Friday, May 5, 2023

Today's bon bon: Selling a cotton mill in the Regency period was complex business!

Selling a cotton mile in the Regency period was complex business! What was included in the sale? What would a buyer wish for?

How easy was it to buy such a complex industrial site?

Often adverts tell the tale.

In IF I LOVED YOU, Viscount Bellamy considers it!

Here is one such advert, August 1, 1815. Note all the structures, where it is sold, when and how. By Auction!

It conveys with all kinds of amenities with plots of land, liberties privileges, advances and notices of the ground ent to be paid for a whopping 999 years!

Do enlarge to read better.



Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Today's bon bon: What does your hero look like?



Choosing the looks of a hero often means knowing him intimately too. Here are a few looks at Miles St. John Armstrong, Lord Bellamy, the hero of IF I LOVED YOU.

Here he is first in a painting done slightly later than the Regency period of the story. Yet to me he has the aura of Bellamy.

Now here he is in a photograph I found recently.


What do you think of either?

Who appeals to you more?




Monday, May 1, 2023

Today's bon bon: How rich is your Regency beau???? Or...is money the root of all proposals?

๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ˜ŽMONEY!๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ’
Let's talk about Darcy's 10,000 a year, shall we?
Darcy fans ask the burning question: How well would Lizzie Bennet really live after she married Mr. Darcy?
That leading statement that he had “ten thousand a year” sounds rich…but it’s enlightening to learn the facts.
To help you savor the possibilities of stepping into Lizzie’s shoes, I found a wonderful website that translates previous years’ British pounds into current British pounds. So for your titilation, here’s a sample of the real cost of living for Mr. Darcy and his bride. I’ve added to the cost of a hired carriage ride and the cost of paying his servants’ salaries. (Yes, all costs are those I took from original sources of the period, give or take a few years on the publication date of Jane’s 

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE which is 1813.)

(Do enlarge the two excerpts from an 1825 book on Household governance!)
A London carriage ride, hired hackney, 1-2 miles
(ex: Charing Cross to Hyde Park Corner) 1-2 pounds
Ladies hat, chip straw 18 pounds
Lace trim, 6 shillings per yard
Gown: Fine India Muslin, white, 13 per yard* 39-65 pounds
(3-5 needed for full length dress)
*Sewing extra
(Alternate fabric: chintz 7-8 pounds per yard)
Dinner party, food and wine, for 16-20 20 pounds
Dinner for family of 4, 3-4 courses 5 pounds
To educate (a daughter) at boarding school, including
Transportation to, from 43 per year
Recommended expenditure for running complete household:
This from one current expert in the period...and the category that breaks the bank. Watch and see!
33% of all income should go to household expenses 3300
20% to servants’ salaries, equipage (i.e. horse, carriage) 2000
TOTAL: 5300
So, let’s do the math!
Darcy has income of 10,000 pounds a year.
To run his country home, he spends 55% a year of 10,000 = 5300. pounds
He gives one dinner party a month x 12 = 240.
1 ball for 100 = (equivalent of 5 dinners) = 200
Total entertainment of others per year = 440.
5 new dresses for his wife, Lizzie = 65 x 5= 325
5 new hats for Lizzie, 18 x 5= 90
Total for Lizzie: 415.
What remains for him to expense:
· Clothing for himself, rest of family
· Education for children
· Books, entertainment, etc.
· His club dues, social responsibilities
· Etc.
And of course, the total to run his London townhouse is not listed here. That amount would be approximate to that of running his country estate. So add another 5300 pounds to his annual expenses as a gentleman.
And by that rule of thumb alone, he would already be in debt by several thousand pounds.
And what does 10,000 pounds in 1813 equal in British pounds today?
638,000 pounds
Converting that into American dollars at today’s inflation rate, we get
$1,329,000.90
Darcy is a millionaire. But if he’s running two households, I hate to say this, he’s in financial trouble.

