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Our Risky Regencies guest today is my friend, Lavinia Kent, whose second Regency Historical, Bound By Temptation, is out this month from Avon.

Kent hits the mark with a pure romance, allowing nothing to take away from the heated sensuality between the hero and heroine. Even the search for a missing sister doesn’t detract from the sizzling conflict. Readers will applaud her mature characters, whose adult love story is simultaneously delightful and sexy–Kathe Robin, RT Book Reviews

Lavinia’s impressive debut, A Talent For Sin is nominated for Best First Historical by RT Book Reviews. It looks like Bound By Temptation will be every bit as good.

Lavinia is giving away a signed copy of Bound By Temptation to one lucky commenter, chosen at random. So say hello again to Lavinia Kent!

Welcome, Lavinia. Tell us about Bound by Temptation.
Bound by Temptation is not the book I expected to write. I knew exactly what book was coming next – only then it didn’t. When I sat down to write, another story formed, the story of very strong, very seductive widow, Clara, Lady Westington, and Jonathan Masters, a man who should have been all wrong for her – only he wasn’t.

It’s the story of a couple who definitely don’t want to want each other. They both have very firm ideas about what they want in life. Clara, after several scandalous years, has decided to be a calm respectable widow. She definitely had no plans to marry again.

And Masters believes it’s finally time to seek a wife – a quiet young wife who will understand her place in his life.

The only problem is that they can’t keep their hands off each other, and when Clara decides to help Masters find a wife . . .

Bound by Temptation is your second book, and second books pose their own unique anxieties and challenges. Did you experience “Second Book Syndrome?” What were the unique challenges of writing a second book?
I certainly was more nervous writing Bound by Temptation than I was the first time around. It’s nerve-wracking when you reach the middle of the book, aren’t quite sure what should happen next, and know that there is a deadline looming.

That said, I also found it immensely satisfying because I hit a real “I am a writer” moment. I realized that I could think of a story and write on a schedule. I wasn’t sure that I could, until I actually did it. It was a great feeling.

In A Talent for Sin your love scenes go on for pages (not complaining…). Can we expect the same for Bound by Temptation? And, as a writer, how do you do that????
Definitely, there will be. I blame it on my characters. They seem to set the pace. I often plan a short love scene and then it just doesn’t end. I think it’s because I’m always trying to move the relationship along during a love scene so my characters talk and play around a lot – all sorts of play.

I try hard always to know what I want to show in a love scene. The only exception is occasionally the “reward” scene at the end of the book. In those I am just trying to show that my hero and heroine are going to keep having fun – that love is the beginning and not the end.

Sometimes, however, I’m not sure that I’m the one in control. I had one scene in Bound by Temptation that was incredibly erotic, but I just couldn’t get things to move along. My hero and heroine just wouldn’t take their clothes off. I finally realized that boots and dresses were staying on, and things moved along from there. Everybody ended up very happy.

Did you come across any interesting research while writing this book?
The most interesting research I’ve done is related to all my books. I’ve had a great puzzle of trying to figure out titles and relationships between my characters. In my first book I created a character, Lady Smythe-Burke, who is a real doyenne of society. I knew from the start that she was the maternal aunt of another character. That presented no problem. But, then, as I started my fourth book, I discovered that she was also the aunt of my new hero, the Duke of Strattington, and that his last name was simply Smythe. How to reconcile her title, his, and their surname?

I finally worked it out with honor titles, an extra earldom (we can all use an extra earldom), and a husband who died before inheriting the dukedom. I still not positive it all works, but it’s been a great puzzle to play with.

What is risky about Bound by Temptation?
The riskiest thing in Bound by Temptation is the hero, Masters. He was a villain in my previous book, A Talent for Sin. I’ve always loved villain-turned-hero stories, but I hadn’t originally planned for this to be one. It was great fun trying to understand Masters and trying to explain why he acted the way he did. It was even more fun creating the heroine who was strong enough to stand up to him and tantalizing enough for him to still love.

As a side note – I was very glad I was still in revisions with the previous book when I realized he was going to be a hero. It’s amazing how much more heroic he is at 6’2” than at 5’8”.

6. Since it is Valentine’s Day, what is the most romantic thing that ever happened to you?

I suppose I’d better choose something with my husband because he’s going to proofread this.

Seriously, I love the fact that he always gets me roses for Valentine’s Day. I always tell him not to. I explain with great care how silly it is because they cost so much more this one day of the year and the quality isn’t as good because there is such great demand for them. I always get him to agree not to – and then he does anyway. I love that sometimes the gesture is the most important thing. (And I love roses.)

