History Hoydens


Historical Romance Writers Dishing the Dirt on Research

08 September 2010

History Hoydens Welcome Hope Tarr

Hope Tarr is the award-winning author of thirteen
historical and contemporary romances as well as a co-founder of Lady Jane’s Salon, New York City’s first and so far only monthly reading series for romance fiction. "Tomorrow's Destiny," Hope’s first novella, will release November 10th in a single title Christmas anthology, A HARLEQUIN CHRISTMAS CAROL, with Betina Krahn and Jacquie D'Alessandro.

Here to join us today, without further preamble, the one, the only Hope Tarr!

Second chances at love, don’t you just…love them?

A ROGUE'S PLEASURE, my romance debut novel originally published in print with Berkley/Jove, is getting its own second chance at love as an e-book release with Carina Press, Harlequin’s digital-first imprint and like any proud mama I couldn’t be more pleased. The reissue, which sports gorgeous new cover art and an editing facelift, went live on August 16th, two weeks short of what would be the book’s tenth anniversary. How cool is that!?!

A ROGUE’S PLEASURE is a Regency romp that I’m thrilled to be able to share with a new generation of romance readers. To get the soiree started, close your eyes—okay, don’t close them since you need them open to read this—or better yet open your mind to the clip-clop of horses hooves instead of sirens and honking cars.

It is Regency England, 1812. Napoleon is wreaking havoc in Europe, including Spain and Portugal where ousting the rightful royals and setting his sibling, Joseph Bonaparte, on the Spanish throne has catalyzed a sweeping grassroots national resistance supported by Britain and its Allies. On the home front, private coaches traveling between the countryside and London are prime targets for the rogues of the road: highwaymen.

Put yourself in the shoes, or rather the Wellingtons, of my hero, Lord Anthony Grenville. You are in your private coach en route to London for The Season. To drown out the droning of your soon-to-be mother-in-law, you think not great thoughts but rather mundane ones. Will the inn’s beef be soured again? Sigh. Might there be a decent claret to be had in lieu of the usual ale. Must I really marry this pretty but deucedly dull girl? You are not only thinking such thoughts but lost to them when a shout of "Halt! Stand and deliver!" freezes the blood in your veins.

In A ROGUE’S PLEASURE, Anthony is a war hero newly returned from The Peninsular Campaign and traveling to London with his fiancée, Lady Phoebe Tremont, and her mother. As you may have supposed, pretty but dull Lady Phoebe is not the heroine.

Chelsea Bellamy must raise the sum of 500 pounds to ransom her beloved brother. Having exhausted all other avenues, she has taken to the road disguised as the highwayman One-Eyed Jack, accompanied by her faithful manservant, the real One-Eyed Jack. Outnumbered though he is and hampered with womenfolk, still Anthony isn’t going down easily. He isn’t going down at all. Beneath his fancy frock coat, embroidered waistcoat, and frothy shirt, he has a soldier’s spine of steel—and a heart in need of saving.

Enjoy the excerpt below and, I hope, the book.

One-Eyed Jack’s gaze darted between Anthony and the coach.

“W-why are you still standing ’ere?” He gestured to the coach with his pistol. “Go…now.”

Smiling, Anthony advanced a step. “But I’ve no wish to end this encounter…just yet.”

Anthony lunged. Locking both arms around the boy’s spare torso, he slammed him to the ground. He pinned One Eye’s slender wrists above his head and squeezed. The pistol slipped from the highwayman’s grasp.

“Let go!”

Even for a stripling, the boy was delicate as a sparrow, not nearly sturdy enough for such rough pursuits. Easily securing the joined wrists with one hand, Anthony pocketed the pistol.

He smiled maliciously into the frightened face, just inches below his own. “Well, my fine lad, alone at last.” He clamped his palm over the boy’s mouth. “What, nothing to say?”

The taunt seemed to bring his captive to life. His fingers curled into fists, his arms straining to break Anthony’s hold.

Laughing, Anthony remarked, “Well, One-Eyed Jack, for a fierce knight of the road, you certainly fight like a girl.”

Like a girl.

Anthony stared down at his prisoner, examining the small, flushed face beneath the hat with a critical eye. The features were as finely wrought as those of a Dresden china figurine, the uncovered eye lushly lashed and set beneath a delicately arched brow. Could it be that Jack was really a Jacqueline in disguise? The body beneath his felt soft in all the right places. He uncovered his captive’s mouth in order to better examine the softly curving lips.

“Get off me this instant, y-you…you big bully!”

The high-pitched voice, nearly drowned by the din of shrieking horses, could belong to an adolescent boy…or to a woman.

