldest son announces his engagement to a Russian actress in Saint Petersburg, Cecilia sets out to do what any good mother would do: stop the wedding. Unfortunately, destiny has other plans.

Konstantin Alexie Levin never considered himself to be a villain. In fact, he considers himself to be a Russian gentleman. Having grown up in a refined and well-educated family that embraced criminal life to avoid debtor’s prison, the only thing preventing him from knowing happiness is the rest of the world. Everything changes, however, when Konstantin is given a chance to start life anew and travel to London to collect an unexpected reward for saving a man’s life. To his surprise, he is about to become a hero at midnight to a beautiful aristocrat who desperately needs his help. The problem is…he wants to do more than save Lady Stone. He wants to make the woman his, all his.

OUT TODAY for ONLY 99 cents! 

You can buy this book from: Smashwords / Kobo / Barnes and Noble / Amazon

WARNING: This book is Rated Double S (Sweaty & Sinful) and contains strong language and sexual content which may cause respectable people to swoon.

Delilah Marvelle

AUTHOR BIO: Delilah Marvelle is the winner of the Reviewer’s Choice for Best Sensual Historical Romance of the Year and had Booklist name her historical romance ‘Forever and a Day‘ one of the TOP 10 Romance of 2012. When she isn’t writing, she’s digging through research books. You can visit her at her website.

Here are some of the Links you can contact Delilah at:

Website / Facebook / Twitter

TWO Giveaway = 10 eBooks

Delilah is giving away FIVE ebook copies of LADY OF PLEASURE (Kindle, Nook or Kobo, winner’s choice). Giveaway ends August 25.

b2b IS giving away FIVE ebook copies of ROMANCING LADY STONE [Kindle only]

 Giveaway ends August 25.

*To enter Delilah’s GIVEAWAY, click on Rafflecopter 

*To enter b2b GIVEAWAY, just comment on this post!

‘The Dark Lady’ by Máire Claremont

TDL MCSTORY: Lord Ian Blake has returned from India a broken man. Years ago, he pledged to Lady Eva Carin—his childhood companion and first love—that he would bring her husband back alive. His failure haunts him. But even his jaded soul can’t anticipate the shocking sight of beautiful, independent Eva confined in a madhouse.

Locked in an asylum, forgotten by society, Eva is adrift in both body and mind. For Ian to break her free, they must cross a powerful enemy—and prove her sanity to England’s unforgiving aristocracy. But the biggest danger of all may come when the secrets of Eva’s tragic past are finally unlocked.

REVIEW: The first word that came out of my mouth as I’ve finished reading this story was WOW… and then I exhaled.

‘The Dark Lady’ by Máire Claremont is her début, and what a début it is!

If you’re like me, one of those bookworms that have a need for the book to grab them from the first page, then you’re in luck if you decide to read this book. You’ll be on pins and needles ‘till the end.

For a change this story develops in 1865, Victorian era and what a contrast to Regency era it is. For some reason it looks like women suffered even worse than in the earlier years. This is the case with our heroine. This woman, as the story opens, is in hell and she’s hanging by a thread.

Lady Eva Carin not only lost her husband, but soon after suffered a loss even greater than that, a loss of her son in an accident of her making. Thomas, her brother-in-law who is now the new Lord Carin, uses her pain and devastation to his advantage and commits her to an asylum in which for the past two years she’s endured many ‘disciplinary’ treatments ordered by the woman who runs the place, such as a regular dose of opium to a point of addiction, many beatings and more.

Lord Ian Blake is back from India and as much as he dreads coming face to face with Eva, he knows that he ows her the truth about Hamilton’s death, and feel that this as his only opportunity of redeeming himself in her eyes and coming to terms with his role in it. He’s been haunted with memories of not just Hamilton’s death but also with their life as children as all three have grown up together in a wonderful home provided by Hamilton’s father, Lord Carin. He took in both Eva and Ian after their individual parents died. As they grew together, boys were always vying for love and approval of the old man but it was Hamilton who started envying the bond that had developed between his father and Ian.

Ian on the other hand hadn’t realized that his earnest admiration and love for Lord Carin was a sore point to his best friend so whatever he did to please him, Hamilton viewed it as a challenge and affront to his own character. Even Eva was in some way touched by their rivalry. While they all were aware of her duty to marry Hamilton, they also realized that she had more in common with Ian than Hamilton, but neither Eva nor Ian voiced their thoughts or feelings out loud as that would be a breach of duty and bring much hurt to the man who they both loved like a father.

Ian is shocked to find out that she’s been committed, but once he enters the hell she’s been living, he is livid and enraged. The only thing stopping him from committing murder is the thought of saving the poor creature who is now Eva.

What an awesome characterization of a woman on a brink this was. I was brought to tears as Eva goes through so many emotions, not believing her eyes or her laudanum infected mind that there is someone who cares if she’s dead or alive.

And then there’s Ian caught between his quilt over his best friend’s death and desire for the woman he always loved but could never allow himself even a dream of having.

Beside being well written and plotted, paced to perfection with many moments of hair-raising action,  this is without a doubt, one of the best haunting, poignant and heart wrenching stories of love I’ve read in a while.

Bookworms, mark your calendars for February 5, 2013 and remember that as the arrival of Máire Claremont. This author is here to stay and I welcome her with open arms.

*Book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

‘All I Want for Christmas is a Duke’ by Delilah Marvelle & Máire Claremont

AIWFCIAD DM MCSTORY: Merry Christmas, Mrs. Robinson by Delilah Marvelle

Lady Jane left her father, the Earl of Chadwick, and the ton behind to experience life on the stage. After a disastrous marriage, the widow is living on the edge of poverty, determined to guard her heart, when a secret admirer from her past demands a second chance.

