"Claiming the Courtesan" Author Anna Campbell GuestBlogs
Wed, April 25!
Anyway, "CtheC's" hero's Kyleborne, the most powerful duke in England, cold, gorgeous, lean -- but big in all ways that count -- and obsessed with his mistress of one year, the incomparable Saraya. It took him 6 years to earn her from her other protectors, and he's been enjoying her for a year when she cuts line, runs away w/out a word to live an anonymous life.
So Saraya -- aka Verity, country lass forced to prostitute herself when her parents died and left her to care for her two younger siblings (see? yummy and classic?) , hies herself away, finally achieving the physical autonomy that matched the emotional self-possession she'd kept locked away w/in her as she played the part of England's most renown courtesan.
But Kyleborn spends three, long, irate, celibate months tracking Verity. And when he finds her? He kidnaps her, drags her to the wilds of Scotland, where he attempts to break her spirit, so angry is he that she left him and took with her the only peace he's known.
But being a big, nasty bonehead, he goes about it all wrong. And because Campbell is an outrageously great writer who's just layered "CtheC" with psychodynamics evolved within mores of the day, there is a scene that could be read by the uninitiated romance fiction reader as flat-out rape.
Yet the novel's terrifically sensual. Campbell is gonna become a must-read for many, I'm guessin.
Yet the beauty of Campbell's "CtheC" is that the reader gets to use her brain when reading the book, and also call on her understanding of those things that make an historical romance historically accurate in all ways.
I think "CtheC" is an example of a the concept suggested by Ann Christopher a while back in her GuestBlog, "Sexify Their Love," when she wondered whether the classics, romances, Gothics, etc., wouldn't be better if we knew what went on after the "fade to black."
You see, Emeline has been repeatedly raped and abused by her step-father, then won in a card game by his best friend to become what amounts to that man's (another duke) sex slave. Nothing romantic about that. And Emaline can't run, because the price of freedom is too dear.
The duke's nephew, Rogan, travels to London because he's become the duke's heir. Rogan discovers the heroine behind the locked door to the room in which his uncle imprisons her, and begins a kind of blind friendship. Which works great, cause Emaline seems to have qualities and a face that inspire lust in men.
Does that imply Emaline deserves what she gets? Hardly. The message in this novel is clear: Emaline has been a victim, but she becomes what we'd today call a survivor. Does Rogan save her? No. MacNish is so talented, she resists the urge to have Rogan be the one who heals Emaline. She lets Emaline make all the choices, and does it so realistically and intelligently, we watch Emaline come alive emotionally and sensually.
In which case, Emaline gets exactly what she deserves.
What kind of learning curve did you have to experience before you understood the nuances of historical romance? What are some of the things you learned? Do you agree/disagree that what we call forced seduction is irresponsible?
Encore due! caroline linden, you've won a copy of Tom's book, "I Want a Girl!" Please send me your snail mail at mbuonfiglio@RBtheBook.com. Congratulazione!