Book Reviews now accepted through The Book Escape E-zine. Please contact Jennifer at: with your blurb, release date, author name, and publisher. Thank you!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Battles of the Heart with Natasha Blackthorne

Love hurts. We’ve all experienced it and yet as humans we crave love and contact with others. We desire to have a lover who shares our most intimate selves and deepest secrets. Yet there are some people who have been hurt and disappointed so badly in their formative years that they fear emotional closeness as much as they crave it. How can they get the touch and attention they hunger for without risking hurt? Some people choose to use sex as a way to gain a kind of counterfeit intimacy.

But what happens when two such people fall in love with each other and they want to merge? Surely they can’t simply drop their dysfunctional patterns of behavior and open themselves to love without experiencing growing pains. What does it mean to want to love another person but to have no clue as to how to truly reveal one’s self and be vulnerable? Is it possible for such person to want to open but find himself or herself literally unable to change? When something
like this happens, a person is faced with a formidable inner battle.

This battle is the heart of the first two books in my erotic historical romance series Carte Blanche.

My Carte Blanche Series explores these kinds of relationships through the stories of wealthy, powerful men and the women they want to take as mistresses. I chose to set the stories against the backdrop of the Federalist and Jeffersonian periods in America because that is a fascinating time period to me. I also think it is a time when America as a nation was unsure, self protective and putting up a façade of being in control yet boiling with growing pains under the surface.

Grey’s Lady and its sequel, White Lace & Promises, are two very different stories. They occur at two very different places in the development of a relationship.

Grey’s Lady is a story of falling in love. Beth and Grey are two emotionally injured and self-protective people meeting and experiencing a very strong sexual attraction and an unnerving emotional pull towards each other. This attraction and pull is so overwhelming that what happens quickly evolves into a fiery point of ultimatum.

White Lace and Promises is not the story of two people falling in love. It is the story of how does one move from being in love to actually opening up and giving the kind of love the other person needs. Beth and Grey have moved beyond the point of reacting from their surface personas with each other. They want to come to compromise with each other. They want to love and cherish the other. Yet old conditioned beliefs and patterns of behavior are too deeply ingrained. They do
communicate their needs and their desires to each other. They do listen to each other. But it doesn’t help. They can’t change easily. They don’t know how to love because in their childhoods they were never shown the way to properly love.

White Lace and Promises is a story that explores the pain and angst of emotional growth in two flawed but well-intentioned people. How do people grow and come to terms with their own demons in order to make a marriage work? In order to make real love work?

Both Beth and Grey have been living their life with their personality split into compartments. Before they can have true intimacy with the other they must bring all the sides of themselves together and show all of themselves to another person at once. They must strip off their protective masks and reveal themselves fully. It is painful for them to do this. And there is great risk at stake.

Between two willful people, one person must remove their mask first and jeopardize everything for the love of the other. That person is Beth. The way I saw it is, she shows her strength by showing her weakness. She must suddenly face all her inner insecurity that she had hidden even from herself through her focus on sexual conquest. This fills her with an agonizing vulnerability.

Will their love be able to withstand the stress of their mutual growth towards real love?

Grey’s Lady is a story of moving from lust to being in love. White Lace and Promises is a story about moving from being in love to truly giving love to a lover. The latter is a far more emotional journey than the former and those emotions are not always pretty or pleasant. But then again, how often does real life romance move smoothly? Loving someone means accepting the hurt that comes with love. We accept that our loved one will definitely hurt or disappoint us at some point.
That’s just part of being human. Humans are flawed and can only give flawed love. Sometimes the hurt we’ve been through, the hurt we’ve shared with this lover forms a stronger bond and makes our joys all the more ardent.

By reading any further, you are stating that you are 18 years of age, or over. If you are under the age of 18, it is necessary to exit this site.
Copyright © Natasha Blackthorne, 2011
All Rights Reserved, Total-E-Ntwined Limited, T/A Total-E-Bound.

Blurb: Seeking sexual excitement and conquest, poor but beautiful Beth seduces wealthy merchant prince Grey Sexton, only to find herself the pursued as he seeks to own her body and soul.

Flouting the moral standards of Jeffersonian America, temptress Beth McConnell lets no man touch her heart. Her motto is love them once and leave them burning.

But when she boldly seduces Grey Sexton, a self-controlled merchant prince from New York, she finds herself too fascinated by his ice-over-fire nature to stay away. His possessive determination to own her, body and soul, threatens to expose her secret erotic life to public shame.

But Beth will only surrender her love to a man she can trust. And Grey's materialistic approach to
relationships leaves her little reason to believe he can ever give her what she truly needs.
For these two cynical yet lonely people, can deep sexual intimacy work a miracle and lead to the
opening of their hearts?

Reader Advisory: This is a work of Erotic Historical Romance and it uses the graphic language and situations of Erotic Romance. It is a short novella (18K word count, approx. 66 pages).

Philadelphia, PA
Spring, 1812

Grey couldn't keep his eyes off her. Philadelphian women were the cream of the Republic, but damn if this one didn't exceed all previous definitions. Curling wisps of hair escaped from her indigo bonnet and trailed down her graceful neck. He'd never seen hair that colour—like champagne shimmering in the moonlight.

She looked up, giving him his first full sight of her face. Sky blue eyes, full of aching, longing…and something else. Abject sadness. Haunting.

Something caught in his chest. Something reminiscent of pleurisy. Well, it wasn't surprising. Philadelphia air was notoriously insalubrious and the day was oppressively damp. He blinked, glancing away. Was he losing his wits? Haunting eyes? What romantic nonsense. If he didn't know better, he'd think he was getting a fever.

He glanced at his pocket watch. God, time was crawling. He'd arranged this series of lectures to entice potential investors, and last week in Boston had been most profitable. However, today, Mason's Bookstore was packed with adolescent boys who sat with their mouths agape listening to local captains recount tales of privateering glory. His own speech on how and why to invest in a voyage had been met with yawns and bobbing heads. What a waste of an afternoon.

Shifting in his seat, he sensed her gaze. Lingering. Burning him. Against his will, he turned back to her. Those eyes seemed to reach across the room, directly into him, to touch his emptiness.

What a fanciful notion. His wits must be addled.

She didn't drop her gaze, as a modest woman might. Instead, she appraised him, boldly weighing and measuring. A hint of her tongue flirted along the seam of her pink lips. Her eyes smouldered as if she'd read his every erotic longing and fantasy in his face.
Best wishes,
~Author Jennifer Labelle~

1 comment:

  1. This is so true with relationships and happiness. It is hard sometimes to let past hurt go and proceed with an open heart and mind. We create walls to protect ourselves and then forget they are there and we are on autopilot.
    Great post, Natasha! Thank you for sharing. :)
    These are already on my TBR.


Labelle Books has put comments on moderation due to some recent SPAM.

Please be patient and keep the comments coming. Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to check in frequently. We've got giveaways on a weekly basis and tons of great talent to share.