There is probably not a single day in the history of men and women on this earth when at least one gal didn’t endure hardship, even extreme hardship for a guy.

For example, in late October my husband and I went to an outdoor wedding. It was held in a giant tent, which probably never got above 55 degrees. Though many of us begged, the venue staff refused to close the tent flaps, assuring us we’d be stifling once the dancing got started. Not true. I wore a sleeveless gown, which no one saw as I shivered under a Pashmina. Being married, I chose comfort over fashion, but I noticed all the young pretty women remained fully exposed, pretending to be happy in strapless numbers that scarcely scraped the tops of their bare knees.

Once I saw a gal standing with a Wall Street pin striper at South Street Seaport. She had on incredibly high heeled sandals and the backs of her heels were torn to shreds. The damage was so bad, blood was seeping into her shoes, yet there she remained as if she hadn’t a care in the world.

And then there was the time in New York City when I was hanging out with television star Jon Cryer. It was a 20 degree day, and we dropped his girlfriend off at a bus stop. She stood there, her thin leather coat flapping wide open in the frigid wind, exposing her cleavage just in case Jon looked back to wave goodbye.

During the Regency era women did exactly the same thing—suffering the cold in low cut dresses rather than burying their assets under a pile of warm fabric. It got so bad they named it “muslin disease,” (A/K/A pneumonia.)

That willingness to endure in the hope of gaining a man’s love is at the heart of the conflict in my novel, Lord Monroe’s Dark Tower.  My heroine, Claire Albright, finds herself emotionally and then physically traumatized by Lord Flavian Monroe’s ward, but she is told by her chaperone to say nothing or risk Flavian’s rejection. The result is a dark, Gothic-y tale of a woman’s struggle with the irrational mind of a thoughtless child. It’s not a typical Regency romance—more a psychological thriller—and though there’s a happily ever after, the conclusion is spine tingling.

I hope you’ll check out this new take on a well established genre, but in the meanwhile, tell me about a time when you went to extraordinary lengths to catch a guy’s attention. One (1) lucky commenter will get a digital download of LORD MONROE’S DARK TOWER. Giveaway ends@12am est 11-23-13 with the winner announced shortly thereafter. Good Luck y’all!

roses2Two years of bewildering silence have passed since Claire Albright met powerful, brooding, Lord Flavian Monroe. On the brink of her debut he suddenly summons her. Can her knowledge of healing stop his ward from hoarding?  Embroiled in a desperate attempt to curb the child’s madness, Claire cannot understand Flavian’s burning kisses yet cold demeanor. Will she reach his heart before his ward’s insanity undoes her chance at love?

When he was fourteen, Flavian made a mistake so devastating it ruined all hope for happiness. Years later, he’s still paying for his sin. But before his ward’s troubled mind destroys his home and family, he must see Claire once more. Vowing to keep their relationship professional—she the healer, he the guardian—he finds the bonds of his resolve snapping. Somehow, he must content himself with memories of her . . . but he cannot resist . . . one final embrace . . .

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Elf Ahearn—yes, that is her real name—lives in New York with her wonderful husband and a pesky (yet irresistible) cat. Learn more about her at elfahearn.com or like her on Facebook.

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