Monday, 23 May 2011

Grace Elliot: Reasons to love the Regency - Stallions

Hello there, my name is Grace Elliot and I love the escapism of a good historical romance. I’m an intelligent person, a veterinarian, and for me HR is an antidote to the stresses of the modern world. My debut novel, ‘A Dead Man’s Debt’, is set in the regency, which to my mind is one of the most romantic eras to write about…and here’s one reason why – stallions.

Stallions are the embodiment of virility and power…and the regency was dripping with them. The Regency world ran on horse power, from high perch phaetons to farm wagons…and just like today’s sports cars, the quality of your engine spoke volume about the person.

What tonnish miss’s heart wouldn’t be set a flutter to see a handsome rogue pull up outside her address in a crest-emblazoned barouche, with coachman and liveried footman. From matched bays to high stepping hackneys the expense of keeping such an equipage was stunning… a definite aphrodisiac. Such conspicuous wealth was not so much equivalent to a Porsche or Lamborghini but to owning a private helicopter with a personal pilot on constant standby. But then again, any self respecting heroine would see through such shallow materialistic values to the man beneath.

From hours in the stallion’s saddle our hero would have finely toned thighs. Chances our she’d get a good appreciation of this and other assets within his skin tight ‘inexpressibles’, showing every contour and plane that left little to the imagination.

And if our heroine is strong minded enough to resist a splendid physique, perhaps the skill of controlling a powerful beast between seat and heel would give her pause for thought. The power of mind over body, of man over horseflesh, of the beast between his thighs might have made her stays feel uncomfortably tight… There’s definitely something about men and horses…what do you find attractive in a man? Do please comment below.

‘A Dead Man’s Debt’ by Grace Elliot.

Celeste Armitage has a plan…and that plan doesn’t include marriage.

 After deliberately humiliating a suitor, Celeste’s despairing parents exile her to the country. But once there she discovers a sketch book of daring nude studies and is shaken to find the artist is her hostess’s eldest son, Lord Ranulf Charing. This darkly cynical lord is exactly the sort of dissipated rogue she despises most…if only her blood didn’t heat at the thought of him…
 Nothing is as it seems. Lord Ranulf’s life is a façade. Only he can save the Charing’s from disgrace as a blackmailer seeks to ruin his late brother’s reputation. But just as Ranulf dares to open his heart to Celeste, the fury of his nemesis is unleashed… facing him with the stark choice between true love and family duty. However when Celeste guesses the truth behind his rejection, Ranulf underestimates her resolve to clear his name and in so doing places the woman he loves in mortal danger….

Excerpt from ‘A Dead Man’s Debt’.

[Lord Ranulf Charing receives an urgent summons.]

…an Arab stallion danced in circles round the stable lad. Granite clouds towered in a brooding sky. A yard door slammed and the wild eyed stallion reared, dragging the lad off his feet. Then a down draught tugged the horse’s flowing silver-white mane and tail, as with flared nostrils he backed across the yard, hooves like flints, striking sparks from the cobbles. The boy clung to the reins, more fearful of letting such a valuable horse bolt than of being trampled. The grey plunged heaven wards, a silvery ghost against a charcoal sky, then struck the ground, the massive muscles of his rump bunching to rear again just as a dark figure rounded the corner and entered the yard.

“Sir have a care, your horse….” The shouted warning was stolen by the wind.

Lord Ranulf Charing grunted, reaching out a hand to gentle the plunging beast. As if he’d cast a spell, the horse calmed and with a snicker rubbed his velveteen nose against his master’s coat to exhibit an understanding between man and horse that eluded Ranulf amongst his own kind.

At the age of thirty, tall and of muscular build; Lord Ranulf Charing was a man not given to suffering fools; his expression a habitual frown, with wide unreadable lips and brown eyes so dark as to be almost black. The impression of the young Lord being part devil and part shadow was heightened by his dress which was entirely black; from neckcloth and lawn shirt, to riding breeches and kerysmere outer coat. In short, Lord Ranulf Charing was in mourning and it suited him.

‘A Dead Man’s Debt’ is available from most eBook stores including Amazon, Fictionwise and Smashwords.

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Debbie Brown said...

I learn more about animals by reading your fiction than I've ever learned before. Now I know where my hubby got those amazing thighs! (Although that was some years ago....)

Grace Elliot said...

Thank you Lindsay for hosting me, and Debbie for your comment! My hubby rides bicycles and has trouble getting trousers to fit over the thigh...perhaps he needs old fashioned breeches instead!