Guest Blog: Meet the Hero of Virtue’s Temptation by Lela Bay
by Emerian Rich
Guest Blog- Meet the Hero of Virtue’s Temptation by Lela Bay
Thank you for having me on your blog, Emerian Rich. I admire your range and how you’re not afraid to try anything.
Ruined Reputations is my first romance novella, and contains two very different stories. In the first, “The Unusual Manners of Mr. Aarons,” the hero is unconcerned with propriety. He has larger matters to deal with. Others cannot so easily overlook convention, however, especially when it leads to ridiculous scenes such as him grabbing the fake fruit off the top of a woman’s hat.
In contrast, the hero of “Virtue’s Temptation” is concerned with weightier matters and his arrival is not nearly as humorous.
When we first meet Mr. Stinson Eleanor has already rescued a naive girl on the threshold of a hotel room with an unsuitable man. Taking charge, Eleanor is determined to chaperone her youthful charge home, but Bitsy is uncooperative. Forced to wait for someone to come after the girl and reveal where she lives, Eleanor spends an uncomfortable afternoon in the lobby with the innkeeper who had so easily turned a blind eye to Bitsy’s predicament.
She hears someone arriving in the courtyard.
“Will ye be sitting there until the devil comes for me soul? Are you sent to see justice done?” The innkeeper squawked, unable to bear her gaze a moment longer.
Eleanor did not deign to answer. Straightening her narrow skirts, she checked the angle of her cocked hat and walked toward the desk.
The innkeeper shied back, as if she really were an agent of infernal retribution. Rather pleased that he might consider his immortal soul, and perhaps improve his conduct in future interactions, she measured her steps with the wavering shadow outside. She arrived at the desk at the same moment the door slammed open, smashing into the wall. A long-legged force of nature swept into the room.
The innkeeper cried out and crouched away from Eleanor, who turned toward the stormy gentleman. At the sight of him, her own heart leapt, for he more greatly resembled an avenging angel than she could ever hope to. His hair, mussed from the ride, swept back in golden waves from a tanned forehead and gleaming brown eyes. The greatcoat made black wings on his back, giving him an ethereal magnitude that blotted out the rest of the room as he bore down on them.
Eleanor stepped back, a hand rising to her throat. Yet she squared her shoulders, standing in his way and sending him to a jarring halt that threatened to squash her as his mass wavered and the layers of fabric around him snapped toward her with a final clap like an animal’s jaws.
She held out a hand and placed a smile across her smooth lips. Eyes meeting his, searching, she spoke as if they chatted in an elegant ballroom. “I believe we are acquainted.”
He took her in with one incredulous sweep of brown eyes, jaw tightening, prepared to dismiss her like an ant before an elephant, but his eye returned to her, a faint frown flirting with the golden sweep of his eyebrows as he reevaluated.
She tilted her head, trying to convey with her body all she dared not say.
The first story, “The Unusual Manners of Mr. Aarons,” is a sweet and lighthearted story. “Virtue’s Temptation” is darker and full of Eleanor’s longing to get to know Mr. Stinson yet adhere to the rules of propriety. In contrast to Eleanor, the girl she is attempting to save runs into trouble and Eleanor and Mr. Stinson become allies attempting to save her.
Lela lives in a modest house with her husband, children, and pets. Despite living in the far north, she requires a certain amount of sunshine each day or she gets grumpy. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys strolling, gardening, reading, and tea time with friends.
She enjoys stories with intimacy and humor.
“A tantalizing pair of Regency tales.” ~Emmy Z. Madrigal
“Ruined Reputations is a love letter to high romance of the Brontes with the meticulous eye for detail that readers crave like oxygen itself.” ~MJ Sherry-author of the Back Page Babylon series
–The Unusual Manners of Mr. Aarons–
Rumors of Mr. Aarons unconventional ways are confirmed when he nearly yanks the bonnet off Emmaline’s cousin’s head. Drawn by his charm and good looks, Emmaline finds herself assisting him in his mysterious mission.
His obscure search appears to lead to her cousin, beautiful Catherine Connersfield. She is the more sensible choice, but will she have him? More to the point, will Emmaline let her?
Experience has taught Eleanor it’s better to be practical than passionate.
When she discovers Bitsy eloping with her French tutor, scandal threatens to ruin the girl.
To keep her reputation intact, Eleanor reluctantly chaperones the rebellious heiress.
Eleanor’s spotless character protects Bitsy, but behaving respectably proves difficult when tempted by the dangerously attractive Mr. Stinson.
If she fails it will end with … Ruined Reputations.