Friday, April 28, 2023

Today's bon bon: ALERT! Do not help this man find this lady!

Dear Editor!

I write to you today, Tattler, in search of the woman I need to take back to my home. She has escaped me. Having written to that other nefarious newspaper that publishes adverts for those who wish to find spouses, she has gone to London and become the lover of a fellow who is not worthy of her.  

I appeal to you to help me find her. He has taken her away, supposedly to marry her.

But I will not care. Married or not. Ruined by him or not, I will have her back. She is mine. Has always been mine. I care not that she resembles my dead wife. She is lovelier than that one and my wife knew it. Knew I craved this one.

If you hear from her, Tattler, you must write to me. I track her now. Papers in London and Brighton papers say the couple has gone to Brighton. 

I will take her from him when they least expect me. I will show her that she is meant for me alone. No matter what she thinks.

MATRIMONY! #1. IF I LOVED YOU

Love does not advertise. Love counts no wrongs.

But when a young woman needs to escape, she’ll take an ad to find a man she can adore.

Verity Carr wants a new life in a new town far from her old home—and the vile threat to her body and soul. She comes from a fine family, has a good education and a bold ambition to become a portrait artist. She’s ready to live her life with a man who will value her. A husband she can can respect—and in time, hopefully love. Yet valiant though she is, she questions if she can escape her past and one who will not let her go.

Can a gentleman to whom great wrong was done, build a new life with a true wife and leave the past behind?

Miles St.John Armstrong never should have wed his first wife. He vows to select a new one with logic and careful investigation—via advertisement. The young lady he selects is Verity Carr who is no ordinary woman. She has charm, wit and a beauty that sears his soul. No wonder theirs is a relationship built quickly on admiration and trust. No wonder their marriage becomes one built of mutual mad passion. 

But devoted as they are, their past comes to call.

And it asks of them the ultimate question: Can their love withstand the tempest and survive the terror?


AUTHOR Cerise DeLand invites you to read her newest in a dramatically different romantic suspense inspired by the adverts to a spouse in Regency period!

Excerpt, IF I LOVED YOU. Copyright, 2023, Cerise DeLand.

Miles  had not known her for more than a few hours, but he’d seen her shock over such a sizable bequest. Certainly he could revel in the good fortune of anyone. But if she had suspicions about who had given her such a large inheritance and did not wish to discuss it with him, he could understand that, too. But her new-found gain, enough to support her at current standards in meager means for her lifetime, could lead her to break their agreement to marry. The possibility of losing her created an ache in his heart. A place he’d never expected to feel anything at all ever again. 

As they entered the Grosvenor Gate and passed the park wall, she strode more slowly and breathed more deeply. They took a turn on the path south and one glance at her told him she was more at ease.

“I hate to spoil your enjoyment,” he said, “but I think we should not walk here much longer. The shadows grow deeper.”

“You are right, of course.” She had her hands in her coat pockets as she stopped and spun toward him. “You have been very good to me today.”

He raised a hand, his smile wry. “No more gratitude, please. I am quite thanked.”

She stopped, faced him and tipped her head, suddenly the coquette, though to him, she did not seem to have planned the spontaneity of such an attitude. She was without guile—and he valued that unexpected characteristic more than he could ever have imagined.

“You are a darling man,” she said with an honesty that emphasized her simplicity and lack of artifice.

“You are kind to think so.” He remembered a few instances when the moniker he deserved was the opposite. Savage. Insane. Gullible. All came to mind in a rush of bile. 

She put her hands to his and held tightly. “Do you still want to marry a woman you barely know?”

“I’d like to marry you, if you’ll have me.”

She shook her head as if the whole idea were impossible. “Why? Why?”

“I want a wife. A friend. I am lonely. You seem a gentle soul. I think we would do well together.”

“I cannot imagine that you have not met a thousand young ladies you know better than me who would not make you a friend and wife because they do know you better.”

