I am delighted to welcome back to Risky Regencies my good friend and wonderful author, Lavinia Kent. Ravishing Ruby is Lavinia’s latest book out from the fabulous Loveswept line, the latest in her Bound and Determined series.
Here what some Amazon reviewers have to say about Ravishing Ruby:
“Lavinia Kent is one of the best authors I’ve ever read. Ravishing Ruby does not disappoint, and was worth every penny! You HAVE to read this book! And every one in this series, especially if you love historical romances! Seriously, Lavinia is one of the best.”
“Lavinia Kent is amazing with those sex scene, she’s my queen. They are hot, they are unique and not one is like the other. This time Kent plays with fantasies. And oh … those fantasies …
Read it! It’s amazing!”
Lavinia will give away one ebook copy (your choice of formats) of Ravishing Ruby to one commenter, chosen at random.
Ravishing Ruby is the continuing story of Ruby, Madame Rouge, the proprietor of a London brothel. It follows the novella, Revealing Ruby, in which we first get a glimpse inside Ruby’s world and come to understand what motivates her. Ravishing Ruby takes us deeper into that world and into her relationship with Captain Derek Price, an American ship’s captain. Because of Ruby’s unique standing in society it seems that any real relationship between them should be impossible – but things are not always as they seem.
Tell us about your Bound and Determined series. How do the books fit together?
My Bound and Determined series is a collection of extremely sensuous regency stories all bound together by Madame Rouge’s Club for Gentlemen of Taste. All the books have at least a couple of scenes that take place there, and none of the relationships would have developed without Madame Rouge’s. When I first started writing the series, I had no idea that Ruby would be ever be a heroine, but every time she stepped onto the page she started to take over, and so I was compelled to write her story.
You are known for your sensual and long love scenes. What’s unique or special about a love scene in Ravishing Ruby?
In writing the love scenes for Ravishing Ruby, I really let my imagination fly. Ruby has very “vanilla” tastes; she’s seen it all, tried most of it, and knows what she doesn’t like. What she does like is fantasy. I had a wonderful time trying to imagine what fantasies a woman of her time might have had. Sir Walter Scott had just published Ivanhoe, and I had great fun having both Ruby and Derek read the book and then act out parts of it at a masquerade.
What is “risky” about Ravishing Ruby?
I think the very idea of a true Madame as a heroine is risky. Ruby has no pretense about what she does and why she does it. She does try to create the best house possible for her girls, but she also knows that it is a business and that her livelihood depends on it. I have always been intrigued by how different the choices that women had were in past centuries. Is there any way that Ruby cannot lie about who she is and still have a chance at happiness?
Did you come across any interesting pieces of research while writing Ravishing Ruby?
I read books and poetry to think about Ruby’s fantasies: Ivanhoe, Byron’s Corsair, Arabian Nights (now, One Thousand and One Nights). It was some of the most enjoyable research I’ve ever done and really helped get me into Ruby’s mindset.
What is next for you?
I’m just starting a Christmas story about Ruby that will take her story with Derek a little further and set up my next series. The story keeps getting longer and longer in my mind as all of my old characters come to visit.
Which brings me to my question. Do you like seeing past heroes and heroines in a later story and getting another glimpse into their lives, or do you prefer that each story be new and fresh?
Thank you for having me. I always love visiting Risky Regencies.
Diane here, again.
We love having you, Lavinia! Remember readers, Lavinia will give away one ebook of Ravishing Ruby to one lucky commenter. I’ll pick the winner at random on Monday, Feb 1.
Welcome back my friend Lavinia Kent! Lavinia is known for her hot, smart, sexy and intelligent Regency Historicals for Avon. What the Duke Wants, for example. Or her very creative Real Duchesses of London ebook short story series.
I thoroughly enjoyed Lavinia’s Real Duchesses series! But I’m not alone. Here are a few of the Amazon reviews:
“Another fun, fresh addition to what is shaping up to be a fantastic set of novellas that feature tests to the bonds of friendship, cattiness, laughter, and the overpowering result of true love.” — Lisa Wolff, of Linette, The Lioness.
“The marriage of convenience is one of my favorite tropes in romance and Kent’s Elizabeth, The Enchantress is a magnificent marriage of convenience tale.” — Yvonne.
Lavinia has continued the Real Duchesses of London series with a brand new novella — Georgianna: The Last Real Duchess and she’s giving away a Kindle download of the novella (or a copy of a signed copy of an earlier book) to one lucky commenter.
Here’s the Amazon blurb:
Lavinia Kent returns to her iconic Real Duchesses of London series of novellas to tell the story of Georgianna, the last Real Duchess. When Georgianna’s husband. Lord Richard, unexpectedly becomes a duke, the two are brought together and then torn apart as each tries to find a place in their new lives. Georgianna had married for love – only to discover her husband’s mistress. Now the two find themselves sharing residence at the ducal estate. Are circumstance and passion enough to bring the two together? Can Richard reveal the love he has barely admitted to himself? Can Georgianna forgive him for all the hurt and lies?
