Friday, December 18, 2015

Taming Saffina by Flora Dain Blog Tour

When an heiress runs wild, her stern guardian comes back from abroad to take the whip hand...

A willful heiress is taken in hand when her guardian, the disgraced Earl of Endale, returns from abroad to find her a husband and launch her into society. With a reputation as dark as his allure, she finds his discipline both exotic and exciting. To her delight, his instruction includes strict and detailed attention to pleasure. She’s fiercely attracted, but when he probes her past, she soon vows to resist. Her heart lies elsewhere, and she means to marry handsome Sir Nigel, her clean-living neighbor and friend. But to her dismay, she finds Sir Nigel has doubts. He suspects her untamed sexuality is due to the Earl’s evil influence. Concerned for her safety and her status, Sir Nigel insists she must be tamed and warns she risks losing both his love and her place in society. He attempts a bold rescue, but now she must choose—respectability or a life of delicious sin?

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of spanking, flogging and anal play.

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Book 1
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So Why Go Historical?

I love the fact the scene’s already set – your characters can set off right away, with ready-made, researchable historical events to highlight their actions. And I think most women love the formality of former times – soothing to read, possibly less so to live in at the time. Gentlemen in regimentals, being icily polite; ladies in corsets, chiffon and frills, simpering and eager – sigh. Love flares at a look, at a touch, at the flutter of (ahem) a fan.

One aspect of former times that I also love is the friction that flares when characters are constrained by social convention and love must find a way – the shared look, the stolen kiss, the forbidden tryst. Such a contrast to today’s world, where sexting and speed-dates serve it all up on a plate. Where’s the mystery? Where’s the tension?

The Regency period particularly appeals because it was a time of great change socially. For the first time men’s dress, for instance, looked a little like it does now. People’s ideas were becoming more like ours. People wrote and spoke more like us. Their letters show a lively interest in gossip, affairs of the heart and pleasure. And although it may be well-worn territory, the works of many famous writers have made it such a familiar landscape - from Jane Austen right through to Georgette Heyer and Barbara Cartland - that the writer’s job here is easy. The hard part comes in touching in some of the period’s darker aspects, like poverty, politics, or the low status of women. Even in books as short as novellas, I think the period, so brilliant and sparkling in many ways, needs touches of harsher reality to bring it to life.

For erotica, too, the period’s a joy. But while it provides the perfect, murky backdrop to the darker sides of love, writers must tread with care here. Finding the path along the fine line between attitudes to discipline and hygiene, both then and now, can be tricky. In the past, both areas fell far short of today’s rigorous standards, and like the Doms they summon up, authors must be super-careful not to over-do things.

But hey, a sex romp is still a sex romp. With a bit of imagination and a sprinkle of stardust it can still be done, using candle-light and bedposts and good, old-fashioned leather to conjure up a dark, sensual feel to things without all the hi-tech wizardry that turns some modern sex scenes into something more like dentistry!

At dinner that evening Jacquard was moody. When I asked about the plans for my ball, he grunted. When I praised his recent spectacular wins at cards, he snapped it was not women’s business.

“You made it the business of all our neighbors.” I sucked my finger playfully, hoping to catch his eye. “Nigel and his circle talked of little else.”

At last he pushed back his chair. “You like him?”

“I’ve always liked him.” But I winced as I recalled Nigel’s shock at seeing my breasts. Surely he was not that priggish? I took another petit four from the silver platter on the table and sprang to his defense. “Anyway, he’s everything you’re not.”


Jacquard’s dour look made me throb, but I rallied. “He’s honest, respectable and kind to his aunts. And he’s sensible to avoid playing cards with you. He’d be sure to lose.”

Jacquard’s nostrils flared with disdain. “If he never plays, he’ll never know. He’s pleasant enough, but too tame for you.”

I tossed my head with a pout. “At least he’s a gentleman.”

His sudden stillness should have warned me I was playing with fire. I was too indignant to heed it.

Jacquard signaled for the port, his voice low. “And I’m not?”

I floundered. Before Lord Endale had cannoned into my life, Nigel was all I wanted. I’d no special wish to marry but I knew I must. All women had to or starve—even heiresses. And Nigel seemed perfect. Why waste effort looking elsewhere with someone so eligible at hand? He practically lived next door.

I’d simply assumed we’d wed.

But I had to admit that Jacquard, disgraced or no, had something about him way beyond anything I’d ever imagined.

Did it come from his rank? Hardly. His arrogance was inborn, not just from his title. His looks? Hardly his fault. Or was it some mysterious power that stemmed from his will?

In his presence women melted, men sulked. Naturally he drew me too. How could he not? His dark allure was impossible to ignore.

But I’d vowed to resist and so far I’d succeeded. He controlled my fate and my person but my girlish affections were still my own. And I’d give them where I pleased.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is a rather wonderfully naughty and scandalous read – great fun! Set in a time when heiresses definitely had to marry, the sex-crazed Saffina is to be brought to her knees by her newly arrived guardian. She really rather enjoys it – and we get to play voyeur in some very kinky games.

This may be short, but it is definitely steamy and at its core, utterly delightful. Thank you Ms. Dain!

Flora is a multi-published author who is married with two children and lives in the UK. She loves reading, writing, good reviews, cold, crunchy ice cream and hot, smooth movies. And especially connecting with readers—a real thrill!

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Taming Saffina (Suiting Saffina #1) by Flora Dain to read and review for this tour.

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