Shy and retiring Martin Nicholas Pierce, the Sixth Duke of Somerset, has carried a torch for Lady Jane since her youth, but he is five years her junior. When she married another man, he left for Europe, determined to put her out of his mind. After returning to find Lady Jane free, he vows to replace the memories of her cursed Twelfth Night with a new beginning.

STORY: The Twelve Days of Seduction By Máire Claremont

Alexander Hunt, Eighth Duke of Berresford, is aware his ward’s governess isn’t quite what she seems. Although Miss Flint is beautiful and intelligent, she misrepresented herself to gain employment, and he threatens to give her the sack mere days before Christmas.

Desperate to convince the sexy duke not to tear her from the little girl she’s grown to adore, Adriana challenges him to seduce her before the Twelve Days of Christmas have come to an end, although she fears it may cost her heart. Alexander accepts the challenge, unconcerned that he has as much to lose, if not more, than the delectable Miss Flint.

REVIEW: ‘Merry Christmas Mrs. Robinson’ by Delilah Marvelle

This story was extra special to me because of its pairing of the older woman/younger man. In my personal life, I am the older woman…

Lady Jane was only in her early twenties when she decided, and was encouraged by her younger friend Martin, to defy the society and reach for her dream of becoming an opera singer. A decision like that came with a heavy price of being estranged from her family and being shunned by most of the society. I say most, because men of that society adored and pursued her relentlessly. One of them in particular caught not just her attention, but the attention of the papers as well. To all of them he was only known as Mister X and his letters were something she looked forward to, knowing that his words brought her closer to that elusive thing called love. And then one day, a man shows up and claims her heart in the name of Mister X…

Martin Pierce, the sixth Duke of Somerset, is worried about his elderly Aunt who was neglected by his family because many years ago she defied Society and ran off with a man not worthy of her station. He is trying very hard to have her see and understand that the living quarters she resides in are roach infested and not suitable to her station. Through his discussion with her, he finds out that the woman he adored and never could forget is now impoverished and residing in the same building as his Aunt.  This news crushes him and he realizes that the time has come for him to act on his deep feelings for her.

It’s no secret to any of my followers how much I love anything this author writes and this short novella is no different. I loved the way she portrayed both hero and heroine as two lonely souls that connected as friends first, and lovers later.

As they grew older, they seemed to have reversed their personalities. Long ago, Martin was all of seventeen; shy and reserved young fellow with a deep feeling for an ‘older’ woman of twenty-two.  The only relationship he could offer Jane was that of a friend. That, however never stopped him from secretly declaring his love for her through his letters.

Jane had been strong and forward thinking female filled with excitement and not shy at all. She believed in herself and her dreams, wanting to absorb all that life had to offer, most of all the love of a man whom she loved through his letters.

Years later, Jane’s doubts and apprehension of the intimacy she knows she wants, but isn’t sure of are now keeping her away from Martin.

Martin on the other hand is now a man to be reckoned with.  Gone is the shy and timid youngster to be replaced by this gloriously handsome and love starved man who knows what he not just wants but needs with all his heart.

This is one of those stories that I’ll be rereading from year to year, that’s how good it was! My heart just went out to both of them. In this story you’ll find a bit of everything, from wit to sensuality, but romance is the driving force and I highly recommend it for many Christmases to come.

REVIEW: ‘The Twelve Days of Seduction’ By Máire Claremont

This story comes to us from an author that will blow us all away when her début book comes out next year. Keep an eye on ‘The Dark Lady: A Novel of Mad Passions’ coming out February 5, 2013.

If y’all are ‘Jane Eyre’ fans, this one will be a hit for you, no question about it. For all of those that never read ‘Jane Eyre’ [or for that matter saw any version’s offered to us from many filmmakers, notably the BBC series with Toby Stephens playing Mr. Rochester, who I thought did even better job than Orson Welles], I am sure you’ll love it as well.

Adriana Flint’s understated beauty and strong character were driving force behind this story of a woman who pulled herself out of the gutter, quite literally.

She is a survivor and through sheer determination alone, she reinvents herself as this proper English miss that takes the position of a governess, to a little girl who is challenged by a limp, the Duke of Berresford’s ward. She adores the little mite and dedicates herself to teaching her ways to overcome her disability. Adriana also realizes that sooner or later, her secret identity and her ‘moonlighting’ job will be discovered and crush not only her, but two people she had come to care for so much.

Alexander Hunt, Eighth Duke of Berresford is a man who adores his little ward and would do anything to keep her from harm. Over a year ago he had hired her Governess and watched the little girl thrive under her care. He respected and observed the boundaries he set by ignoring his secret desire for the prim and proper young woman under his employ and protection. That, however is about to change, as he confronts her and decides to either throw her on her ear, or keep her as his mistress and far away from his home.

As they both come to an understanding that would be amicable to both, Adriana accepts his offer to become his mistress, but only if he manages to seduce her for the next twelve days. Ms. Claremont writes the rest of the story with an easy prose, fast pace and gives us a look into the romance of these two lonely but headstrong people who will make your eyes mist.

Both of these stories were written with romance in mind first and will touch your heart with its unique characters, setting and sensuality.

I am always happy when I read Ms. Marvelle’s work, but now my curiosity is peaked by the new author I discovered and am eagerly awaiting and looking forward to making room for on my Keeper shelf.

Book provided by NetGalley.