Sunday, June 15, 2014

Aloha to Gina Danna and THE WICKED BARGAIN


Gina Danna joins us today to celebrate the release of THE WICKED BARGAIN, available June 19 from Turquoise Morning Press.  From her bio,

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Gina Danna has spent the better part of her life reading. History has been her love and she spent numerous hours devouring historical romance stories, dreaming of writing one of her own. Years later, after receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees in History, writing academic research papers and writing for museum programs and events, she finally found the time to write her own stories of historical romantic fiction.

Now, under the supervision of her three dogs and three cats, she writes amid a library of research books, with her only true break away is to spend time with her other life long dream – her Arabian horse – with him, her muse can play.


Marguerite, Countess of Blessington
Portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence
Public Domain

Equality in Decadence, Regency-style

We have all read the novels of the lords and ladies during the Regency period. Rules look pretty set. It was a man’s world. They expected to marry, love not required, for political or monetary advancement or salvation, to continue the family line into the future. The ‘heir and a spare’ mentality that fueled the English nobility. So even if love wasn’t in the makings of the marriage, children were.

Yet how many stories have characters that the man could often find affections with a lady of the night or take a mistress to soothe the ache that he did not want nor desired from his wife? Or perhaps he has a courtesan under his protection? Society didn’t condemn him for this nor was this seen as unusual but more along the lines of this was an aspect of marriage a wife must accept.

Mmmmm… So he could play but she couldn’t? But what if she wanted to? What if she was lonely? Didn’t care for her husband to be in bed with another woman? There wasn’t anything she could do about it.

But what if she got tired of rearing his children – the only time she was intimate with him and upon becoming enceinte, he left her for another? How upsetting that had to be. He played the doting father and husband when he chose to but it was all a front for society, a society that fed off such delicious scandals of straying lords and their forgotten wives. Or what if he repulsed her or she wasn’t upset he slept somewhere else? What about her? What about her wants and desires? Was there a cure?

The answer is yes. Women could and did take lovers. Some were married, some were casual relationships but these were fleeting encounters and just as shallow. But the bigger question was would she seek solace in another’s arms when her husband strayed, never meaning to be home or a true husband?

Would she have a MALE courtesan? A gigolo? If she had the funds, was it possible?

After reading many Regency stories of the hero saving the heroine from the life of being bought by men, degraded to the world’s oldest profession, I wondered what if the roles were reversed – the woman saved a man of ‘ill-repute’?

Well why not?

A man being paid to do what most did for the fun, thrill and excitement, for love or conquest, posed an interesting question. How would a male courtesan act? Would he, like his counterpart, regret doing so? Would he be cornered into doing this for survival? Would he fall in love with a client, knowing in the long run, his reputation was sullied for selling his body for sex? Enticing questions. And the biggest one of them all – were there male gigolos during the Regency?

Out of references of the period, especially those speaking of courtesans and other vices, there are vague hints of male courtesans. And why not? What man wouldn’t love to receive funds for doing what he’d do anyway?

My muse worked fast and furious to hand me Ethan Warth, the Marquis of Blackmore and his lady, Arabella. Added to all this was the Showtime series Gigolos, about a male escort service in Las Vegas. To hear these men speak was fascinating – the idea that they were there to please the client, regardless of her looks or age. It was their ‘job’ to make her feel special and give her all their attention as if they were her husband/boyfriend/lover. Their stories and attitude about the entire career, was perfect timing for Ethan’s story. It gave him that hint of realism that made him a living/breathing person and so helped the depth to his character.

One lucky commenter will win an ecopy of Ethan and Arabella in The Wicked Bargain!

For more information, please stop by ginadanna.com.

Prince Regent, known to many courtesans
Portrait by John Russell
Public Domain

Gina is giving away a digital copy of THE WICKED BARGAIN to one randomly selected commenter:

London 1816

Haunted by a past as a sex slave, nobleman Ethan Warth returns to England as a male courtesan for rich matrons and runs a brothel for wealthy lords. Arabella Covington appears on his door, trained in the medical arts but unable to practice because of her gender. He hires her to care for his ladies but her inquisitive nature and beauty make him desire to teach her the world of seduction.

