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Grand Romantic Gestures – Exploring a Reader Favorite

by Red Sage Publishing

February was just too short to contain all the fun things we wanted to do on this blog. So here we are, spilling some of that February fun into the next calendar page! Red Sage fans say that Leigh Court‘s novella, The Disciplinarian, in Secrets Volume 15 is one of our most unforgettable stories. Here Leigh shares with us her ideas about the Grand Romantic Gesture that makes The Disciplinarian so compelling.



In my sexy Victorian romance THE DISCIPLINARIAN (Secrets, Volume 15), Clarissa Babcock is faced with a heartbreaking decision. She’s fallen in love with Jared Ashworth — London’s notorious Disciplinarian — the very man to whom she’s been sent to learn obedience, a man quite different to what his shocking reputation implies.

Jared, too, falls in love — with Clarissa’s beauty, spirit and uninhibited passion — and longs to keep her with him forever. Clarissa is forced to choose between her love for Jared and her legal obligation to the man who sent her to him; between a loving, honorable man and a cruel, vindictive one.

In the end, she returns to the man she hates in order to protect the one she loves. It’s a gut-punch black moment, the ultimate Grand Romantic Gesture, a scene which has produced lots of e-mail from my readers! (One reader said she couldn’t go to sleep until she finished the story, to see how Jared and Clarissa could possibly end up together!)

In real life, I think women often are the ones who make the hard decisions in order to protect their loved ones, many times sacrificing their own wishes and dreams for the sake of the “greater good.” A woman’s love for her family can be a deep, wondrous, and precious thing.

Clarissa’s story ultimately has a happy ending, and if you’d like a sneak peak, you can visit my website at or order Secrets, Volume 15 on the site!


Mia March 4, 2008 at 12:41 pm

Add me to the list of fans who loved The Disciplinarian. I love Grand Gestures, but only when they make sense within the characters and the story. It worked perfectly in this story, and I cannot wait for the next one Leigh.


Leigh Court March 4, 2008 at 1:33 pm

Thanks so much, everyone, for your kind comments about THE DISCIPLINARIAN! You've made my day 🙂


Leigh Court March 4, 2008 at 3:13 pm

I don't think there has to be a grand romantic gesture in every romance, but I think The Disciplinarian had a more powerful black moment because of the difficult choice Clarissa was forced to make.


Maureen McGowan March 4, 2008 at 10:00 am

I've heard a lot of buzz about this story, Leigh. I can't wait to read it for myself!

Dakota Cassidy March 4, 2008 at 10:04 am

Hey, Leigh! This sounds like an awesome story and I can't wait to read it 🙂

Dakota 🙂

Lynne Marshall March 4, 2008 at 10:16 am

Hi Leigh,

My heart always aches when a character leaves the one they truly love for an honorable obligation. The difficult situation puts the reader on the edge of her seat until things get resolved. Fortunately, in romances, they always do!

Nice to read you today!

Kristen Painter March 4, 2008 at 10:16 am

A great happy ending gets me every time!

Kwana March 4, 2008 at 10:20 am

Leigh, it sounds wonderful. I think a grand jesture is what makes a love story and pulls at your heart. I can't wait to read it!

Christine London March 4, 2008 at 10:39 am

Your novella, The Disciplinarian, has stuck with me far beyond others. You are a mistrees of words, weaving a story that tugs at heartstrings and provides emotional satisfaction. Thanks for the care you take in your writing. Look forward to lots more!


Mel Francis March 4, 2008 at 10:39 am

I loved this story. It was hands down my favorite in this volume of Secrets.

Monica Burns March 4, 2008 at 10:55 am

Love Grand Gestures. They're always so heartfelt and poignant. Nice post.


Alyssa March 4, 2008 at 11:24 am

What a welcome, novel – but true! – thought. It's the WOMEN who make the grand romantic gestures. And Clarissa did a fabulous one, for a great black moment and marvelous resolution.

Robena Grant March 4, 2008 at 11:27 am

I loved The Disciplinarian. Beautiful character descriptions, you deserve all of the praise coming your way.

Nicole North March 4, 2008 at 11:28 am

I love black moments like that which really yank at the heart strings, making the reader truly believe the two lovers will never be together… and then when they are reunited at the end… ahhh! I love that vicarious emotional roller coaster ride.

Cynthia Eden March 4, 2008 at 12:15 pm

I'm with Nicole, I do love those terribly black moments! And The Disciplinarian was a great read!

Mia Varano March 4, 2008 at 12:19 pm

The Disciplinarian was oh so hot! A grand gesture, indeed, on Clarissa's part, but I just knew she and Jared would find their way back to each other – ahhh, romance. Can't wait for your next novella, The Bet, from Secrets.

Melissa Mayhue March 4, 2008 at 12:32 pm

The story sounds wonderful! Darn…now I've got another 'has to be read' book on my list!!! As if that ever really bothered me! 🙂 Congratulations on a good blog post and a great story!

~ Melissa

Lauren Baratz-Logsted March 4, 2008 at 1:11 pm

Great post, Leigh! I'd say pushing a loved one out of the way of a speeding train and taking the hit yourself qualifies as a Grand Romantic Gesture.

Dana Belfry March 4, 2008 at 1:17 pm

I love a happy ending!

Kate Willoughby March 4, 2008 at 1:39 pm

I, too, loved The Disciplinarian. My question is, do you think there is a "grand" romantic gesture in all romances? Should there be?

Lucie Simone March 4, 2008 at 7:09 pm

Leigh, I absolutely loved The Disciplinarian! And I so love a grand gesture! I think it is the ultimate expression of one's love, and it makes for such great drama!

Carolyn March 4, 2008 at 9:35 pm

It's a wonderful, evocative story. I look forward to the next.

Louisa Edwards March 5, 2008 at 6:34 am

Wow, does this ever make me want to read the book! There's nothing better than a really sexy story with great emotional underpinnings, and it sounds like you've got that in spades.

Jaci Burton March 5, 2008 at 6:38 am

It's these kind of stories that keep me riveted and hanging on til the very end! The Disciplinarian was a wonderful story Leigh!

Gena Showalter March 5, 2008 at 6:38 am

I've seriously GOT to pick this up. Sounds wonderful!!

Anonymous March 5, 2008 at 6:51 am

Wow…this gesture almost ranks with my all-time favourite romantic gesture by Jamie Fraser in Outlander. I sobbed through that one and am haunted by it still. To willingly walk into cruelty to save the one your love is beautiful.

Kate Pearce March 5, 2008 at 8:51 am

I think the fact that you let her leave and delivered that huge emotional punch to the gut is the reason why readers love this story and want to know what happened next 🙂

Genella deGrey March 5, 2008 at 9:02 am

THE DISCIPLINARIAN is one of my favorite erotic romance novellas.
I can't wait to read more from Leigh Court!

Georgie Lee March 5, 2008 at 10:30 am

There's nothing like a happy ending after the characters have a really black moment. I can't wait to read it!

Saskia Walker March 5, 2008 at 11:04 am

I remember reading this novella and being unable to put it down. The bit in the carriage…faint! 🙂 It's a superb story, Leigh, and the grand gesture is incredibly powerful. Kudos!

Maria Geraci March 5, 2008 at 3:40 pm

Sounds like a winner. Can't wait to read it!

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