But they knew his past, too. His wife. “I would never find happiness with any I’ve met. They see me as the mill owner, a cit with a new title, an upstart viscount, too rich for his title. They also see me as a widower.” Not knowing I am more aggrieved than grieving. 

She stood immobile, only her large eyes searching his for what he would not reveal. “Did you love her?”

“When I married her, yes.”

“And do you miss her?”

“No.”

She nodded. “I see. Then your loneliness comes not from her lack.”

“No. It does not.”

She gulped. “Do you want children?”

He blinked and peered up at the deep blue clouds scudding across a darker moonlit sky. “I have not wished for that in many years. But now,” he said as he met her frank gaze, “I believe I would.”

She smiled as if he’d just given her the keys to the kingdom. “I would, too.”

He stepped closer to her, dropped her hands and cupped her shoulders. Her luscious curves fit into the planes of his suddenly very needy self. “Might we proceed to getting them?”

She arched her neck and let her eyes dance into his. “First we must be wed.”

“Will day after tomorrow do?”

“Quite well,” she said on a delighted laugh. “And then we must become better friends.”

He sent his fingers up into the heavy coil of hair at her nape. Her skin was as soft as charmeuse and her hair smelled of lavender. She’d been in his arms often today and her need had been great. Now, he would test to see if she might come for a new and startling reason. Might she come because she could want him? Want him as a man? As her lover?

She pulled back a little, a question on her plump lips. “Friends kiss.”

“They do,” he said with a smile that grew from a friend’s to a ravenous man’s. “Shall we?”

She studied his mouth and swallowed hard. “Oh, yes. From the moment I heard your voice on the Great North Road, I have wanted to know how you taste.”

“Well, then,” he said as he loomed over her lips, “we must not delay.”

 She circled her arms around his shoulders and pushed up on her toes. “Please don’t.”

The temptation to take her with all the ardor he bore her raged through him. He could not devour her like a satyr. He was a man who had foresworn passion and love. A man of reason and temperance. But then…

She put her lips to his, a brush of warm temptation. The sensation of her desire met the one of his quest as if two stars collided in the dark of night. Blinded by it, he groaned and caught her up. Her mouth was lush, and as his tongue invaded, he knew how hot her body was. How sweet. He swept the inside of her mouth and felt her complete surrender. This was what he’d craved. A woman who might love him.

He pulled away, breathless, cupping her cheek. “Darling, we must stop.”

In the shadows of the soft spring evening, she tipped her head and smiled at him. “You’ll kiss me again?”

“As often as you wish.”

There again was that sweet woman who drew him to her with the artless look of enchantment. “Must I tell you each time?”

“No,” he said on a laugh and hugged her close, then set her from him. “Only look at me like that, my darling, and I am yours.”

“As I am forever yours,” she said and put her arm in his to turn and walk home. 

BUY LINK https://amzn.to/3nkslpf

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Today's bon bon! First Kiss in IF I LOVED YOU, Matrimony Book #1!


Excerpt, IF I LOVED YOU. Copyright, 2023, Cerise DeLand.

Miles  had not known her for more than a few hours, but he’d seen her shock over such a sizable bequest. Certainly he could revel in the good fortune of anyone. But if she had suspicions about who had given her such a large inheritance and did not wish to discuss it with him, he could understand that, too. But her new-found gain, enough to support her at current standards in meager means for her lifetime, could lead her to break their agreement to marry. The possibility of losing her created an ache in his heart. A place he’d never expected to feel anything at all ever again. 

As they entered the Grosvenor Gate and passed the park wall, she strode more slowly and breathed more deeply. They took a turn on the path south and one glance at her told him she was more at ease.

“I hate to spoil your enjoyment,” he said, “but I think we should not walk here much longer. The shadows grow deeper.”

“You are right, of course.” She had her hands in her coat pockets as she stopped and spun toward him. “You have been very good to me today.”

