We’ve had pirates visit the Ballroom before but never one quite so unapologetic, and Lady B’s goodwill, spurred on by last week’s Baby Shower and all the matchmaking for Monty’s Cabal, is in danger of being erased.
All because I let Lord Macaroni into the Ballroom. Um, I mean Elliott, Lord Tavendish, which is his actual name even if the other epithet is what most people call him behind his back and to his face even.
I’ll admit, I let him in my accident. I was reading Moriah Jovan’s new sweeping historical and when I remembered it was time to write a post this week, he just…followed me.
I assure you, there is something very, very uncomfortable about having a mincing fop in his garish dress prance after you as you enter a ballroom. Makes all eyes turn on one in an undesirable way.
Elliott: You wound me, my lady, particularly after the way you looked at me in the foyer. You practically invited me to follow you into the ballroom. And perhaps . . . more intimate places.
Lady B: Is this true, Miss Darby? Did you invite this…popinjay into my ballroom?
See? I’m very much in trouble, and I rather suspect the only way to get out of it is to reveal to Lady B a small secret about Elliot Raxham, which is…he’s using this ridiculous attire and hypersexual façade to obscure his alter ego, Captain Judas.
Now Captain Judas, the pirate who is the bane of the British Navy, I would have invited into more intimate places knowingly! At least, if what I have heard of him is true: blue-black silver-streaked hair in a scandalous length down his back, ice blue eyes, and a splendid smile. And I have heard he is rather tall, particularly for a sailor.
Elliott: Miss Darby, really! Surely you apprehend the importance of keeping my piracy to yourself? Indeed, ’tis the whole reason for my foppish appearance!
Lady B: (In a stage whisper) Oooh! Captain Judas! I’ve heard he has excellent calves. (In a slightly louder voice) This Lord Tavendish looks as if he pads his… hmmph.
Elliott: (chuckles wickedly) My engine of love assaults, my lady? As Fanny Hill would put it, no doubt. You are acquainted with Miss Hill, are you not? Regardless, I would be ever so happy to indulge your curiosity. What say you?
Lady B laughs.
Lady B: I wouldn’t admit to such an acquaintance.
I cough. “But I think we’ve all read Fanny Hill,” I mutter.
Elliott: Why, Miss Darby! What a delightful little blush you have! Might I write my name on your card?
In a hushed voice, I attempt very hard to put him in his place. “I happen to know about your tendre for Captain Fury, my Lord.” Captain Fury is the famed American Privateer, known for baring her breasts in battle, who has been a thorn in the British Navy’s side for several years. (And it won’t come as a surprise to any of you that she’s the heroine of the book.) “So there’s no use flirting with me.”
I don’t point out that I’m seven months pregnant and that that might also be why I’m not quite as interested in flirting as usual.
Lady B: Captain Fury?
Uh oh. My whisper must have been as indiscreet as hers. That really wasn’t something I meant for anyone in London society to hear. (Even if it is being said in The Ballroom!)
Elliott: (Bending to speak in Lady B’s ear) My lady, Captain Fury is the most magnificent woman I have ever met, and she has captured my heart and soul. But I trust you to keep my secrets, as you are the soul of discretion. I, being a traitor, and she, being an enemy captain, are risking our lives here in the ballrooms of London. Indeed, should either of us be exposed, we will hang by dawn.
Captain Judas (Elliott) and Captain Fury are unlike any romance book pirates and privateers you’ve ever met. These two are ruthless and focused on duty and desire, and heaven help anyone who stands in their way! Moriah is generously giving away one signed paper copy and 2 digital copies of Dunham to, as usual, randomly selected commenters. Please indicate your preference in your comment. So tell us, who is your favorite pirate (male or female) in either history or fiction?
The Americans are losing their desperate fight for independence from the most powerful nation on Earth. Britain’s navy is crushing outposts up and down the eastern seaboard and the Americans’ pitiful navy consists mostly of small-vessel privateers on missions of profit.
“Captain Jack” Celia Bancroft is one of those privateers, whose list of debts of honor is a nautical mile long. Sailing for the Americans is the current project on her to-do list, and once she has finished all her tasks, she will then be free to sail on a tide of whimsy.
Commander Elliott Raxham, cashiered from His Majesty’s Royal Navy, is a newly made British earl who schemes for his own independence — from the title he never expected to inherit and the country that has betrayed him time and again.
They meet in a Caribbean tavern where he steals a kiss that starts a brawl she finishes. In retaliation, he steals her ship’s figurehead and, if that isn’t a grave enough insult, proceeds to chase her across the Atlantic to collect on the promise in her kiss.
With that, the romance is on, but the adventure is only beginning as Elliott and Celia face obstacle after obstacle in their own fight for independence — a new life together on the American frontier.
To read an excerpt, go here: http://moriahjovan.com/talesofdunham/dunham-00-prologue/