Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Guest Post and Giveaway: An Unsuitable Lady for a Lord by Cathleen Ross

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the AN UNSUITABLE LADY FOR A LORD by Cathleen Ross Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

About The Book:
Title: AN UNSUITABLE LADY FOR A LORD (Scottish Lords and Ladies #1)
Author: Cathleen Ross
Pub. Date: April 13, 2020
Publisher: Entangled: Scandalous
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 210
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, KindleB&NiBooks, Kobo

Lord Aaron Lyle has one hell of a choice: a bankrupt dukedom, or marriage to some simpering society miss so his spendthrift father can get his hands on her huge dowry. He won't do it. He has a reputation to maintain, and besides, he'd rather run naked through the streets of London than marry anyone at all. Surely, there must be a third option.

Then Lady Crystal Wilding walks into his life, a bluestocking, full of subversive thoughts, who hates the notion of marriage even more than he does. He is intrigued…and, suddenly, he has an idea. He invites the totally unsuitable lady home on the pretext of presenting her as a possible match…but in truth, Aaron has something far more pleasurable in mind. For her part, Lady Crystal has her own reasons for going along with his harebrained scheme.

Imagine their shock when his highly proper family loves her and starts planning the wedding. Good lord. Now what?

Guest Post:

Top 5 favorite scenes and why.
In this scene we see my poor hero being introduced to a wealthy lady he is expected to marry. 
Scene 1
The Duchy of Lomond 1811

Lord Aaron Lyle, the Marquis of Lyle and heir to the powerful Duke of Lomond said goodbye and bowed to the latest lady his father, the duke had invited to Lomond House.
She smiled as she curtsied, revealing teeth the size of a horse’s and laughed as if he’d said something witty, which he hadn’t, because all wit had died after spending an excruciating hour with the lady. 
Aaron turned to his father as the carriage made its way down the long driveway of the estate. “You can’t seriously think I would consider her?”
“Your problem, Lyle, is you can’t see past looks,” his father said.
Nor past that dreadful laugh. Haw, haw, haw. Aaron shuddered. How could he grow to love a woman whose proximity made his stomach turn? It rankled deep inside him that he couldn’t choose his own wife. 
“The lass is an only child and heir to a fortune,” his father continued. “Admittedly, she’s only the daughter of an earl, but her father is a colleague of mine in the House of Lords.”
“Enough! I refuse to marry her,” Aaron said, through gritted teeth. “I must have some feeling for the woman I spend my life with.”

Scene 2 This is the rewritten first scene where my editor suggested that I show Crystal being so tested by the audience of gentlemen that she loses it and bursts out with the novel concept that women want to enjoy sex.

