Saturday, February 20, 2016

Review: Desire and Duty (The Consort's Chronicles Book 1) by E.C. Jarvis

Desire and Duty 

(The Consort's Chronicles Book 1) 

  • File Size: 2237 KB
  • Print Length: 202 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1523215860
  • Publication Date: January 28, 2016
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01ACNJU50

Set in a fantasy world, Desire and Duty is the first erotic romance in The Consort’s Chronicles series. 

The Emperor of Kienia is expecting his wife to provide him with a son. After twelve months of waiting, he’s growing impatient and Lenora realises her life may be forfeit if she can’t make good on her purpose. What follows is a tale of passion, intrigue, and sexual awakening. 

In a world dominated by men, where a woman has only her body and her wits to rely on, Lenora will risk everything to protect her position and survive. 

The general gist of this story is a bad marriage, a sexy assassin/protector, and a desperate woman full of twists, turns and some hot steamy moments.

This book is an erotic one set in historical times and a very good one at that.  I  enjoyed reading it so much, I finished it in one sitting. I couldn't put it down, I just had to keep going. Now, I'm anxiously waiting for the next one. It left me hanging and needing more.

This is the first story I've read from this author and I definitely will be checking out more.

About the Author

E.C. Jarvis is a British author working mainly in speculative and fantasy fiction genres. For the last thirteen years, Jarvis has been working her way through the ranks of the accountancy profession in various industries. During ten of those years she has also been writing.

“It was always a hobby. I’d knock a poem out every now and then, or enter something into a short story competition, with very little success, but that never stopped me. There has always been an underlying need to write. It comes and goes with varying intensity, but it’s always there, like an itch that needs to be scratched.”

Her first success at publishing was a poem in a collection titled Fear Itself published by Forward Poetry in 2012. Following a three-year hiatus where she “couldn’t even bring myself to write a shopping list”, 2015 saw a turnaround that has seen her write three books and publish one, which was later self-published at the start of 2016.

She was born in Surrey, England in 1982. She now resides in Hampshire, England with her daughter and husband.

Q) What made you branch out from writing fantasy into erotic romance?
A) I just had this idea in my head for a story. It was going to be a short story, really just to satisfy my own need to write it and then it just grew and grew. Once I got past the 10k word mark I knew it would be a whole book. Once I got past the half-way point I knew it would be a series and when I got to the end I knew there would be at least three books. Sometimes the stories just keep going and I feel it’s my job as a writer to let them grow and go with it. I don’t like sticking to the boundaries of a single genre anyway, my books tend to slot into multiple genre holes and that’s the way I like it. Lots of fingers in lots of holes…. Ha.

Q) What can you tell us about the setting of this story?
A) It is set in a fantasy world, somewhere similar to Britain in around the 1800’s with a little of the flair from the 1400’s thrown in for good measure. There are steam powered vehicles and printing presses in existence – a slight nod to my steampunk writing roots. It is based in a made up place called the Empire of Kienia, so imagine a Britain at the height of its empirical rule, full of sex and scandal and all that fun stuff.

Q) What inspired you to write this story in particular?
A) I took a lot of inspiration from Henry VII and his stalwart character with a penchant for beheading wives who didn’t satisfy his requirements, however the focus of the story is on Lenora, his wife. The initial idea for the book was influenced by a distantly mentioned sub-plot element in a story by my favourite author – The Emperor’s Edge by Lindsay Buroker. It’s not erotica but I can highly recommend her work.

Q) Can you tell us about your characters?
A) Lenora is a smart, strong and sexy woman. It’s a patriarchal society, wherein she has no power whatsoever and is fully expected to look pretty and birth children. That’s it. But as the story progresses she learns she does have some element of power and she is certainly smarter than the men have assumed her to be, so it’s a story following her growth as a person, and her trails of navigating a difficult world. Emperor Averys is a grumpy old bugger with next to no sexual appeal… Then there is Nathanial, our dashing hero. He too goes through a lot of growth in the book, and… well I can’t really tell you much more without giving away the plot, but there’s a lot of steamy encounters.

