Today my guest is Berengaria Brown, who writes in many sub-genres of romance, although today she’ll be discussing her Regency series. Welcome to Susana’s Parlour, Berengaria!
- What is your favorite historical period or region and why? Did you enjoy history while you were in school or was it frankly boring? How would you suggest we teach history to kids now—(i.e.) can fiction maybe be a tool here? Do you think we can and should learn from the past or is it now irrelevant to modern times and issues?
I loved history in school and have always enjoyed reading history textbooks, and biographies as well as historical fiction. Likely my favorite era is Regency England, thanks to an addiction to Georgette Heyer developed in my early teenage years, but I also enjoy medieval. One of the first biographies I read was of Queen Elizabeth I of England and I developed, and have maintained, a great deal of admiration for her.
People and what motivates them don’t change, but the means by which they achieve their ambitions may change. I think kids enjoy history more when they hear the stories of the people. Learning the dates of battles may be boring but hearing about the people who lived through those battles is more engaging.
- Do you think historical accuracy is important in fiction? How about the use of modern speech and politically correct ideas instead of those that faithfully portray the period? Do you find this good, bad, a necessary evil or something you shun?
Factual accuracy is essential. People didn’t know about germs, microscopes and antibiotics had not been invented. They would never have sterilized the wounds. But your hero can fall into a river and wash off the dirt that way. Politically correct is a bit different. You do need to be correct to the ideas of the times. For example “bloody” was not used as a swear word as it was considered a reference to menstruation—something that was never discussed. The further back in history you go though, the more difficult it is to use the correct language as we have lost the words or their meanings have changed. But I consider it very important not to use a concept that was not yet understood. No psychology in medieval times, but you heroine may be considered mad or a witch.
- Can you share a favorite author and title that perhaps inspired you to write in the historical genre?
Georgette Heyer. Any of her Regencies. She is the epitome of the era for me.
- If there were such a thing as a time machine, where would be the first place you would go once you had a ticket to ride? Do you think you’d want to stay or just look around and then come right back to today?
I would like to go to the Court of Queen Elizabeth I of England. It was a very exciting time historically and she was an incredibly powerful ruler.
But I would likely miss not having bathrooms and heating or air conditioning, and the Internet, and come home after a little while—in winter if not before.
- Please give us a bit of information about the book or books you’re sharing today.
The Virgins No More series consists of three MF erotic Regency-set historical books featuring the Arnott family.
The Vicar’s Virgin is Georgina’s story, Almost a Virgin is Theodora’s story, and A Promising Virgin is Sapphira’s story.
Book 1: The Vicar’s Virgin
The Reverend Mr. Ridley needs a wife so he focuses his attentions on Georgina Arnott, a sensible, intelligent, yet attractive woman.
On their wedding night he’s relieved to discover she enjoys the pleasures of the bed, and, after a slow start, their evenings are full of passion and joy for both of them.
Unfortunately, when she takes an interest in his parish, it seems to involve filling his house with noisy people tramping muddy boots through the hallways, and filling his kitchen with dirty children.
He loves his wife. But can this marriage work?
Book 2: Almost a Virgin
Theodora has loved John Smith ever since she was a little girl. But he’s very wealthy and she is only a vicar’s daughter and sister.
John had been waiting for Theodora to grow up. When he kisses Theodora in the garden at the ball, lust roars through him and he takes her there in the garden, fully dressed, only a few yards away from a hundred people. She’s warm and more than willing in his arms, and it’s not until the deed is done that he realizes he’s just dishonored his best friend’s sister.
Theodora doesn’t regret what she’s done. She enjoyed it and wants more of him. Even though he’s only marrying her because he dishonored her, she doesn’t care. She’ll make him so happy in bed and in his home he’ll stay with her even though he may never love her.
Book 3: A Promising Virgin
Zethan, Earl of Mitcham, decides, after careful thought, that the stunningly beautiful Miss Sapphira Arnott will make him the perfect wife. It’s only when she declines his oh-so-flattering offer, that he realizes how rude and arrogant he’d been to her and her brother, and how much he loves her. The only solution is to woo her properly.
Meanwhile Simeon Arnott is in love with Miss Anne Smith. But she’s incredibly rich and he’s a mere baronet. Fortunately her brother and she herself accept his proposal and they have an extremely successful wedding night. Their ball, however, is almost less than successful thanks to the “help” of the three youngest Arnotts and their plans to go one better than a recent much-talked-about society event.
The Season is almost over. Can Zethan win his lady’s trust?
The earl was standing at the window, his back to her. He was a very good-looking man—tall, with broad shoulders, and muscled arms and legs. She knew he rode well and played all sorts of manly pursuits. And, of course, he was rich and titled. Simeon was right. She wouldn’t get a better offer than this one from him. And she did like him. She enjoyed his company. He was always a considerate dance partner and his conversation was intelligent and witty. Her heart always beat faster when he held her in his arms for a waltz. She’d known herself very jealous of other women if he danced the waltz with them. Did that mean she loved him? She looked at his taut ass in his tight breeches. His body looked mighty fine and being older than her he’d know well how to please a woman. Her belly clenched at the thought of a man’s hands in all her secret places. She rather thought she’d enjoy the marriage bed. Especially with a well-built, good-looking man like Mitcham.
“Have you finished looking at me, Sapphira? Shall we have the wedding one month from today? In the cathedral of course. No other church will be big enough for all the guests I’ll need to invite.”
Sapphira took a step back in surprise. “You haven’t asked me yet.”
Mitcham stared at her then came closer and took her hands in his. “Dear Miss Arnott, please accept my offer to unite my house with yours in holy matrimony.”
“Do you care for me at all?” she asked hesitantly.
“You’re beautiful. Your wealth and lineage are adequate. You suit me well enough. I’ve never proposed to anyone before, if that’s what you mean. Now, I’ll send my man of affairs to the Bank of England to my lockbox to retrieve the diamond and ruby ring. You can go to Rundell and Bridge tomorrow so they can alter it to fit your finger properly. Then—”
She pulled her hands out of his grasp. “But you don’t care for me as a person. I’d always hoped to marry a man who cared for me at least a little.”
“Of course I care for you. I’m about to spend a monkey altering a family heirloom ring to fit your finger.”
“That’s not what I mean. My mama and papa loved and respected each other. They had a happy marriage. Georgina and Barnabas have found happiness together. They too love each other. I want to marry a man I can love and who loves me in return.”
“Love is for peasants, not for people of our class. You can love our son when he’s born. I will provide you with everything you can possibly need.”
“No. No you can’t. Because what I need is to be loved. I’m sorry, my lord, but I cannot accept your very flattering offer.” Sapphira turned and ran out of the room.
- Where can our readers find out more about you and your writing? Please share your web site, social network pages, blogs or any other contact areas you maintain
Berengaria is a multi-published author of erotic romance: contemporary, paranormal (magic, ghosts, vampires, fairies, dragons, and werewolves), futuristic, medieval, and Regency-set historical. She loves to read all different kinds of romance so that is what she writes: one man/one woman; two women; two men; two men/one woman; three men, two women/one man, three men/one woman…. Whatever the characters need for their very hot happily-ever-after, Berengaria makes sure they get it.
I update my blog several times a week: http://berengariasblog.blogspot.com/
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Susana, thank you so much for inviting me into your parlour today.