Last Monday, I reviewed Emery Lee's FORTUNE'S SON and remarked that as far as being a romance, it's mediocre but as a historical fiction it is quite exceptional. I now know that my assessment of the work was more on target than I originally thought. Friday, I received an email from Ms. Lee. At first, I thought she was going to express her disappointment in my review but as I read her message I came to realize that she was actually complimenting me.
She wrote: I really had two purposes in writing you, the first is to thank you for the review and also to explain my own frustration with the way my books have been packaged by my publisher. You may not be aware but FS is actually part prequel and part sequel to my first book, THE HIGHEST STAKES, a work of romantic historical fiction set in the world of 18th century horse racing. If you look at the two books side-by-side you would never in a million years know they were even remotely related to one another. While I have always considered myself a writer of historical fiction with strong romantic elements, my publisher decided to "package" me as romance. I was very concerned about this for the very reason you indicated in your review- that people would not be expecting the amount of history that they find in my books.
After reading this and considering my review of FORTUNE'S SON, I realized that I had actually written a good review for the book rather than a 'slam' like I thought. I don't feel so bad now.
She had another purpose in writing me ... she attached an ebook copy of her latest release written under the name VICTORIA VANE, a novella called A BREACH OF PROMISE. She asked me to read it and review it - I gladly accepted the challenge. [A reminder that as stated in my policy disclosure, I am not compensated monetarily for my reviews.]
A BREACH OF PROMISE by Victoria Vane has all of the romance that was promised in the blurb for FORTUNE'S SON. This 100 page novella contains enough steamy romance for two full-length Romance Novels with all of the expertise of a well-researched author at the helm. As I said about FORTUNE'S SON, even though I was disappointed in it as a romance, I fully appreciated the writing style and research. Writing now as Victoria Vane, we're getting what we wanted from her and more.
* * * * * * *
Blurb for A BREACH OF PROMISE:
WHEN CHARM AND PERSUASION FAIL … ONLY SEDUCTION REMAINS….
On the night of her betrothal, Lydia Trent receives just a taste of what ecstasy will be at the hands of her fiancé…and then he leaves her wanting. After waiting six years, and tired of being neglected by her exceedingly reluctant husband-to-be, Lydia decides to break it off. When Marcus, Lord Russell, receives Lydia’s letter requesting a release from their contract, he is stunned by her audacity.
Confident he’ll have her eating out of his hand with his usual wit and charm, he’s determined to repair the damage. However, the headstrong woman she’s blossomed into is equally determined to thwart his every effort to win her back.
Marcus discovers, in spite of her conviction to end the union, Lydia is more responsive to his touch than he ever imagined. He just needs to get her alone to unleash the promised passion he sees within his wanton virgin. Marcus will use any tool in his arsenal to exploit her weakness—his kisses, his hands, his mouth…her own body.
In short, he’ll just have to ruin her!
* * * * * * *
A BREACH OF PROMISE begins with a prologue. We find ourselves in the year 1742 in Derbyshire, England. Already liking it -- of course, that was what I said about FORTUNE'S SON but don't worry this one proves itself very quickly. Miss Lydia Albinia Trent is only seventeen and is dressing for her engagement party. She's imagined herself in love with her betrothed, Marcus Russell, for as long as she can remember. He is the man of her dreams. But, before the prologue is done, Marcus has embarrassed her, corrupted her and some may say, molested her but her opinion of him has not changed.
The story picks up again in the first chapter in the year 1748, Bloomsbury Square, London ... you got it, six years later. Marcus Russell left his sweet, young fiancée and did not return to her again in those six years. Well, upon his return to London after traveling Europe, and a variety of bedrooms, with the Foreign Service, he was greeted with a correspondence from his neglected fiancée stating she wanted out of the betrothal. She was tired of waiting for him, no longer had any desire for him, and because she was facing a dismal future without a proper husband, she wished to get on with finding someone who would respect her. Marcus had enjoyed the freedom that having a betrothed back in England afforded him. He was free to dally with any and all females that crossed his path without fear of any of them claiming an attachment. He also knew that Lydia was his best chance of increasing his fortune since as the younger son, he was virtually penniless on his own and without property. Lydia Trent came with a large dowry.
Marcus decided to 'win' her back. Present someone with the idea of loosing something they never really had and didn't really want and suddenly, they want it desperately.
He invites Lydia to come to Russell House in London to 'discuss' her release from the betrothal. Once there, Marcus is mesmerized by the beauty which she has become. He desires her all the more even as she thwarts him at every turn. He threatens to charge her with Breach of Promise if she insists on being released from their contract. She reminds him that she was not of majority age when she entered into the contract and since her parents are both deceased, if she does not ratify it now, the contract is essentially void. Marcus finds himself impressed with Lydia's intelligence and knowledge of the law - but he isn't about to give up.
Marcus turns the charm up full blast. He snatches kisses when he can and reminds her often about having been once totally enamoured of him. She plays it cool until his sexual advances stir her desires to the point where she can no longer ignore them. She is still enamoured of him but he's the last man on earth to whom she will admit it or so she thought.
Reading this novella was like watching a fencing match. Every time that Marcus advanced on Lydia, she parried his advance. The more she parried, the more eager to advance Marcus became. He found himself begging her to marry him - not once, but twice.
"Then you still want me, Marcus?"
"As much as my next breath. And I'd wager my life that I will continue to do so until the last breath leaves my body." Words that stole her breath away.
As I was reading A BREACH OF PROMISE, I was reminded of a saying, "A man chases a woman until she finally catches him." As I read the last page that saying was confirmed.
"I must actually credit Lady Russell. She explained to me that a man desires above all things to think himself his own master. Thus, I had only to convince Marcus that marrying me was entirely his own idea."
As Victoria Vane, this author delivers exemplary writing, an abundance of romance (explicit sex scenes), and historical settings that will make you wish for stays and garters. Reading A BREACH OF PROMISE, I am reminded of historical romances written by such authors as Beatrice Small. If you would like to escape into a HOT, flirty, teasing, quick read - this novella is for you.
I adored A BREACH OF PROMISE and I thank Victoria for sending it to me. I'm not sure I would have ever read it without the challenge. Victoria Vane's next release, A WILD NIGHT'S BRIDE, will be a full-length 'erotic historical' as she refers to it and will be available in April.
I, for one, will be reading it!
For more information about Victoria Vane and her upcoming novels, she's got books 3 and 4 in the works, please visit her website. In the meantime, I hope you'll give A BREACH OF PROMISE a try, I think you'll thoroughly enjoy it - I did.
BTW, did you get a load of that cover? HOT, HOT, HOT!!!
A BREACH OF PROMISE by Victoria Vane from Ellora's Cave Publishing - 102 pages, released Dec 23, 2011 - ASIN: B006PFTKAU, ISBN: 9781419937330, format - ebook.