Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Blog Tour Guest Post + Excerpt + Giveaway: The Captains Bluestocking Mistress by Erica Ridley

The Captain’s Bluestocking Mistress
The Dukes of War, #2
by Erica Ridley
Intrepid Reads
March 2, 2015

Captain Xavier Grey’s body is back amongst the beau monde, but his mind cannot break free from the horrors of war. His friends try to help him find peace. He knows he doesn’t deserve it. Just like he doesn't deserve the attentions of the sultry bluestocking intent on seducing him into bed...

Spinster Jane Downing wants off the shelf and into the arms of a hot-blooded man. Specifically, the dark and dangerous Captain Grey. She may not be destined to be his wife, but nothing will stop her from being his mistress. She could quote classical Greek by the age of four. How hard can it be to learn the language of love?

The Captain's Bluestocking Mistress is Book 2 in the Dukes of War regency romance series, featuring roguish peers and dashing war heroes who return from battle only to be thrust into the splendor and madness of Regency England. 

Excerpt from The Captain's Bluestocking Mistress:

When Captain Xavier Grey finds himself snowbound with a sultry bluestocking intent on seduction, he does what any honorable soldier would do: He tries to make her think of him as “just a friend.” Failing that, he figures he can at least distract her attention with the dusty old library he hasn’t laid eyes on since leaving for war...

Xavier gritted his teeth. This was Operation Platonic Friendship. He was not to think about the taste of Miss Downing’s mouth or the sway of her hips.
They needed to spend the entirety of the day discussing Wordsworth and Voltaire. Or rather, something less… provocative. He didn’t want to make a good impression. Perhaps he ought to engage her in a lively debate on whether library books were best catalogued by size or color.
“What do you think of my collection?” he found himself asking, instead.
“Well…” She poked her head from around a corner. “The topics are varied enough, but at least half have never been read. The pages aren’t even sliced.”
“You can do the honors, if you’ve found something you’d like to read.” He adjusted a small pillow and stretched out upon the chaise longue. He didn’t much care who sliced the pages, but if offering her the privilege made him seem like a good friend, he’d be happy to lend his knife.
Eyes sparkling, she bounced in place. “I can read anything that I want?”
“As long as it isn’t…” He hesitated. What had she mentioned earlier? Sugar? Shogun? “…shunga scrolls.”
The corners of her mouth quirked. “Nobody reads shunga scrolls. They just look at the pictures.”
He cut her a flat look.
She gave an innocent flutter of eyelashes and selected a book from the shelves. “Lay back down. I’ll read something to you. How about the Odyssey in original Greek?”
He couldn’t even remember purchasing it. “Do you mind if I snore?”
“I hope you do. But I’ll translate aloud in case you manage to stay awake.” Rather than take another chair, she perched at the foot of the chaise longue with her back toward him. “Ahem. Page the first. ‘Tell me, O muse, of that ingenious hero…’
There. Xavier relaxed his head against the cushion. Nothing could be more respectable.
Or less stimulating. He hadn’t actually intended to snore, but nor had he anticipated the level of mortal dullness in which Miss Downing read aloud. She could not have infused less life into her tone had she merely been counting sheep.
He might have told her not to bother translating, since it wasn’t doing either of them any favors, except he saw no advantage to being rude. His goal was to be perceived as a friend, not the enemy. Enemies could incite passion.
Miss Downing’s monotone could only incite slumber.
After a while, he let his eyelids drift closed. It had been a long, cold night filled with nothing but vivid waking dreams. He had been exhausted from the moment he rolled out of bed. Her tone was pacifying in its relentless uniformity, the words forgettable and relaxing.
He almost didn’t notice when she skipped from Calypso to Circe in the space of a breath. Her low words droned on without hitch. His eyes flew open. How could she have turned thirty pages at once without noticing? How could she have skipped the Trojan horse without noticing?
Sleep forgotten, he propped himself up on one elbow to glance over her shoulder at the text.
And roared. “What the devil are you reading, woman?”
She jumped, her cheeks flushing a rosy pink. “You said I might read whatever I wished.”
“You said you were reading the Odyssey!”
“I said I would read you the Odyssey.” She motioned him back to his pillow. “I’m reading something else.”
“That’s not ‘something else.’” Heart galloping, he reached for the book.
She held it aloft with her other hand. “You can’t have it. I’m right in the middle.”
“Absolutely not. That’s The Memoirs of Fanny Hill, and it’s not fit for human eyes,” he ground out.
Her brows arched. “Then why do you have it?”
“Because I’m inhuman! Give me the damn book or I’ll—”
“Oh, lay back down. You were almost asleep. I’ve already read most of what you’re afraid of, so there’s not much harm in reading the rest.”
He collapsed back against the chaise and covered his face with his hands. No wonder the woman’s storytelling abilities had been execrable. She’d been quoting from memory whilst reading an entirely different story. One in which an innocent country miss was procured by a bawdyhouse madam and then descended into a life of erotic abandon.
“What part are you at now?” he rasped, his throat dry.

