Guest Author & Giveaway: Wendy Soliman featuring Compromising the Marquess

Tuesday, December 11

I don't know about you, but I was so excited when I heard that Will & Kate were going to have a royal bundle of joy.  I first saw it on TV when they read the Twitter post live, and within days it's all over the news and magazines.  What I hate about all of the coverage is what it drove the nurse at the hospital to do.  I feel so bad not only for the nurse and her family, but also the broadcasters at the radio station.  Because if there wouldn't have been so much made of that prank call, things might not have turned out like they did.  What to take away from all of this...there are consequences to all of the hype, and I hate that it seems like we never learn from these hard earned lessons.

Let's face it though.  Gossip makes the world go round.  It always has and always will.  In the recently released regency romance, Compromising the Marquess, the heroine writes the scandal for the gossip sheets, but fortunately for her and everyone else involved the story the consequences have a much happier ending than recent history.

Author Wendy Soliman is my guest today to share a bit about how her heroine Leah, gets herself in and out of trouble in the first book in The Foresters series, Compromising the Marquess.  Enjoy!

 ~~~***~~~

Thanks for having me here. Compromising the Marquess is a raunchy Regency read in which the heroine, Leah Elliott, writes scandal for a gossip sheet in order to support herself and her sister. I think of Leah as the forerunner to today’s paparazzi. Having mistakenly reported that the marquess is on the verge of declaring for a lady whom he had no interest in, and that lady’s mother wastes no time in calling upon Hal to reinforce the rumour. Leah suggests fixing the problem by posing as his intended.

Here’s how it happens:
“Damnation!” Hal sucked in an angry breath. “They didn’t waste any time. I thought they might at least have restrained themselves until this afternoon.”

“Lady Bentley doesn’t strike me as the procrastinating sort,” Leah said guiltily.

“It would appear not.”

Potter stood statue-like in the doorway, awaiting further instructions. He clearly knew all about the unfortunate piece in the newspaper—Hal would have been surprised had it been otherwise—which was why he’d been informed of the ladies’ arrival.

“Are they in the small salon?” he asked.

“Yes, my lord.”

“All right, thank you, Potter.”

The butler withdrew, closing the door gently behind him.

“What shall you do about her?” Leah asked.

“Avoid her for the time being, until I can think of a way to scotch the rumour.”

“Won’t that make things worse?”

Hal scowled. “Probably, but what choice do I have? Besides, I avoid the ladies who visit Flick like the plague as a general rule, and if I were to join her now it would be seen as confirmation of the gossip.”

“Yes, I suppose so.” Leah tilted her head, sucking absently on her index finger, deep in thought. In spite of his problems, Hal found the sight oddly compelling. She was totally preoccupied, almost unaware of his presence, and he couldn’t seem to pull his gaze away from her.

“It seems to me,” she said speculatively, “that the best way to dispel the tittle-tattle would be to show public affection for another lady.”

“And finish up embroiled with a different female.” Hal shuddered. “Thank you for the suggestion but I have no intention of extracting myself from the fireplace, only to land in the centre of a very different sort of blaze.”

“You escorted me into dinner the other evening, did you not?”

“Yes.” Hal, guessing the direction her thoughts had taken, shot her a look of exaggerated circumspection. “I deliberately gave the impression that I favoured you in order to avoid Miss Bentley.”

“Exactly, and so if you now appear in the small salon with me on your arm—”

“Out of the question!”

“Am I that repulsive to you?” she asked quietly.

“I was thinking more of your reputation.”

“I owe you a favour. It was me who landed you in this mess, remember? Don’t worry, Lord Denby,” she said with a vibrant smile. “I shall expect nothing from you. I most certainly won’t consider myself betrothed, I’m sure my uncle won’t pursue you with his blunderbuss, and I have no other male protectors for you to be concerned about.” Her smile widened, her features glowing with mischief. “What do you say?”

“I say that you’re cork-brained.” Hal studied her, wondering if she might actually have hit upon the solution to his difficulty, but shook his head to dispel that possibility. He couldn’t ask it of her, even if she was entirely to blame for this farrago. “Thank you for offering to make such a sacrifice but there must be another way.”

“All the time you stand here thinking about it, Lady Bentley will be furthering her cause downstairs.” Leah stood up, her attitude exuding fiery courage and stark determination. “The plan will work if we want it to,” she said, her eyes glistening almost as though she looked forward to her own disgrace.

“Possibly, but—”

“Do you have any better ideas?” she asked, actual laughter in her eyes.

“Well…er no, not at this precise moment.”

“Then we’re wasting time.”

He let out an elongated sigh. “Very well, but you will have to pretend to be besotted. Do you think you can manage that?”

She wrinkled her brow. “I’ve never been a particularly good actress, which is another reason I didn’t pursue a career in the opera. But still, since the situation is so grave, I shall do my very best to convey that impression.”

Hal roared with laughter. “Minx!” He proffered his arm. “Come along then. Let’s get this charade over with.”

They reached the door and he was about to open it but, chancing a glance at Leah, he changed his mind.

“What is it now?” she asked.

He canted his head, examining her face with a critical eye. “Something isn’t quite right. You don’t look like a young lady whose affections are engaged.”

“I don’t quite know what you expect me to do about that.”

“Can’t you at least try to look at me with adoration?”

