With the release of her latest historical romance, ‘Counting On A Countess’, I’m very happy to welcome author, Eva Leigh, on to my blog today to chat about her writing, and what attracts her to this period, aswell as what she would with a time machine!
Hi Eva, and thanks for being on the blog. First of all, could I ask what is it that attracted you to this particular period in history and made you want to set your stories there?
Like many romance authors, Jane Austen whet my appetite for the Regency. I have to admit that I’ve never read Georgette Heyer, but I did read the works of Judith McNaught and Mary Jo Putney during my formative years. So that initially interested me in the period. But then I researched how diverse and expansive Regency England was—plus the world was on the verge of the Industrial Revolution—and it seemed like such an interesting dichotomy between the strict rules of high society and the more fluid aspects for those outside of the ton.
If you could travel back in time to this period, where would you go first, and why?
The theatre. I’d love to see how plays were performed, who went, and the liveliness (and rowdiness) of the audience. I’d also visit bakeries and pastry shops to see what people liked to eat!
If you lived in this particular period, what would be the three things you’d miss the most about modern day life?
My contact lenses, my medication, and my ability to vote.
And what would be the three things you’d miss the least?
Speaker phones, internet trolls, and gas-powered leaf blowers.
What are your top tips for anyone wishing to write a historical novel?
Research is critical if you want to create a fully-realized world, but don’t rely strictly on what the establishment wants you to believe about the time period. History is full of people of colour, LGBTQ+ people, disabled people, and people who believed in the equality between the sexes. Just because the BBC shows you a world comprised entirely of white, able-bodied heterosexuals doesn’t mean that’s what the past was really like.
Thanks so much for coming on the blog, and best of luck with the book!
Read on for a review of ‘Counting On A Countess’
For a shameless libertine and a wily smuggler in the London Underground, marriage is more than convenience—it’s strategy . . .
Christopher “Kit” Ellingsworth, war veteran and newly minted Earl of Blakemere, buries his demons under every sort of pleasure and vice. His scandalous ways have all but emptied his coffers . . . until a wealthy mentor leaves him a sizeable fortune. The only stipulation? He must marry within one month to inherit the money. Kit needs a bride and the bold, mysterious Miss Tamsyn Pearce seems perfect.
Husband hunting isn’t Tamsyn’s top priority—she’s in London to sell her new shipment of illicit goods—but she’s desperate for funds . When a handsome earl offers to wed her and send her back to Cornwall with a hefty allowance, Tamsyn agrees.
But when an unexpected proviso in the will grants Tamsyn control of the inheritance, their arrangement becomes anything but convenient. Now, Kit’s counting on his countess to make his wildest dreams a reality and he plans to convince her, one pleasurable seduction at a time…
The Earl of Blakemere is in want of a wife – but only to meet the terms of his inheritance. Tamsyn Pearce is in need of a husband – but only in order to have the money to buy back her childhood home, and help her Cornwall village survive. Neither are looking for more, but when they meet there is a charge between them that neither have experienced before. Could this complicate what should have been a very simple arrangement?
Eva Leigh’s book is clearly well researched, and it is interesting to read of a different type of heroine. She’s neither rich and privileged nor impoverished, and the ways and wiles of London are new to her, making us see them anew through her eyes.
The romance is sparky and holds one’s interest and the addition of Tamsyn’s secret smuggling, and the fact her ex soldier husband is vehemently opposed to those who break the law in such a manner adds another layer of interest.
Occasionally I felt that there was a little too much exposition with regards to the history and research that was clearly undertaken, but that did not take away from what was an enjoyable read, and a slightly different take on the ‘standard’ historical romance.