Body Language Georgian Style
My blog guest today is Sourcebooks author Emery Lee. She’s a lifelong equestrienne and history buff who loves nothing more than a romantic story with food for the intellect as well. Emery lives in Georgia (Wonder if that has anything to do with her fascination with the Georgian era?) with her husband, two sons, two horses and a little dog with a big attitude. You can learn more about her at EmeryLee.com and about the time period she loves at Georgian Junkie (a very cool history blog featuring fascinating source documents.)
Today, Emery is here to teach us a bit about how authors create that sensual tension we love in romances. Enjoy!
The basis of sexual attraction is still an unsolved mystery- a baffling mix of chemicals, pheromones and body language, but when one doesn’t have these same tools to work with, what creates sexual chemistry on the page? To some degree the author can use the tone and setting to create tension and then build upon that with body language and innuendo. By example, here’s a brief glimpse of my hero and heroine’s first encounter in FORTUNE’S SON. Although there is little direct interaction between Philip and Lady Messingham at this point in the story, the sexual charge between them is already evident.
EXCERPT CHAPTER ONE
“Might I yet place my stakes, gentlemen?” she asked. “I’d like to wager with the caster. He appears an uncommonly lucky young gentleman.”
Philip looked sharply up from the dice, meeting a pair of eyes as deep and brilliant as the emeralds she wore. Though much of her face was concealed behind a domino, her mouth was well-formed and as lush as her figure, which was generously displayed by the low-cut gown. The sum effect would cause any but a blind man to stumble.
Philip wasn’t blind, but he was for a moment stunned. Who the devil was she?
She had watched him with fascination from across the room. He was a cool one, indeed. While others at the tables cursed and shouted with every cast of the dice or unlucky turn of the card, the only trace of emotion displayed by the young man at the center of the hazard table was a slight upward tilt of his lips as the croupier paid out his winnings. His movements were always deft and self-assured, as if the dice were his to command.
After a time, she nudged Lady Hamilton to ask, “Jane, who is that young gentleman over there at the hazard table?”
Jane, Lady Hamilton, squinted. “That would be George Selwyn.
“No, it’s not George, but his companion, the one presently holding the dice box, whom I inquire after.”
Jane’s eyes narrowed again, raking the young gent appraisingly. He was taller than average and uncommonly well-proportioned. His complexion was dark and his features strong rather than regular, with a determined set to his jaw and a sensuous mouth, but the intensity of his dark eyes was most arresting.
“Hmm. I know him not, but he cuts quite a dashing figure. I think I now comprehend the nature of your curiosity. Surely a cut above a hot brick to warm a young widow’s bed. But don’t you think him a bit… fresh… for a woman of your years?”
“I’m hardly in my dotage!” the younger woman protested. “Besides, you misapprehend my interest. I only observe his uncommon skill at the tables. It appears he never loses.”
“It is purely his skill you admire?” Jane’s indulgent smile bespoke her utter disbelief.
To Philip’s surprise, Mr. Gogh detained him as he sought to leave. “A word with you, young sir?”
Philip became instantly defensive. “If there is question of my gamesmanship—”
“I assure you, it is nothing of the kind. I was asked to deliver this message.”
Philip opened the note written in a woman’s delicate hand:
My Bold Young Gallant,
Fear of footpads and cutthroats has me desirous of your escort.
“Above my touch, did you say?” Philip handed George the note. “I trust you can find your way safely without me?”
“Indeed, and I daresay I’d be much safer without you this night,” George remarked, and then read the missive with a low whistle, adding a cautionary word, “Very interesting to have attracted such notice, but I warned you about such types.”
“Mayhap you are right, and she simply mocks me, but still, I am intrigued. In either case, I intend to satisfy my curiosity.”
“You might be assured of satisfying a great deal more than curiosity, should you choose to accompany me to Tom King’s rather than dallying with trouble.”
“No doubt you’ll find enough trouble of your own at that pox-ridden hole-in-the-wall that disguises itself as a coffee house.”
“I hardly think your purse fat enough to become so nice in your tastes, Drake. Besides, if you so choose to involve yourself, mark my words, she’ll cost you more dearly in the end than the best whore in Covent Garden.”
Mr. Gogh cleared his throat in mild rebuke at the exchange. “The lady is outside in her carriage. A gentleman should never keep a lady waiting.”
Philip smirked. “I would rather say, a gentleman always awaits a lady’s pleasure.”
Wonderful excerpt, Emery. Thanks so much for sharing with us today!
Emery is giving away a copy of FORTUNE’S SON to a commenter!
Let Emery know you were here and and you’ll be entered in the random drawing. One lucky commenter will get Emery’s FORTUNE’S SON and one commenter will receive their choice between my eNovellas, A Duke for All Seasons or My Lady Below Stairs, available for either Kindle or Nook.