Ashlyn lives in the wilds of suburbia outside Montreal with her husband and two teenaged daughters. When not writing, she looks for other excuses to neglect the housework, among them knitting, reading and wasting time on the internet in the guise of doing research.
I’m not that much of a drinker—as long as we conveniently ignore my university years, ahem—but I won’t usually turn down a nice glass of red wine, especially if it’s the hearty, robust variety. This almost sounds like a good spot to insert a meme: I don’t always drink wine, but when I do...
Regency England, on the other hand, was a completely different story. This was an era where even children were given small beer (very low on alcohol, but it was still present). The temperance movement is decades away, and people imbibed quantities that might qualify them for Alcoholics Anonymous today.
France has always been a place noted for its fine wines, but during the Napoleonic wars, the English had to forego that pleasure. An Englishman who wished to show his patriotism, however, turned to other forms of wine. Port, sherry, and Madeira, fortified wines originating from England’s allies all enjoyed an upsurge in popularity. They also turned to tokay from Hungary and German wines, which were known as hock. (Something tells me familiar German wines like Hochtaler carried similar names back in the day.)
As for French wine, it was still consumed—on the sly. Due to the war and naval blockade, a gentleman who insisted on French wine had to resort to smuggling. The names ascribed to the various types of French wine aren’t the same as we’re used to seeing today. Today, a sommelier might offer you a Bordeaux or a Côtes du Rhône, but during the Regency these were known respectively as claret and hermitage. Champagne, of course, was always champagne.
In my upcoming release, What a Lady Requires (available March 31), the heroine is the daughter of a wine merchant. Her father brings in the best wines from France, some of them in a private collection. Emma, naturally, gets to taste them all. She also attempts to teach her hero a thing or two about appreciating fine wines. As to whether she succeeds or not, you’ll have to read the book to find out.
Perfect for fans of Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Sabrina Jeffries, Ashlyn Macnamara’s blazing hot novel tells the story of mismatched newlyweds who discover a simmering connection.Unlike every other proper young lady, Miss Emma Jennings views marrying well as little more than a means to an end. Such a merger would provide her industrious father with social credibility, and Emma with a chunk of her vast inheritance. Emma’s practical views are shattered, however, when her father ties her to the fabulously handsome ne’er-do-well Rowan Battencliffe, a man she loathes on sight—from the smile that promises all manner of wickedness to the way he ogles her with those striking blue eyes.Deep in debt, especially to his wine merchant, Rowan figures the sooner he gets his finances in order, the sooner he can go back to doing what he does best: burning through ridiculous sums of cash. Which is why Rowan agrees to marry the merchant’s daughter, a prim and proper woman with delightful curves and an ample dowry. But Emma seems to think it’s her business to reform him! Their marriage is a tinderbox—and it’s just too tempting to resist playing with fire.
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