Thursday, June 15, 2006

Oh, Would That All Regencies Were This Good...

London 1812

Andrew Carrington is the model Regency gentleman: heir to an earldom, tall and darkly handsome, wealthy, athletic, a crack shot—and gay.

Goodness! Can this be so, Bellas?

When he decides to do his duty to his family, he wants marriage on his terms: an honest arrangement, with no disruption to his way of life. But in the penniless, spirited—and curvaceous—Phyllida Lewis, a self-educated “authoress” of gothic romances, Andrew gets more than he bargained for . . . perhaps even love.

Well, I guess he just needed a good woman to set him straight.

And when he meets honorable, shrewd—and hunky—Matthew Thornby, the son of a self-made “cotton baron,” Andrew has everything a man could want, until a spy and blackmailer tries to ruin him and his friends.

I loved "Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander: A Bisexual Romance," and want you to know about it, too. In fact, you'll have a chance to meet the author, Ann Herendeen, when she guestblogs June 22.

"Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander: A Bisexual Romance" is not a "menage," nor is it erotica.

It is, however, simply a wonderful romance, well-written, exceedingly historically accurate, and very, very sexy. I kid you not.

Anne Herendeen is an very smart lady, who told me she's always enjoyed Regencies and admires greatly Mary Balogh, Jo Beverly, and other fine romance novelists.

Anne also told me she finds the idea of visualizing two men making love excrutiatingly erotic. She is not alone.

Repeat with me the I'm OK, You're OK Maxim of Romance: Women often fantasize about things they don't necessarily want to experience.

If it works for you, Bella, don't let nobody tell you it ain't natural, or ain't OK.

Dare to share: What romance fantasies really get you going?
Encore! Visit for excerpts from "Phyllida," as well as great historical info and more.
Encore due! Ann is an awfully nice woman who has some very interesting insight into how her colleagues in the world of historical fiction view romance. I think you'll enjoy chatting with her; "Phyllida" is her debut romance, and she's learning more about the genre every day. It's fun to be part of her excitement.


Julie in Ohio said...

The first word that came to mind after reading your blog was "interesting". I'm kind of on the fence with a bi-sexual romance but as long as the word "romance" is involved I can keep an open mind.

As for my fantasies, UATW or tree, is always exciting to me. Also, any lovin' done in a carriage or car, depending the time period.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

OMG, JulieO. Even my husband knows about my "carriage" fantasy! I must confess, this m/m thing kinda did it for me, at least the way Ann wrote it. I think it was the emotions. But I've also written before about a slash piece I really liked by This is Bone. But generally, it's m/f that I usually read. Then again, I've also enjoyed some m/f/m, but always with romance and a HE with one m/f. Oh, but there's a m/f/m in Emma Holly's AUCE that's really hot...

Women's prerogative, you know. La donna e mobile, I guess... Still -- it's all about the emotion.

And as I wrote, "Phyllida" isn't a menage, etc., it's a romance.

Kati said...

This sounds interesting. As I've said before, I'm really open to different "combinations." I love erotica, so I'm not easily offended. Thing is, since most erotica is geared toward women, it's generally the m/f relationship that wins in the end. It would be interesting to read a book that focuses on the m/m relationship. Is there an excerpt up somewhere?

ann said...

Yes, there are two excerpts on my website:

One excerpt is about my hero, Andrew Carrington, meeting his wife-to-be, Phyllida, and being extremely "surprised," in a very physical way, by how attractive he finds her.

The second excerpt is about Andrew meeting his male partner, Matthew Thornby. In this scene, I take the traditional idea of two strangers meeting across a crowded ballroom, their eyes locking, and being hit by the "thunderbolt" of intense love and desire--but here it's between two men.

I tried to write my "bisexual romance" by giving equal attention to both the m-m and m-f romances. Ultimately, I like to think there was no "winner"--except love.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Thanks for stopping in, Ann. It is neat to read how you gave equal m/f m/m importance to the things that make initial meetings so wonderful when we're falling in love. While some folks aren't hardwired to enjoy both, I appreciated that treatment throughout the book.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

I mean to say it's absolutely OK, as far as I'm concerned, not to be turned-on by m/m or f/f or m/f or whatever. I make no judgement call. I guess I'm saying it's OK not to enjoy the idea of getting off on homosexuality without being bigoted or homophobic.

Julie in Ohio said...

Ann said, "Ultimately, I like to think there was no "winner"--except love."

That is a very important and telling sentence for me. I'm still not to sure about the relationship combos, but I believe in that sentiment. And to me, as long as there is an actual romance which develops into love that is all that matters.
Sex for the sake of sex doesn't do it for me. I need there to be a connection or it's a no sell for me.

amy kennedy said...

I have so many comments, I don't know where to start--first, was there ever a better title than Ann's bok? I think not.

