Angelina Jameson: A Lady’s Addiction

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Alcohol abuse in the Regency era

The heroine of my book A Lady’s Addiction has a problem with alcohol. Anna used it to self-medicate, to deal with the disgusting attentions from her husband. Now a widow, Anna struggles to rid herself of her nightly ritual of drinking a bottle of wine to dull her senses.

The term alcoholism wasn’t around in the Regency era and wasn’t coined until 1852. Reformers labeled those who often drank in excess as habitual drunkards. At the time habitual drunkenness wasn’t seen as a disease. I portrayed Anna as an alcohol abuser not an alcoholic. She uses alcohol to de-stress. If she continues on this path she would most likely become an alcoholic.

Anna’s drink of choice was wine. Wine was plentiful in upper class Regency households. Wine was a gentlemanly drink. It was imported and expensive, perfect as a posh drink for the upper classes. During the years of war between France and England it was harder to get French wine. The English turned to new favorite wines from Spain, and Portugal. These wines were Madeira, Malaga, port, or sherry. The hero in my book refers to Portuguese wine in the first chapter.

During the Gin Craze in 18th century London binge drinking became a huge social problem. Gin was cheap and readily available to the lower classes. The heavy consumption of alcohol continued during the Regency. In the Reminisces of Captain Gronow, the author stated: “Drinking was the fashion of the day.”

It is well known that George IV drank heavily. Did George’s excessive drinking reflect current fashion or set it? I think both. Drinking played an extremely important social role in eighteenth century England. Anyone who reads Regency historical novels has heard of gout. The high consumption of port and fortified wines led to the upper class disease of gout.

What about women drinking in the Regency era? While there are many cartoons and articles from the Regency showing excess drinking by men, it was much harder to find information about those Regency women who may have abused alcohol. Lady Caroline Lamb was known to be addicted to alcohol and laudanum near the end of her life. It is taken for granted that women of society drank to relieve the boredom and monotony of their lives. Women drank wine with their meals and drank sherry in the drawing room after dinner. It is not hard to imagine women overindulging with all the alcohol surrounding them.

What do you think of a romance heroine dealing with alcohol abuse? Would you prefer the hero to be the one dealing with such a struggle? One reader who leaves a comment on this blog post will receive a $10 Amazon gift card.

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About A Lady’s Addiction

Anna, a widow battling alcohol addiction is convinced she is worthless unless she bears a child. She hires a lover to prove she is not frigid and may marry again and have children.

Devlyn, sterile from an accident, has returned from an assignment for the Foreign Office and inadvertently becomes Anna’s lover.

Anna and Devlyn join forces to protect an innocent child from a blackmailer. Can they come to terms not only with their feelings for each other but whether they will allow society to dictate the true significance of life?

Excerpt

She couldn’t remember the question she’d asked. His nearness unsettled her. Her entire body had flared into wakefulness the moment he entered her room. Cecily could be right; this man might be able to help with her problem.

Tonight she would play a part. She would emulate the sophisticated façade her friend Cecily Pickerel displayed. The scandalous nightgown underneath her thin robe was in fact a gift from Cecily. She would never have had enough courage to buy such a shocking garment for herself.

“You are discreet?”

“What is your name?” Franco asked, ignoring her question.

Somewhere in the back of her mind she remembered Cecily telling her she needn’t share personal information. She would never see this man again. He didn’t move in her circles. With the slightest of shrugs, she answered truthfully, “Anna.”

“Anna,” he said in a husky rasp. The way her name rolled off his tongue sent the lightest frisson along her skin. “It is a graceful, pretty name. It suits you.”

“There is no need to flatter me.” She felt heat on her cheeks. “It is a common enough name.”

“Despite our current situation, my dear, I do not believe you are at all common.”

 AmazonThe Wild Rose PressBarnes & Noble

US 99 cents to 30 April 2015

US $4.99 from 1 May 2015

About the Author

Untitled2I joined the US Air Force to see the world. My dreams of visiting the United Kingdom were fulfilled when I was stationed at RAF Lakenheath in the beautiful countryside of Suffolk, England. Five years later I returned to the states having acquired a wonderful husband and a love of all things British. I began writing as a hobby when my husband was remote to Honduras for a year. I found RWA and a local New Mexico chapter, LERA, and my hobby developed into a dream of sharing my stories with others. I currently live in the great state of Alaska with my wonderful husband and our two teenage boys.

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22 thoughts on “Angelina Jameson: A Lady’s Addiction

  1. I think that any time we can insert a sense of realism into fiction, the work is better off for it. This genre is filled with pretty, white, rich, young, aristocratic characters whose most realistic problems are the hiring of servants and getting a bonnet trimmed. (This is not to say that unrealistic problems don’t abound.) A drink in a woman’s hand, a hero or heroine of color, a man with emotional vulnerabilities, a character set from the lower (even criminal) classes–these scenarios subvert the paradigm. We need more of that in all genres. I have been eying this book for a couple of weeks now. It is now on my list. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with everything you typed, Mari. 🙂 I appreciate the support. My book won’t be for everyone and that’s okay, right? Hopefully sometime I can branch out to write characters of the lower-classes when I feel more comfortable with the research.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m intrigued by this book, though I don’t thank you for making my TBR list even bigger. I love books that deal with real issues while telling a good story. And you’re right – books like that won’t be for everyone. But books that skate over the frothy surface without ever looking at the pain beneath – those aren’t for everyone, either.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Angelina, I love romances that explore darker themes such as addiction whether it is the hero or heroine who is addicted. I know some readers don’t like this type of romance but I admire authoirs who are willing to push the boundaries of Historical Romance. I loved Maire Claremont’s Mad Passions series which featured a heroine with a laudanum addiction.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As I am the sister of the author I may be biased, but I truly enjoyed this book. It took me awhile to warm up to Anna because of her addiction, but once I did it became very easy to root for her to not only overcome her addiction but to find happiness. I agree that it is not for everyone, but give it a peek and you might be surprised.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I enjoy and appreciate books that explore deeper themes than are found in most “light reading.” The books that I keep and return to are those which make me think, feel, and cry before rewarding me with an example of hope triumphing over experience. I think this will do that quite nicely.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Part of the appeal of writing about the past is the chance to show that people back in that time period weren’t much different than us. I applaud you for including this realistic detail in your book.

    Liked by 1 person

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