Guest Author and Giveaway: Isobel Carr featuring Ripe for Pleasure

Tuesday, May 17

With the recent wedding of Prince William all of the media attention has now focused on the wild child, Prince Harry, commonly referred to as "The Spare".  What would it be like to be the second son to have all of the fame, but none of the fortune (or at least only a small portion compared to what the heir received) that goes with being from a prominent family?  Oftentimes they had to seek their own fortunes, which in a way had to be somewhat liberating because a second son had the freedom to pursue his passions, but at the same time when born to a world of privilege having to earn and create your own legacy had to be somewhat of a daunting task.

Author Isobel Carr is my guest today to share a bit about her new series, The League of Second Sons, that begins with Ripe for Pleasure, and her thoughts on whether it was better to be the heir, or a younger son.  Read and enjoy!

Younger sons...better than being the heir?

Better for whom? For them? Doubtful. Under the laws of primogeniture, the heir gets pretty much everything and the rest of the siblings get the crumbs. Better for an author? Well, it certainly gives you more scope and higher stakes. When you look at the great movers and shakers of history, they are often younger sons: The Duke of Wellington started out as a younger son of the Earl of Mornington; Viscount Nelson, the famous sailor, was also a younger son; Charles James Fox, the Whig politician, younger son of Lord Holland; William Pitt the younger, youngest Prime Minister of Great Britain, you guessed it, younger son of the Earl of Chatham.

While it’s possible to put a Peer of the Realm into dire financial straights, at the point in history where my books are set, such a scenario is rather unlikely (land rich, but cash poor is more of a late-Victorian phenomenon). But most younger sons are going to start out with limited funds and limited power. They have to make their own way, seek their own fortune, fight and scrabble to get what they want, and to keep it once they have it. In RIPE FOR PLEASURE (book one of the LEAGUE OF SECOND SONS), Lord Leonidas, younger son of a duke, has found himself in possession of the estate he managed after his grandfather dies and leaves it to him. Unfortunately, the estate is more of a grand hunting box, and doesn’t have the built in income to be self-sustaining. Leo needs money if he’s going to hold on to it. His cousin, whose family was ruined in the Jacobite rebellion of 1745, is out to restore the family fortune. They both see a long lost treasure as the answer to their problems, but sharing isn’t big on the list of things Leo’s cousin likes to do, and to complicate matters, the treasure appears to be hidden in the house of an unsuspecting retired courtesan.

So there you have it: high stakes for everyone involved. A chance for independence for both men. The means to hold on to something one of them loves, or to restore something the other lost.

Second in line, first in love
A secret society of younger sons, sworn to aid and abet each other, no matter the scandal or cost.... Their fathers and brothers may rule the world, but they run it . . . and when it comes to passion, they refuse to accept second best.

Searching for hidden treasure, finding forbidden fantasy.
London's most sensual former courtesan, Viola Whedon, is incapable of being seduced-she does the seducing. Until she meets Leonidas Vaughn. Her salacious memoirs have made her the target of half the lords in England, and Vaughn is the only man she can turn to. When he promises to protect her-and to make her beg for his touch-the alluring beauty finds both offers impossible to refuse.

Leonidas Vaughn secretly believes Viola possesses a fortune given to his family by the King of France. So the strong and sexy Vaughn charms his way into Viola's life . . . and her bed. But when their arrangement is consummated, he'll experience pleasure far beyond his wildest fantasies-and realize his heart may need the most protection of all.

Five Fun Facts about Ripe for Pleasure:
  1. The treasure Leo and Viola are looking for is real. The King of France really did send a fortune to support Bonnie Price Charlie in his bid for the English throne, but the rebellion collapsed before the money reached him, and no one knows what happened to it.
  2. There’s a lot of Joan from Mad Men in Viola.
  3. The idea to give all the kids in Leo’s family historical names was inspired by real men from the era named Hannibal, Achilles, Hercules, and Perseus.
  4. The heroine’s dog was inspired by Isobel’s very own dog, Clancy, a Bullmastiff/Neapolitan Mastiff cross and two of his littermates, who are owned by her best friend and her little sister. And yes, that means there’s a minimum of 500 lbs of dog at every dinner party and holiday.  
  5. The idea of a man marrying his mistress in the Georgian era wasn’t all that far-fetched. Charles James Fox, the famous Whig politician, did it (and they lived quite happily at Strawberry Fields; yes, that Strawberry Fields) as did the 5th Duke of Devonshire, the 1st Baron Carteret, the 1st Earl of Orford, the 3rd Viscount Palmerston, and Sir Robert Wilmot. 
The Charter of the League of Second Sons:

We are MPs and Diplomats, Sailors and Curates, Barristers and Explorers, Adventurers and Soldiers. Our Fathers and Brothers may rule the World, but We run it. For this Service to God, Country and Family, We will have Our Due.

