Despite having read hundreds of Regency-set romances, my story for Me and My Boi: Queer Erotic Stories, “Measure of a Man,” is the first time I ever attempted to utilize that time period myself. Being me, I chose to do so with a twist or two–or three–on a trope-y plot.

“Measure of a Man” is a story of discoveries, acceptance, and happy endings.

Here’s how the story begins:

Jerusha Pettifer desperately needed this position.

He checked the fall of his breeches to make sure everything was fastened and in place, smoothed a hand over his waistcoat, and twitched his cravat, hoping the shabby shirt beneath wasn’t obvious. He couldn’t do anything about his age, or his face.  He bit the inside of his cheek, hard; the momentary pain distracted, then calmed him.  He lifted his gloved hand to the knocker and rapped.

Ten minutes later, he sat in a sober library, gaping at the woman of the house and wondering if he should suddenly pretend another appointment.

Mrs. Lambert said, calmly, “Your expression, Mr. Pettifer! So droll.  You are suspicious of our desires?  Tell me what you think.  What you truly think.”  The words rolled from her mouth rich and inflected as an actor’s, in direct contrast to her staid afternoon gown, lavishly trimmed in lace that matched the cap over her greying red hair.  When she stopped speaking, Jerusha found himself wishing she would say something else.  Anything else.

The other woman in the room, introduced to him only as Lilias, licked her lips. She had been the first clue these women were not looking for an ordinary footman.  She lounged on a settee in the corner, wearing a man’s silken banyan and, so far as he could tell, nothing else.  He’d been trying very hard not to imagine that nothing else, nor to imagine what she’d been up to before he’d arrived, and failing miserably.

A recklessness he’d never felt before tingled through his muscles. “Yes, I am suspicious,” he said.  He touched his crooked nose, indicated his rough brawniness.  “A man like me?”  Bluntly, he added, “Going through the Registry to find yourself a man-whore, you could’ve found a lot younger and prettier.”

The silence seemed to vibrate.

###

Victoria Janssen has written three novels for Harlequin, including The Duchess, Her Maid, The Groom and Their Lover, as well as short stories. Her recent work may be found in Thunder of War, Lightning of Desire: Lesbian Historical Military Erotica from Lethe Press.

Links to the complete Blog Tour, and book giveaway details:

June 12—Sacchi Green— www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com

June 13—Annabeth Leong– http://annabethleong.blogspot.com/2016/06/me-and-my-boi-not-just-hair.html

June 14—Anna Watson— www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com

June 15—Sinclair Sexsmith– www.sugarbutch.net

June 16—Jove Belle– https://jovebelle.com/

June 17—Tamsin Flowers– www.tamsinflowers.com

June 18—Victoria Villasenor— https://breywillows.com

June 19—J, Caladine—www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com

June 20—Victoria Janssen– http://victoriajanssen.com

June 21—Dena Hankins–  http://denahankins.net/my-summer-of-boi/

June 22—D. Orchid— http://sacchi-green.blogspot.com

June 23—Pavini Moray– https://emancipatingsexuality.com/

June 24—Melissa Mayhew—www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com

June 25—Jen Cross— http://writingourselveswhole.org

June 26—Kyle Jones– www.butchtastic.net

June 27—Gigi Frost–www.facebook.com/gigifrostwww.facebook.com/gigifrost

June 28—Aimee Hermann— www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com

June 29—Sommer Marsden—www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com

June 30—Axa Lee—www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com

July 1— Kathleen Bradean— www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com

BOOK GIVEAWAY

Anyone who comments on any of the posts will be entered in a drawing for one free copy of the anthology. You can comment on more than one post and be entered more than once. The winner will be announced and notified by July 5, if not sooner.