Hello gentle readers! I am happy to welcome author Sawyer North to Austenprose today in celebration of his latest historical romance novel, Everything a Lady is Not. Set in Regency-era England it is the first book in the Bow Street Beaus series and involves and strong, independent heroine and an equally endowed hero who are thrown together under unusual circumstances and at odds with each other.
This is the second historical romance from Sawyer North after Fair Weather Enemies released this past February. He appears to enjoy creating characters who love to spar with each other. Please enjoy the exclusive excerpt chosen for us by the author. The cover is to die for.
Lucy Locket, the long-lost granddaughter of a duchess, has never been a part of Society. One day, she was living a secluded life as the prisoner of a criminal, and the next day she was an heiress in a world she did not even remotely understand. She does not embody the typical qualities of a well-born lady…at all. She can’t curtsy, she doesn’t hide her emotions, she’s too clever by far. But in three months, she must marry a suitor with a royally-bestowed title, or she forfeits a fortune—leaving her and the duchess in dire straits.
All Henry Beaumont wants is to prove himself to Society and step outside of his half-brother’s shadow. So, when the duchess asks him for a personal favor involving her newly found granddaughter—with a hefty thank-you reward at the end—he leaps at the opportunity.
It seems as if Lucy is trading one prison for another. Henry has now become a permanent fixture as her charming yet iron-fisted taskmaster and tutor in the ways of High Society. Like oil and water, Lucy and Henry spar in an epic battle of wills—and even rapiers. But Lucy’s past and her surprising, undeniable feelings for Henry may doom their undertaking if he declares his love for her…because without a title, he can never be hers.
nails, and most definitely introducing any appendage into one’s nostrils at any time. And if you must cough, you must do so in near silence. To cough loudly marks you as…”
“Lowborn, I know. You have made that point already, Sir Redundant. But let me repeat so I may be sure of understanding. When in the company of others, I may not engage in any human bodily function or emotion, other than what might be expected of a boiled turnip.”
The duchess placed a hand to her mouth and chuckled softly. Henry seemed to disregard the duchess’s amusement. “Exactly. Your grasp of simple facts borders on astounding. However, do not despair. You will be pleased to learn that you are allowed to faint, swoon, or exhibit general hysteria if confronted with a particular level of vulgarity. In fact, not doing so is to provide tacit approval of said vulgarity. This will mark you also as vulgar, and it goes without saying…as lowborn.”
“If it goes without saying, then why must you say it? However, I digress. I am more curious to know what constitutes vulgarity.”
He rolled his eyes to the ceiling. “If you must know, any talk of bodily functions, childbirth, amorous congress, monthly cycles…”
“You said ‘amorous congress’,” she interrupted. “What does that mean?”
Lucy knew very well what it meant but wished to see him squirm. He squirmed.
“It means, er, ah, when a man and a woman engage in, shall we say, ah, physical congress of an intimate nature.”
“Such as holding hands?”
“No. More than holding hands.”
Lucy brought her palms to her cheeks in mock surprise. “Such as kissing?”
“No. More than kissing.”
Cascading visions unfolded in her mind as Henry’s eyes bored a path through her soul. Of what it might be like for a man of his remarkable looks and passionate intensity to take her hand, to touch her face, to kiss her lips, and perhaps to… She shook her head as her drifting imagination dropped anchor once more. She clenched her fingers together with dramatic faux alarm.
“Do you speak, sir, of strumming? Rutting? Knocking? Playing at rantum scantum? Giving the girl a green dress…”
“Stop, Lady Margaret!” he blurted. The duchess barely contained a combination of astonished gasps and swallowed laughter. He huffed. “Where did you learn such vulgar terms?”
She smiled innocently, though a little rattled by the unexpected visions. “If you recall, sir, all the men I know are thieves, scoundrels, and cheats. Except perhaps for you, but I am still debating that point.”
He inhaled a deep breath. “Regardless, you must not repeat such words. That is exactly the vulgarity of which I speak.”
“Then why are you not fainting, swooning, or exhibiting general hysteria at this very instance?”
He flinched as if he had just been stabbed through the throat. “Because men do not react to such vulgarity.”
“But women must react or be considered vulgar?”
“Yes,” he growled.
“’Tis yet another stupid rule. Especially as I have heard that it is common practice among nobles to conduct extramarital liaisons. Is that practice not vulgar?”
Henry frowned, seemingly caught in her trap. “You must never speak of the affairs of others, especially those of men.”
“And regarding women? What of their affairs?”
He nervously adjusted his cravat. “A woman conducting an affair must take great care not to get caught doing so or she will be shunned by Society.”
“And what of the man in the affair? Should not he be shunned also?”
Henry cleared his throat, looking very uncomfortable with the conversation. “Actually, such affairs are somewhat expected of noblemen as a demonstration of virility.”
She stared at him and blinked her eyes twice. “I see.”
He shifted in his chair. “Do not look at me that way. It is the expected way of things, and we must all pretend that such liaisons do not happen.”
Lucy nodded as she closed the net on the floundering man. “Again, I see. But what of you? Is that your way of thinking?”
He abruptly rose to his feet and shook his fist with indignation. “Of course not. I find that ‘way’ more than vulgar. There is no greater disrespect to a wife than for a husband to find solace in the arms of another. The woman I marry will mean the world to me, and I would rather die than provide her any reason to believe she is not enough for me.”
His passionate tirade took Lucy aback. An ache grew within her—a desire to be the object of such devotion. Of his devotion.
Chapter 8, pages 95 – 98
- “Henry and Lucy were perfect in every way, and the banter and chemistry between them was one of the best I have seen in a romance recently… Definitely a favourite of mine!” —Sophie, Goodreads
- “This is the second book I’ve read by Mr. North and this one did not disappoint… The story moved along at a good pace and I was delighted with the way the obstacles in their path to true love was resolved.” —Debra Martin, Goodreads
- “North brings forth a brilliant plot in the first book in his new Bow Street Beau’s series.” —Lindsay Gray, author of Fireworks and Gotcha
I didn’t begin reading romance novels until I turned 50. All those years, wasted. Do you have a list of books you wish you’d never read so you could read them again for the first time? That’s me, right now, all the time. It didn’t take me long to transition from writing science fiction to writing historical romance. After a couple of unpublishable manuscripts, I finally found the rhythm and discovered a publisher willing to take a chance on an unknown male romance writer. My wife is very happy about this, as we are finally reading the same books.
Everything a Lady is Not: Bow Street Beaus (Book 1), by Sawyer North
Entangled: Scandalous (August 17, 2020)
eBook (213) pages
Cover image, book description, and excerpt compliments of Entangled © 2020; text Laurel Ann Nattress © 2020, Austenprose.com