“Hardly. I already told you…oh!”

Without giving her any notice of his intentions, he swept her into his arms, dropped his head and covered those lush lips of hers with his own.

Firmly.

It was something he’d wanted to do since first meeting her, and she’d unwittingly presented him with the ideal excuse to exorcise that particular demon. It wasn’t a delicate kiss, like the one they’d shared on the terrace. This time he meant business. He savoured the heat of her mouth, stoking his own passions as his tongue tantalizingly stroked its corners, daring her to offer him ingress.

When, with a soft sigh, she parted her lips, he felt ridiculously triumphant and didn’t hesitate to take advantage of her unspoken invitation. His tongue foraged, feeding from her sweetness as he explored the contours of her mouth with bold, sensual sweeps. Her tongue tangled with his in an erotic dance that was in danger of slipping beyond his control. The soft curves of her body, supple and inviting, pressing against his chest only made matters worse, causing him to utter a strangled oath and break the kiss.

They were both breathing hard as they separated. Leah’s eyes were clouded, not just with confusion but with passion she was too inexperienced to conceal, her lips delightfully swollen.

“That’s better.” He lifted his hand to twist an errant curl behind her ear. “No one will be left in any doubt about our feelings for one another now.”

She frowned. “How can you say that?”

He chuckled. “You look as though you’ve been thoroughly kissed.”

“Humph!” She looked rather flustered, and for once had nothing more to say. That, in Hal’s experience of the hoyden, was definitely unique.

Grinning, his good humour fully restored, he finally opened the door and ushered her through it ahead of him. It was either that or kiss her witless. The extent of his desire to let the world go hang whilst he took the latter course of action surprised him. He was immune to feminine wiles—God alone knew, he’d had enough experience of avoiding them—but this one had attracted his attention on all levels, simply because she wasn’t attempting to impress him.

“Ready?” he asked, once again extending his arm.

“I was ready some time ago.”

So much for rendering her speechless. “No you weren’t.” He grinned at her, suspecting that the gesture projected a not-entirely-civilized aura. Only reasonable since right now his thoughts, his desires, were anything but civilized.

“But you are now.”

England, 1814

Leah Elliot sells secrets to survive. Donning boy's clothes, she uncovers society scandals for a London gossip rag to support herself and her sister, who were left destitute after their father's death. When she meets the dashing--and perhaps dangerous--Hal Forster, the Marquess of Denby, she learns he may be involved in treason. The rumor is too valuable not to sell, despite her attraction to him...

Hal does have a secret, but he's no traitor: he's a spy embroiled in a mystery, seeking the man who killed his contact in France. He sees the alluring woman behind Leah's disguise at once but is intrigued enough to play along...until he realizes that she's the source of the rumors interfering with his investigation and forcing him into an unwanted betrothal.

Now, Hal and Leah must work together to draw out the culprit and undo the damage caused by Leah's gossip. Or will their passion only cause more scandal?



Congratulations Wendy!  This sounds like a deliciously scandalous story :)  I'm sure readers will be eagerly anticipating the next book, Beguiling the Barrister(June 2013)

If you've like to learn more about author Wendy Soliman and the books she writes you can find her at her website www.wendysoliman.com, her blog, on Facebook, & at Twitter.

To celebrate the release of the first book in The Forsters series, Compromising the Marquess, Wendy would like to giveaway a digital copy of the book to one lucky Musings follower. (Open to US & International readers). 


Ways to earn entries:
  • Mandatory:  Tell Wendy what you most enjoy about Regency romances.  (good for 1 entry)
Rules and disclaimers:
  • The winner(s) will be selected randomly from among all of the comments at the end of the blog tour by either the author or by LitConnect who will also be responsible for contacting the winner(s).  Please contact the promoter for all the official rules and disclaimers.
  • 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!

Click on the button to see more tour stops & chances to win

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*Seductive Musings is an Amazon affiliate and receives a very small referral fee for purchases made via the links on the blog and through the Seductive Musings Amazon Store. Read the full disclosure here.

7 Comments:

erin December 11, 2012 at 10:44 AM  

Thanks for the fun post and congrats to Wendy on the new release!I love regency b/c it's so romantic and a fun escape from reality.

efender1(at)gmail(dot)com

Jyl22075 December 11, 2012 at 10:14 PM  

I love regency romance because of all the societal rules that were so made to be broken.

JYL22075 at gmail dot com

Barbara E. December 11, 2012 at 10:37 PM  

I love Regency romance because it was a very interesting time in history, with the Prince Regent's excesses, the balls and parties, the great clothes and all of the high jinks of the nobility.

bn100,  December 11, 2012 at 11:15 PM  

I like the fashion.

bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

Mary Preston December 12, 2012 at 7:50 AM  

I love everything about Regency romances, but I especially love the heroes & the rakes.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Arely ZPerez December 13, 2012 at 6:14 PM  

I love the heroes. Most of the time, while reading, I side with the heroes and not the heroines ;D Unless of course, they're being impossibly idiotic!

amzpar[at]gmail[dot]com

jmcgaugh December 16, 2012 at 10:04 PM  

I like the manners and the clothes.

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