Never say never
Thanks for having me on your blog today.
In case you don’t know who I am, my name is Sandra Sookoo and I’m an author of romantic fiction spanning several genres and heat levels. I like to say my stories are an emotional journey with strong characters who don’t fit into pre-conceived molds, and all end with a kiss.
Today, I’m here to tell you, it’s a good rule of thumb in life to never say never. Back in the day, before I ever became an author, I exclusively read Regency romance. I couldn’t get enough of it and would stalk the used bookstores and grocery stores looking for books I hadn’t read before. There was just something about that simpler time, the pretty gowns, the manners, etc., that appealed to me.
Years went by and my favorite authors didn’t write as fast as I read so I moved on to other genres and other sub-genres of romance. Every once in a while I’d pick up a Regency but not with the frequency that I used to.
When I became an author, my strong suit was historical writing, but I never hoped to dabble in the Regency time period. There are plenty of authors out there who write plenty of wonderful stories in this world. I could never hope to compete, and frankly, I was a bit intimidated by the whole prospect.
I resisted. I fought off ideas, kicking and screaming. I swore I’d never write a Regency romance.
Apparently, my muse didn’t get that memo and disregarded that vow, because this year, I did write a Regency romance, and another and I’m currently penning my third. Maybe I wanted the challenge of it all, maybe I fell in love with the research or the possibilities. Whatever happened, I’m now playing in this neighborhood, and what’s more, I’m really excited about it.
Of course, I had to put my own little spin on the much-written world of the Regency period. Yes, my heroines are all strong in their own rights and don’t follow society dictates or rules overly much. Besides, in my Scandal in Surrey series, it really is all about the scandal… and the path to love.
I hope you’ll all check out Lady Parker’s Grand Affair. It’s book one in the above mentioned series. All the books are a little bit naughty, a little bit funny and a little bit heart-warming. You can find the book at Amazon, All Romance ebooks and Smashwords. Later it will be available on other digital outlets.
Here’s the blurb and a short excerpt:
Lady Parker’s Grand Affair
She wants an affair…Maggie, Lady Parker desires a man, but she’s not willing to leave freedom in Surrey to find scandal in London. Widowed for years, she wants to conduct a big enough scandal that a gentleman might come calling merely to see if the rumors about her are true.
He wants a shot at Parliament…Stephen Tarkington is a self-professed rogue but if he had his way, he’d be a philanthropist. The only thing prohibiting his dream is his lack of sponsorship for a spot in Parliament. Marrying Lady Parker’s niece could solve his problem.
Sometimes the heart wants more…Imagine his surprise when he meets the widow and she’s not an old bird he can charm. She’s vibrant, sharp-tongued and enchanting to boot. Passion flares between them, and Stephen gives up on his plan… in search of a more pleasurable gamble.
Maggie is immediately drawn to the charming, handsome gentleman, but will a simple affair fulfill her needs? A scrape with public scandal will toss them into a situation that may just satisfy both of their secret desires.
“Amanda told me your husband died some time ago. Perhaps you’d be willing to put yourself on the market? I would imagine you’d catch more eyes than an untried girl just out of school.”
“Don’t be silly.” She laughed, thoroughly amused, and alternately on edge, by his antics. “I’m well past marriageable age, even if I wanted another husband.”
“Then you are not looking for another match?” Stephen moved behind the bench and paused with a hand resting near her shoulder.
“I didn’t say that.” She thought back over her union to Robert and stifled a giggle. Over the course of time, she’d learned to love him, even had a child with him, but had it been an all-consuming passion that made her forget everything else? No. It had been a staid, even-keeled romance that hadn’t challenged her.
“But you did not agree either.” His chuckle sent shivers over her skin, chilling her even though the sun bore down. “Women like you deserve a man’s regard or, at the very least, the thrill of being chased.”
Maggie tamped a shiver. “Perhaps, the next time, it won’t be me who is pursued. Perhaps I’ll do the chasing.”
“Are you offering?”
Was she? Though she’d talked flippantly with Alfie about having one grand affair that would set tongues wagging, her stomach trembled. Did Stephen Tarkington fit the bill? “I might, if you promise to leave Amanda alone.”
“Ah, a better deal, eh?” His rich chuckle loosed more tingles down her spine. “Is it adventure you crave, Maggie?” He drew a finger down one side of her neck, glided it along her skin where her shoulder met and rested his hand there, his fingers lightly trailing over her collarbone.
She closed her eyes. Goose flesh lingered everywhere he’d plied his fingers. Tingles danced down her spine. Warmth seeped between her thighs. It had been a long time since she’d had a man’s interest. “I wouldn’t mind a bit of spice.”
“Spice is fine, or is it the scandal you want?” Stephen rubbed a fingertip along her collarbone and then traced the lace edge of her bodice, his touch the veriest of whispers over the top of one breast.
Would he dare to go lower and caress her aching flesh? “Scandal has come to mind once or twice.” Her head lolled on the opposite shoulder from where he played. She kept her eyes closed in order to fully enjoy the situation, one moment more before she censured him. “I thought that if I found myself in a big enough tangle I’d attract the attention of a like-minded gentleman.” Why was she telling him this, when he was but a stranger?
“For what purpose? A fling, an affair, or are you searching for more?” His finger, hot against her skin, dipped beneath her bodice and her shift.
Maggie whimpered. The weak heat of the spring sun couldn’t compete with the flames Stephen had awakened inside her. Being here in the garden, with his hand on her, was highly inappropriate. They could both be in terrible trouble if caught. Her lips curved with a grin. But then, she did just admit she’d like the scandal. “I want a grand affair, something that will burn so bright the English gossips will talk about it for years.”
“Why, sweet Maggie? Are you lonely?”
“I’m not sure.” Her breath caught. It took all her willpower to remain still beneath his touch, but oh, how she wished he’d give her more relief.
“Too bad.” His finger slid lower and brushed her nipple. Back and forth he teased the puckered tip, pebbling it into a frenzy of need.
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