He raised a hand, his smile wry. “No more gratitude, please. I am quite thanked.”

She stopped, faced him and tipped her head, suddenly the coquette, though to him, she did not seem to have planned the spontaneity of such an attitude. She was without guile—and he valued that unexpected characteristic more than he could ever have imagined.

“You are a darling man,” she said with an honesty that emphasized her simplicity and lack of artifice.

“You are kind to think so.” He remembered a few instances when the moniker he deserved was the opposite. Savage. Insane. Gullible. All came to mind in a rush of bile. 

She put her hands to his and held tightly. “Do you still want to marry a woman you barely know?”

“I’d like to marry you, if you’ll have me.”

She shook her head as if the whole idea were impossible. “Why? Why?”

“I want a wife. A friend. I am lonely. You seem a gentle soul. I think we would do well together.”

“I cannot imagine that you have not met a thousand young ladies you know better than me who would not make you a friend and wife because they do know you better.”

But they knew his past, too. His wife. “I would never find happiness with any I’ve met. They see me as the mill owner, a cit with a new title, an upstart viscount, too rich for his title. They also see me as a widower.” Not knowing I am more aggrieved than grieving. 

She stood immobile, only her large eyes searching his for what he would not reveal. “Did you love her?”

“When I married her, yes.”

“And do you miss her?”

“No.”

She nodded. “I see. Then your loneliness comes not from her lack.”

“No. It does not.”

She gulped. “Do you want children?”

He blinked and peered up at the deep blue clouds scudding across a darker moonlit sky. “I have not wished for that in many years. But now,” he said as he met her frank gaze, “I believe I would.”

She smiled as if he’d just given her the keys to the kingdom. “I would, too.”

He stepped closer to her, dropped her hands and cupped her shoulders. Her luscious curves fit into the planes of his suddenly very needy self. “Might we proceed to getting them?”

She arched her neck and let her eyes dance into his. “First we must be wed.”

“Will day after tomorrow do?”

“Quite well,” she said on a delighted laugh. “And then we must become better friends.”

He sent his fingers up into the heavy coil of hair at her nape. Her skin was as soft as charmeuse and her hair smelled of lavender. She’d been in his arms often today and her need had been great. Now, he would test to see if she might come for a new and startling reason. Might she come because she could want him? Want him as a man? As her lover?

She pulled back a little, a question on her plump lips. “Friends kiss.”

“They do,” he said with a smile that grew from a friend’s to a ravenous man’s. “Shall we?”

She studied his mouth and swallowed hard. “Oh, yes. From the moment I heard your voice on the Great North Road, I have wanted to know how you taste.”

“Well, then,” he said as he loomed over her lips, “we must not delay.”

 She circled her arms around his shoulders and pushed up on her toes. “Please don’t.”

The temptation to take her with all the ardor he bore her raged through him. He could not devour her like a satyr. He was a man who had foresworn passion and love. A man of reason and temperance. But then…

She put her lips to his, a brush of warm temptation. The sensation of her desire met the one of his quest as if two stars collided in the dark of night. Blinded by it, he groaned and caught her up. Her mouth was lush, and as his tongue invaded, he knew how hot her body was. How sweet. He swept the inside of her mouth and felt her complete surrender. This was what he’d craved. A woman who might love him.

He pulled away, breathless, cupping her cheek. “Darling, we must stop.”

In the shadows of the soft spring evening, she tipped her head and smiled at him. “You’ll kiss me again?”

“As often as you wish.”

There again was that sweet woman who drew him to her with the artless look of enchantment. “Must I tell you each time?”

“No,” he said on a laugh and hugged her close, then set her from him. “Only look at me like that, my darling, and I am yours.”

“As I am forever yours,” she said and put her arm in his to turn and walk home. 

BUY LINKhttps://amzn.to/3nkslpf

Monday, April 24, 2023

Today's bon bon: Why advertise for a wife or husband? Tinder of the Regency era!


 TINDER and MATCH.COM are the current ways to meet someone you might like to date or marry.

But in the Regency era, the only way to meet someone new, someone in another town was...yes...to buy an advert in a newspaper!

In MATRIMONY!, my new series for Dragonblade, a London newspaper publisher, Germaine Hammond, decides to devote her entire newspaper to matchmaking.

Those who apply are supposed to have the best intentions and the finest characteristics. But then, you can imagine what might happen when charlatans attempt to make a match that does not quite come up to snuff!





Do READ the first in this amazing series! BUY LINKhttps://amzn.to/3nkslpf

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Today's bon bon: BREAKING NEWS on who falls in love tomorrow! Courtesy of FLEET OF HEART CHRONICLE

 



Tomorrow in 1814, a new newspaper achieves success as it arranges the marriage of one of its first couples to marry through their advertisements.

The price is affordable. 

Their service confidential.

Their advice, be prudent. Choose an advert written by an applicant who appeals to you as a spouse, one who will be faithful and true all your life!

Friday, April 14, 2023

๐Ÿ’Today's Bon bon: Like the feel and fragrance of a novel in your hands?

I confess I am old fashioned. I love the moonlight, romance and the look, feel and fragrance of a novel in my hands!



   DRAGONBLADE recently put my print available novels published by them in paper for readers like me and you! 

   Here is the current selection!

   More to come!

   Go to your store or order on the Barnes and Noble site. 

   Go here to purchase:

           https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/cerise%20deland


Monday, April 10, 2023

Today's bon bon: A peek inside Lord Bellamy's London townhouse!

    Using the architectural  plans of a house for a  novel is one of my joys!
 

   Here (with my giggle!) are a few pictures of Miles St. John Armstrong, Viscount Bellamy's marvelous home!

The foyer
   Yes, it does exist today. I could not paint a picture of what it is like if I did not have a firm idea in my own mind as to what it actually is.


The library with globes and marble fireplace!




The back parlor

As many of you who gaze upon these rooms can surmise, Bellamy's "house" is really my interpretation of a few fine London homes I have had the honor to tour!

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Today's bon bon and a few tidbits about Empress Josephine! With my pictures, too!

Josephine in her later years at Malmaison
She was a woman who loved fashion and spent money like water. She was married to a man suspected of being more royalist than was prudent. She almost went to prison, too. But used her charms to persuade a few French men to keep her and her two children safe. But there is more!

Empress Josephine was a setter of style, the love of her husband Napoleon's life—and his torment. We know much of her legend, but there is much about her that was kept discreetly secret.

She had terrible teeth. Black, in fact. And you never see her in portraits smiling.

She took three hours each day to bathe and dress. Her boudoir in Malmaison was the place she took her breakfast and often, her luncheon too.

She never visited a military hospital as she claimed the humours would kill her.

Portrait of Josephine that hangs at Malmaison

She died of a throat infection on the very day Napoleon set foot in Cannes as he escaped from Elba and marched north.

Here I am outside at Malmaison!

The bee is the emblem (or logo) of Napoleon and Josephine! This emblem is cemented in the walkways leading to Malmaison!

One picture of Josephine's enormous boudoir.

Her gardens, lovingly tended by gardeners of the French National Heritage.

She loved animals and kept a menagerie at Malmaison.

She loved flowers, especially roses and Napoloen even had cuttings from England imported to her during wartime!

She had no children by Napoleon but by her first husband, she had two. Today, many of the royal houses of Europe are descended from those two children.

She died at Malmaison and is buried close by in the Ruiel. Next to her is buried her daughter, Hortense.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Need a wife? A husband? In a hurry? Have no candidates? Never worry! Apply here...

During the Regency period and well into today, placing an advertisement to find a spouse was a regular practice. It was affordable to place the ad and allowed for all kinds of "disclosure" of one's desires for traits in a mate–as well as a bit of embellishment of one's own characteristics!

