Weekend Excerpt–So I Started a New WIP

ashlan green dress

WARRIOR MINE, the spin-off from LOST & BOUND, is still in the works, as is another book tentatively called VOICES.  But this week, I had to chase a new wild hare, and it’s different from anything I’ve written before.

Working title LADY ASHLAN’S RETURN, it’s a medieval erotic romance.  While it seems like a big challenge, I’m really excited about this story.  Briefly, it’s about a noble woman who was shipped off against her will as a teenager, and who returns after eighteen years, seeking vengeance on those who wrecked her life.

Here’s the first chapter of LADY ASHLAN’S RETURN.

A warm sea breeze ruffled her worn grey habit, and her once-white wimple fluttered behind her as Ashlan’s eyes were drawn to the shoreline and the city growing on the horizon.  She gripped the wooden railing and nodded to herself. Eighteen years is a long time.

“Is that Haedleigh, Sister Anne?”

Ashlan turned to see Luella standing beside her.  “It is.  Isn’t it the most beautiful sight you’ve ever beheld?”

Luella’s expression was skeptical.  “If you say so, my lady.”

Ashlan gazed across the blue water once again as the sun began to descend in the distance.  “Dash it all, by the time we land it will be nearly dark.  Finding proper lodgings will be difficult.  We should have arrived a week ago.”

If she wanted to be fair, the delay hadn’t been the captain’s fault.  Stormy weather had caused them to veer out of their way.  But Ashlan had waited long enough and she wasn’t in the mood to be fair.

“Come, Luella.  It is time that we got ready to introduce ourselves to Haedleigh.”

Below deck in their tiny cabin, Luella helped Ashlan remove the whimple and faded habit.  Freed from the confines of the modest ensemble, Ashlan shook out her thick red locks and sighed deeply.

“The purple, I think, Luella,” she directed.

“Yes, my lady.”  From the large trunk Luella removed the necessary underthings and the sleek purple silk gown before helping her mistress dress.  While the girl brushed out Ashlan’s long red hair, Ashlan watched herself in the small mirror they’d managed to bring with them.  Her mind drifted to that night so long ago when she’d worn a similar gown for Lord Howell’s tournament banquet.

“Hurry, Arabella, we’re going to be late!”

            “Ladies are supposed to be late, don’t you know that?”  Young Lady Arabella Stewart rolled her eyes for effect.

            “I don’t want to miss anything,” Ashlan insisted.  At age sixteen, she was a lady-in-waiting to Lady Arabella, who was promised to Lord Alistair Risley. 

            But she, Ashlan, was promised to no one.  Her father, Lord Mereck Balleroy, hadn’t bothered himself to make arrangements for his only daughter, instead focusing his attention on her older brother, Andrew, who would one day be his heir.

            “Did you see Lord Henry?” Ashlan prattled.  “He’s ever so handsome.”

            “And promised to Catherine Addington,” her friend reminded her. 

            “Well they aren’t married yet,” Ashlan countered.

            “You really are so naughty,” Arabella giggled.

            Hand in hand, the pair left their chambers and made their way to the enormous banquet hall of Bexley Keep.  They stopped just inside the door to get their bearings and gaze in wonder at the sight.  The cavernous room, hung with floral garlands and lit with thousands of candles, was filled with knights the girls recognized from the tournament, as well as the noble lords and ladies who’d attended the spectacle.  On the far side of the hall, a group of musicians played music for dancing.

Heads turned their way as they entered, with revelers staring at the pair, Arabella, dressed in a forest green silk frock that matched her eyes, her blonde hair cascading in ringlets down her back, and Ashlan, her long red curls nicely set off by her deep purple gown. 

            Arabella had been the one to choose purple for Ashlan.  “It goes with your eyes,” she’d told her friend as the dressmaker had fawned over both girls. 

Once dressed, Ashlan had checked her image in the looking glass and she’d been inordinately pleased.  The deep purple silk of the gown accented her violet eyes, a trait shared by the majority of Balleroys down through the generations. 

            In the entry of the banquet hall, while Arabella seemed unaware of the stares they garnered, Ashlan reveled in them.  She wasn’t so bold as to think of herself beautiful, but she knew that she attracted the attention of the men in the room. 

There were those who considered red hair a curse but Ashlan adored it, knowing that paired with her violet eyes, her ginger locks made her quite unique. 

            She also knew that she’d been blessed with a plenteous bosom that caused no end of stares, particularly in the scoop-necked ball gown skillfully sewn by Arabella’s dressmaker.  Ashlan furtively glanced down at her creamy mounds bulging from top the snug bodice and stood straighter, pressing them out further. 

            “There you are, you two,” exclaimed Arabella’s brother, Lord Bryce Stewart.  Older than his sister, he was of similar coloring, and quite handsome, a thought Ashlan hadn’t shared with Arabella.  “Come sit at table before you give the older lords heart failure.”

“Pardon, my lady.  What shall I do with these?” Luella asked, bringing Ashlan back to the present.  The maid held out the threadbare garments.

