Saturday, May 5, 2018

Smokin' HOT Saturday: CHATEAU OF DESIRE series by @MonicaBRomance #HistoricalRomance

Can true love conquer? A kitchen scamp, a Lady and a witch conspire to win the heart of their man.

Join Monica Bentley in France, circa 1350, to see how they do it.

Book One: Chateau of Desire 
Monica Bentley makes history sexy.
France, 1355
The Count of Brionde continues his endless game of cat and mouse with the French king, Jean le Bon. In the forests surrounding the chateau, however, lurks the armed band of legendary condotierre leader Bertrand du Guesclin.
Inside the chateau, the Guard practice daily, preparing for the inevitable attack. The youngest member, Louis - ward to the master of the Guard – dreams of becoming a true warrior.
He also dreams of the kitchen scamp Phoebe, who grows more beautiful with each passing day.
Young love's first blush finds these two resourceful orphans relying on each other when no one else trusts their lowly position.
When the fateful battle finally arrives, choosing whom to trust means life or death.
Inspired by historical events, Chateau of Desire helps us escape to an earlier time in this unforgettable coming of age tale of love, trust and resilience.
For mature readers only.

France, 1356
At a time when women were merely chattel, one woman forges her own path.
m'Lady Lela, countess of Brionde, has survived the bloody sack of Chateau Brionde. Her husband did not.
Far from enjoying freedom, now she lives with the daily expectation of a Summons from the king. How many days left of sweet air will she breathe before being ordered to the confines of court at the Palais de la Cite in Paris? How soon before she is ordered to marry, turning over all of her lands and her person to her new lord and master? How much longer before her body becomes sacrificed to the larger political aims of the crown?
The carnage of Poitiers looms in the background of this thrilling story of one woman's quest to negotiate the slippery shoals of court intrigue.
Inspired by historical events, Chateau of Longing helps us escape to an earlier time in this unforgettable tale of a woman coming into her own with love and resilience.
For mature readers only.
Book Three: Chateau of Passion  
France, 1358
In the aftermath of the carnage at Poitiers, the French king Jean le Bon rots in the Tower of London. His son, the Dauphin, takes charge, working to hold the reins of power. He requires lands to tax and warriors to call to action. Most of all, he needs the most powerful nobles of the land at his shoulder.
Meanwhile, with no battles imminent, knights are finding other ways to get in trouble. Sir Tristen is relentlessly pursued by the ladies of the Palais de la Cite, luring him to their night chambers. Getting caught means fighting a duel in the morning, often with the Dauphin's allies. Yet, how can he resist?
Looming behind all this, deep in the forest, the witch Tempeste is imprisoned in her own dark tower, mooning over him. Once Tristen's captor, now she is the prisoner of his heart, scheming endlessly to win him back.
These separate strands become inextricably intertwined, creating a darkly passionate tale of life and love in medieval Francia.
For mature readers only.
What drives you as a writer of history?
The history I love best is the story of people – their passions, their flaws, their mistakes, their redemption. That’s what makes me endlessly fascinated with we as a people, no matter what time nor place. We always seem to have the same dreams and nightmares, and I love to write about them.
What draws you to medieval France?
The pageantry, ambition, the endless intrigue between a small group of self-selected nobles and the royalty. The constant battle over real estate. Henry V got lucky in having Shakespeare become his press agent. To my reading of history, Henry V is more the recipient of good fortune than an excellent military general. One who chanced his way into spectacular victory at Agincourt. No, when it comes to warrior kings, Edward III looms large in my mind for his twin victories at Cressy and Poitiers. His great bete noir is the condotierre commander du Guesclin, one of the first practitioners of asymmetrical warfare. Take all that together and you have a wonderful stage on which to mount a story to which a reader will return to again and again over the years.
Your heroines find their strength through their femininity. Why is that?
I believe the root of a woman's power lies in her sexuality, whether noble queen, powerful witch, or lost girl. Doomed to exist and compete in a time when society’s norms – its laws, customs and traditions – were all designed to keep them in the background. Those women who come forward such as Emma of Normandy or Eleanor of Aquitaine or Elizabeth I do so by using their sexuality to render men weak in the knees. I celebrate that phenomenon with my storytelling.
What sources of inspiration did you use to write the Chateau of Love series?
In writing the Chateau of Love series, I leaned heavily on medieval chroniclers Venerable Bede, Chaucer and Froissart, philosophers Aquinas, Bonaventura, and Teresa d’Avila, as well as numerous other classical and medieval historical and military authorities. Duelists will immediately recognize my thrill of the fight.
*Please note that each of the Chateau of Love trilogy are completely standalone stories with no cliffhangers.
Readers say:
Chateau of Passion: "The author presents a vividly descriptive setting, populated with vibrant characters, and creates a realistic slice of life in medieval France. Intense, emotionally-charged action drives the storyline at a brisk pace, and powerfully evocative love scenes will leave you breathless."

More about Monica Bentley on her website, where you can join one of her reader groups.