Will one night of passion become a lifetime of love?
Welcome back, Lavinia! Tell us about The Real Duchesses of London series and about Georgianna, The Last Real Duchess.
I had so much fun writing this series. I loved the idea of writing about a group of strong women who would support each other during hard times. The first four novellas are definitely tied together in an overarching story.
Georgianna is more of a stand-alone story, although the other duchesses do appear.
I had originally hoped to write her story as full-length novel, but time and circumstance got in the way. I had a hard time cutting some of the earlier scenes to create something tighter, but I think in the end I succeeded in creating a novella about emotional trust.
You created quite a challenge for yourself. Both writing short novellas AND planning a series. How did you manage it?
The first four were relatively easy – except for the time pressure involved in writing a novella a month. They left me feeling a little burned out. I discovered that I get so attached to my characters when writing, that I needed more time to make the transition to the next hero and heroine.
I found writing Georgianna to be more difficult because I wasn’t following my original plan, but I still wanted to write a compelling love story.
What is risky about Georgiana, The Last Real Duchess?
Georgianna has to learn to trust a man who has completely betrayed her. Everything she believed when she fell in love and married turned out to be a big lie. She must make the decision to take a great risk, rather than live without love.
Did you come across any interesting research while writing the novella (or the series)?
I had a lot of fun researching political cartoons when I was working on the earlier four books of the series. I enjoyed thinking about the different ways information has been distributed over time. We take so much for granted today about how quickly information spreads. It was interesting to consider how differently a scandal would spread during the Regency.
For Georgianna, I researched funerals, but none of my work made it onto the page when I shortened the story. I’m saving it for later.
The fabulous Janet Mullany’s daughter drew the original sketch for the caricature. I loved it, and it helped make the characters really come alive in my mind.
The series is called The Desire Series and consists of three books: Hint of Desire, Price of Desire, and Taste of Desire. This series is a prequel to my books for Avon. The hero of my first book, A Talent for Sin is the younger brother of the hero in Taste of Desire.
The series is currently on available on Amazon for Kindle, but I am working on increasing formats.
What’s next for you?
Ahh, the most difficult question of all. Currently, I’m working on (and about to finish) a prequel novella for a brand new regency series. This series is completely unrelated to any of the books I’ve already written.
If all goes as planned, this series will be darker and more erotic than my current books.
I’m also working on a steampunk romance that requires more world building than I’ve ever done before. It features a wonderful hero, and I’m working hard at getting him out of my head and onto page.
Thank you for having me at Risky Regencies. I love having the chance to visit.
And now my question for readers – one of whom will win either a Kindle copy of Georgianna: The Last Real Duchess or a signed copy of one of my earlier books.
At the end of the prequel I’m currently writing, the hero sends the heroine a gift. I’m debating whether he should give her a beautiful enameled hand mirror or kitten. There are reasons why each would be appropriate.
The hero has never actually seen the heroine’s face, and in the next book he will recognize the heroine because of the gift.
So, mirror or kitten? Help!
Welcome back my friend, Lavinia Kent, who has had a busy couple of months with the release of her Real Duchesses of London novella series from Avon Impulse (which I loved!). Lavinia is here today to tell us about her new book, What A Duke Wants.Here’s some buzz about What A Duke Wants:
“Refreshing in the strength of its heroine and the uncertainty of its hero, What a Duke Wants will keep readers engaged from beginning to end.” —Joyce Greenfield of Eye on Romance“Kent does an excellent job mixing romance, mystery and history, keeping her readers enthralled with plot twists and revelations. Another winner!” — RomanticTimes Book ReviewsLavinia is giving away a great gift to one lucky commenter, chosen at random. The first two novellas in the Real Duchesses of London series, Kathryn the Kitten and Linette the Lioness. Winner has a choice of the ebook versions or print. And, as if that were not enough, the winner also will receive a What a Duke Wants T-shirt.
1. Tell us about What A Duke Wants.
What A Duke Wants is the story of a duke who doesn’t want be a duke and lady who ran away from society long ago. It is a story of mistaken identity and true love, with just a hint of Cinderella thrown in.
My hero, Mark Smythe, the new Duke of Strattington, is on his way to London for George IV’s coronation. Mark is preoccupied with learning how to be a duke, as he had never expected to inherit his uncle’s title. When he meets a young baby nurse, Miss Isabella Smith, he is delighted that she does not recognize him, and enjoys the freedom her company offers him. When he is with her, he can simply be himself – not the Duke.
As they travel toward London, stopping at the same inns each night – with only slight planning on Mark’s part – they slowly form a deep attachment and the beginnings of a great passion.