In my new series, MATRIMONY!, each of my characters uses the services of a particular newspaper, which I dub the Fleet-of Heart Chronicle! The paper, owned by a widow, was once an ordinary sheet reporting the news. But times have changed and the competition among newspapers is becoming wild. The publisher of this Fleet Street Chronicle decides to change her focus and attract readers who wish to place adverts in her paper.

Those whom she attracts come from all walks of life. They bring with them the problems of their past and their hopes for their future. They also bring along others whom they cannot rid themselves of.

IF I LOVED YOU debuts April 20, 2023. A charming tale of strangers who find love is also the tale of one woman who has a unique problem. She has one man she'd like to rid herself of. A stalker.

BECAUSE OF YOU debuts in July. When a lady answers an advert for a husband she hopes he will give her the one thing she requires in a husband. She wants him to take her to France to reclaim her family's house and land. But there is more in store for them in France than simply regaining her inheritance. The hero must track down who is ruining his business and who might set him up for treason!


YOU MADE ME LOVE YOU is what I write currently. This romantic adventure debuts in November 2023.

I hope you will join me in this unique series filled with steamy romance, intrigue, mystery, and action adventure!
 

Thursday, February 23, 2023

A Shocking Marriage and More Shocking Honeymoon by the Sea! Out now! 2 Novellas for price of 1!

 

BUY LINK: www.amazon.com/Ravens-Last-Bet-Cerise-DeLand-ebook/dp/B0BSSD9LQ6
 

THE RAVEN'S LAST BET also includes LORD STANTON'S SEASIDE HONEYMOON!

When a storm blows off the North Sea and slams into the village of Fenwick on Sea, the villagers prepare for the inevitable: shipwreck, flood, land slips, and stranded travelers. The Queen’s Barque Inn quickly fills with the injured, the devious, and the lonely—lords, ladies, and simple folk; spies, pirates, and smugglers all trapped together. Intrigue crackles through the village, and passion lights up the hotel.

Lord Stanton’s Shocking Seaside Honeymoon by Cerise DeLand

Lord Stanton is about to marry for the second time. But his bride is so different from his first wife, now deceased. Josephine Meadows is her father’s heir to his far-flung merchant marine trading company. She’s smart, savvy and beautiful. What’s more, she’s in love with Stanton. Madly. And she has been for lo, these past six years. 
But now, just as they marry and go off to their first night together, and just as each is ready to prove to the other, their love, an agent of Josephine’s goes missing on the high seas. And both of them, though eager to consummate their vows, must go off to discover if the agent is dead…or alive.

Know the Hero of Lord Stanton’s Shocking Seaside Honeymoon

It’s late, he’s bored. What does he do?

Stanton, of late, likes poetry. Love sonnets to be exact! He’s eager to claim his new bride in all ways and reading erotic words is not what he should be doing!

What kind of food would he impulse buy if hungry?

“I have simple tastes. But I do enjoy a finely done roast of beef.”

Describe the kind of clothes he prefers to wear.

“I wore a uniform whilst in the Hussars and now I prefer my black superfine. My tailor is a marvel and I need not appear in his shop to be fitted. This is a blessing as I am a busy man working in Whitehall to defeat that scoundrel Napoleon.”

Valet or takes care of himself?

“I do employ a valet. A fine fellow who knows how precisely I wish to dress. More than that, he is astute and knows when to appear and when to vanish!”

Necktie/cravat or open shirt?

“I do appreciate a cravat tied in such a manner as to remain tied!”

Carriage or horseback?

“Both means of conveyance have their uses. A horse is a proper beast for quick travel. Also, sadly, for the battlefield. Of carriages, I demand comfort and the best springs. No use breaking one’s bones in order to arrive at a tea party, eh?”

