Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

the perfect tool - Undercover with the Earl (Brotherhood of the Sword #1) by Robyn DeHart

The handsome Earl of Summersby may just be the most eligible bachelor in London, but has no interest in a wife. As a member of the Brotherhood, Bennett Haile is far more vested in his undercover duties for the crown and protecting the Queen from would-be assassins. For now he has the perfect tool with which to lure out the villains—a young woman with an uncanny likeness to the queen.


London, 1838

The handsome Earl of Summersby may just be the most eligible bachelor in London, but has no interest in a wife. As a member of the Brotherhood, Bennett Haile is far more vested in his undercover duties for the crown and protecting the Queen from would-be assassins. For now he has the perfect tool with which to lure out the villains—a young woman with an uncanny likeness to the queen.

The spirited Evelyn Marington is about to live out every country girl's dream—becoming royalty overnight. Under the tutelage of the arrogant Earl of Summersby, she'll have to fool the entire court that she is, in fact, the queen. But as danger threatens from every side, Bennett realizes that his lovely little protegĂ© isn't just placing her life in his hands... She's stealing his heart.

What the Historical Romance should never be 

Historical romance is arguably the most romantic of the romance genre books. It’s all about the fantasy and who doesn’t love the idea of the fancy gowns swirling about the ballroom. But there is a reality in the actual history that most of us authors gloss over so as to not strip the romance right out of our stories. So without further ado, here is my list of top 5 things you don’t include in an historical romance 

Food – every had food poisoning from like a badly washed salad at your favorite restaurant? Imagine a time when we had no refrigeration to keep our food. There was little waste so they made stews and soups out of every part of the animal – not that there is anything inherently wrong with that, but for many the thought of eating cow brains in their stew is just plain icky. Remember that scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom where Kate Capshaw is having such a difficult time at dinner? Needless to say most mentions of food in historical romance novels are brief mentions. 

Hygiene – no one wants to think about how little people actually bathed back in the day. Or that they went around wearing far too many layers of clothing without the benefit of air conditioning. And there was no deodorant or toothpaste. Just think about that for a minute… Yeah, so not romantic. 

Bathroom stuff – likewise there are the inevitable bathroom issues. They had chamber pots, yes, but what did they do with the contents? Eww, don’t even want to think about it. So for the most part in our books there might be a brief mention of someone needing to relieve themselves, but that’s pretty much it. 

History that has no bearing on the story - If a reader wants to know about history, they’ll read a non-fiction book. They pick up an historical romance to read a romance, primarily. They want the fantasy part of the history, not necessarily the grit and reality of it. So it doesn’t matter how cool the research tidbit you found is, if it doesn’t relate to the characters, it doesn’t belong in your book. 

Too much historical reality – especially when it came to life for the lower class or women. Women were seen as property, they couldn’t inherit money, they couldn’t vote. They married whomever their parents told them to marry and very few of them ever got an opinion about anything. But that doesn’t really work very well for the whole romance novel fantasy. So we find those few women who stood up to convention and fought for something different, something better and we write about them. 

What about you, what would you never want to see in an historical romance?


“Stand and walk to the other side of the room,” he said.

“I beg your pardon?”

“I must evaluate how you walk.”

She gaped at him. “How I walk?”

“Do try and keep up, Miss Marrington. People will be watching.”

“Is there something wrong with how I walk?”

“Your walk is ...” No. In truth, she walked with an unconscious grace and agility he found charming. There was nothing studied about her movements, nothing calculated. She managed to be both completely natural and totally bewitching, which was entirely beside the point. “Your walk is unstudied.”

“Are you staying I'm clumsy?” Her gaze sparked with indignation, but perhaps a flash of pain as well. “I am well aware that I lack the grace and cultivation of my older sisters, but I assure you I am not some clumsy oaf who can't be trusted to walk into a room.”

He drew in a deep breath, praying for patience. This was why he wasn't yet married. This was why he was absolutely the wrong man for this job.

“Your mannerisms must match hers,” he said tightly.

She closed her eyes and took several deep breaths before standing, then walked across the room. It was not a clumsy or awkward gait, but not regal either.

“No.” He shook his head. “Try it again but slower, yet with more purpose.”

She crossed her arms over her ample bosom. “This is ridiculous.”

He allowed his gaze to linger on her tempting curves before stepping over to her. “Miss Marrington, do you want to do this assignment or not?”

Her mouth opened, then she paused and her brows slanted down in anger. “My Lord, I realize that you are an Earl and of relation to our Queen and our Society deems you more important than I. Perhaps they are even correct; however, it would seem to me that you,” she jabbed a finger into his chest, “need me more than I need you for this assignment. Thus far you have insulted my family, the way I walk and my hair. You are arrogant and rude and sorely lacking in manners.” Her hands fisted on her hips accenting their roundedness.

How was it that this little slip of a woman shoed no fear of him? He’d frightened women merely by walking into their drawing room. And here, he was being a bully—and for good reason—to Evelyn Marrington, but she was quite obviously not afraid of him. He couldn’t help but find that both infuriating and alluring.

“You have obviously decided that I do not possess the intelligence nor grace to succeed in this charade. I will not stand for this sort of treatment. I should like a carriage to bring me home on the morrow. Good day, Lord Somersby.” She turned and marched from the room.

He watched her go in complete disbelief. No one had ever spoken to him in such a way. Arrogant and rude! She was the only lacking in manners. This entire assignment echoed with idiocy. Ellis had claimed his cousin amiable and clever, neither of which Bennett had seen. All he had witnessed was her sharp tongue.

Damned if he didn’t find her sass alluring as hell. All the more reason to send her back home and tell Potterfield she refused to participate. Bennett couldn’t be blamed for this failure if she was the one who walked away. This would work out perfectly. He’d get to continue with the Brotherhood and not be distracted by the ridiculously attractive and fiery-tongued Miss Marrington. It would almost be worth completing the assignment just to see if she was as passionate in other areas. Almost

About the author:
National Bestselling author, Robyn DeHart's novels have appeared in the top bestselling romance and historical romance lists. Her books have been translated into nearly a dozen languages. Her historical romantic adventure series, The Legend Hunters, were not only bestsellers, but also award-winners, snagging a Reader's Crown and a Reviewer's Choice award. She had three releases in 2013 and 2014 will see four more, all set in the popular historical romance Regency and Victorian eras. Known for her "strong dialogue and characters that leap off the page" (RT Bookclub) and her "sizzling romance" (Publishers Weekly), her books have been featured in USA Today and the Chicago Tribune. A popular writing instructor, she has given speeches at writing conferences in Los Angeles, DC, New York, Dallas, Nashville and Toronto, among many others.

When not writing, you can find Robyn hanging out with her family, husband (The Professor) a university professor of Political Science and their two ridiculously beautiful and smart daughters, Busybee and Babybee as well as two spoiled-rotten cats. They live in the hill country of Texas where it's hot eight months of the year, but those big blue skies make it worth it. 

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Tasty Book Tours said...

Thank you for hosting UNDERCOVER WITH THE EARL

CCAM said...

Always with pleasure! :)