Hello everyone! I am so excited to welcome author Joanna Chambers to the blog. Joanna is here to talk about her new release, Beguiled, the second book in her Enlightenment trilogy. I am really enjoying this series and so glad to have here to share more about the setting for the story. Joanna has also brought a copy of Beguiled to give away to one lucky reader. So please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Jay asked me to pop by and talk a little about the historical setting I’ve used for my new release Beguiled, the second book in my Enlightenment trilogy.
Beguiled is set in Edinburgh in 1822 during a royal visit by King George IV. If you’re a longtime historical romance reader (as I am) chances are you’ll find the world described in Beguiled to be a mix of the familiar and the unfamiliar. Most romance novels set in this period take place in London or at a country estate, or if there’s a Scottish protagonist, in a remote part of the Scottish highlands. I wanted to do something different. Part of the reason for that, though not the whole reason, is because I’m a Scot myself and I’ve always found the depiction of Scottish heroes in romance fairly, well, eyebrow-raising, I suppose. They’re certainly not like any Scot I’ve ever met.
Not that I’m a hater – if you like the typical Scottish romance hero, wearing his kilt and crying ‘Doona fash yersel'”, then own it, baby. I’m all about the live and let live. But in my book, I wanted to show a different sort of Scot, so one of my MCs, David Lauriston, is a lowlander who’d never wear a kilt. He’s a man of the Scottish Enlightenment, educated, modern, rational, and from humble origins.
Similarly, I didn’t want to depict another Scottish highland estate inhabited by happy peasants with an unhealthy interest in “the Laird’s” love life. Instead I wanted to show urban Scotland in the form of its capital city, Edinburgh – both the elegant New Town with its modern Georgian architecture and the filthy, teeming Old Town.
But most of all, I wanted to show how much of our modern idea of Scottishness was directly constructed around George IV’s royal visit, and how influential in this respect was the novelist, Sir Walter Scott. Sir Walter was the primary architect of the King’s visit, devising made-up pageantry such as the carrying the Regalia from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood, urging the people to adopt Highland dress, and designing a uniform for those who couldn’t afford (or didn’t want to adopt) full highland dress. The uncertain, middle class populace, who were only too happy to be told how real Scots should behave, flocked to tailors and dressmakers to be kitted out according to Sir Walter’s romantic notions. Because it’s so much easier when someone says to you – this is the Truth Of It, isn’t it? And all you need to do is accept that Truth.
The exploration of national identity in Beguiled is mirrored by what my MCs, David and Murdo, are going through in relation to their individual sense of themselves. David grew up believing it was a sin to desire other men and I wanted to show him really struggling with that. That’s why I set this book two years after book 1 in the series, Provoked. I wanted to give David time to reflect on the events of Provoked, and to question the version of Truth that he grew up with and that is so deeply embedded in him. As for Murdo – a man who happily has sex with other men but who doesn’t believe in love – well, I wanted to give him a chance to forget David – because I knew he wouldn’t be able to do it.
If you’re interested in reading Beguiled, leave a comment for a chance to win a copy.
Thanks for having me, Jay
David Lauriston couldn’t be less interested in King George IV’s first visit to Edinburgh. But with Faculty of Advocates members required to put on a minimal show of patriotism, David makes an appointment with his tailor for a new set of clothes-only to run into a man he hasn’t seen for two long years.
Lord Murdo Balfour.
Much has changed since their bitter parting, except their stormy attraction. And when Murdo suggests they enjoy each other’s company during his stay, David finds himself agreeing. After all, it’s only a temporary tryst.
Amidst the pomp and ceremony of the King’s visit, Murdo’s seduction is more powerful than David ever imagined possible. But when other figures from David’s past show up, he is drawn into a chain of events beyond his control. Where his determination to help a friend will break his body, threaten his career, and put at risk the fragile tenderness he’s found in Murdo’s arms.
Warning: Contains a lowborn Scottish lawyer with no love for the aristocracy, but more than enough passion for this highborn lord. Political intrigue, kilts, explicit m/m trysts, and men who epitomize “knight in shining armor.”
Joanna Chambers always wanted to write. She spent over 20 years staring at blank sheets of paper and despairing of ever writing a single word. In between staring at blank sheets of paper, she studied law, met her husband and had two children. Whilst nursing her first child, she rediscovered her love of romance and found her muse. Joanna lives in Scotland with her family and finds time to write by eschewing sleep and popular culture.
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Joanna has brought a copy of Beguiled to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment below to enter. The contest closes on Sunday, January 12th at 11:59 pm EST.
- By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
- Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
- If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
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- By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
- Readers may only enter once for each contest. Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
- Void where prohibited by law.