Q) Do you find it difficult to write the erotic parts of the story? Do you have to be in a certain frame of mind to write those scenes?
A) It’s like writing anything, if you’re tired and unenthusiastic then it’s difficult to write an energetic fight scene. If you’re sad then it can be tough to write an uplifting part. Naturally, if you’re not in ‘the mood’ then it can be tough to write sexy scenes. That doesn’t mean I’m sat at my laptop horny as hell whenever I’m knocking out a good sexual encounter between my characters and then I ravish my husband afterward for good measure, but some days the writing comes easier than others and it is greatly affected by mood.

Q) Who designed the cover?
A) This lady is fantastic, even her website is pretty to just look at. I gave her a rough idea of what I wanted and she just ran with it.

Q) You mentioned that it is part of a series, when do you expect the next book to be released?
A) I’m writing it as we speak. It’s about half way through so I’m guessing it might be ready sometime in March/April 2016. At this point I’m planning on writing a trilogy, but we’re not there yet so we’ll have to see how it goes, I do have my other series ‘Blood and Destiny’ to complete as well. No rest for the wicked.


She stood in a thin slip, virtually see-through, admiring a pair of dresses she’d picked out and trying to decide between the two. A soft knock at the door startled her. She checked the clock quickly; it was only seven fifteen. She still had plenty of time left to get dressed and do her hair, so it shouldn’t be Averys turning up with anger aimed at her apparent tardiness. In any case, he didn’t usually knock.
“Who is it?” she called, looking around the room for something she could throw on quickly to cover herself. A frown crinkled her forehead when no one answered. She strode to the door, flinging it open, wondering if one of the page boys was having a joke. The guard outside flinched and grabbed for his rifle in a bumbling manner, acting in an equally bumbling style when he tried to put it away again.
“Did you knock on my door?”
“Uh, no, Ma’am.” He looked up and down the corridor suspiciously.
“Did anyone knock on my door?”
“Uh, no, Ma’am?” He turned to face her, his back straightening though his eyes bulged out of his head.
Then she remembered what she was wearing—or not wearing. She swung the door shut indignantly.
A cold breeze trickled across her shoulders and she felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand to attention. She sidestepped, developing a distinctive sensation that there was someone in the room with her. Surely Averys wasn’t going to have her killed right now? Just moments before a formal gathering? She reached the bedside table and gripped the handle of the lantern, intending to swing it at any would-be assassin. She wouldn’t go down without a fight.
“Hmm.” A voice rumbled beside her ear and she froze on the spot. She wouldn’t get a chance to swing anything at anyone that close. “A lantern wouldn’t be very effective.”
She spun around and came nose-to-nose with Nathanial—or more like nose-to-neck as he stared down at her. A rush of emotions swept over her like a wave crashing on the shoreline. Had he come to kill her? Dared she hope he was here to sweep her into his arms and carry her off to some secret hideaway? Did he just want a quick fuck?
“Nathanial,” she said with more bravado than her constitution should have allowed.
“Ma’am.” He gave a partial bow and took a step backwards, clasping his hands behind his back. She looked from him to the door, to the open window, and back again.
“Are you here to kill me?”
His face crumpled slightly, then smoothed out to a neutral expression. Had she hurt him with that assumption? It wasn’t an unsubstantiated question, seeing as he was an assassin and had just managed to sneak past her guard and into her room quite skilfully. Whatever he was here for, he must have been very determined.
“No, Ma’am.”
She pushed a breath out between pursed lips, trying to will her thumping heart to settle. Noticing that she still clutched the bedside lantern, her ill-thought weapon of choice, she set it back on the table and smoothed her sweating palms down her dress—her see-through dress. She felt her face flush.
“For future reference, a blade would be more effective against a would-be assassin,” he said, eyeing the lantern.
She felt her face burn further still. “Well, I don’t have any of those handy.”
“Only dresses and bedsheets.”
“Hmm.” He glanced around the room, more like a soldier doing a study of a battleground than a man perusing a lady’s bedroom.
“Why are you here?”
“The palace is distracted with the gathering. The Emperor is unlikely to order any assassinations this evening, at least not until after everyone has arrived. You have forty-five minutes until you are required.” He glanced over at the clock briefly. “Forty minutes.”
“And…you thought you would fill that time—”
“Tending to your needs.” His eyes flicked down the front of her dress in a flash. The admission and perusal set her insides alight, and she felt her muscles clamping down as though he were already inside and she wanted to hold him there, laying claim to him with her body.

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