I reviewed, and adored, Bed of Flowers by Erin Satie earlier this week. She is hear today to talk a little more about the book and give some of her own recs!
About Bed of Flowers:
Bonny Reed is beautiful, inside and out.
A loyal friend and loving daughter, she’s newly engaged to her small town’s most eligible bachelor. She’s happy for herself—but mostly for her family, who need the security her marriage will bring.
An old enemy shatters her illusions.
First Baron Loel cost Bonny’s family her fortune. Now he’s insisting that her fiancé has hidden flaws, secrets so dark that—if she believed him—she’d have to call off the wedding.
How will she choose?
When the truth comes out, Bonny will have to choose between doing what’s right and what’s easy. Between her family and her best friend. And hardest of all—between her honor and the love of a man who everyone wants her to hate.
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Loel has been sick and Bonny has been nursing him back to health. He’s finally recovering and now that he can think straight, he realizes that he shouldn’t be all alone in his greenhouse with an unmarried woman. (They’re in a greenhouse because it’s warm, and because he raises orchids for a living).
“You shouldn’t be here,” said Loel.
Bonny abandoned the lever pump with the water tank only half full. She’d fought her family and she’d been ready to defend herself against the whole town of New Quay—all for Lord Loel. Who, it turned out, also wanted her to go.
“As you like.” She snatched up her things and waved at the basket. “That’s for you. It should see you through the day and perhaps most of tomorrow. Best of luck for a speedy recovery.”
Bonny flicked him a scathing glance. He’d work himself to exhaustion, fall over—probably hit his head on the way down—and lapse back into a fever. And he’d deserve it.
“I’m thinking of you,” he said.
“You and everyone else.” Bonny’s anger cooled. Without it, she was just… tired. “But I was thinking of you.”
“Well, stop.” He covered his face with his hands, breathing hard. “Did I ask for your regard? Did I invite it?”
“No.” Quite the opposite, actually. In the beginning, she’d intruded and he’d chased her away. Their encounters had proceeded more or less according to the same template ever since.
And yet she would have sworn that he was fond of her.
“Would you be more comfortable if I fetched you some clothes?” she asked. “If you tell me where—”
“Go.” His head sank further toward his lap. “Please.”
Bonny sank down to her knees. Something like curiosity drove her, a nagging conviction that she was on the verge of an important discovery. She gently pulled Lord Loel’s hands away from his face.
The torment she read in his expression startled her. He’d been sick and now he was nearly better. He ought to be happy.
“You’re upset. Why?”
“Because your kindness is wasted on me.”
“How? You’re better, aren’t you?”
“At what cost to you?” He grimaced. “Who will punish you for helping me? How? Miss Reed—”
“That doesn’t matter when your very life was hanging in the balance—”
“It matters to me.”
His anger was real and it had increased since her arrival. The harsh tone, the urgent delivery—he meant every word. And yet Bonny’s impression that she was listening to a foreign language that she only vaguely understood had increased in perfect tandem.
She might have remained confused forever if something bright hadn’t drawn her attention to the roof of the glasshouse. A ray of light caught on the dirt-clouded glass, then fractured into a brilliant sparkle. Bonny tipped her face up to the sky, attentive to this small miracle of nature for precisely the length of time required to identify, categorize, and dismiss it: just the sun cresting the horizon, dawn breaking into day, nothing to be concerned about.
She looked down, problem solved, and caught Lord Loel staring at her mouth. Hotly, fixedly, with a heat that struck an answering chord in her.
Oh, she thought, wondering how she’d been so stupid. Now I understand.
And she kissed him.
About Erin Satie:
Erin Satie is the author of the dark and elegant No Better Angels series of historical romances set in the early Victorian period. She’s currently hard at work on her new series, Sweetness and Light.
Erin is a California native who’s lived on the coasts and in the heartland, in tiny city apartments and on a working farm. She studied art history in both college and graduate school—research is always her favorite part of starting a new book.
Her favorite part of finishing a book, whether reading or writing, is the happily ever after.
Giveaway: enter to win 1 of 2 e-copies of any back catalog book by Erin Satie!
Hi, and thanks so much for having me. My new book Bed of Flowers comes out on June 19–it’s the first installment of a new series I’m calling Sweetness and Light. It’s set in the mid-nineteenth century, the Victorian period, it’s very loosely based on Beauty and the Beast, and I’m pretty excited about it.
But for now I get to do something really fun, which is talk about some of the books that I’ve been enjoying recently. I just recently finished a book I found really fun and fascinating: Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton. It’s basically Pride and Prejudice, if all the characters were dragons. At first that might seem silly, but it’s actually a really savage critique of Regency mores–for example, why can’t Mr. Bennet leave his property to one of his daughters? Why does it pass to a cousin? In Tooth and Claw, the answer is that only very large dragons can defend land from their neighbors. A small dragon would be eaten and the property seized. The savage logic makes sense–more sense than the laws of primogeniture, really–and the fantasy reveals a truth at the heart of the reality. Plus, there are a couple of romantic sub-plots and romance readers will be happy to know that the resolve with HEAs.
One of my favorite ongoing series right now is Sherry Thomas’s Lady Sherlock mysteries. These are just so excellent, every single one. There’s a romantic thread, but it seems like Thomas is stretching out the arc to last the whole series, so we only get small nuggets of development in each book. But I love Thomas’s version of Sherlock because she’s created a main character who has the genius and charisma of Arthur Conan Doyle’s protagonist, but she doesn’t make the rest of the cast live in Sherlock’s shadow. Thomas lets every character shine. In this version, for example, Mrs. Watson is responsible for all of Sherlock’s disguises. She has talent and expertise that she brings to bear on Sherlock’s schemes and it’s excellent. Plus, as you’d expect with Thomas, the writing is exquisite. Right now there are only two books out but the third is slated for this October.
I also really loved Meredith Duran’s A Lady’s Code of Misconduct. I read it earlier this year and it was absolutely the best amnesia romance I’ve ever read–proof that every old school trope can work if tackled by a talented enough author. The set-up is incredibly–the hero, Crispin Burke, is an extremely ruthless politician. He’s badly injured early on in the book and the heroine, Jane Mason, is desperate to escape a miserable home life. She manages to have herself married to Crispin while he’s on his deathbed. She figures he’ll die and she’ll be free. Instead, he wakes up… but without any of his memories. He doesn’t know that he was tricked, that he’d never intended to marry her, but she knows what kind of man he used to be and she’s terrified of the moment when he learns the truth. It’s such a delicious book, overflowing with angst that cuts right to the heart, emotional and smart and gorgeously written.
So those are some recent favorites. I also loved Elizabeth Kingston’s The King’s Man, set in medieval Wales, Cat Sebastian’s The Lawrence Brown Affair, one of those book that makes you smile from start to finish, sparkling and fizzy and frothy and good, Tessa Dare’s The Duchess Deal… there are always more great books to read than there is time for reading.