Please join me in welcoming author Victoria Vane to Let Them Read Books! I recently had the pleasure of reading Victoria's newest release, A Wild Night's Bride, an erotic historical romance novella (and a fun and sexy read--click here to read my review), and today I've got Victoria here talking about the inspiration behind the most wickedly scandalous sex scene I've come across in quite some time:
The Feast of Venus!
THE OTAHEITIAN FEAST--FACT or FANTASY?
As a dyed-in-the-wool history geek, I am always looking to history for inspiration in the belief that using real events and people gives my stories added depth and dimension. This is even the case in my erotic romances. When I set out to write A WILD NIGHT'S BRIDE, I was intrigued by a number of salacious tidbits I had read about the bawdiness of the Georgian era. Often described as a golden age of prostitution, there are several nonfiction books dedicated to this subject (THE COVENT GARDEN LADIES by Hallie Rubenhold and LONDON'S SINFUL SECRET by Dan Cruishanks are two examples that sit on my research shelf.) Both of these volumes dedicate a significant number of pages to a notorious Georgian era bawd named Charlotte Hayes.
Once a famed courtesan in her own right, and ironically known for her genteel demeanor, Mrs. Hayes was also a shrewd business woman who came to own a number of high-end London brothels. The most famous of these was her house at King's Place, St. James, established in the late 1760's. Given her great success, by 1779, virtually every house on this street had become a house of pleasure. Competing for the aristocratic patrons were fellow madams Harriet Lewis who specialized in exotics, and Sarah Prendergast, Sarah Dubery, and Catherine Windsor who constantly endeavored to outdo one another by hosting lewd events.
Not to be outdone, Mrs. Hayes conceived of her own subscription-only affair, inspired by the recent voyages of Captain Cook to the Antipodes. Calling it the Otaheitian Feast of Venus, she claimed to reenact the (Tahitian) islanders' fertility rites as recorded by eye-witnesses from Cook's HMB Endeavor. After recruiting over a dozen beautiful women and as many well-endowed young men for the entertainment, Charlotte had formal invitations printed for her aristocratic guests. It was a tremendous hit with her attendees for the two hour sex-fest including three-and-twenty of the highest ranking men in the land. Although I fudged the date by a few years for the purpose of my story, I believe this event would certainly have appealed to the jaded Viscount DeVere as the perfect solution to bring his grieving best friend, Ned, back to "the land of the living."
A sexy, rollicking Georgian romp!What happens when a struggling actress and a grieving widower come together in a night of unbridled debauchery orchestrated by a bored and machinating rake? With the devil in charge… there will be hell to pay!
AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY!You know you want to read about that Feast of Venus! Here's your chance! Ms. Vane has graciously offered up one copy of her new erotic ebook to one of my readers. To enter, simply leave a comment on this guest post with your email address. This giveaway is open internationally and ends at 11:59pm on Saturday, May 26, 2012. Winner will be selected at random. Thanks, and good luck!
This giveaway is closed and the winner has been selected!
Stay tuned for more giveaways!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A lover of history and deeply romantic stories, Victoria Vane combines these elements to craft romantic historical novels and novellas for a mature reading audience. Her writing influences are Georgette Heyer for fabulous witty dialogue and over the top characters, Robin Schone , Sylvia Day, and Charlotte Featherstone for beautifully crafted prose in stories with deep sensuality, and Lila DiPasqua for creative vision in melding history with eroticism. Ms. Vane also writes award nominated romantic historical fiction as Emery Lee.
EXCERPT FROM A WILD NIGHT'S BRIDE:
"I've wondered about you, dear Ned, about what it would take to crack that boorishly respectable veneer you've honed since leaving my sphere of influence. Indeed, I'm vowed to become your savior, to save you…from yourself." DeVere took a long drink and commanded his footman with a mere flick of a finger to refill their glasses.
Although Ned, himself, was no stranger to drink, (no self-respecting country gentleman was), his mind and body were already abuzz with a pleasant languor. He picked up his port, eyeing it appreciatively before draining the glass and remarking with a lazy a smile. "Not every man is a voluptuary like you, DeVere. I happen to enjoy quiet country living and rustic pursuits—hunting, fishing, tending my estate. Simple taste does not equate to a deficiency in or of life. One man's potion is, indeed, another man's poison and all that." He emphasized his point with a clumsy wave of his hand.
DeVere eyed him pointedly. "Very well then, as a purveyor of such poison, I needs must ask, if you are so blissful in your reclusive rustication, why have you really come to London?"
"I've told you, Ludovic, to find a house for the season."
"You could have easily hired an agent for the task," DeVere countered with a shrewd smile. "No, my friend, I fear you deny the truth. You were bored to distraction and came to town in desperate need of diversion. You sought me out knowing I'm precisely the man to answer that need." DeVere reached into his breast pocket and retrieved an elegantly scribed gold foil invitation, handing it to Ned.
Mrs. Charlotte Hayes presents her most respectful compliments to the Viscount Ludovic DeVere and humbly requests his presence at her establishment at King's Place tomorrow evening for the Otahetian Feast of Venus where under the tuition of Queen Oberea (in which character Mrs. Hayes herself will appear), a dozen exquisitely beautiful and untainted nymphs who breathe health and vitality will perform the celebrated fertility rites as practiced at the exotic Isles of the Antipodes. This most exclusive subscription-only event is offered for the modest sum of two hundred pounds to the first four and twenty guests who respond. RSVP is most humbly requested.
Ned looked up with a puzzled frown. "Feast of Venus? Queen Oberea? Fertility rites? What devilish manner of theatrics is this?"
Ludovic chuckled. "Apparently, our delightful Mrs. Hayes' nose was put out by the success of the Grand Bal d'Armour hosted by her fellow abbess, Mrs. Pendergrast, last month. What a deliciously salacious masquerade that was with the toasts of the demi-monde appearing in puris naturalibis. Ladies—and I use that word loosely—Henrietta Grosvenor and Margaret Lucan appeared as Mothers of Eve with their faces rather than their nether parts concealed by the fig leaves. Damn, but it was a night, Ned! Now, not to be outdone, it appears our reverend mother Hayes is inspired by Captain Cook's latest voyage to the South Pacific."
"I give the woman credit for creativity," Ned laughed. "Have you read John Hawkesworth's account of the voyage?"
Ludovic's brows lifted ever so slightly. "Come now, Ned, do I truly look like a man who entertains himself with books?"
"My mistake," Ned laughed. "Though surely, you are acquainted with the lewd poetry inspired by the sojourn in the Antipodes."
"Indeed, I am, as well the amazingly detailed account of the fertility rites that Mrs. Hayes is so eager to reenact. By the by, Ned, before you can make your excuses, you should know I have already responded that I will be accompanied by a dear friend in particular need of entertainment."
"Indeed, I did. The gracious madam Hayes kindly replied that for the right price, one might even procure said unsullied nymphs for a private engagement following the entertainment." Ludovic's eyes held a diabolical gleam. "As I said, my friend, London offers unique delights to those who seek them, and amusement of a unique and titillating kind is precisely what I intend to provide."