Secondly, having had many gay friends (especially in my younger working in restaurants days)I would end up with these horrible one sided crushes--so, I guess that's one of my fantasies. Thanks Ann.

Third, if m/m or m/f/m or f/m/f or f/f is written well--then you have me, apparently at 'hello'. And written well are the key words. Yes?

ann said...

Ooooh, love these last two comments.

First: I've noticed that for a lot of people, the word "bisexual" in the title somehow equates with "erotica" in their minds. Now, I love a sexy romance, but I agree with julie in ohio that sex for the sake of sex doesn't do it, and that there has to be a connection.
I tried to use the sex scenes in Phyllida to show the development of the love relationships, as any good romance does, building to the final "payoff" scenes, when the lovers find their greatest pleasure in the physical expression of their emotional connection.

Second: To amy*skf a big Thank you for loving the title. I liked that old-fashioned, adventure-story, Regency sound of it, as well as the ambiguity of the word "Philander."
I've found that people either love it or can't deal with how unusual (and long) it is, but I could never think up anything else even half as good, so went with my own preference.

And an equally big You're welcome for indulging your fantasy of the crushes on the hot gay guys. Yesss...that's part of my story, too.

Karmela said...

Favorite romantic fantasy -- I've always loved reunion stories. But my absolute favorite one is the story of the guy who rejected the girl back in the day, and then they see each other again in some inocuous setting years later, and then he's all like, "Whoa. Why'd I let that one get away?" And then he pursues her and she's all like, "You gotta WORK IT, playa."


Michelle Buonfiglio said...

OH, yeah, Karmela. That is a great one. He is SO gonna be on his knees with love by the end. SaWEET.

I agree, ann. Sex should move the story forward, and that's what struck me about Phyllida. Another writer might have made it totally salacious, titillation for t's sake. Your sensuality was done appropriately based on the point of relationship, as well as what it meant to the story.

Amy, I always hated it when a gay friend who I had a crush on had his "well, what would it be like to just give in and do the straight thing" cause he had a stupid little hetero crush on me. I always ended up hurt. I always tried to keep our relationships strictly to accessorizing and attending pageants. A girl;s gotta protect her heart.

Julie in Ohio said...

Wow, these are all great comments. I am almost sold. I can't wait to read your blog next week, Ann. :o)

Fantasy wise, nobody has mentioned outside up in the hills of Scotland in a field of heather with a big, burly, well-made Highlander, who undoubtedly read that wonderful book by Dr. Ian Kerner and took very specific notes... Um, or is it just me?

Manda Collins said...

Well, I must admit that since I've started reading this blog (and Emma Holly) I've learned to enjoy a lot more varieties of love (in NOVEL form, people) than I ever thought I could. This time last year I never would have imagined M/F/M or M/M could be sexy. But it is. Don't want to try it at home, but reading about it is way fun.

So I am definitley intrigued by Phyllida and will definitley try it. Michelle, you haven't steered me wrong yet:) Thanks for pushing the boundaries and making room in the genre for all sorts of variations on the romantic theme.

As for my own fantasies, you really can't go wrong with the old Jane Eyre-esque governess fantasy. Just something about catching they eye of the incredibly sexy, sardonic master of the house that appeals to me...

Julie in Ohio said...

Manda, that's not like doin' it with your boss on his desk at lunch time, is it? :o)

Rach said...

Hi Guys! Great topic =). I have survived and all the kiddos are gone gone gone! Now I can fanticize all I want. =)

First off, Ann, LOVE the title. That alone would have had me picking up the book =).

Second, my favorite fantasy? Well, I'm with Julie and the Scot in the kilt. Hmmmm, do you reckon that's why they wear nothin' under 'em? Easy access?

Also have a mjor one about skinny dipping, large pools of water, a large male body, and buoyancy. Particularly involving mountains and warm/hot springs ;-).

Manda Collins said...

Well, Julie, not MY boss. (He is neither sexy, nor sardonic. And I certainly hope his desk isn't seeing any action!) But I guess it is a variation on that theme...hmmm. Sort of the reverse of the male Hot for Teacher fantasy now I think of it.

Julie in Ohio said...

Welcome back and congrats on making it through another year, Rach. Now sit back, pour a cold one and take a deep breath.
Yes, I believe the scots do wear the kilts for easy access. At least that's what Karen Moning's books have led me to believe. *G*

Stacy~ said...

I have to say this is a topic I've thought a lot about recently, probably since I started reading Ellora's Cave. I agree that there are fantasies out there that I would never want to experience in real life, but boy oh boy, do they provide inspiration just by thinking about them! The m/f/m works for me, too ;) Bottom line though: it's gotta have the romance/love thing. Sex just for sex sake can be hot, but it gets old real fast whereas love and romance are timeless.

