Today I’m running a contest. I will pick a comment at random to win a copy of one e-book of their choice from my backlist, so you will have the choice of over twenty books.
Lord & Master came about after reading some English, Georgian era court cases. The degree of punishment from hanging to life imprisonment for being implicated in the act of sodomy astounded me.
I enjoy reading historical non-fiction, so loved the idea of researching the Georgian era in England. So many stories are set in the Regency period, and yet so many historical events happened in the world during the Georgian period.
England was at constant war. England fought in the American War of Independence .They destroyed the Scottish Clans at Culloden during the uprising, to name but a couple of important dates in history.
The Georgian era sparked the Anti-Sodomite Movement, a time when the mere accusation of sodomy was enough for a life sentence in Newmarket Prison or a trip to the hangman. Accusations were used against many people to ruin reputations or to dispose of rivals.
The public, inflamed by tales of sodomy in the broadsheets of the time caused many men to lose their lives for a simple act of love. This being the case, a man might show his affection toward another man in public by an imperceptible brush of his sleeve or a hooded gaze across the dinner table.
I also bring to light the role of titled women in this time. Rarely a lady married for love. Fathers used them as chattels to join a family’s wealth or to gain position.
BDSM wasn’t known as such in Georgian times but we do know select men’s clubs and brothels catered for men of this persuasion although, there is little written on the subject. So, for this part of my story I used a little fact and poetic license.
My story is about these times of forbidden love.
Lord & Master
Lord Reynold Wilton, fearing exposure after a public argument with his sex slave, Lord David Litchfield, leaves England for the Americas. On his return, he finds his delicious man in the hands of a brutal sadist. In a time when homosexuality is a hanging offense, Reynold must use every trick in the book to regain the possession and trust of his young lover.
Lord Reynold Wilton opened his pocketbook and paid the tailor’s account, grateful to be finally out of uniform. He met the gaze of Mr. Joseph Brown. The man had produced every inch of clothing he had worn since a boy. “Have everything else sent over to Spencer Street. There’s a good man.”
Donning the new hat he’d purchased from Locks in Bond Street, Lord Reynold pulled on his gloves and turned to look in the mirror. The new, delightfully comfortable, clothes fit well. Soft and fresh against his skin, the linen provided a welcome change from his stagnant, uniform shirt and stiff smalls. At last, after three despicable years, he resembled a gentleman again. The new clothes, ordered by letter some three months prior, had surprised him with their elegance. Mr. Brown had tailored each garment in the height of fashion, right down to the fine, lawn ruffles and silver buttons. White silk stockings and a cloak of the finest, black wool lined in silk completed his dress. He rubbed his chin and smiled ruefully at his reflection. The breeches stretched tight about his thighs and bottom, and Mr. Brown had pinched the jacket in at the waist to enhance the width of Reynold’s shoulders. The cravat lay in exquisite folds. Dressed as such, in blue velvet, with his hair tied in a neat queue, he knew how men of his predilection would react to his appearance. Christ, I look like a peacock. In truth, his body had changed from soft to hard and muscular, but a commission in the Americas did that to a man. His face had altered too, but not in a bad way. He had not suffered any serious injury during his time abroad, but the man with haunting eyes in his reflection had replaced the innocent expression of youth.
Although, relieved by the sale of his commission and consequent arrival in England, his thoughts were not on returning immediately to his country estate in Surrey. Rather, he had spent the last two days in his townhouse close to Hyde Park, not wanting to endure the immediate duties of lord of the manor.
Lord Reynold stepped from the shop and glanced down Oxford Street. Nothing of note had changed in London during his time abroad with exception of women’s fashion and the volume of carriages barreling along the dusty roads. He drew a deep breath to enjoy the scents of normality after enduring an eternity of stinking jacks and sweat. The smell of gunpowder and the unforgettable stench of a military camp had combined with horrors a man could never forget.
For three long years, Reynold had remained abroad. Christ, he had little choice. His role as master had become impossible after another very-public argument with David had threatened to expose them both. To avoid the scandalmongers and the chance of prosecution for the act of sodomy, he made the heart-wrenching decision to leave his lover.