 BUY LINK: www.amazon.com/Ravens-Last-Bet-Cerise-DeLand-ebook/dp/B0BSSD9LQ6

Cerise DeLand's Social Media

Cerise DeLand has written since she was eight years old and had a piece published in The Baltimore Sun newspaper! With more than 60 novels published, she is known for writing works with historical accuracy, humor and eloquence.
Bookbub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cerise-deland
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Monday, February 20, 2023

Today's bon bon: A lady who won't let Papa sell her into marriage...even if the groom-to-be is ever so luscious!

 ๐Ÿ’THE RAVEN'S LAST BET out Thursday for 99 cents! 2 Books for price of 1! 

Includes LORD STANTON'S SHOCKING SEASIDE HONEYMOON!


She won’t be sold into marriage.
He won’t wed her for any amount of money. Only love.
If he just can figure out a way!

Harry Seymour arrives home from years of fighting abroad to learn he must clean up the family mess. His father demands Harry honor a deal he made with his best friend for Harry to marry the man’s daughter…for money.
Harry, who’s loved Sara Fleming since she was four, has no problem marrying her. He never did, even when she was denied him because she was the Whiskey King’s daughter.
But he won’t wed her for money.
Sara cannot accept the bargain her father made. She’s already left two men at the altar because she didn’t love either one. And if she can’t wed Harry for love, she’ll marry no one. But she wagers she’ll walk away a spinster…and happy if Harry will do her the favor of ruining her.
It’s a bet Harry can’t refuse.
Can he?

Excerpt, All rights reserved. Copyright Cerise DeLand 2022.
“Listen to me, Sara. I have a plan. It won’t be one either of our fathers likes but it might work.”
She pulled away. Peering into his magnificent eyes clouded her judgement. His green-brown orbs reflected a sadness in the faint lights that matched her own. “Tell me.”
“We announce that we intend to marry others.”
“I’ve already left two men alone before the vicar. Now there’s this gossip in the Gazette—?”
“Forget those other two men. And hang them at the Gazette.”
She put a hand to her hip. “We’ll send them new stories. Marvelous. I dislike your thinking, Harry. Totally. Marry another? Ba! Precisely who did you have in mind?”
He gave her a look that said he had the right answer. “A man who makes you tingle.”
“Of whom there is no one.” Which is a lie.
“For each woman, there is a man. A perfect match.”
“I’ve not found him in four years. Why now?”
“You will lure him.”
By some folly, to be sure. “How?”
A wicked gleam lit those iridescent eyes. “With kisses.”
“You expect me to kiss men?”
He shrugged a shoulder. “How else will you discover the right fellow?”
“How else will I go down as a scarlet woman? I’ve climbed enough fences barring me because I am of the dreaded merchant class. Papa’s money might continue to buy me entry, but if I degrade myself further, no one will touch me!”
He tipped up his chin. “You will be discreet. I will help.”
“You’ll bar doors?”
“And divert traffic.”
She scowled at him. “You’ve been away much too long, sir. You think me so brave. I am different from that child who tagged along behind you and tucked frogs in your pants.”
He scoffed. “Remind me. Who came to me night before last in her nightrail?”
”Dressing gown.”
He waved that away. “Exactly my point.”
Exasperated, she huffed. “The fault, dear Harry, is not in our stars, but in myself.”
“I agree.”
Oh, he infuriated her! “I do not know how to kiss.”
“And so you will learn.”
Only one way. She could barely say it. “By doing.”
“Indeed.” He winked. “With me.”
That way lay disaster and hopeless ruin. She’d should return to this party, because this was hopeless. She’d given up wanting him so long ago. Or thought she had. She threw up her hands. “Absurd.”
“Is it?” He took a step toward her, so near she inhaled his scent, imbibed his familiar allure that she could not allow to thrill her. “You said my kiss left you with no…what is the word?”
“You know perfectly well the word.”
“Tickle?”
If only. “Tingle.”
“Well then, my darling.” With one hand he caught her wrist while he swept his other hand around her waist. “Let’s see if this fits the bill.”
“No, stop!” Wonderful. Now she sounded like the village crier.
“There, there. Don’t be shy. An experiment, eh?” He lifted her hand toward his mouth. “Or shall we call it…” he murmured, as he put her index finger, fully gloved, against the neat cleft in his chin, “…a demonstration? Visible to the naked eye.”
He smiled. Or was that the show of teeth of a predator? A creature who…gloated?
He caught the point of her glove between his long white incisors. The act of a male bent on taking a bite of her, he tugged. The fabric slid along her finger, silk on silk, a glissade of shivering delight. Her glove glided from her elbow in a silent skim of her nerves. She shivered.
He halted. Glanced up at her, those long dark lashes of his rising to reveal the facets of a Harry she’d never known. A ravenous devil appeared there, one who pulled at another fingertip, starving for more of her until her hand was bare. Nipping her third finger and the next, he sent tremors up her spine. Her mouth fell open as he took her smallest finger, fabric and all, and bathed the whole of it in his hot moist mouth. His tongue served as succor—and as torture.
She panted as if she’d run a mile. Her gaze glued to his voracious teeth, she dare not look away or lose a second. What he gave, she took. If it was instruction, it was also a revelation. Though she knew not how to interpret his lips to her fingers as lips to lips, she reveled in whatever he’d choose next.
With a yank of his teeth, he pulled and her glove slid slowly down her arm and fell to the floor. She was bare to the night air, chilled and burning, as he caught her fingers and pressed them to his open mouth. He cupped her elbow, and her wrist was once more his. Bare skin gave him no pause, but encouragement to lift her hand once more.
He groaned and crushed her torso fully against him. His possession, from her breasts to her hips, left her pulsing.
He put her palm to his lips and licked the hollow of her hand. She moaned at his luscious homage and her knees gave way. As he caught her up, he bit the heal of her hand. She yelped. He gave a grunt, nigh unto laughter or triumph, she knew not which, then wrapped her arm around his waist. As he sweetly backed her to the wall, his hair fell loose over his brow and he focused on her lips.
Then he took them.
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Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Shopping in Napoleon's Empire meant you were treated to shop signs of great beauty!

