A big welcome to Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead as part of their tour for The Captain and the Squire from Pride Publishing.
The inspiration for our latest Captivating Captains novel, The Captain and the Squire, came from our first sandbox. Before we even thought about writing together with an eye for publication, we played with some characters who ultimately inspired several of our books.
It was two old gents, drinking whisky and smoking cigars as they discussed life in their village – while sitting together in the bath – that led to the creation of Tarquin Bough and Christopher Hardacre. Tarquin is the younger version of one of the men, and Chris is the city slicker who’s just moved into the village and had been a topic of conversation for the two bathing gents.
We decided that Chris would be an Oxford Blue rower, and by making him the captain of the team, we had our “captain” character. Tarquin is very much a country squire type, so we had our title: The Captain and the Squire.
In the novel, Chris moves to the village of Bough Bottoms because he’s inherited a house in the will of his eccentric great-uncle. But he can only keep the house if he wins over the great-uncle’s prize pet pig. The pig seemed to come out of nowhere – we were aiming for a rural romcom, and pigs generate comedy. But then we realised that the pig is probably an unconscious nod to comic novelist PG Wodehouse’s Blandings Castle novels, which features a champion pig. Not to mention tweedy chaps, too.
We both love unusual histories, especially ones that involve scandals, and that gave us the idea for Tarquin’s collection of saucy artefacts – from Christine Keeler’s eyelashes to Prince Albert’s prince albert.
And once we had all of those ingredients, the novel came to life!
A sexy city boy and a country squire will set the countryside alight!
Tarquin Bough is a tweedy squire with an ambitious fiancée who controls his every move. He’s also the owner of the finest collection of saucy artefacts in the world. From Christine Keeler’s eyelash to the Virgin Queen’s dildo, they’re all safe in Tarquin’s care.
Christopher Hardacre is a city-slicker with the tightest jodhpurs and the most smackable bottom in London. He’s given up the ratrace for a country life as captain of the village rowing team. The only trouble is, he’s lost his money to a ruthless scam and Bough Bottoms is his last hope of a home.
But Chris hasn’t reckoned on his late uncle’s will. The house comes with a sitting porcine tenant and if Chris can’t look after his newly-acquired pet pig, he’ll lose his inheritance and his last chance at happiness.
When Tarquin sees Chris it’s lust at first sight, but dare he be honest about his feelings in a village where being gay is bound to be a hot topic? As soon as Chris and Tarquin get together, it’s the hottest summer this little corner of England has ever known.
With a scheming local hotshot out to turn the beloved pig into sausages, can the captain and the squire save everybody’s bacon?
Genre: Contemporary romance
Length: 69,741 words
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Release: 14th January 2020