I always enjoy hosting historical romance authors on my blog. Today’s guest is Becky Lower, who writes Victorian era romance for Crimson Romance. Becky has a new book out this month, so I’m going to turn the blog over to her so she can tell us all about it.
The Tempestuous Debutante, which is being released September 9, is set in 1857 America, in the middle of a financial crisis caused, in part, by the decline in popularity of the beaver top hat. The heroine, Jasmine Fitzpatrick, is affected, since her father owns one of the largest banks in New York City. Fearing a financial collapse, he limits household spending, including Jasmine’s wardrobe for the upcoming season.
But, being the feisty heroine that she is, Jasmine doesn’t merely accept her fate. She takes last year’s dresses and recreates them, with the help of her lady’s maid, into unique gowns the likes of which no one has seen before. But she doesn’t stop there. With the encouragement of the unlikely hero, she decides to go into business, creating fashionable dresses and ball gowns for other New Yorkers.
This book was a delight to write, partially because I was able to create, on paper, at least, a multitude of dresses for many women. I’ve been in love with 19th century fashion ever since my mom pulled a framed Godey print out of the mud under my sister’s house in Maine, and gave it to me. That fashion plate is still the kingpin in my collection, which grace nearly every wall in my home.
During the writing of this book, I took a field trip to the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland, OH, to see a traveling collection of wedding gowns from the 1830s to present day. The most prized dress in the collection was a one designed by Charles Frederick Worth, famous fashion designer from Paris, who single-handedly invented haute couture. The few remaining Worth gowns are in private collections and are priceless works of art.
Here’s the blurb for The Tempestuous Debutante:
It’s Jasmine Fitzpatrick’s year to shine at this season’s Cotillion and men will be throwing themselves at her. But she sets her sights on a man she’s never met, the Viscount of Foxborough. He’s wealthy and has an English title. Only a few things stand in her way: a wealthy, young, beautiful widow who captures the viscount’s attention immediately, her fear of riding horses when he owns a breeding stable and racetrack, and the viscount’s stableboy, Parr.
Parr O’Shaughnessy loses his heart to Jasmine the moment he meets her. However, he has no title to interest her. He left behind an impoverished existence in Ireland when the viscount offered to bring him and his famous horse to America to build a dynasty together. He believes Jasmine barely noticed him when she was introduced–she only had eyes for the viscount. He struggles with his loyalty to the viscount and his love for Jasmine. But winning her love might mean losing all he has worked for.
I really enjoy historical romances set in America, and there sure aren’t enough of them. And I love the idea for this book–a heroine who takes older gowns, turns them into fashionable creations, and starts her own business!
For my readers today, Becky is giving away a copy of the first book in her series, The Reluctant Debutante. Just tell us what other unusual settings you’d like to see for historical romance for a chance to win a copy of Becky’s book! And you can pre-order The Tempestuous Debutante on Amazon.