Today I’m delighted to share with you a guest post “Spices and Stern Lords” by Rose Vane. She’s here to tell us about her new release, A Stern Lord for My Lady, published by Blushing Books. She has written it under the pen name R. R. Vane. The story is set in the twelfth century during the conflict between Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. It’s a steamy medieval romance with a bit of power exchange.
Book blurb: A rich heiress. A spurned suitor. An arranged marriage. And two people who discover they are far more right for one another than they would have ever thought.
Spices and Stern Lords
Reading tastes vary. It’s no wonder we refer to books – and many other things – as if we could literally taste them. People often speak of hot romance or of spicy love scenes versus sweet romance.
A Stern Lord for My Lady is definitely a hot book with spicy love scenes. Yet you will see that my hero Sir Bertran, when he is not duly stern, can be really sweet. However, sweet is the last word I would use to describe my heroine Lady Alicia. I have always wanted to write a historical romance which evokes how fond medieval people were of spices. In my book, Lady Alicia and Sir Bertran visit a spice stall and purchase some spices together.
Medieval cooks used more spices than we do nowadays. Contrary to the myth, they did not use those spices to disguise the taste of rotten meat. Medieval cuisine is definitely spicy, and some spices, such as saffron, were as dear as gold. They were a sign of prestige and status because only the rich and powerful could afford to have them in their spice chests.
Spices and Stern Lords
Sugar was considered a spice. This is how I refer to it in my book when my heroine acquires it. Sugar was expensive and bought in small quantities. It served as both spice and medicine. According to medieval texts, sugar had a cleansing effect on the body and was good for the bladder and the kidneys.
Apart from sugar, saffron, ginger and pepper, Lady Alicia also buys a spice called grains of Paradise.
It has a peppery floral taste and is related to ginger and cardamom. This spice, which was evoked in the medieval text on courtly love Le Roman de la Rose, is not well known today. However, medieval people used it. If you read my book, you will see that Lady Alicia and Lord Bertran savor this spice together.
For more by Rose Vane, see Iele: Mysterious Romanian Fairies
This post was written by Julie Tetel Andresen