Hi Diana and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, The Duke Who Ravished Me!
Please summarize the book for the readers here:
The Duke Who Ravished Me is the story of a libertine duke who meets his match not only in Isabel Finch, the proper governess of his newly acquired wards, but also in the rambunctious 7-year-old twin girls who unexpectedly come into his care. However, Sunny is a true rake who continues his scandalous lifestyle despite the nanny’s obvious disapproval and contempt, until a growing attraction between them shocks these sworn enemies into becoming lovers…and much more.
Please share the opening lines of this book:
Adam Fairfax, fifth Duke of Sunderford, was sprawled shirtless on his sofa contemplating twin pairs of enchantingly plump breasts when he was very rudely interrupted by his butler.
“Yes, what is it, Dowding?” Aggravated by the intrusion, Sunny reluctantly tore his attention away from the naked opera singer straddling him, as well as from her equally unclothed friend, who’d snuggled up to his side and was employing her tongue to do delightfully wicked things to his right ear
Please share a few Fun facts about this book…
- Sunny was never intended to be the hero of his own story. He was just a foil for the hero in From London with Love, book 3 in my Rebellious Brides series. But he was so much fun that the idea of this orgy-loving rake being saddled with two young children and their disapproving governess was too delicious to resist.
- The children in the book, Patience and Prudence, were inspired by my two young nieces, which is why I find my fictional twin girl characters so adorable. Obviously, my nieces won’t be allowed to read this book until they go to college!
- Since his daughters inspired the child characters in the book, my brother is trying to find a way to read the parts involving the children while skipping over the love scenes.
Please tell us a little about the characters in your book. As you wrote your protagonist was there anything about them that surprised you?
On the inside, Adam Fairfax, the Duke of Sunderford, is a rake who lives a scandalous lifestyle and has never really experienced love or intimacy. The truth about his past and who he is as a man is slowly revealed throughout the book. Readers get to know him at the same time as Isabel Finch. Fiercely devoted to the children in her care, Isabel is opinionated and strong-willed, but something from her past prompts her to temper her natural impulses. And there’s a very compelling reason why she tries to fade into the background.
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 scene where Isabel, governess to the duke’s wards, realizes her new employer is hosting a scandalous party. I think this scene captures both the duke’s naughtiness and his charisma, which is critical to the character. It also captures Isabel’s growing realization of how the duke spends his time, her curiosity about his life, and her possible attraction to a man she thinks she hates.
“Ah, Finch.” His eyes lit up. “Looking for me?”
“Yes.” Distaste rolled in her stomach. “But it can wait as you are obviously otherwise occupied.”
“Perhaps you’d care to join us?” He wore a loosely belted silk red banyan that exposed a broad chest dusted with dark hair. He opened the door wider, allowing her a clear view into the room.
Against her better judgment, Isabel looked past the duke for a glimpse into his depraved world. At first glance, the guests appeared perfectly respectable. Some were playing billiards while others were lounging on the couches. But then one man turned his back to her, and Isabel’s eyes widened.
The man, young and well-built, wore trousers so tight they might as well have been painted on, but that was the least scandalous part of his attire. When he turned, two large holes in the seat of the trousers became apparent, each one exposing a white, round naked buttock.
The duke’s mouth was suddenly close to her ear. “Only, if you join us, as you can see, you cannot attend dressed as you are.”
Shocked, her gaze jumped to one of the ladies reclining on a couch. The woman wore a respectable gown that was obviously expensive, except that most of her plump fleshy breasts were completely exposed.
The duke’s warm, moist breath was in her ear again. “Each guest is required to bare the part of his or her anatomy they deem to be the most interesting.”
She was too stunned to move. The scene before her bombarded all of her senses. Everyone in attendance was indeed exhibiting some part of his or her body. Some men were entirely shirtless, one woman’s dress was indecently short, exposing long, smooth legs; another wore a gown with the waist cut out, baring her navel and pale, flat stomach. Another was in a gown that exposed the satiny curves of both of her shoulders. But what shook Isabel from her stupor was the man playing billiards, who had a hole directly . . .
“That’s Stenton.” The duke’s amused voice drifted over her. “As you can see, he’s quite the braggart. Very proud of his endowments, he is.”
Revolted, she spun away, pain shooting through her shoulder when she slammed into the doorframe as she stumbled into the corridor. “You are despicable,” she sputtered at him.
The pervert’s brows lifted in mock innocence. “You said we should make the best of our situation.” He flourished a wave in the direction of the debauchery behind him. “And so I am.”
Profound distaste rippled through her. She’d never known a man more repulsive than the one standing before her.
“Are you certain you won’t join us?” He smiled wide and wicked, his glittering gaze perusing her form. “I cannot wait to learn which body part you find most interesting.”
“You’ve certainly exposed yourself,” she said coldly, summoning her flayed composure.