Intrigued, Anthony replied, “All in good time, my little highwayman. But first, I think I’ll have a closer look at you.”

With his free hand, Anthony groped for the lantern. His fingers brushed the toe of a large boot instead.

“Set ’im free as ye value yer life.”

Cursing, Anthony rolled off the boy and stood. Ignoring the pistol prodding him, he offered One-Eye a hand up.

“Bugger off.” Staring at his hand as thought it were a snake, the boy scrambled to his feet and took off toward a chestnut mare tethered to a tree branch.

Anthony started to follow, but the hulk blocked him.

“I’d save me strength if I was you.” He gave Anthony a hard shove toward the coach.

Anthony swung around. Raising the lantern, he saw that the traces hung empty. Only his lead horse had not shied away. It stood nearby, ears flattened and nostrils narrowed.

Young One-Eye, you shall rue this day. Anthony whirled in time to see the object of his wrath push a booted foot into the mare’s stirrup and throw a shapely leg over. Mounted, the thieves galloped past him, kicking up clouds of dust. Coughing, he brushed the soil from his shoulders. We shall meet again, One-Eyed Jack—or Jacqueline. And when we do, you shall either dance to my tune or at the end of the hangman’s rope.

If you'd like to hear more, you can visit Hope online at www.HopeTarr.com or find her on Twitter and Facebook. Hope has also generously offered to give away a copy of her Victorian-set novel, Vanquished, to one person who comments on this post.

Thanks for joining us, Hope!


Blogger Hope Tarr said...

G'morning Everyone:

It's early if not precisely bright. That said, I'm so pleased to be joining you today at History Hoydens. I'll be popping in throughout the day, so any questions/comments about A ROGUE'S PLEASURE, my previous books, or "that writing life," please feel free to put them out there, and I'll reply as best I can.

3:51 AM  
Blogger Dayna said...

I think "A Rogue's Pleasure" sounds a lot like something I'd want to read. I really like the idea of the traditional roles being reverse: I feel like I've already read a lot of books where the hero is a highwayman, but never one where its the heroine in disguise! So excited it's been released again!

5:25 AM  
Blogger Virginia C said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:48 AM  
Blogger Virginia C said...

Hello, Hope! I truly believe in first love and second chances. I also believe that every woman needs make the acquaintance of a least one perfectly rakish rogue : ) You write in different genres, time frames, and settings--do you have a favorite?

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

6:49 AM  
Blogger Hope Tarr said...

Thanks, Dayna. I agree! Seriously, "As You Like It" is probably my favorite of Shakespeare's comedies largely because of the playful gender-bending.

10:37 AM  
Blogger Hope Tarr said...

Hi Virginia:

I do have my favorite eras but I'm also very fickle. ;) For the past several years, I've been very keen on the late-Victorian era, specifically the 1890's. In point, I set my Men of Roxbury House trilogy in 1890's England and Scotland. VANQUISHED, the first book in the series, takes place in London. UNTAMED, the finale, is largely Scottish set and follows a "Taming of the Shrew" theme.

My first romance novel, which I wrote between the ages of 10 and 13,was Tudor set. With all the great Tudor set historical fiction coming out, I'd love to see a resurgence in Tudor set historical romances though I'm not sure I'm the one to write them. Then again, maybe...

10:41 AM  
Blogger mrsshukra said...

Hi Hope, been a fan since "Tempting." So good to see you here!


5:44 PM  
Blogger Hope Tarr said...

Hiya Delilah. That's so lovely to hear. Tempting has been...a while. My agent is working on selling the reprint rights "as we speak," so I'm hoping it, like A ROGUE'S PLEASURE and MY LORD JACK, may soon get a second chance at love.

9:33 AM  
Blogger Isobel Carr said...

Hey Hope,

Sorry I missed the post (I just got back from Burning Man). I love the idea of OOP books getting a new roll out as eBooks. So many books I adore, but can no long er find copies of!

I'm a sucker for books with highway men (too many Heyer novels in my past, LOL!).

10:55 AM  
Blogger Hope Tarr said...

And the winner is...

Isobel Carr! Isobel, please email me your snail at hope@hopetarr.com and I'll get your copy of VANQUISHED out to you ASAP.

To Lauren and the other HH's as well as those of you who stopped by to say Huzzah & Hi, thanks so much!

5:19 PM  
Blogger Sunnymay said...

I like the romp and the chance that something more may happen in the coach if etiquette is put aside.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Tracy Grant said...

A belated welcome to History Hoydens, Hope! Love the excerpt--what a wonderful premise, and you set the scene so well in your description.

6:05 PM  

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