TITLE – A Desperate Wager
AUTHOR – Em Taylor
GENRE – Historical Regency Romance
PUBLICATION DATE – 25 August 2014
LENGTH – 71,000 words
COVER ARTIST – Samantha Holt
BOOK BLURB / SYNOPSIS
Nathaniel Spencer, the Fourteenth Duke of Kirkbourne wakes up with an almighty hangover and a wager note in his pocket stating he has agreed to marry the Earl of Brackingham’s daughter. And he can’t even remember ever meeting the chit. Clearly his drinking has got out of hand.
Lady Sarah Steele is horrified when her father announces that the Duke of Kirkbourne has agreed to marry her and even more horrified that her father wagered her hand in a game of cards. Not only that, but the earl has not told the duke of the riding accident that left Sarah paralysed when she was sixteen. But he’s dying and she knows he wants to see her settled before the inevitable happens.
Despite Nate’s drinking and Sarah’s possible complicity in the earl’s plan, they agree to marry. But when accidents start to happen, the newly-weds must deal not only with the fact they are practically strangers, but they must find out who is trying to kill one or both of them. Nate’s drink problem and Sarah’s disability are only a couple of the hurdles they must face to find lasting love.
BUY & TBR LINKS
Nathaniel Spencer, 14th Duke of Kirkbourne, is the only son of the late Duke of Kirkbourne and his now widow. Nathaniel had a younger sister who died of a fever around the time Nate’s father died.
Lady Sarah Steele is the only daughter of the Earl of Brackingham and his late wife.
Lady Sarah Steele is the only daughter of the Earl of Brackingham and his late wife.
I have been writing since 2011. I started off writing Star Trek fan fiction for my friends, then moved onto contemporary and sci fi books (under a different pen name), then settled on Regency
What or who inspires you to write?
My imagination. My mum always used to say I have too active an imagination. So now I put it to good use.
What genre do you like to read?
Regency/ Victorian Romance. I also love erotic menage and chick lit
What is your favorite genre to write?
Regency romance but I also love sci fi romance and contemporary.
Who is your favorite author and why?
I'm torn between saying Mary Balogh and Lynsay Sands. I love Lynsay’s take on vampires and adore her Argeneau/Rogue Hunter series but Mary is the queen of Regency in my opinion. I know that’s controversial as most people would say Georgette Heyer. But Mary manages to keep her books acceptable to modern reads but steeped well enough in the period that you feel you are there.
What do you love about writing and why?
Writing is a great outlet for me. It allows me to explore the romantic in me. Life has made me a bit jaded when it comes to real romance but there is nothing like creating a rich handsome Duke and making him into the perfect boyfriend.
What is the book about?
Sarah is a 26 year old daughter of an Earl. She broke her back when she was 16 and as a result is not part of society. Her father is dying so he finds a Duke he trusts, gets him drunk and wagers her hand in marriage to him. Nathaniel (Nate) – Duke of Kirkbourne is too honourable to welch on the wager so he agrees to marry Sarah. But he has an alcohol problem and they have to navigate an arranged marriage and his demons while trying to find out who is trying to kill one or both of them.
What or who was the inspiration for the book?
No one in particular. I am always fascinated how people manage to overcome disabilities, no matter what their circumstances.
Who are the characters in the book?
Nate, the Duke of Kirkbourne who is sexy and grumpy and completely adorable and Lady Sarah, a beautiful and clever young lady who has been dealt a rather rubbish hand in life until she meets Nate.
If you could have five authors, over for dinner, alive or dead, who would they be and why?
JK Rowling – I love her imagination. She is an inspiration to me. I was in the same theatre as her a few months ago and I was so excited just to be in the same building as she was.
Mary Balogh – For reasons described above.
Jane Austen – Pretty obvious why. I would want to pick her brains about the time she lived in.
Jeffrey Archer – I loved his books when I was a teenager. I love political intrigue
Em Petrova – I have two best friends in the writing world, Samantha Holt and Em Petrova. I’ve met Sam because we both live in the UK and now I want to meet Em. I love her books and her imagination and her scorchingly hot heroes. I would sneak Sam in too though when you weren’t watching.
Nathaniel Spencer, fourteenth Duke of Kirkbourne groaned and rolled over in bed. A tattoo beat a steady rhythm inside his skull, his stomach was bilious and the world spun at an alarming rate. Last night he had been in his cups—again. He knew he should take a more moderate attitude to alcohol but recently, staying sober had seemed somewhat pointless. Why stay sober if you were just going to end up dead at the side of the road—another silly young buck who had killed himself in a curricle race? Damn Crosby! Why had he made the damned challenge? Nathaniel, or Nate as he preferred to be called, would never forget Crosby’s lifeless eyes staring up at him, or the crack of the pistol as a bystander put his horses out of their misery. And he would never forgive himself for being the man whom Crosby was racing. Nate closed his eyes and willed his stomach to stop churning as he tried to recall the events of the night before. He had been at White’s for dinner and had moved to the card room. The brandy had been flowing, and Ormsby had suggested moving on to a less reputable gaming hell. He remembered the Earl of Brackingham tagging along for some reason that defied Nate. He had no issue with Brackingham, but the earl was at least twenty years the senior of everyone else in their party. He had been coughing somewhat alarmingly, Nate recalled. He hoped the old man was not spreading disease around. The last thing Nate needed was to be laid up in bed—his mother fussing around him and pouring vile-tasting concoctions down his throat. There was another thing that took many young, seemingly healthy lives—fever. Curricles and fever—good reasons to get absolutely foxed if ever he needed any. Brackingham! The name seemed to be prodding his tired and very painful brain—waiting for him to remember something significant from last night. He had a vague memory of playing vingt et un with him. There had been a ludicrous bet. Brackingham wagered his daughter’s hand and if Nate lost, he would have to marry the girl. Nate had been on a winning streak. Bravado and alcohol made him foolish. He had a three and a queen. He sat up as the king of diamonds flashed before his eyes. God, damn it. The king of diamonds took him to twenty-three. His head swum and he tamped down the urge to cast up his accounts. Twenty-three. But surely a wager like that was a joke. It had to be. Brackingham did not expect him to marry his chit of a daughter, did he? Had he even set eyes on the girl before? Again, some piece of information about the girl needled his brain. He had no recollection of dancing with her at balls. But then he hardly ever danced at balls. He had no plans to seek a leg-shackle on the marriage mart, so he steered clear and spent most of the evening in the card room. God, he hoped she was at least old enough to have had her come out and this was not some medieval plan to marry a thirteen-year-old off to him. Eighteen was quite young enough—too young in his rather jaded opinion. But no. He had no recollection of ever having set eyes on Lady… Lady what? He had no idea. He fished in the pocket of his waistcoat, which he still wore, having obviously been so foxed when he had returned that he had either shooed his valet away or he had arrived so late the valet had been asleep. There was a note. A wager. He hoped he owed the man a vast fortune instead. Marry Lady Sarah Steele. Dowry - £10,000. Meet Brackingham on 5th day of March to make arrangements. Today must be the fifth of March. Yesterday had definitely been the fourth. Christ, he had to see if this was a big joke or, if not, was there any way he could inveigle his way out of it. He had no plans to marry. None at all. And that was that.
Em was born and brought up in the Central Belt of Scotland and still lives there. She was told as a child she had an over active imagination--as if that is a bad thing. She's traded her dreams of owning her own island, just like George in the Famous Five to hoping to meet her own Mr Darcy one day. But her imagination remains the same.
AUTHOR FOLLOW LINKS
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