Aaron nudged him. “Behold the vision before us. You know I admire beauty and brains. Now, a feisty lassie like that would keep me entertained.”
Will looked aghast. “Entertained? Dinnae go there. Nothing but marriage would be agreeable for such a lady. She is the daughter of a great lord,” he warned.
His brother was right. It would cause an outrage if Aaron despoiled a lady. And she was too outspoken to be a suitable wife. Lomond would never allow it. 
Aaron swished his whisky around in his glass. Pity. He was experiencing the most intense physical reaction he’d had to a woman in ages. She was quite the bonniest lass he’d ever seen. Her pelisse molded her bust, revealing shapely breasts over a slim but firm torso. The sleeves and hem of her gown were elaborately embellished, softening the strict Empire line. 
She was magnificent.
The lady frowned at the buzz of conversation until it quieted, then she began to speak again. “Women should take the time to choose their husbands carefully, because once a woman marries, she is bound to live by the law of her husband to do as he bids.”
“Aye, an’ a good law it is, too,” said a grey-haired gentleman in the front row. 
“For the man,” said the elderly woman sitting next to him, holding a fan.
“Here’s to the law and the control of all viragos who think they are equal to men,” said a tall fiery-haired aristocrat leaning against the wall. He held up his glass.
The elderly lady stood, snapped her fan shut and threw it.
Aaron watched agog with all the other gentlemen as the fan sailed through the room. The man ducked, and it hit the wall behind him.
The air was electric with tension. Even the gentlemen who had been lounging in their seats now sat with their backs ramrod straight.
Sir Walter Scott limped to the front and stood next to Lady Crystal. “Ladies, gentlemen, Lady Hamilton.” He looked straight at the elderly woman. “I implore you, do not argue or throw objects in my salon. I appreciate your emotions will be aroused by this provocative speech, but I seek to expand your minds with new concepts.”
Lord Lyle stood. “I have a question to ask the lady.”
Sir Walter looked at Lady Crystal. She nodded.
“I happen to agree with your opinion, my lady, only I’d like to take it a step further. In a time when others are able to choose, gentlemen from the great houses cannae choose their wives, either. I think all men should be free to do so.”
Will pulled at his coat. “What’s got into you? Sit,” his brother hissed.
Lady Crystal’s face softened as she listened to him and his heartbeat quickened, compelled by her gaze. By God, she was lovely. “Then we are in complete agreement, my lord. Love is an important ingredient in marriage.”
“Here, here,” Lady Hamilton said. The room erupted as the gentlemen began to call out their views.
“Your modern ideas are not wanted here,” the fiery-haired aristocrat snarled. “Men may do as they wish but women are inferior creatures and should do as they’re told.” Others joined in and the din rebounded off the salon walls.
 “Please let Lady Crystal finish, then you may all have your say,” Sir Walter called out, standing by Lady Crystal’s side.
Lady Crystal put her hands on her hips and glared at the audience. “You men think you know it all. It is time men knew the truth. Women feel desire just like a man. They want to love and marry a man they care about. It’s degrading to women that marriage should be a financial arrangement. Women want to enjoy sexual congress, and that is difficult to achieve when a husband is chosen for her, often twice her age and with no thought to compatibility.”
She was utterly shocking. No one clapped, instead the audience sat dumbstruck and silence pervaded the salon. Not a breath, not a cough nor a rustle stirred the air. 
Aaron spluttered mid swallow, his whisky burning his throat and making his eyes water. The idea that proper women felt desire was outrageous. No genteel woman he’d ever met had wanted sex or admitted to such a yearning. That was the province of whores and the mentally unstable. 

Scene 3  One of the pleasures of being a romance author is bringing the hero to his knees. This is the start of Lord Aaron’s fall. My heroine is well suited in character and emotion to be his wife and when Aaron falls, he falls hard.

All he needed was time alone—without the constant chaperones society demanded.
The housekeeper arrived next, unlocked the tea caddy and prepared a second pot of tea. “You may leave us, Mrs. Burns,” he said tersely when she had placed it on the table. “See that we are not disturbed unless the duke is in need of me.”
“Yes, my lord,” she said, ushering out the footman and closing the door behind her. 
Lady Crystal picked up the pot of tea and topped up both their cups. When finished, she sat back, gazing at him with unwavering eyes. 
“Minx,” he muttered. She talked about desire, but he wondered how much she actually knew. He damn well wanted to be her first, to be the one to bring her unspeakable pleasure. He gritted his teeth in an attempt to calm himself. 
She raised one eyebrow and shot him a smile, clearly waiting for him to elaborate. “My lord?”
“Aaron,” he corrected. “Call me by my first name.”
She paused to regard him. They both knew it was a highly improper request.
“Very well. Aaron,” she repeated with a slight roll of the R as if caressing his name with her tongue.
“I know of no other way to say this. I want you.” 
Desperately. In his bed. 
It wasn’t love. Couldn’t be—he barely knew her. Yes, he had regard for her, but this was pure, raw lust. If he didn’t secure his interest in this wonderful lady quickly, he was quite certain another lord would. He drained his teacup, realizing his throat had gone dry. 
She didn’t flinch at his bluntness as he’d expected. She leaned over, picked up the teapot and topped it up for him. “I’m well aware of that. You’ve made it very clear.”
“Will you be mine?” He couldn’t leave it alone. His head was buzzing with the urgency of his desire, and his cock had an ungentlemanly mind of its own.
“I’ll admit, I thought about you last night, too. I would like you to call on me.”
What did she mean by that? Damn, how he wanted her! He wanted to press her against him, to feel how her body melded into his. Damn it, his lust for her was driving him mad. 
“That would give me immense pleasure, my lady.”
“Please. Call me Crystal in private,” she said. She settled to eating her breakfast.
He still hadn’t touched his. How on earth could he get her where he wanted her? He wanted to bed her without the pressure of marriage...and yet, damn it, his sense of honor troubled him. He wasn’t his father’s son for nothing. And she had saved his father’s life, as well, for which Aaron would be forever in her debt. What if she fell in love with him and changed her mind, as women were wont to do, and suddenly wished to wed? 
Women always wanted marriage, a husband, and children.
She was far too willful to make a suitable wife...and yet it was that very characteristic which attracted him to her. If he could persuade her to become his mistress, his life would be complete. 
He sucked in a deep breath, needing to calm his chaotic thoughts and his growing need, forcing himself to maintain a gentlemanly façade while his body raged.
“I can’t help but wonder,” he said, “how you came up with your unusual ideas on desire?”

Scene 4 I didn’t know there was white slavery in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  I came across the concept when I was reading a history book on the Highlands. One of the lairds in the eighteenth century was kidnapping his kin and shipping them off to America to work on the plantations. My editor was fascinated too and wants me to write books on what happened to the slaves in America.

“Did you receive the invitation to speak again at Sir Walter’s tonight?” he asked. “He said he sent it two days ago.” 
“I did, but I replied I’d only go if he assured me the men who made lewd comments last time would not be invited.”
His mouth thinned. “I promise to be there to protect you. I very much wish to hear more about your views.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a letter. “I have my own views about how I feel about you, so I wrote my thoughts down.”
She took the letter and stuffed it into her pocket. She had a feeling his thoughts would be sinful. “You are incorrigible, sir.”
“I do my best. I’ll leave you now, my lady. I wish to speak to Mr. Macintosh. Enjoy my letter.” He bowed and strode back across the courtyard to Mr. Macintosh’s office.
Just then Ailish approached her with a timid look on her face. "My lady?" the girl said.
"How can I help you, Ailish?" Crystal asked kindly.
"I have a good friend, Jenny, who would like to join us. She knows how to write her name, so she won't be behind."
"I suppose I can fit one more in." Crystal watched while Ailish shifted from foot to foot, appearing uncomfortable. "What is it?"
"It's just that... Will the lord always be here?" the girl asked. "Jenny is afeared of lords."
"Lord Lyle is my benefactor, I can hardly order him from the classroom if he wishes to visit." What was going on with this girl? Crystal’s curiosity got the better of her. "Why would Jenny be afeard of Lord Lyle?"
"It isn't him that's done anything, but a lord stole Jenny's mother and sisters. She desperately needs to learn to read and write proper, so she can ask for help. No one will listen to her or her father."
Shock made Crystal’s mind spin. "A lord stole Jenny's mother and sisters?" she repeated, to make sure she'd heard Ailish correctly. "But what did he do with them?"
"He sold them as slaves, my lady."
"But there are no white slaves. That doesn't exist," Crystal protested. "Our government would never allow it." The whole thing was absurd. She'd never heard the like. Sometimes the working class was so ignorant they would believe anything they were told.

Scene 5 This is the scene where my hero and heroine make love. She has a lot at stake. Lady Crystal is the daughter of a well-known war hero. If she loses her reputation, she will be so vilified, she’ll have to return back to her ancestral lands.

