Tag Archives: MF romance

Review: Octavius and the Perfect Governess by Emily Larkin

Emily Larkin has released a new book in her wonderful Regency-era Baleful Godmother series, and is taking the series in a new direction after a series of short stories called the Pryor Prequels.

The series began when a woman and her three daughters save a faerie child from drowning. It’s fae mother rewards them with wishes that will follow the family line – as each female descendant reaches a particular birthday, they will be granted a wish. But the Fae are scary folk, and Baletongue will trick them if she can.

Previous books have followed the female descendants, but the Pryor Prequels trace how one descendant transferred her wish to the male line, and the terrible consequences of that wish.

Now, in the first novel following that thread, we have Octavius Pryor, a wealthy young man from a family of men with special, faerie-gifted powers. His grandfather is very strict, however, on the rules of how such gifts can be used, because of what his mother wished.

Octavius in fact has chosen the same wish that Miss Appleby did back in Unmasking Miss Appleby, the book that got me hooked on this series. Like Charlotte Appleby, Octavius has chosen the gift of metamorphosis.

In Unmasking Miss Appleby, Charlotte changes into a man in order to escape her restricted life; here, Octavius first changes shape into a woman as a forfeit on a bet with his brother and cousins, and visits Vauxhall Gardens with them at night. There he discovers just how unpleasant man can be, and how little power women have in his world.

When Octavius adopts a female shape again in order to teach the vile Baron Rumpole a lesson for the attempted assault, he encounters Miss Toogood, the governess Rumpole has engaged to teach his two daughters. He determines at once to find a way into Rumpole’s household in order to protect this courageous, kind woman from the fate that has befallen other women in Rumpole’s household staff.

There follows a novel of Larkin’s usual deft charm, wit and pace. She gives the subject matter the seriousness and drama it deserves, with Octavius learning and absorbing the lessons of how the privilege of been male and wealthy are not extended to others, and how those privileges can be used to abuse others. The characters are nicely drawn, likeable but flawed, and the obstacles to their love are those of circumstance and genuine conflict rather than foolish misunderstandings that could be fixed if people would just talk.

I particularly enjoyed Octavius and his cousin and friend teaching Miss Toogood self defence – this isn’t going to be a story about a damsel in distress, but of two people with agency, learning and becoming stronger together.

The shapeshifting element of Octavius and the Perfect Governess brings an interesting undercurrent, seen also in Unmasking Miss Appleby, of body dysphoria and characters that are not transgender but whose feelings may reflect some experiences of being transgender. This is the element that first engaged me with this series and I enjoyed reading about it from the male-to-female perspective.

I’m looking forward to more books in this series – and there are hints that there may be another gay romance in the set.

You can read an excerpt of the book on Emily Larkin’s website.

Buy Octavius and the Perfect Governess

Grounded: On Sale in ANZ during June 2020

Escape Publishing has put my wingfic romance ebook, Grounded, on special in Australia and New Zealand for the whole month of June 2020!

About Grounded

In a world where wings give everyone the freedom to fly, an artist born wingless uses her art to show the winged world the wonder of the ground. But when she meets a recently injured police officer who finds himself grounded, they will both learn that there is more than one way to soar.

Reviews

Grounded is one of the best paranormal romances I’ve read. It is smart and sweet, with some fantastic worldbuilding and genuine warmth between the characters.

~Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Earl Grey Editing

Loved the storyline, characters, and the lovin! The themes of disability/ accessibility were a welcome breath of fresh air

Stephanie Livingston-Bujold 

 A sweet, empowering tale of renewal.

D. Antonio, Amazon

Some links!

U.S.-only Grounded Special Offer to 1 July

Grounded is one of the best paranormal romances I’ve read

~ Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Goodreads.

“… a sweet, empowering tale of renewal.”

~ D. Antonio (Amazon)

All this week and next, from 17 June to 1 July 2019, US-based retailers are having a price promo on my spec-fic winged romance, Grounded!

That’s right: if you’re in the USA, you can pick up Grounded (only available in ebook format) for 99c!

The blurb:

In a world where wings give everyone the freedom to fly, an artist born wingless uses her art to show the winged world the wonder of the ground. But when she meets a recently injured police officer who finds himself grounded, they will both learn that there is more than one way to soar.

Read more about Grounded.


The world held me captive and I would love to read more within it!

~ Deborah, Goodreads

The participating US companies that I know of include iTunes, Amazon US, Kobo and Google Play, but other US-based retailers may also be taking part. Let me know in the comments if you find another!

NOTE: The offer is only available in US stores (so if you’re not in the US, geo-blocking may prevent you from accessing the deal).


…romance a beat away from the norm.

~ Kelsie, Goodreads

Quintette of Questions: Charlotte Marigold

Answering five questions for me today is:

Charlotte Marigold

1. What’s the name of your latest book – and how did you choose the title?

The name of my latest book is Only for Show (book 2 in my Only You series). My publisher came up with the title and it’s inspired by the story’s fake relationship that is ‘only for show’. The first book in the series is Only for Pretend (another fake relationship) so you can see a trend!

2. If you could choose anyone from any time period, who would you cast as the leads in your latest book?

Casting a celebrity as inspiration for the hero in my stories is one of the most fun parts of starting a new book (and essential research of course!). For Only for Show I imagined the delectable Gilles Marini in the role of bad boy billionaire, Roberto Conti. He’s seriously hot and captures the cool, self-assured demeanour of Roberto while hinting at an inner vulnerability for my empathetic heroine, Sofia, to explore. Google him, you won’t regret it!

And for my heroine, spirited Sofia Beaumont, I would love to cast a young Monica Belluci. Dark, beautiful, sophisticated and sensual. The perfect match for Gilles/Roberto!

3. What five words best describe your story?

Glamorous, sexy, emotional, funny, delicious (chocolate plays a big part in this story!)

4. Who is your favourite fictional couple or team?

Johnny and Baby (Dirty Dancing movie) immediately spring to mind. Classic bad boy romance!

But if you’re talking literature, I’d have to go with another classic – Elizabeth and Darcy from Pride and Prejudice.  A popular choice, but there’s a reason for that! Swoon, swoon, swoon….

5. What song reflects a scene in your book?

I wrote the opening scene in Only for Show with Elvis’ version of Fever playing in my head. I also reference the song in this scene (Sofia and Roberto have to pose together in a photo-shoot while the music plays). The smokiness of the vocals, the seductive rhythm and suggestive lyrics perfectly captures the chemistry between Sofia and Roberto who are struggling to resist their scorching attraction to each other. It also happens to be one of my favourite songs.

About Only For Show

Enemies to chocolate lovers.

Sofia Beaumont and Roberto Conti’s relationship is only for show – a twisted fairytale manufactured for the Italian tabloids. But when the reclusive chocolatier unites with her family’s CEO playboy nemesis their sizzling chemistry is blatantly real. To Sofia’s alarm, her faux boyfriend is a seductive wolf in smoking hot sheep’s clothing; in Roberto’s embrace she’s in danger of losing all her senses.

Neither Roberto nor Sofia are prepared for the intense sexual awakening and emotional roller coaster as family loyalty collides with personal desire. Bound by their messy past, love of chocolate and forbidden attraction, the lines between fantasy and reality blur. But as the power of sensory memory unlocks devastating secrets to the past, will their chance at love be forsaken?

About Charlotte Marigold

Charlotte Marigold writes sexy contemporary romance for Escape Publishing (Harlequin Australia). In her passionate stories hot romance and seduction always lead to love.

Follow Charlotte Marigold online:

Buy Only for Show