Formed this day, 17 May 1755. All Members to Swear to Aid their Fellows in their Endeavors, Accompany them on their Quests, and Promote their Causes where they be Just.

Addendum, 14 April 1756. Any rotter who outlives his elder brother to become heir apparent to a duke is hereby expelled.

Addendum, 15 Sept 1768. All younger brothers to be admitted without prejudice in favor of the second.

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Congratulations Isobel!  I think the idea of an entire series with the heroes being second sons is brilliant and ripe with possibilities :)  I can't wait to read more.

ISOBEL CARR is single, child-free, and a committed "dog person" (the bigger the dog the better). She has taught creative writing, horseback riding, and seminars on historical costuming. She can start a fire without matches and hitch a team of horses to a wagon. She can also spend nine hours in a Victorian corset without a problem but can't wear heels for more than four hours. She laughed all the way through every episode of Colonial House, and if she could only watch one movie for the rest of her life, it would be Impromptu.

If you would like to learn more about Isobel Carr and the books as Isobel or Kalen Hughes, you can find her at her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads and her blog History Hoydens.  I also love her Flickr Photo Album because it has all sorts of absolutely amazing photos of fashions that are relevant to the time period of her stories as well as some "awww" pictures of her doggies :)  And she also has a free historical romance read, Something Wicked, from her Rakes of London series written as Kalen Hughes.

To celebrate the release of the first book in Isobel Carr's League of Second Sons series, Ripe for Pleasure, her publisher, Forever Romance, would like to giveaway a copy of the book to three lucky Musings followers.  Here's how you can enter to win:

Ways to earn entries:
  • Mandatory: Answer this question:  If  you had the choice of being the heir (with all the responsibilities as well as the riches) or the spare (forging your own path and creating your own destiny) which would you rather be and why?  AND please leave some comment love for the author on your thoughts on her new series.  (good for 1 entry)
  • Mandatory: You MUST be a Google Friend Connect (GFC) follower in order to be eligible to win (unfortunately an email subscriber, or subscription in Google reader, and a follower are not the same thing so make sure you are signed up as a follower if you'd like to win this book)
  • If you have a blog, or even if you don't, you can earn extra entries by telling your friends. If they successfully enter to win and mention that you sent them you can each earn extra entries. You can blog about it with a link to this post, post it on Facebook, Twitter, email...or even word of mouth (good for 5 entries for the referrer and the commenter for each friend) . Please note that to earn the points they must mention your GFC name so that I can match you.
  • Purchase any item from the Seductive Musings Amazon store by using this link, or the Amazon widget contained within this post and email a copy of your purchase receipt to me no later than the deadline to enter (email available in sidebar). Sorry purchases made prior to this date do not apply, and link contained in this post must be used. No faxes or snail mail copies are allowed. No purchases are necessary to win. (good for 25 entries, or 50 entries if a purchase is made from the featured author's available titles)
How to enter:
  • You can choose to enter as many different ways that you want, but please place all of your entries in ONE comment 
Rules and disclaimers:
  • This contest is open to US & Canada addresses only
  • You must be at least 18 years or older, or of legal age in your country
  • The contest will end on May 21st at 11:59 pm EST and winner will be posted after they have been selected
  • Winner(s) will be selected using
  • The winner(s) will have THREE days from the date they are posted to provide a mailing address. If you do not contact me within three days a replacement winner will be selected. NO EXCEPTIONS
  • The book(s) will be mailed directly from the publisher or author and no substitutions are allowed
  • Winners will be subject to one copy per household, which means that if you win the same title in two or more contests, that you will only receive one copy of the title in the mail
  • Seductive Musings is not responsible for prizes that are not honored, distributed in a timely manner, lost, stolen, or damaged during transit 
  • All giveaways are subject to change/cancellation without prior written notice
Good Luck!

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*I am an Amazon affiliate and receive a small (and I mean very small) referral fee for purchases made using a link on this blog. I don't use Amazon to earn money, I use it because the widgets are cool, easy to use, and serve my purposes to showcase books & such with minimal effort, but most importantly they have great prices and offer both new and used items. As a book addict I love that I can find just about anything I want in one place. If you are going to purchase a featured book anyway, and you know you won't pay more by using the links on this blog than you would by visiting Amazon on your own, I will be eternally grateful for supporting this blog by using the links, and don't forget that the referral fees from your purchases will sponsor the "Reader Rewards" giveaways :)


Virginia C May 17, 2011 at 9:34 AM  

Hello, Isobel!

