Spotlight & Giveaway: Between the Devil and the Duke by Kelly Bowen

Posted January 30th, 2017 by in Blog, Spotlight / 58 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome author Kelly Bowen to HJ!
Spotlight&Giveaway

Hi Kelly and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Between the Devil and the Duke!

 

Please summarize the book for the readers here:

This is Alexander Lavoie’s story – and I couldn’t wait to write this one from the moment that I first introduced him in Duke of My Heart. As the owner of the most exclusive gaming hell in London, and a partner in the scandal management firm of Chegarre & Associates, he has become exceedingly cynical. I wanted to give him a heroine that would knock his proverbial socks off, so I introduced him to the mathematically gifted Angelique Archer. She captures his attention immediately, mostly because she is doing everything in her power to avoid his, while using his gaming tables as a source of income. He’s intrigued, she’s desperate, and what starts as a mutually beneficial business deal turns into something far deeper.
 

Please share the opening lines of this book:

My heroine, Angelique, has been struggling to keep her world together on her own for so long, she has no idea how to ask for help. Her biggest strengths and skills have, in the face of society, been considered her biggest flaws.
My hero, Alexandre Lavoie, is pretty sure he’s seen it all. With his jaded view of the world around him, he’s fostered and encouraged a reputation that keeps people at a distance.
As I wrote both these characters, it surprised me just how fast they became brutally honest with each other. Which isn’t to say that they didn’t hold on to some secrets a little longer than others. But both of these characters are very clever individuals, and there was little room for contrived ignorance.

 

Please share a few Fun facts about this book…

  • There is a scene in the book that takes place in the Tower of London – and I was able to use some of my photographs from my visit there as reference.
  • I had a lot of fun researching strategies that people use to count cards while playing twenty-one. Not that it’s managed to help me…
  • I loved that I had the chance to slip a little Canadian history into this story.
  • I used the TV characters of Damon Salvatore and Lucifer Morningstar as a loose inspiration for my character of Alex.
  • Some of my favorite characters from the first two books in the series get to make guest appearances. Where would my H/H be without a piratical duke and a duchess with ties to London’s underworld? 🙂

 

Please tell us a little about the characters in your book. As you wrote your protagonist was there anything about them that surprised you?

My heroine, Angelique, has been struggling to keep her world together on her own for so long, she has no idea how to ask for help. Her biggest strengths and skills have, in the face of society, been considered her biggest flaws.
My hero, Alexandre Lavoie, is pretty sure he’s seen it all. With his jaded view of the world around him, he’s fostered and encouraged a reputation that keeps people at a distance.
As I wrote both these characters, it surprised me just how fast they became brutally honest with each other. Which isn’t to say that they didn’t hold on to some secrets a little longer than others. But both of these characters are very clever individuals, and there was little room for contrived ignorance.

 

If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would you use for the audition of the main characters and why?

I would use the first time Alex takes Angelique home in his carriage. Alex has just witnessed a telling scene with Angelique and her brother, and while he demands nothing less than honesty from her, his protective nature is exposed. It’s a difficult conversation for Angelique because the truth of her reality is ugly, but neither turn away from it.

“What is the money for?” Lavoie asked abruptly. “The money you won at my club tonight. And the nights previous.”
“What does it matter?” Angelique didn’t turn.
“It doesn’t. So long as your brother isn’t pouring it down his throat.”
Angelique spun back to Lavoie, not trusting herself to speak for a moment. “You think I’d give him money to do this?” she managed when she found her voice. “You think I find any of this funny? Less than awful?”

 

What do you want people to take away from reading this book?

I want readers to remember that my heroine captured her hero’s heart – not with beauty or pretty charm, but with her intelligence and wit. Both characters, throughout the story, never pretend to be anything they aren’t. Together, they make each other better versions of themselves and that, above all else, is my favorite part.

 

What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned for 2017?

Between the Devil and the Duke is my only release for 2017. I’m currently working on a new Regency series for Forever which will release early 2018.
 

Thanks for blogging at HJ!

 

Giveaway: Print copy of BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DUKE by Kelly Bowen

 

To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: What is your favorite card game? Fondest memory of playing?

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Excerpt from Between the Devil and the Duke:

“You count the cards.” Lavoie was tapping his finger absently on the open page of the ledger. “You remember what’s already been played. And you use that to determine the odds of the next hand. Tell me, do you use a points system? Or can you actually remember each individual card?”
“Again, I have no idea what you speak of,” Angelique insisted, though her voice sounded reedy in her ears. Numbers simply stacked and catalogued themselves in her memory.
Lavoie leaned forward. “You remember every card, don’t you?”
“I don’t know—”
“My lady, it’s a yes or no question. Do yourself and your considerable intelligence a favor and just answer it.”
Angelique blinked. “Yes.”
“Thank you.” He’d stopping drumming his fingers on the ledger and had gone quite still. “I haven’t had the vingt-et-un tables very long,” Lavoie said presently. “I didn’t want the hassle of hiring competent dealers, and to be honest, I didn’t expect the game to become as popular as it has. I’ve left it up to the players to deal in rotation, as you know. But that doesn’t make the club much money. In fact, the only money that game brings in is what I make on the liquor and anything else my patrons choose to purchase while they play.”
“Why are you telling me this?”
“Because I’ve never seen a vingt-et-un player with your capabilities before. It makes me glad that it was Daventon’s money you took and not mine.”
“Capabilities?”
“Yes. Which makes you even more fascinating.” He paused. “I don’t suppose you’d be interested in a job?”
“A job?” She was aware she was repeating him like a half-wit, but she couldn’t seem to wrap her head around the last minute of conversation.
Capabilities.
Fascinating.
Job.
Good Lord.
“Yes.” Lavoie leaned forward slightly.
“Ladies don’t have jobs.” Angelique tried to put some conviction into that statement, knowing it was what she was supposed to say. Such knowledge had been drilled into her since she was old enough to walk. Ladies grew up and married well and became wives who lived out their lives in genteel comfort. They did not partake in industry. Or gambling.
At least they didn’t until they did not marry at all, much less well, and their parents died, their family fortune went missing, and their newly titled brother couldn’t stay sober long enough to look for it. Then ladies did what they had to do to hold their families together. She glanced up at him, but her sharp reply, like everything else, had only seemed to amuse him.
“Ladies don’t have jobs that people know about,” Lavoie countered. “Especially a lady who already treats my vingt-et-un table as her personal place of business.”

