It’s Release Day for a sizzling new Regency, The Duke’s Temptation, and I’m thrilled to have author Addie Jo Ryleigh as my guest today.
Take it away, Addie Jo!
Alina, thank you for welcoming me to your blog today. It is always a pleasure to be able to share what I’ve learned while scrounging for information as I write. And today is an extra special treat because it is release day for The Duke’s Temptation (Men of Circumstance Book One). In The Duke’s Temptation, Gabriel St. James, Duke of Wesbrook, is faced with trying to raise his newly discovered, illegitimate daughter. To make matters worse, he has no option but to accept assistance from Lady Elizabeth Blakely, sister to his best friend and the very woman Gabe harbors a secret desire to have in his bed. Despite the rogue he has become, he refuses to corrupt Elizabeth.
The times when Gabe’s longing almost pushes past his restraint, Gabe turns to boxing. While in London he visits Gentleman Jackson’s establishment at No. 13 Bond Street. After retreating to his estate, he resorts to the use of a punching bag.
While I’ve read about Gentleman John Jackson previously to writing The Duke’s Temptation, it was rather fascinating to dig further into the man and the popularity of boxing during the Regency era. Despite his fame as a boxer, Jackson only appeared in three public matches. In April 1795, he won the Champion of England title by defeating Daniel Mendoza. It was his last public match.
He held the title until 1803 when he retired and opened the boxing salon on Bond Street. Not only was Jackson’s style of boxing sought-after, he devoted time to keeping the sport aboveboard.
While practicing the sport was allowed, matches were not encouraged by the magistrates. Because of this, most matches were conducted outside of London and usually in open fields. Rings as we think of today were not used, instead an eight foot square area would be staked off. It wasn’t until the late 1800s when boxing started to resemble the current sport.
I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about boxing and Gabe’s usage of the sport.
And now, here’s a little about The Duke’s Temptation (Men of Circumstance Book One)
A Duke. A Runner. An Earl.
Three men, each born into different circumstances. Each fighting to overcome their own adversity.
All striving to change their past.
Gabriel St. James, Duke of Wesbrook, desires any birthright other than being the son of a hideous man. Unfortunately, Gabe knows the exact moment he became like his father—a night that has haunted him for seven years. Resigned to his future, he is unprepared when his illegitimate—and more importantly unbeknown—young daughter appears on his London doorstep. With no one to care for her but him.
Lady Elizabeth Blakely has loved only one man—her brother’s longtime friend, Gabe St. James. Not even his rakish and, oftentimes, wicked behavior dissuades her. Yet it all seems hopeless as he continues to overlook the woman she has become.
When Elizabeth learns Gabe is in need of assistance with his daughter, she seizes the opportunity. Gabe, less than thrilled with the situation—mostly due to his fierce desire for his best friend’s sister—has no option but to concede. Besides, a more sinister threat lurks; someone is blackmailing Gabe with his darkest secret. Through it all, Gabe vows to resist Elizabeth, no matter how tempting.
Sometimes it’s better to surrender . . .
Still fuming, Gabe stalked through the hall to the only place he would find an outlet to ease his frustrations. Once he reached his destination, he flung the door open, not even flinching when it banged against the wall. Too agitated to worry about the lamps, his familiarity with the room—and the bluish glow of moonlight shining through the windows—helped him reach his destination.
Never breaking stride and loosening his cravat as he went, he strode through the room and didn’t stop until he stood before the large bag filled with sand hanging from the ceiling. As soon as he freed the intricate knot, he tossed the cravat to the floor and proceeded to strip off his clothing, leaving him bare from the waist up.
His knuckles itched to feel the pain ring through his hand with the first strike. After years of practice, his body naturally eased into a fighting stance, elbows close to his side, fists up and feet braced apart.
With eyes seeing nothing but Elizabeth lying helpless in the garden, Gabe struck out, hitting the bag with all the force of his muscles. The vision, combined with the rage and frustration at her attacker escaping, sent his imaginary opponent flying. He itched to replace the bag with the man who had the nerve to lay even one nefarious finger on the woman Gabe loved.
When the bag swung back from the power of his hit, Gabe used his other fist to send it swaying again. The twinge of pain that flared at each punch focused his attentions and vanquished some of his temper. It kept his mind from dwelling on his inability to keep Elizabeth safe. Not to mention his further disappointment at failing to capture the perpetrator.
Soon Gabe’s punches flowed without thought. The strikes became almost mechanical. His body seized the opportunity to lose the turmoil that had become commonplace since Elizabeth had affixed herself to his life.
All the pain and hurt he’d felt as he’d recounted the tale of his childhood and Mary’s death pooled and exploded with each blow to the bag. Before he knew it, he felt nothing. Yet he didn’t stop. His body washed in sweat, he continued to pound on the bag. When his arms started to feel dead and began to tingle, still he continued.
Wrapped in battle with the punching bag, he almost missed the glow of a candle lightening the room. When the light didn’t recede, he knew he wasn’t alone. And, when the hint of lilac reached him, breaking through the smell of his sweat, without turning, he knew who’d joined him.
All his emotions spent by the physical exertion, he felt drained, empty. He had no willpower to construct a wall between the two of them, not after everything. Besides, this moment had been inevitable. Things had remained unsettled between them ever since that night at the inn. It scared the hell out of him. Because no matter what his body craved, or what his heart yearned for . . . despite wanting to be the man she deserved, he’d never achieve that goal.
He didn’t possess the willpower to escape the room without touching her. Lowering his fists, Gabe turned to her, and for her sake, dreaded what was about to come.
About the author:
Addie Jo lives in the same cold winter and hot summer area of Minnesota where she was born and raised. Sharing in the raising of her three extremely rambunctious boys is her very understanding husband that so graciously enables her to fulfill her dream of writing. Keeping Addie Jo company while she writes (besides her wonderfully loud children) is her yorkipoo, Bella, who is never far from Addie Jo’s side.
When not writing, Addie Jo can most likely be found reading anything that has a great romance. When she ventures from behind a book, she enjoys photography and spending time with her boys.
Find her at:
The Duke’s Temptation now available on Amazon
Images: John Jackson, courtesy, Wikimedia, all others Addie Jo Ryleigh