I was neither the heir or the spare, but the grandchild, and a female to boot! I inherited the family responsibilites, but none of the financial fortitude. At one time, there was a certain wealth to our family, but it vanished long before I came into the picture. It would have been much easier to deal with my fate if my finances had been flush. Much better to have faced it all with money.

I love the "second son series" theme--sensational!

When you're #2, you try harder ; )

Love, love, love the name Leonidas!!!

US Resident, GFC Follower, Subscriber

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

Bethie May 17, 2011 at 9:44 AM  

Thanks for the giveaway. I think I would rather be the heir.

I follow on GFC

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Robin K May 17, 2011 at 9:56 AM  

I would be the spare. To adventure without responsibility and have freedom. I would not do well caged even if it is gilded :)

I am a follower.

robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

Anonymous,  May 17, 2011 at 10:32 AM  

What a wonderful post! This book/series sounds very intriguing! The plot sounds wonderful and the cover is lovely!

As for having to choose, I would be the heir. Maybe. Hmmm...but being the spare does have it's benefits. Wow, tough choice.

Maria May 17, 2011 at 11:52 AM  

Love the cover and the idea behind the series - getting to see what happens with the "spare" and what they do.

I personally would choose to be the "heir" and get the responsibility and the financial backup with it. I'm the oldest child in my family so I have already dealt with a lot of the responsibilities and also know that I will be the one in charge of my parents as they

I am a GFC follower


Estella May 17, 2011 at 3:49 PM  

I would rather be the spare. No one would expect me to jump through hoops.

This book sounds awesome!

GFC follower
kissinoak at frontier dot com

Barbara E. May 17, 2011 at 6:39 PM  

Being the responsible type, I'd choose the heir. Once I inherited, I could pretty much do whatever I wanted, so I think it would work out well.

Barbed1951 at aol dot com
GFC follower

Artemis May 17, 2011 at 9:43 PM  

I would want to be the spare. Do my own thing, but still get financial aid from the heir.

I learn something new every day. I had no idea Isobel wrote as Kalen Hughes. And those book covers are yummy.

I love that the heroes names are so different from what we usually read. Especially Perseus.

Old GFC Follower

Martha Lawson May 17, 2011 at 10:39 PM  

I'd rather be the "spare" than the heir, so I could do mostly what I wanted without all the responsibility!! The book sounds awesome and I can't wait to read it. Good luck.

follow on gfc

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Maureen May 18, 2011 at 9:54 AM  

Congratulations on the new series Isobel! I like the idea of it being about second sons since I think they could definitely have to struggle to find their place. I think I would choose to be the heir because that is where the power is.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Chele Blades May 18, 2011 at 11:05 AM  

I so can not wait to read this book...

I think I would love to be the Spare who attracts the Heir(s)...I would love to find my own way...

gfc follower

winnie May 18, 2011 at 5:11 PM  

Congrats on the release! The premise of this has definitely hooked me in, I'd love to read it to see what happens.

If I had the choice of being the heir or the spare I would rather be the heir because I don't think I would mind the responsibilities.


Anita Yancey May 18, 2011 at 6:12 PM  

I'd like to be the heir because then I could control the money. Sounds like a great sexy read. Please enter me. Thanks!

Follow on GFC(Anita Yancey)


Pam S (pams00),  May 18, 2011 at 9:39 PM  

I would rather be a spare if given then choice I think (both do have drawbacks). They usually had wealth but were more free to choose their futures including spouses etc.

This sounds like its going to be a great historical romance, the series I be is going to be quite a fun one to read - can't wait :)! Loved the Fun facts they were so interesting, ty for sharing those!

(Had net problems so not sure if initial post made it please disregard 1 if it did - sorry!)

gfc - pams00

pams00 @

lindalou May 19, 2011 at 8:36 AM  

I'd rather be the heir... As we all have seen, some heirs forge their own ways... and it's easier with more monies. LOL! In truth, I'm ok just being me reading about heirs & spares.
Thanks for being here today AND thanks for this giveaway!
I'm a follower.
Linda T.

Soft Fuzzy Sweater May 19, 2011 at 5:23 PM  

If you had the choice of being the heir (with all the responsibilities as well as the riches) or the spare (forging your own path and creating your own destiny) which would you rather be and why?

I would rather be 'the spare'. and able to have the freedom and wealth to do charitable works, get involved with political causes and perhaps have a career, All in all a much easier destiny.

I have not read Ms. Carr before but Seductive Musings makes her book appetizing!


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