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
 

Book Info:

Their love was always in the cards.
He should have thrown her out. But when club owner Alexander Lavoie catches a mysterious blonde counting cards at his vingt-et-un table, he’s more intrigued than angry. He has to see more of this beauty-in his club, in his office, in his bed. But first he’ll have to devise a proposition she can’t turn down.

Gossip said he was an assassin. Common sense told her to stay away. But Angelique Archer was desperate, and Lavoie’s club offered a surefire way to make quick money-until she got caught. Instead of throwing her out though, the devil offers her a deal: come work for him. Refusing him means facing starvation, but with a man so sinfully handsome and fiercely protective, keeping things professional might prove impossible . . .
Book Links: Amazon B&N iTunes  
 

Meet the Author:

I was born and raised in Manitoba, Canada. I attended the University of Manitoba where I earned a graduate degree in veterinary physiology and spent many years happily working as a research scientist in the agriculture industry. None of which, of course, has anything to do with writing romance novels.
My writing stemmed from my lifelong obsession with history, a weakness for a good love story and after my first child was born, I sat down to do what I’d also wanted to do – write a novel. (The entire process being facilitated by the abundance of winter months that can be found in this particular province).

Currently, I live in Winnipeg with my husband and two boys who are wonderfully patient and supportive of the writing process. Except, that is, when they need a goalie for street hockey.

Website | Facebook | Twitter |
 
 
 

58 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Between the Devil and the Duke by Kelly Bowen”

  1. Diane Sallans

    I learned to play whist in high school, but haven’t played in years – it would be fun to re-learn it.

  2. smcmahon19

    Pinochle!☘ my parents taught me and my sisters to play…in the summer at my parent’s cottage we would stay up late and play Pinochle. These are very fond memories to me…

  3. Janie McGaugh

    These days, it’s probably The Great Dalmuti. For years, it was Fan Tan, and I have a lot of memories of playing with my family both as a child and as an adult with my own children.

  4. Glenda

    I grew up playing Pinochle, Nertz, Dutch Blitz, Uno (when it came out) and other card games. When my maternal grandmother came to visit we’d stay up late every night playing cards.

  5. Mary Preston

    When the family get together we tend to play 500. We have seen in a lot of new years this way.

  6. CelineB

    I used to play all sorts of card games with my family when we went to my grandmother’s. My favorites were King’s Corners and Uno.

  7. laurieg72

    Sheepshead Very popular in Wisconsin. There is a paperback book written about how to play that my 87 year F-I-L has. My S-I-L- took it to work to read on his lunch hour. He had it sitting on his desk. One of his co-workers came over and became very excited when he saw the book. It turns out it was written by his grandfather. Small world!

    My best friend Paula’s parents taught me.

  8. kermitsgirl

    Big fan of Freecell on the computer. We played a lot of Hearts in college – we’d set up tables in the elevator lobby on our hallway and play a ton of rounds and tournaments.

  9. Melissa Keith

    My favorite card game is Rummy. My fondest memory is being very young and playing cards with my mom, grandmother, and great aunt. My great aunt was hilarious and would cheat. She would show me an ace or two hidden in her sleeve. lol!

  10. JenM

    When I was a kid, my grandfather taught me to play Pinochle and we used to play together for hours.

  11. LauraJJ

    Oh I remember growing up we would go to our cabin and the cabin next door had a bunk house…we would sit and play hearts…and listen to Neil Diamond on the 8 track! Such fun memories!

  12. Joanne B

    Solitaire. I remember when I was little, all the relatives would come to my grandparents house with their chairs, tables, and snacks, and play all kinds of card games for hours. They always had so much fun.

  13. Linda Ortiz

    I really don’t play cards, but the only thing I can remember ever playing is Goldfish!

  14. Meredith Miller

    Cards Against Humanity. We love to get it out when the family gets together at the holidays!

  15. Banana cake

    Sequence which is a board game with cards. I love playing my dad because he always thinks he is going to beat me and he never does.

  16. Terrill Rosado

    My favorite uncle suffered from a stroke before Christmas and while visiting him at a rehabilitative nursing home, he taught my kids and I how to play 4, 5, 6. I’m not even sure if that’s the real name, but it was a fun game and even better, because I got to spend that time with my uncle.

  17. Ada

    My family and I used to have cutthroat games of UNO — the one and only game that I, as the youngest, had a remotest chance of winning haha

  18. Kari Angeles

    Phase 10. One night, while playing and drinking with friends, we played till about 4 in the morning. We were so drunk, it took a long time to complete the phases.

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