I love how honest and upfront everyone is about what "does it" for them. I'll add my scenario: definitely at work. Not cuz of the fear of getting caught, though there is something to be said for that level of excitement - but because it just seemed so naughty to find a locked room and just have at it. (That goes back about 10 years when me and my friend Liz ended up having a crush on the same guy at work, though I liked it when he wore jeans, and she was for his white-collar persona. Her fantasy was the desk while mine was the boardroom - the table, the chair, the wall...)

And we're all not gonna like the same thing, so it's definitely okay not to fantasize about something others might find sexy. Whatever floats your boat. As long as there's floating going on LOL.

Julie in Ohio said...

Manda, we posted at the same time.
LOL, my boss neither. SHE might be a little bit surprised.

How about in a bathroom stall of a 5 star restaurant?
Just going to a 5 star restaurant would be a fantasy for me. *g*

Manda Collins said...

All right, Rach! Happy Summer!

LOL, Julie!

Stacy, I had quite a few white collar fantasies at my old job. Maybe that's where my Jane Eyre thing comes from...hmmm this is better (and more fun) than therapy!

Definitely have to agree with Michelle's Mantra that just because you like to fantasize about it doesn't mean you actually want to do it...

Julie in Ohio said...

Sex just for the sake of sex completely leaves me cold. The writing could be good but if the characters don't have even a inkling of feelings for one another other than "boy, she's stacked" "look at the package on that guy" I can't justify an intimate encounter between them.

Right, now I'm reading a book that isn't doing it for me. Maybe, it's because it's a shorter book than I'm used to reading and they don't have alot of set up time, but the characters just aren't coming to life for me. They just met and already have come to an agreement that they will have an affair just because there isn't anything better to do and they have a few months to kill. WHAT? Oh and of course they don't want to have anything to do with each other.(which that in itself is fun to watch in most cases)

I'm choking the rest of it down because I have never not finished a book but I am really, really hoping the last 75 pages are better than the first 150.

Rach said...

I'm with you Julie. Books such as those remind me of what pornos must be like. (This is what I have heard any way). My husband says typically there is a really loosely woven plot that drives the characters' having sex. So, books such as the one you are reading is like the "porn on pages" people often accuse me of reading.

I like to see a relationship develop and grow, but I don't object to a good 'n steamy scene. If the steamy scene is NOT within a somewhat committed relationship, well, I have a very difficult time reading the book.

Stacy~ said...

Oh, I wouldn't want to read a whole book with just wild sex, but I think someone mentioned Emma Holly's All U Can Eat, and there are a couple of really hot m/f/m scenes that have nothing to do with comnmitment and everything to do with pleasure, but I don't think they're porn at all. I think of porn as being about what the man wants, and they're not too concerned about what the woman wants - that's my definition. What makes the scenes in AUCE sexy is that they are all about the woman, and fulfilling her fantasies - what woman wouldn't want that? But again, to each their own. I just know I really liked the book *g*

amy kennedy said...

Julie--bathroom stall...good one--I also like that you stipulated a 5 star restaurant and not the dive on the corner. I like everyone's fantasies.

I am so excited to read this book. Michelle, I hate it that you were their 'straight' thing and got hurt. Mine never got to that--I kept wishing it would--not the hurt part, the other part.

In the stacks at the library, preferably UATW. With a man in uniform. Who's read Dr. Ian Kerner.

Julie in Ohio said...

Stacy, I try to keep an open mind and at least read it before I make a judgement. I have not read AUCE but I have heard really good things about it from you all. I have put it on my wish list.
I am working on my prudishness. :o)

Amy, it wouldn't be a TRUE fantasy unless it no less than 5 star. Doin' it at McDonald's just doesn't have the same ring. *g*

I am a sucker for a man in uniform so I like your idea. Doesn't just give him something more with him having read Dr. Ian? It gives him a leg to speak.

amy kennedy said...

A leg up! hahahaha.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

I just got a chance to check back in. I find it horrifically inconsiderate of them, but my kids seem to want me to pay attention to them now that school's out.

I love these fantasies, and if my boy, Ian Kerner can figure in? More's the better, especially if it gets that leg up for ya.

You're killin me on the 5 star thing. I would think the restaurant was the fantasy, too. I never really worked with a boss who was straight or male, so I've never had the office-place fantasy. Lori Foster has a reissue set of 3 novels, "Truth or Dare" and in it three women entice three co-workers to enact thier (the girls') sexual fantasies with them. It's classic Foster.

As I said, I've got the carriage fantasy. In fact, like Manda, I dig the "historical." I'm LOL now, but thinking of an intriquing little piece that included a particularly well-endowed footman and the master of the house. Yeah. That's a fave, too. But I'm really just a sucker for the medieval warlord/virgin fantasy. Catholic girl, remember. As long as my hero is a BiMBAW, I'm GTG (good to go).

Anonymous said...

Wow, what an interesting topic! This looks like a book I'd like to read...I'm glad you highlighted it, Michelle. As for the carriage fantasy, I've written a scene or two like that in my historicals!