Ethan, however, never counted on falling in love…

To enter the giveaway, 

1.  Leave a comment about what draws you to historical romances.

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, June 21, 10 pm in Baltimore. 

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, June 22.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

1810318322421593



49 comments:

  1. This sounds like an exciting and fun read. What a shame that it's not in print.

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    1. I should have said that I love being swept back to another time and place, where I get to enjoy going to dressmakers, dancing at the balls, and going for a leisurely carriage ride with a handsome noble. I'm very happy that this is going to be out in print in July.

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  2. Ah but it will be in print in July. :)

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  3. SOSAloha - Thank you for having me :)

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  4. I loved your book "Your eternal Rogue!

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    1. Gina, I read your book THE WICKED BARGAIN and it kept me reading late in the night! it's really breathtaking! I recommend it to every historical lovers!

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  5. It is very different than today but yet still familiar. We get to read about all the different time periods. There is so much to learn. And the men...

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  6. What a fabulous story idea, Gina. :)

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  7. What a clever twist, Gina! I look forward to reading this! I love historical romance and enjoy a wide variety of time periods. I think what draws me in is that I have the chance to learn something new (and I love history) and I love the escapism that historical romances provide.

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  8. Gina, I'm looking forward to reading this! You know I love the concept. Best of luck with the release!!! Barb Bettis

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  9. Sounds like a wonderful read and a very different premise!

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  10. As far as what draws me to historical romances, I believe it is the transportation back to another place and time that carries a different sort of romance and glamour. Don't get me wrong, I don't truly believe it was all romance and glamour and fun, but I love to imagine the highlights of what life was like.

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    1. Ever so true. Its what I love about them!

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  11. I'm so excited about this book. Where can I buy a copy?

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    1. It'll be on Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, iBooks later this week :)

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  12. Love the blurb and premiss, and I´m a sucker for historical/regency for the romance and gallantry, and the anticipation of it all, there´s something about wanting someone with all your clothes on LOL not like today when everyone walks about with everything on display. I love the chivalrousness of the time.
    Thanks for the giveaway & Happy Monday!
    //Linda

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  13. Historical romance is the only way to virtually visit that time era.

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  14. Wow! This sounds like a great read! I would love to win a copy TY for the opportunity.

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  15. Congrats Gina on the new release! I love the literal and figurative "escape" to a different time :) Thanks for sharing!

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  16. What draws me to historical romance? Well, I love history and I love romance. Put the two together and you have the perfect combination for a wonderful reading experience...for me, that is. Reading romance is for me a staycation, a relaxation, a solace at the end of a busy, tiring day. I sleep better at night after reading some romantic story. And if you throw in an historical background, well, it is titillating to say the least. I love the witty banter, the manner of dress described, the different customs and mores about relationships...the whole shebang. You are a new-to-me author, Gina, but I'm planning on going shopping on Amazon for one of your books, ASAP! Thanks so much for this post. jdh2690@gmail.com

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  17. I've always loved historical romance and the unique twist of this one is a brilliant idea. Congratulations.

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  18. I love historical romance because of the elegance & that the simplest things are so romantic

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  19. I love historical romances because they take place many years in the past and they take me to times and locales I have always dreamed about. I often put myself in the heroines place, and live her story as I read.

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  20. I loved your story L&V. This looks like another winner. Why can't a man act as a lover for women who already had husbands who had their own mistresses! Best of luck!

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    1. Love hearing that Melissa. And ever so true! Thank you :)

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  21. I love historical romance because it's fun to experience another time and imagine yourself there.

    Marcy Shuler

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  22. To be honest, Gina, I don't know why I love historical romance so much. It's not like I'd truly want to live 'back then' (though I wouldn't mind some brief visits). I guess it falls under that mysterious whatever that causes us to love the things we love (duh).
    The Wicked Bargain has a premise I've only encountered once before, and I will be reading it. Congrats on the new release and best of sales.

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    1. Thank you Mairi! And love to hear it! :)

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  23. I like visiting another time where things seem simpler.

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  24. I read to get away from the stress of modern life and the sweet sensuousness of historical romance is just the thing to get me away from it all!

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  25. I love the clothing, the way that everyone is so proper (though I don't know if I could handle it in reality).
    I really just enjoy all of it.
    Another to add to my TBR! Thank you. ;)

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