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Tell us about the Dukes of War, and The Captain’s Bluestocking Mistress!

The Dukes of War historical romance series features roguish peers and dashing war heroes who return from battle only to be thrust into the splendor and madness of Regency England.

Captain Xavier Grey returned from the Napoleonic Wars a hairsbreadth away from catatonic. No one knows what happened but him, and Xavier isn’t saying a word. He flees London for the countryside, intending to spend the rest of his days alone in his small cottage.

Jane Downing is a wallflower with a serious book habit and well-honed inner snark. She’s tired of being invisible, and sets out to turn the man of her dreams into her real life lover. She lands on Xavier’s doorstep just in time for the snowstorm of the season.

Captain Grey suddenly finds himself snowbound with a bluestocking. And she has an unbelievably tempting plan for heating up the winter nights...

What is your all-time favorite book?

Ooh. Picking a single all-time favorite book is so hard. I can barely pick favorite genres! I love everything too much. But if I had to narrow it down to historical romance, I'll cheat and say any historical written by Julie Garwood is my favorite!

If you could have been friends with a writer from the period of The Dukes of War series, who would it have been?

I would love to have been friends with Jane Austen! She must have been a riot. It would also have been great to talk shop with her—writers back then didn't have the resources and support networks we have now, so she wrote all those wonderful stories completely on her own. She's amazing!

Have you considered writing historical romances in other periods of history?

Yes, actually! I have an unfinished manuscript set in prohibition-era Chicago that I would love to get back to someday. I imagine it's a vastly different audience than Regency/Victorian/Medieval England would be, so I'd likely have to take a pen name if I ever publish in that genre.

I've spent entire days from open to close poring over the books, photos, and newspaper archives in the Chicago History Museum, and hope I do get to write a flapper series!

Is it difficult to write Regency England books while living in a tropical climate?

It's actually easier to write in Costa Rica than it was when I lived in London! Maybe because London is so... distracting? Rainforest life is undoubtedly more peaceful, but that's not the whole answer.

When I write—just like when I read—my brain shuts off to everything around me, and I'm fully submerged into the world of the characters. I won't notice the monkeys (or the double decker red buses) out the window, or the fact that it's way past lunchtime and I haven't changed position in three hours.

As long as I can get lost in the story world, it doesn't much matter where I really am!

What one thing (modern convenience) could you not live without?

The internet! I get the jitters every time my phone runs low on battery.

If you weren’t a writer and could be anything you want, what would it be?

I love to travel, and I love languages, so my non-writer dream job would be traveling the world, learning and teaching other languages. I have a friend who was born in Italy, studied in Spain, then moved to the United States, and now teaches French. My kind of lady! I would happily be a fry cook, if it included travel around the globe. ;-)

What’s next for Erica Ridley?

Next in the series in The Major’s Faux Fiancée, which releases in June. Major Blackpool returns home to play pretend beau to the girl next door to save her from an unwanted betrothal. But once they’ve announced their faux engagement, neither one can cry off without doing damage to the other’s social status.

Daphne intends to remain a spinster, so she plots to make the major jilt her first—without realizing he’s busy plotting the same thing! With both of them on their worst behavior, neither expects their fake betrothal to lead to love...

Author Info:

Erica Ridley learned to read when she was three, which was about the same time she decided to be a writer when she grew up.

Now, Erica is a USA Today best-selling author of historical romance novels. Her latest series, The Dukes of War, features roguish peers and dashing war heroes who return from battle only to be thrust into the splendor and madness of Regency England.

When not reading or writing romances, Erica can be found riding camels in Africa, zip- lining through rainforests in Costa Rica, or getting hopelessly lost in the middle of Budapest. 

I hope you guys found this information useful. I would like to thank Erica for providing such wonderful information. If you would like a chance to win a copy of  the first book in the series The Earl's Defiant Wallflower please leave and email with your name, so I will be able to contact the winner. I guess I should ask a question, Do you like Bluestocking Heroine, and why or why not? 


  1. Thanks so much for having me here today!

  2. love the excerpt--she sounds like a great character

    dholcomb1 (at) aol (dot) com

  3. Love blue stockings. Fishes even us old girls hope to find true love.

  4. Love blue stocking . wonderful excerpt.... Another for my TRL :)