Ashlan wrinkled her nose.  “Toss them overboard for all I care.  Sister Anne is gone.  Lady Ashlan Balleroy has returned.”

I have no timeline for the release of LADY ASHLAN’S RETURN.  The next book out will be WARRIOR MINE.  But until there’s a new release, be sure to stop by my Amazon Author Page.  You just might find something you’ll love.

Watch This Space–Natasha Blackthorne: Fashionably Impure

 

The Fashionably Impure Series Books 1 & 2 Are On Sale For .99

 Available to read for free with Kindle Unlimited.

Erotic Historical Romance

Miranda’s Dilemma

Fashionably Impure, Book One on sale for .99

Available to read for free with Kindle Unlimited.

Miranda’s Dilemma is part of the Fashionably Impure Series and is best read with A Most Demanding Mistress.

 

A Most Demanding Mistress

Fashionably

Impure, Book Two

Available at a Pre-Order Price of .99

Will release April 22, 2016

Available on Kindle Unlimited after release.

A Most Demanding Mistress is part of the Fashionably Impure Series and is best read after Miranda’s Dilemma.

 Blurb For Miranda’s Dilemma

Erotic Historical Romance ~Courtesan/Non-virginal Heroine

Poised to become Mayfair’s most expensive and exclusive courtesan, Miss Miranda Jones finds her rise inexplicably blocked by a socially

powerful nobleman. Scorned by her ducal father and determined to attain everything that life has denied her due to an accident of birth, she’s not about to let this arrogant earl stop her.

Adrian Sutherland, the Earl of Danvers, saw his father destroyed by a heartless, predatory courtesan. He has no time or patience for such exotic, expensive ladybirds. He’s far too busy restoring his family’s wealth and reputation whilst doing what he can to protect his friends from the clutches of all the scheming courtesans of London.

Then a moment of compassion turns intense dislike to breathless passion, and

these two strong-willed, fiercely proud people are compelled to indulge in a brief affair. Each is convinced that they can satisfy their craving for the other without emotional risk.

But neither realizes that a little dalliance can be a dangerous thing.

Reader Advisory: This is an erotic historical romance and it contains frank, frequent love scenes, sexual slang and descriptions and general bedchamber naughtiness. The characters discuss abuse issues from their backstories during the course of their developing relationship.

 

Blurb for A Most Demanding Mistress:

Miss Miranda Jones is indisputably the most beautiful, elegant and sought after courtesan in all of London.  She hides a past full of pain and rejection beneath an exterior of

pride. She knows that noblemen put  their own fickle interests first

and cannot be trusted. Scorned by ducal  father, she never needed or

expected anything from a man, except  his financial support. Luxurious

living makes a soothing balm against  the sting of the ultimate rejection.

Now she’s madly in love with a  nobleman who cannot afford to keep her in such extravagant style. And she wonders if a courtesan can ever afford to indulge

her own passions?  Can she really gamble so capriciously on her own future and put the happiness of the moment above future security?  Will her gentleman prove himself no

better than any other nobleman that she has known?

Adrian Sutherland, the Earl of Danvers, has seen the men of his family destroyed through their obsessive need to possess beautiful women. He’d always thought himself immune to

such unworthy drives. Now he’s fallen under the spell of Miss Miranda Jones.

Miss Jones’ high standards and past reputation foretells that she’ll be a most

demanding mistress. Despite his relative lack of funds, Adrian is determined to work hard to protect and provide for her. Passion led this skeptical gentleman to declare himself in love. Yet as they enter a protector and mistress relationship, Adrian finds himself

consumed with possessiveness. And he can’t help but wonder if is it true love that motivates him? Or is it the need to own her stunning beauty? He must find the answer before their tempestuous romance breaks both of their hearts.

A Most Demanding Mistress is part of the Fashionably Impure Series and is best read after Miranda’s Dilemma.

Reader advisory: This story contains frank sexual language and general bedchamber naughtiness. Abuse issues are alluded to in the backstory.

 

About Natasha Blackthorne’s Writing

Escape into the past with intensely erotic, emotionally driven love stories. Natasha Blackthorne writes character-focused historical erotica romance featuring strong internal conflicts played out in non-traditional and unconventional situations. Her stories are most frequently about the intimate journey of the characters as they learn to open their hearts to love.

Her heroines are not perfect ladies. They are wildflowers and wallflowers who enjoy flirting with the forbidden. Whether they are bold or shy, her heroines’ strong desires and deep emotions drive the plot and drive their heroes to the point of no return. 

Follow Natasha Blackthorne Online:

 

Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/natasha.blackthorne

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/Author-Natasha-Blackthorne-217388964952800/

Promotion & Giveaways Blog: http://natashablackthorneblog.blogspot.com/

New Releases Only Blog: http://authornatashablackthorne.blogspot.com/

Facebook Readers’ Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/NatashaBlackthorne/

Twitter: Nblackthorne

 

GIVEAWAY

Enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card on the Rafflecopter below. 

 

 You must be 18 years of age or older to enter. 

 

Void where prohibited by law. 

 

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

a Rafflecopter giveaway