Currently a free promotion is running on my hot historical romance Midnight Caller. The first novella in the Moonlight Romance series is free on Amazon and iTunes.
I love star-crossed lovers. Romeo and Juliet is probably the most famous example. Although I much prefer when the lovers find a way to make their forbidden romance work! I always like to root for the underdog, and as individualist I get excited when characters dare to break society’s rules.
I write historical romance… and while star-crossed lovers can exist in every genre they are more prevalent in historical romance. A common off-shoot of this trope is loving above one’s station. Whether it is the maid falling in love with the millionaire, the jester falling in love with the princess or the commoner falling in love with the socialite they can all make me sigh with pleasure.
Since this is my favorite trope I think it is only natural that I have tried my hand at it.
Midnight Caller uses this trope, but it is actually based on a true incident I read a history book. :)
When Emma Bennett’s husband dies in a carriage accident in 1865, she is released from her loveless, controlling marriage. Now she has a chance to find happiness and raise a family. But before she begins courting again she wants to experience her freedom. At the advice of the leading socialite in town, she takes a black lover to fulfill her sexual needs. His raw, masculine power awakens feelings she didn’t know existed. After the first touch she craves more.
Frederick works as a roustabout by day and moonlights as a prostitute. He knows better than to fall in love with his white client, but Emma enchants him the first time he calls on her. To keep them both safe, he works hard to put up barriers. Unfortunately, he can’t protect Emma from the slimy Mr. Hawthorne, who wants her as his bride. Frederick vows to keep her safe even if his forbidden love costs him his life.
“You know, Mr. Hawthorne is interested in you.”
Emma gave a slight nod. Everyone in town knew Mr. Hawthorne was interested in her. Hank had forbidden the telegraph operator to come around her again, but now Hank was gone, would he pursue her?
“Mr. Hawthorne is a respectable man,” Mrs. Dimshire said.
A throbbing pain began above Emma’s left eye. Surely, the old lady wouldn’t try to set them up. Out of all the eligible bachelors in town…with his thinning auburn hair and long, homely face, he was as attractive as a gnarled tree. She couldn’t imagine sleeping next to him. Her lungs compressed, making each breath a chore.
“He isn’t my type,” Emma squeaked out. He was worse than Hank. He would be more than demanding and controlling. He would be jealous and overbearing, maybe even violent.
She picked up her cup again, hoping the tea would be soothing. It wasn’t. Her hands shook and she set the cup down before she spilled it on the white lace tablecloth.
Mrs. Dimshire’s wrinkled hand grabbed her wrist tenderly. Emma’s heart punched her ribs. The touch was probably meant to be comforting, but she felt trapped.
“Do you know how I get through each day without Connor?”
Emma shook her head.
“Whenever I feel the need to have a man next to me, I satisfy that need.”
Emma’s eyes bulged. Had the leading socialite in Louisville just said she shared her bed with a variety of men? But there would have been gossip, surely. No one had said a word.
Mrs. Dimshire’s eyes were sincere and she spoke as matter-of-factly as if she had just ordered a cut of beef from the butcher.
“I know you are not ready to remarry.” The older woman’s fingers slipped away from her skin. “But I thought you might like some male company once in a while.”
A thrill rushed from Emma’s head to her toes. Being with a man, no-strings attached. All the power and freedom she wanted. She could control the affair.
“Ah, I see the glow in your eyes,” Mrs. Dimshire said. “Yes, it is exciting and invigorating for a woman to take charge. I can tell you where to go. No one will ever find out.” Mrs. Dimshire paused and leaned back in her brown-and-burgundy striped chair. “And I trust you will keep my secret.”
“Yes, ma’am. Of course.” Going against Mrs. Dimshire would be social suicide.
“There is one thing though that might dissuade you,” Mrs. Dimshire said and then dabbed her lips with a linen napkin. “The men are colored.”
If you haven’t checked out my Moonlight Romance series yet here is your chance!
Haley Whitehall lives in Washington State where she enjoys all four seasons and the surrounding wildlife. She writes historical fiction and historical romance set in the 19th century U.S. When she is not researching or writing, she plays with her cats, watches the Western and History Channels, and goes antiquing. She is hoping to build a time machine so she can go in search of her prince charming. A good book, a cup of coffee, and a view of the mountains make her happy.
Visit Haley’s website at http://haleywhitehall.com.
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