What’s next for you?
I’m working on both my third and forth books at the moment. My third book, Taken by Desire, should come out next winter. I’m working on the revisions right now. It’s a story that runs parallel to events in Bound by Temptation, and I think will be a bit of a surprise.

My fourth book is still secret, but it will finally answer many of the questions left open in A Talent for Sin.

The one thing I can promise is strong heroines and lots of hot, sensuous moments.

Thank you so much for having me. It’s always so much fun!

We love having you, Lavinia!

Since it is Valentine’s Day and Lavinia is known for long love scenes, tell us what you need in a love scene to make it…um….satisfying. Or just ask Lavinia a question. If she isn’t too busy smelling the roses, that is!

Remember, you could win a signed copy of Bound by Temptation!

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I am so delighted to introduce my very good friend, Lavinia Kent. I met Lavinia years ago when she came to one of her first Washington Romance Writer meetings. We ate lunch together and, as sometimes happens, I knew instantly that I’d made a new friend. Lavinia, Mary Blayney (Strangers Kiss, Sept 2009), Julie Halperson, and I were all writing Regencies and we had regular lunches together and yearly all day talk-fests at Mary’s house. Still do!

But this is an exciting debut for more than one reason! Read what others have said of A Talent for Sin.

I was captivated by every page of A Talent For Sin by Lavinia Kent, a masterfully written book that brims with style and vitality—it is a sexy and emotional experience that will sweep you off your feet!”– Lisa Kleypas, New York Times Bestselling Author

“a refreshing romantic dynamic.”– Publisher’s Weekly

“4 1/2 Stars”– The Romantic Times

1. This is your debut novel, Lavinia! Tell us about your book.

I started writing this book because I wanted to do something different. As I’ve gotten a little older myself I’ve had a greater desire for more experienced heroines. One of the greatest things about being a writer is that when you long for a character you can create one.

Violet, Lady Carrington has actually existed since my first (unpublished) regency manuscript. I was shocked when I realized how much of her character I’d already laid out – three dead husbands before she was twenty-one, wealthy widow, likes younger men, very independent.

I took the basic idea of her and combined it with the desire to try to write a book that started with a sex scene – a relevant one. The first scene in the book – the excerpt on my website – is all about my hero showing he would do anything for Violet. All he wants is to make her happy.

2. We love to hear about a new author’s journey to publication. Tell us about yours and include your “The Call” story! Did being a four-time Golden Heart finalist help?

I’d actually gotten The Call after my first Golden Heart final and had turned the offer down on my agent’s advice. I don’t know if I would do the same thing again. I love where I’ve ended up, but it was an awfully nerve-wracking couple of years in between.

When I got The Call this time the biggest thing I felt was relief. I’d spent over two years wondering if I’d made a huge mistake. I actually got called by another publisher before Avon and was about to accept then when Avon called. It felt like a real dream come true moment. I think I danced for a week.

3. What was risky about your book?

I think the heroine was the riskiest thing about my book. I know that the romance world has changed, but writing about an unapologetic experienced woman who doesn’t have any wish to marry again still felt like it was pushing some boundaries.

There is also a risky scene where the heroine is being forced to sleep with another man. I wasn’t sure until I finished writing the scene what would happen. All I knew for sure was that the hero would love her anyway.

3. I read A Talent for Sin’s tantalizing excerpt and can guess about how you researched that! But tell us something about your other research for the book.

It sounds strange, but what I ended up researching the most was whether I could move the book forward a year in time. I’d written this book to follow an earlier book that had to happen over a certain period of dates. When this became the book that sold and it was separated from the first book all that changed.

One of my following books begins with George IV’s coronation and I needed the right amount of time between the books. I had to go through everything in this book to remove any reference that would have made changing the date impossible.

5. What is it about the Regency era that draws you to it?

I must confess that I’d actually intended to write Medievals. I was drawn to the idea of physical strength and political power being tied closely together. When I actually started to write, many of my friends were writing Regencies and I got sucked in. It is such a wonderful period it would be impossible not to be drawn to it.

6. What’s next for you?

I have another Regency, Bound by Temptation, coming out in February 2010. It’s the story of Violet’s brother. He was never intended to be a hero – in fact was more of a villain, but something about him just captured my interest. I loved being able to explain his side of the story.

I am also working on a proposal for the youngest sister’s story (the one that caused the timeline change). She’s still young, but has been through some really rough patches. If things work out she’ll end up with my favorite hero of them all.

I also have a second proposal in the works – but that one will just have to be a surprise.

I cannot wait for A Talent for Sin. You have a chance to win a copy, just by commenting here. So ask Lavinia some questions!

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