Join me today for Friends on Friday with Etta Stark, where she’ll be talking about her new historical romance Lord Westbrook’s Muse.
Hello Normandie! Thank you so much for having me over. It’s great to have the opportunity to talk about my new book Lord Westbrook’s Muse with you because you are one of my favourite historical writers. I love a historical romance. Like my previous books, Lord Westbrook’s Muse is set during the Victoria era. I absolutely love your Pirates of the Jolie Rouge books which are set in the seventeenth century so several hundred years earlier than mine. They so much fun – all sparky heroine, swashbuckling roguish pirates and perilous situations. I can’t wait for the third one to come out!
My new book, Lord Westbrook’s Muse tells the story of a stuffy Lord of the Manor who falls in love with Cass, a beautiful and somewhat mysterious house guest of his mother’s.
After Robert bares Cass’s bottom for a spanking on the very first day they meet, the pair embark on a passionate love affair meeting up in secret in an empty cottage on Lord Westbrook’s grounds. In the snippet below, however, their relationship has hit a bit of a rocky patch. Realising that the two of them want something different, Cass has ended the relationship with Lord Westbrook. She wasn’t happy about doing it though, and her unhappiness causes her to drink rather too much at a party at Lord Westbrook’s house the following day.
Lord Westbrook is furious at Cass’s behaviour and his fury will lead to him administering a harsh disciplinary spanking with a riding crop. But first they have this exchange.
“Don’t you think you have had enough to drink?” he said, taking the cup from her fingers and setting it on the table.
“I do not see how it is any concern of yours,” she replied, knowing it was a stupid answer as she said it. It was his house. It was clearly his concern if one of his guests was over-indulging, regardless of their past history.
Lord Westbrook scanned the guests in the room. “I don’t know where my mother has got to,” he said. “She really should be taking better care of you.”
“I don’t need taking care of! I am not a child.” Her response came out far louder than she had intended. Several guests turned round to look at her.
“Then I suggest you stop acting like it and behave rather more like a lady,” he hissed.
Oh, that really was the limit, she thought. Lord Westbrook was absolutely the last person on Earth who should be lecturing her on behaving like a lady. “Hah!” was all that she said in response. She snatched up the punch cup that he had taken from her and drank it down quickly.
“Very ladylike,” said Lord Westbrook sarcastically. “Do you feel better for that?”
Cass nodded. Although in truth she was beginning to feel somewhat unwell. She felt nausea rise up in her throat as her too-quickly consumed drink hit her stomach and joined the multiple others already there. She fought back the urge to retch.
“Do you need to go outside?” asked Lord Westbrook. “You look like you could do with some fresh air.”
Cass nodded gingerly and he took her arm and led her through the French windows onto the terrace. They stood for a few moments in the warm air without talking.
“Stay where you are,” Lord Westbrook instructed. “I am going to fetch you a glass of water.”
He disappeared inside and Cass once again felt biliousness rising up inside her. She leaned over the low terrace and, to her utter mortification, vomited copiously into the flowerbed below. She remained in position for several minutes to ensure that she had brought up everything that she was going to. When she straightened herself to stand, she was horrified to see that Lord Westbrook was already returned and was silently waiting there with a tumbler of water in his hand.
“Drink this,” he said. “It will make you feel better.”
Cass drank it down; grateful that the water washed away the bilious taste in her mouth. She did actually feel a good deal better now. Emptying her stomach had put an end to the nausea and cleared her head.
She looked over at Lord Westbrook and saw fury glittering in his dark brown eyes. Cass looked down at the ground in shame, the full force of her disgraceful behaviour just hitting her now.
“Walk with me,” Lord Westbrook commanded walking away from the house.
Cass followed obediently. She didn’t want to give Lord Westbrook any further reason to be disappointed with her.
They passed the stables where Lord Westbrook told her to wait outside. He emerged carrying a stout riding crop.
Surely he did not intend to go riding now, Cass thought. Her heart hammered in her chest when she considered the other use that he might put it to.
Lord Westbrook’s Muse
Lord Robert Westbrook’s life of responsibility and social obligations is turned on its head when he meets Cass, a beautiful and idiosyncratic woman at his mother’s garden party. Cass is a staunch supporter of women’s rights as well as an advocate of dress reform, rejecting the restrictive fashions of the nineteenth century.
In fact, Cass’s rebellion isn’t limited to her dress sense. She is also determined to experience the excitement and passion of a sexual liaison. Lord Westbrook, she has decided, is the very man she wants to seduce her. Meanwhile Lord Westbrook has determined that Cass requires some stern discipline.
The couple’s passionate and fiery romance breaks every rule of Victorian decency and kindles a love that neither Cass nor Robert were prepared for. However, when Cass’s secret past finally catches up with her, it seems that the couple’s happiness might be doomed forever.
Pick up your copy today: