Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Review & Interview: Miss Molly Robbins Designs a Seduction by Jayne Fresina

Please welcome author Jayne Fresina as she promotes her latest book, Miss Molly Robbins Designs a Seduction.  Enjoy her interview after my thoughts on the book.  Also make sure to check out our big giveaway!

Giveaway detailsWe are giving away a big prize pack to one lucky winner.  (US & Canada only please). Just fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter! We are giving away:

A great Sydney Dovedale Prize Pack:

-  The 4 book set of the Sydney Dovedale series
·         The Most Improper Miss Sophie Valentine
·         The Wicked Wedding of Miss Ellie Vyne
·         Lady Mercy Danforthe Flirts with Scandal
·         Miss Molly Robbins Designs a Seduction
-   A box of tea and mug
                -   A tin of English Butter Fudge from Jayne

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date of publication: February 2014

She Designs Dresses for London's Leading Ladies…
Molly Robbins is finally stepping into the spotlight. Her unique dress designs have caught the eye of London's elite. And if it means her own dress shop, proper Molly will make a deal with the devil himself—the notoriously naughty Earl of Everscham. But becoming his mistress is not a part of their arrangement. It's right there in the contract's fine print: No Tomfoolery.

He's an Expert at Taking Them Off…
Carver Danforthe has a reputation for beautiful mistresses, cutting remarks, and shirking his responsibilities—not for indulging the ambitions of his sister's maid. He must have been drunk when he signed that blasted contract. The stubborn female may thing she's gotten the best of him, but what this situation calls for is a little hands-on negotiating...

My thoughts:

For the most part I liked the book.  I really like Molly.  I thought she had a lot of guts  trying to start her own business in a time that most women weren't independent.  Her frank banter with Carver was a lot of fun.  Carver was a little hard to like at first, but as I got to see his softer side, he won me over. The ways in which he kept giving help to Molly's business were very endearing. I also loved how he kept trying to seduce Molly.  The romance was sweet and very satisfying.  There was a little twist in the end that was pretty easy to see coming, but that didn't take away from the overall story.

I'm not totally sure that this book could be read as a stand alone.  It is the fourth in the series and I kept feeling like I was missing some back story. I'll probably go back and read the others to catch myself up.  The book was a quick and fun read and I do recommend it.

Kari& Autumn: What inspired you to become a writer?

Jayne:  My family definitely. Some of my earliest memories involve books. As a child, when I had measles and mumps, lying in bed feeling miserable, my sisters came up to read to me and cheer me up. I would close my eyes and see it all in my head as they read to me. I was very quiet and shy at school, and story time was my favorite half hour of the day! Books were magical and libraries were quiet places full of adventure to be discovered.

 I can remember the first time I loved a book so much that as soon as I had finished reading it I wanted to start over again. I thought how  wonderful it must be to write stories and create characters that could make people happy like that. I was about seven, I think. The seeds were planted way back then. I didn't start writing my own stories until later though and I didn't think I'd ever be able to show them to anyone!

Kari& Autumn: Where do you come up with the ideas for your books?

Jayne: The ideas can come from anywhere and at any time - sometimes when it's not convenient! LOL. Inspiration can come from hearing music, or an article I read or a documentary I watched. I never know when it will strike. Also occasionally it comes from my editor who prompts me to write a story around a character she enjoyed from an earlier book— or one she would like to see redeemed!

Kari& Autumn: What exciting projects are waiting in the wings?

Jayne: My second Regency series for Sourcebooks - The Book Club Belles Society - is coming up very soon in the Spring with a special introductory story, which will be free e-book called "Before the Kiss", followed by the first book in the series, "Once Upon a Kiss".

Kari& Autumn: Who is your favorite literary character and why?

Jayne: Eeyore! Because he is very like me, but cuter!

Kari& Autumn: Just for fun, if you could be any animal, what would it be and why?

Jayne: I would be a bird, because it would be wonderful to fly everywhere without luggage or airport security. Or contributing to the pollution!

I'd like to leave you with a short excerpt from MISS MOLLY ROBBINS DESIGNS A SEDUCTION. Hopefully, it will whet your appetite for more!

In this scene Molly has decided to take the Earl of Everscham up on his offer of a business loan. Only trouble is, the earl was pickled when he made his offer and he wasn't expecting her to take him seriously. Neither did he anticipate that she would come to him with a contract that contains the clause, "No Tomfoolery". That, he's about to realize, might be a problem.

