Saturday, March 15, 2014

Scene Spotlight: THE SHREW THAT TAMES by Michele Stegman

What's an impoverished aristocrat to do when a beautiful heiress asks him to marry her?

Katherine is an heiress who uses her shrewish tongue to keep fortune hunters away. But what is it about Lord Ashfair that leaves her speechless?

Although in need of money, Peter Monroe, Marquis of Ashfair, has resolved to restore his ravaged estates on his own. How can he convince Katherine that he wants her, not her money?

Publisher: Breathless Press
Date Published: March 14
Genre:  Regency Romance
Word Count:  18,000

Available for purchase:

The scene from THE SHREW THAT TAMES:

The evening of the Harrington's ball, Ashfair and Sir Anthony escorted the Driscol sisters and their mother to the event. Bianca was besieged at once, and her dance card filled quickly.
Katherine stood to the side, watching her sister's card fill.
Ashfair bowed over her hand. "Will you do me the honor of adding my name to your card, Miss Driscol?"
She clutched her card tighter, her head up. "Really, my lord, you do not have to dance with me simply because you are my escort."
His brow went up. The men in this town were all fools if they would dance with such a lovely woman only to edge closer to her money or her sister and not herself. How many times had she been hurt because of it? "You are right, of course. I have to dance with you because I want to see what it is like to hold you in my arms. There are two waltzes this evening. Please put my name beside one of them. And if you will honor me with a second dance, the quadrille would be nice."
As she added his name to her card, he bent to whisper, "I wish I could dance more than twice with you."
"You are entirely too forward, my lord." He heard her set down. However, he also saw the blush that tinged her cheeks. He tried not to smile, but he was beginning to enjoy teasing a blush into her cheeks.
Katherine had a smattering of attention, mostly, Ashfair
thought, from those hoping to win Bianca's approval. He was amazed Katherine could be so easily disregarded. True, she could wield a waspish tongue, but every set down she rendered was, in his opinion, well deserved.
At last they began the quadrille, and Ashfair led Katherine onto the dance floor. As they went through the forms of the dance, he noticed that she became transformed. Her features softened, she gracefully floated, and pleasure sparkled in her eyes.
"You love to dance!" he exclaimed.
Laughing, she agreed. "I always have."
The movements took them apart for a moment. When they came together again he said, "A smile or two from you and your dance card would be full."
Her mouth pursed. "And be forced to endure every crack-wit fortune hunter in the place with sweaty hands and a penchant for writing bad verses to my eyes?" She shook her head. "I'd rather be a wallflower."
Surely by now she knew he was one of those fortune hunters. He pulled her close. "You are dancing with me."
She tossed her head. "You do not have sweaty hands, my lord."
"And so far, I have failed to write a single ode to your eyes. What a dastardly escort I am."
"Yes, terrible." She laughed.

Micehlle Stegman's take on what is happening in the story:

The Shrew That Tames is a twisted retelling of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. I never did like the way Petruchio treated Katherina in that play. And I never liked the way she knuckled under after what I considered rather abusive treatment. She had a right to be a shrew with every man around after her for her money. Men who never saw her for herself.
In my story I follow Shakespeare's general story line, but I give my hero, Peter
Monroe, Marquis of Ashfair, good reason for the things he does--and none of it is malicious. I want him to truly care for Kathryn, not just her money. She deserves a real hero!
By the time we get to this scene, he has already begin to care for her, and although she realizes he is in need of her money, she is beginning to like him, too. This scene cements their attraction. He thinks the other men are fools for preferring Kathryn's sister. He doesn't want to see her hurt.
She lets him know she realizes he is a fortune hunter, but she also lets him know it doesn't matter because she is starting to care for him and can tell he cares for her.
We also see deeper into Kathryn's character. She isn't just a pursed-mouth shrew. She's a human being who loves to laugh and dance--if only it wouldn't open her up to opportunists.
These two are still "dancing around each other," both literally and figuratively, in this scene, but they are beginning to think that there might be more for them as a couple than merely fortune hunter and heiress.

Author Bio:

Michele Stegman has loved history all her life. When she was studying history in graduate school, one of her professors quipped that she put too much romance into her research papers. She decided to put  in more romance and write historical romances.

Michele lives her history every day in an 1840's log cabin, and sleeps in a 200 year old bed with her very own hero, her husband, Ron. She spins, weaves, makes her own soap, and bakes her own bread and crackers.

Two cats, Chopstix and 5, demand lots of petting, but her two daughters, Kira and Shana, are the delight of her life.

Michele also dabbles in art, and is a member of the Southeastern Indiana Art Guild.

You can contact Michele at or leave a comment on her website at

THE SHREW THAT TAMES, her latest release from Breathless Press, is set in Regency England and is a retelling, or rather a complete twisting, of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew.

Also from Breathless Press is her Medieval romance, Conquest of the Heart.

Connect with Michele Stegman:


  1. Hi Michele,
    I really love your vision (re-envisioning) for the Taming of the Shrew. I agree with you--the heroine gets treated horribly and takes it like a mat. Your story sounds much better suited to our times. Of course, you're also hitting my soft spot for Regency Romance. This looks like a wonderful read. :)

  2. Thank you for hosting me, Melissa!
    I much prefer Shakespeare's Portia in Merchant of Venice. He gives her an important role and a real person.