But, of course, no romance can be that simple. I am leaving out the blackmail, accusations of murder, Isabella’s running away for a second time, a masquerade ball, a disapproving older brother, a scandalous sister, a loyal best friend, two more dukes, hot, sensuous interludes, and dancing with a very cute kitten. To learn more you’ll just have to read the book. I have an excerpt posted on my website, http://www.laviniakent.com/excerpt_duke.html. It has the best first line I’ve ever written, so I do hope you’ll take a peek and check it out.
2. How is What A Duke Wants connected to your other books?
What A Duke Wants is connected to my other books in two ways. Isabella is the runaway younger sister of the heroine of my first book, A Talent for Sin, and Mark is the brother of the hero of my second, Bound by Temptation.
It also features Annie, Lady Richard Tennant, one of my Real Duchesses of London. Annie is one of Isabella’s childhood friends and, after a chance meeting, becomes the only one Isabella can confide in. I actually wrote What A Duke Wants before The Real Duchesses of London, so unfortunately I couldn’t work in appearances by any of the other duchesses.
3. What is risky about What A Duke Wants?
I think the most risky thing about What A Duke Wants may only make sense to another writer. I let my characters do what they wanted. I am not a big plotter. I normally know the beginning and the end and the big points in the middle, but for this book I knew exactly how the story was supposed to go and when things were supposed to happen.
And then Mark walked onto the page and he had some very different views about what his character would do. He was fine with making a few bad choices, but he hit a point where he thought it was time to do the right thing – and he did.
It meant that I had to rewrite half the book, because otherwise the happily-ever-after would have happened on page 250. And while I might have enjoyed imagining 150 pages of domestic arrangements, I can’t imagine readers would have found it nearly as entertaining.
I do think the book is much better than it would have been if I’d had my way.
4. Did you come across any interesting research when writing the book?
I did a lot of research on the king’s coronation for this book. I was fascinated by exactly how elaborate it was. He spent $24,000 pounds (in 1821) on his coronation robes alone. They were made of crimson velvet with gold stars and lined with ermine. The total length was 27 feet and it took eight pages to carry all 855 lbs. And I am not even mentioning the crown he had made (12,314 hired diamonds – he purchased the Hope Diamond for the affair), the raised platform stretching to Westminster, the gold canopy – or the fact that he barred his wife from the whole proceeding.The other piece of research I did was on nursing (or feeding bottles). I wanted my heroine to be responsible for caring for a baby, but not to be a wet nurse (for obvious reasons). I was fascinated to discover exactly how babies were fed. Although there were some bottles with nipples (often of animal skin) a very common design (and the one I chose for my heroine) looks almost like a small neti pot or even a teapot. It had a long thin neck and a small hole on top. A thumb could be placed over the hole to hold back or release the milk. They were made of glass or ceramic.I do have to confess that I avoided thinking too much about exactly what was fed to the infants – cow’s milk was by far the healthiest of the alternatives.5. You recently released your Avon Impulse ebook short stories, The Real Duchesses of London. Can you tell us a little about them? (what I want to know is if Annie will get her story???)
I’ll start out by reassuring you that yes, Annie will get her story. I knew Annie’s story long before I knew any of the other duchesses’ and it may have been as hard for me to hold back as it is for readers to wait. I am not sure exactly what form it will take, but I do have very special things planned for Annie.
I’ve always loved connected stories and, as a guilty pleasure, have become addicted to Bravo’s Real Housewives. I am particularly fascinated by the Beverly Hills’ Housewives and the lavish style of their lives. Who else lives in 29,000 square foot mansions and has a closet full of gowns? Who spends a large part of her life looking beautiful and getting ready for parties? I was laughing to myself about these questions when I realized I was very familiar with the type – I’d been reading and writing about them for years – only in the Regency. And so were born The Real Duchesses of London. (Shameless Plug – Avon has lowered the price of each to $.99 in honor of the release of What A Duke Wants — but only for a limited time.)
I had great fun writing the collection of four novellas written to be released digitally (although they can be ordered in paperback format) over this past summer. It was wonderful to see how quickly books can be published in this new world. My Duchesses (not all are actually duchesses) are a group of good friends who are brought together by a series of nasty cartoons that begin to appear in store windows across London. Each Duchess has a secret revealed, and must work to find true love. The novellas feature scandal, cat fights, true friendship, hot dukes (or earls), reconciliation, a proper number of steamy scenes, and, of course, happy endings.
6. What’s next for you?
That’s a hard question right now. I am working on a few things – e-pubbing some older works, writing a YA with my son, a hot steampunk, and then there’s Annie’s story. I am at that most delicious of moments when I have a banquet spread before me – and now I have to choose.
Hmmmm, choices, choices . . .
How do you decide what to read (or write) when you have so many choices?
Thank you all for having me. I always love visiting the Riskies.(Diane, here. Don’t forget to leave a comment or ask Lavinia a question for a chance to win the first two Duchesses novellas and a “Go To Bed With A Duke Tonight” T-shirt)