“Nice work, my lady,” he said, pulling off his Hessian boots and discarding them along with the rest of his clothing, so he stood proud and erect in front of her. 
Oh, my God. 
He wasn’t big. He was huge. And it was too late to back out now, even though he’d insisted they’d only touch one another tonight. She gaped at him, her heart beating way too fast...yet yearning wove its way through her once she’d recovered from her shock. The sight of him was intoxicating. This was all so new. So exciting. So wicked. 
She longed to feel his hands on her naked flesh.
“Now you,” he said.
She trembled and reached for her glass of wine, taking a large drink. “I’ve never been naked in front of a man.”
“Would you prefer me to blow out the candles?” he asked solicitously.
“That wouldn’t be fair,” she said with a bravery she didn’t feel.
“Another thing I admire about you. No matter how nervous you are, you never back down,” he said. 
“It can be to my detriment at times. Often I don’t have expertise, and yet I plunge ahead. Like now. I don’t want you to be disappointed.” 
She shouldn’t be here, an unmarried lady in a lord’s bedroom. But desire for him, burned so brightly, it eclipsed everything. She wanted to put words into action. Men and women should be able to love one another without marriage.
“I dinnae expect you to have expertise. I want to be your first.” He bent and picked up her foot. She started, and gave a nervous squeak, her hands flying to her flaming cheeks.
“Trust me, my lady. Dinnae let your nerves get the better of you. I plan to worship all of you when you are naked. You willnae have regrets,” he said, pulling off one slipper, then the other, and letting them drop to the floor.
He came and joined her on the bed, and started to unbutton the back of her gown. It was a navy silk, simple in its complexity, covered with French netting and elaborate beading at the neck and sleeves. He pushed it off her shoulders and down to her waist, revealing her petticoat. No man had ever done that to her before. A crazy mix of desire, nerves and fear made her head spin. 
“Why do women wear so many layers? I swear it’s to torture the male of the species.” He nuzzled her neck, and she sighed as shivers of pleasure spiraled out from his kisses.
When he rained smooches on her bare skin, her nerves settled, replaced with savoring the magic of his touch. “When you kiss me like that, I forget everything—every fear, every doubt.” She pulled her arms out of her sleeves and wiggled out of her gown.
He undid the tie at the back of her petticoat, pushed it over her shoulders revealing her stays, and kissed along her shoulders. “Have no regrets. You are precious to me. I love your scent. You always smell wonderful, of lavender, sometimes of roses.”
She smiled, thinking of the rose bedroom at Lomond House and how she’d been so determined that he wouldn’t bed her.
The petticoat went the way of the dress onto the floor. 
“I hope you’re good with lacing,” she said, turning to him and squirming in pleasure as he kissed every patch of bare skin he revealed until goose bumps arose.
“An expert.” He gave her a wicked smile that set her blood racing. She had no intention of asking how his expertise had been gained. She didn’t want to know the answer.
Stays unlaced, she handed him her glass of wine, stood and slipped them off, followed by her shift, so she wore nothing but her silk stockings. The wickedness of it helped her lose the restraints her mind tried to impose, especially when she saw his hot desire. It was as if the whole world had shrunk to just her and him. 
His eyes became hooded as he swept the bed covering aside and laid her back on the linen sheets. “You were made to be worshipped.”

About Cathleen:

Cathleen Ross is a quirky writer who lives on Sydney Harbor with her husband, daughter and very loved dog, Denzel. As an English teacher and editor, she has always surrounded herself with books. When she's not giving psychic predictions for her family and friends, she's writing romances where her heroines always get their man. She's a multi-award-winning author who regularly hits the Amazon best-seller lists.

Giveaway Details: International
1 winner will receive a $15 Amazon GC, International.

Tour Schedule:
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1 comment:

  1. Good Morning! Your book sounds great and I'm glad I got to learn about it. Thank you!