“Two hundred pounds will not get you far,” he muttered, although he really had no idea how much a dressmaker charged for her services. If his mistress desired new clothes, he told her to charge it to his account, and then the matter was taken care of by Edward Hobbs, who handled all such affairs. In fact, Carver didn’t really know what anything cost, except for a good racehorse. Since there was little the Danforthe coffers couldn’t afford, prices were mostly moot.
“I did not want to ask for more than I could pay back in a reasonable amount of time,” she replied. “The sum I request from you is just enough to help with rent and materials until I am established. If I asked for more, you might expect something in return, and I have my virtue to consider.”
He almost dropped the contract. “Your virtue?”
“That’s right, my lord. I don’t suppose you come across one often, but I’d like to keep mine unbesmirched.”
A sudden ripple of laughter threatened his stern composure, but somehow he thwarted its determined progress up his throat and returned his gaze to the contract, where his attention was caught by a line of words, thickly underscored in the last clause. “What’s this?” he demanded.
“No Tomfoolery, my lord. You needn’t try to seduce me. Ours will be a business arrangement and nothing more. In light of your reputation, I thought I’d better put that in, so there could be no misunder—”
“Hush, woman!”
The threat of laughter successfully vanquished now, Carver scowled at the paper and felt that throbbing ache pounding in his temple with renewed force. For this he got out of bed? He ought to toss her damnable contract into the fire, send her away with a few stern words about never darkening his doorstep again, and then go back to his warm and cozy bed. When he looked up once more, the sanctimonious wench was suddenly at the side of his desk, closer than before. She’d moved with such stealth that when he saw her suddenly in a new place, his pulse quickened. It was as if he’d just found a spider on his blotter.
“I think you’ll find it all quite in order, my lord.”
No Tomfoolery, indeed! As if he might be tempted by her—his sister’s former servant, and a dull, scrawny bag of bones into the bargain! Carver had his pick of society beauties and certainly would never choose a melancholy creature, adaptable to dark corners, and in possession of a sinister ability to move from one spot to another without sound. Carver preferred noisy, colorful women who were too loud to creep up on him and take him by surprise, too shallow to require more than a few expensive presents to keep them content. Spinsters with iron petticoats were of no interest to him.
Why, he wondered suddenly, had he ever suggested he might loan this Mouse money? He didn’t even know how he’d learned about her aspirations of starting a business. Surprising what he picked up around his own house, like lint.
“If you no longer wish to loan me the money, my lord, I’ll understand, of course. If you don’t feel up to the risk of investment. If, when you made the offer that evening, you thought to get something from me that I am not prepared to give. Or if you have lost your courage.” She pressed her lips together. They were well-shaped, softly—one might even say invitingly—curved when she allowed them to relax. But it was as if she was afraid of what they might say or do when given too much freedom, so she kept them under close guard. “I wouldn’t want to impose upon you. I daresay there are other places for a girl to find investors in this town.”
“Indeed. Now you’ve dragged me out of bed at this unholy hour just to be impertinent to my face, I suppose you can be content, traipse back out again, and sully my name to all and sundry.”
She continued somberly, “Since I am no longer employed here, I am not your responsibility, and you have no obligation toward my welfare.”
“Quite. Let the rejoicing commence.”
“I ask only that”—she paused for a quick sneeze—“should the peelers return my drowned body here to Danforthe House, you take pity on me and don’t tell my brothers that I was driven, out of desperation, to end my own life.”
“Wait, do I hear violins?”
“I wouldn’t want to be buried outside the church wall with the sinners and those unbaptized. For then I might have to come back and haunt…somebody.”
She already did, he mused, thinking of the scratching inside his wainscoting. But she didn’t hide from him today. She’d stepped out of the shadows to get his attention. Her bonnet he vaguely recognized now as one that previously belonged to his sister. Molly Robbins must have altered it slightly, taken away some of the decoration and restyled it to fit her less flamboyant personality. Her cheeks were thinner than his sister’s, the skin a little darker. Dimples, pouts, and fluttery lashes had no place on Miss Robbins’s face. There was no artifice, such as he often detected painting the features of his mistress. Molly didn’t need anything of that sort; hers was an honest face, unwavering, composed, fearless.
Carver watched her thoughtfully. Perhaps she was not so very plain after all. Or perhaps he had simply never observed her closely enough.
“Is there something amiss?” she inquired, very polite. This slender girl, sneezing all over his library, dampening his air with her germs, had the gall to ask if there was anything wrong with him. “You look a trifle pale, my lord.”
He stabbed a finger at the No Tomfoolery clause in her contract. “This won’t be necessary.”
“I’d like it there all the same. Just to be sure.” Bloody woman didn’t even blink.
“Well, it’s your ink wasted.” He smirked. “Mouse.”
“Better be safe than sorry, my lord. Like I said, if you don’t feel up to it. If you prefer that I seek funds elsewhere, from some other gentleman who—”
“Hush, woman!”
He would never hear the last of it from his sister if he turned Robbins away from his door, and to be perfectly honest, he didn’t like the idea of her going to others for assistance. He supposed this strange pinch of anxiety might have something to do with being dragged up and out of his own bed so blasted early, but he could not allow her to go to anyone else. Not with those wise-beyond-their-years brown eyes and lips that grew bolder by the minute.
Grabbing his pen, he scrawled an angry signature across the bottom of both copies, ending with a hard press to the last upward swing of the “m” in Everscham. A fat blot of ink blossomed on the paper—almost, much to his embarrassment, in the shape of a heart—and then he dropped the quill back into the ink well.
©Jayne Fresina, 2014

Historical romance author Jayne Fresina sprouted up in England. Entertained by her father’s colorful tales of
growing up in the countryside, and surrounded by opinionated sisters, she’s always had inspiration for her beleaguered heroes and unstoppable heroines. Miss Molly Robbins Designs a Seduction is the fourth book in her Sydney Dovedale series. She lives in upstate New York where she is working on a brand new regency romance series, the Book Club Belles Society. Visit for more information.

To Purchase Miss Molly Robbins Designs a Seduction:


Jayne said...

Thanks for having me on your blog today!

Anita H. said...

I would so love to win the entire series! I found a few of these books at my local library so they're in my TBR pile but I can't wait to get to them! Thanks for the wonderful giveaway chance!

penney said...

Wonderful blog today, thanks for being here. Penney