๐Ÿ’Napoleonic era shop signs were not only colorful but told stories of their offerings for the illiterate. 

Here at top: THE GREAT VICTOR’S TOBACCONIST shop was posted outside a shop selling, of course, tobacco. Taking notice of Napoleon's recent victories in Italian city-states, the owner added reference to him. We wonder how well his sales did!

Here below: The shop called THE EVE OF AUSTERLITZ tries a different tactic in that it is a a wine shop in celebration of Napoleon’s victory. 



This sign is for a food merchant whose customer is clearly enjoying his meal. This shop was for the shop CORCELLET, located in 104 Palais-Royal!



Saturday, January 7, 2023

Today's bon bon and a trip to the Loire Valley in my own pix and video!




Among the many fabulous chateaux along the River Loire south of Paris is the medieval fortress and palace of Amboise.  Built in stages by various French kings and expanded by Francis I, this walled castle sits above the river in glorious pink/peach stone.

(A more thorough view of the town, the fortress palace and the home of Leonardo da Vinci is on my YOU TUBE channel. Link Below.)

The palace as you will see in my video shows you the throne room with fleur de lis velvet throw, a dining room and many bedrooms. You also see salons furnished in a later period when Louis Phillippe took the throne in mid-1800s. Pictures of him, his wife and children, the piano they played are charming.


You also have glimpses of Leonardo Da Vinci's house which Francis I gave him when he persuaded him to come to France to live. The house was a lovely three-story home with living quarters, good size kitchen and a huge workroom or atelier. It was within five-minutes walking distance from the palace of Amboise. Da Vinci lived the last three years of his life here.

For more of my videos, long and short, do visit my YOU TUBE Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCba82P_Q1kUrJUVVW0CwJmw/featured