An Interview with Solomon Peate, the affianced of Miss Kali Matai, The Black Goddess
Once the news broke that Mr. Solomon Peate was the betrothed of Kali Matai, La Déesse Noire, it did not take long for newspapermen to begin seeking him out—at least, those who would speak to him face-to-face. He was now no stranger to the gossip columns; had he known the identity of Madame Cancanier of the Teatime Tattler, he might have choked the life out of her himself.
His words might yet be taken out of context before this was done, but at least he was looking Peter Dunstable of the Daily Badger in the eyes while they spoke. It was pleasant, all things considered, to be addressed directly. Or so he had thought.
DB: It has been reported in other publications that you are betrothed to Miss Kali Matai, The Black Goddess. Is that true?
SP: It is.
DB: Is she not a… er… well…
SP: A courtesan?
DB: Well, yes. I suppose that is what I mean to ask.
SP: She is, on occasion, though not currently. In the main, she is a dancer.
DB: And does that not bother you? That she would…
SP: Perhaps you have not seen her perform at the Broomstraw Theatre in Cheapside, but I assure you, given the chance, a man might suffer any indignity for an evening with her. I imagine once we marry, she will leave off both occupations.
SP: Asked and answered. You may move on to the next topic in your little book.
DB: Er… how did you meet Miss Matai?
SP: We have lived across the hall from one another for almost ten years, and began as nothing more than friends. Our… our love came much later.
DB: Across the hall? In the building owned by Mayuri Falodiya? The woman who owns the… the Masala Rajah?
SP: She is the woman to whom the rent is paid.
DB: But she is a—
SP: A businesswoman.
DB: It is alleged you and Miss Matai are hiding an illegitimate child.
SP: That is not something either of us would do.
DB: When can our readers expect your wedding to be announced?
SP: Announced? I find it unlikely anyone will wish to be informed of the progression of our intimate affairs.
DB: There have been allegations… Nothing I, personally, would ask, you understand, but some have said… Perhaps you would like to refute… ahem… it is said that Lord Newry is… that you are… well…
SP: That we are sharing her favors?
SP: Should you wish to take that up with Lord Newry, I’m certain the viscount would be delighted to answer. As his secretary, I am well-placed to arrange a meeting. No? Then presumably, the subject shall remain a mystery.
DB: Are you… then… are you… friends with Lord Newry?
SP: I believe we have come to the end of this interview. Thank you so much for your time. I do hope you will recall my employer’s influence on the Printers and Publishers Act while you are setting type.
To find out more about Kali’s betrothed, pick up La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess, available now at a special pre-order price of 99ȼ.
La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess
By Mariana Gabrielle
Genre: Regency Romance, Historical Romance, Multicultural Romance
Heat Rating: R for sensual content
Sired by a British peer, born of a paramour to Indian royalty, Kali Matai has been destined from birth to enthrall England’s most powerful noblemen—though she hadn’t counted on becoming their pawn. Finding herself under the control of ruthless men, who will not be moved by her legendary allure, she has no choice but to use her beauty toward their malicious and clandestine ends.
When those she holds most dear are placed in peril by backroom political dealings, she enlists some of the most formidable lords in England to thwart her enemies. But even with the help of the prominent gentlemen she has captivated, securing Kali’s freedom, her family, and the man she loves, will require her protectors stop at nothing to fulfill her desires.
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Mariana Gabrielle is a pseudonym of Mari Christie, a professional writer, editor, and designer with almost twenty-five years’ experience. Published in dozens of nonfiction and poetry periodicals since 1989, she began writing mainstream historical fiction in 2009 and Regency romance in 2013. In all genres, she creates deeply scarred characters in uncommon circumstances who overcome self-imposed barriers to reach their full potential. She is a member of the Bluestocking Belles, the Writing Wenches, and the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. Her first Regency romance, Royal Regard, was released in November 2014.
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She had chosen a Persian-blue, gossamer-silk sari shot with gold threads for their first night together, which brought out blue-black candlelight in her upswept hair and the sparks of escalating need in her eyes. The shift and choli beneath the sari were also sheer, offering hints of her hidden treasures, not detracting from his never-quite-fulfilled view of her succulent skin. The tiny bells tinkling along the edges of the yards of fabric wrapping her body, the music of the bangles she wore on her ankles and wrists, were as fairy dust clouding his senses. He couldn’t keep his eyes from tracking hers, even in the face of the rest of her glorious body.
As she sang slow, ancient ballads of tenderness and yearning, twisting her limbs in the steps of the mujara, she allowed the drape of the sari to drift over his legs, his shoulders, his face, his throat, never following with the weight of her flesh. She slid her skin, even her fingertips, only against the cool water of the loose, translucent silk, but kept herself between his eyes and the few candles lighting the room, so he could always see the outline of her slender form, sinuously inviting his touch, moving away any time his hands twitched.
She lifted her knee and bared foot over his shoulder and shook the bangles circling her trim ankle, leaving him to envision her inner thighs behind his head, still never touching his fevered body. He couldn’t help his mouth moving to taste the smooth skin of her calf, inhaling the scent of sandalwood, the trace of jungle rain. Her sharp intake of breath was like food to him, though she quickly moved to tantalize from a few feet away.
She hummed the haunting melody as she removed each pin from her hair, letting them drop onto the Turkish carpet, arms drawn up, full breasts and hardened nipples moving with each breath beneath the silk. Not one strand of her coiffure fell out of place until the entire thick length dropped to her waist like an ell of heavy satin. Moving toward him again, her long hair draped across his shoulders, falling around his face as though holding at bay the world around them, filling his senses with forests and spices and the music of mysterious ancients.
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