He peered down at his loosely belted banyan, which bared quite a bit of skin, but stopped just short of complete indecency. “Surely, my dear Miss Finch, you cannot argue that I am possibly the most respectably dressed person here.”
“Yes,” she retorted, “but you have exposed something far more incriminating.”
His dark brows lifted. “Is that so?” Amusement laced his words. “And what is that?”
“Your true vile nature.” She turned away, shoulders back, forcing herself not to rush as she took her leave of him. He no doubt wanted her to scurry away like a frightened little mouse. She would not give him the satisfaction.
What do you want people to take away from reading this book?
First and foremost, I want them to be thoroughly entertained from start to finish. I hope they find The Duke Who Ravished Me humorous in places, moving in others and ultimately extremely romantic and satisfying. I want them to fall in love with both the duke and Isabel. And there’s a fun twist at the end that I hope surprises readers!
What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned for 2017?
I’ve just started writing Murder at the Opera, book 3 in my Atlas Catesby Regency historical mystery series, which has a strong romance element to it. The book begins as the brilliant adventurer’s evening out at the opera with Lady Lilliana Warwick comes to an abrupt and violent end when a celebrated singer is gunned down in Covent Garden. I have no scheduled release date for it yet.
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
Giveaway: Ebook: THE DUKE WHO RAVISHED ME (Rebellious Brides) by Diana Quincy
To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: In The Duke Who Ravished Me, the rakish hero doesn’t miraculously change into a model boyfriend the minute he meets the heroine. I wanted to write a believable rake so Sunny continues his scandalous lifestyle until the presence of his twin wards and his growing attraction to their governess triggers his reformation. Does it bother you when the hero isn’t immediately smitten with the heroine or instantly faithful to her? Or do you prefer for their relationship to grow on the page as you read the story?
Excerpt from The Duke Who Ravished Me:
In this scene, “Sunny,”the Duke of Sunderford, London’s most notorious libertine, learns the twin 7-year-old wards who’ve recently been foisted upon him, have invaded the chamber where he hosts scandalous nightly entertainments.
Incredulous, Sunny rounded on the butler. “In my playroom?” He all but roared the words. Dowding seemed to visibly shrink in the face of his wrath. “Tell me you haven’t put those striplings in my private pleasure salon.”
The butler darted a glance in the direction of Sunny’s playroom. “I most certainly did not put them there, Your Grace.”
Sunny struggled to contain his temper. “But that’s where they are, is it not?”
Dowding looked miserable. “Unfortunately, Your Grace. We discovered their whereabouts just a short while ago.”
“What are they doing in there? You are the butler, are you not?” It was all he could do not to shout. “You are supposed to be in charge of ensuring this household runs smoothly. And this”—he gestured wildly toward the closed door—“is anything but smooth.”
“Your Grace, there was a miscommunication.”
Before he could ask what in Hades Dowding meant by that, the door opened and Sunny found himself staring down into the wide silver eyes of one of the interlopers.
“Hullo, Your Grace,” Prudence or Patience piped up. “May we call you Uncle Adam?”
“What?” He grimaced. “No, absolutely not. I am Your Grace to you. You may also call me Duke or simply Sunderford.” Until he found them a suitable home, the less familiarity between them, the better. Besides, he’d always addressed his own father as Your Grace, and the brats could certainly do the same.
“Sunderford?” She sucked three fingers into her mouth. “That’s an awfully long name. Uncle Abel lets us call him uncle.”
“Yes, well bug—” Catching himself, he let the remainder of the expletive die on his tongue. “Where is your sister?”
She grinned, baring a large gap in her upper row of teeth that made her look like a Seven Dials beggar. “Prudie is on your swing.”
“She’s what?” He suppressed a groan and stepped past the urchin. Her sister, in a snow white dress, clutched the ropes with her pudgy hands while pumping her little legs to and fro, trying to propel the swing higher.
Behind him, Patience clapped her hands with delight. “Higher, Prudie,” she urged. “Higher!” Pan dashed around the swing barking as if it was all such good fun.
Sunny winced at the sight of the child on his swing. The last time he’d laid eyes on the contraption, two naked strumpets had been perched upon it. “No,” he snapped. “Do not go higher. Come down off there at once.”
Prudence’s eyes rounded and her lower lip trembled. “Beg your pardon, Your Grace. I thought we could play in here.”
Horror gripped him. Was she about to weep? He hadn’t the first clue about how to deal with a sniveling female child. He turned to the footman and muttered under his breath, “John, what in Hades are these imps doing in my den of iniquity?”
“Why can’t we play in here?” Patience tugged on the hem of his tailcoat to draw his attention. “It’s a playroom, isn’t it?”
Sunny resisted the urge to swat her hands away. Had no one taught the child to keep her grasping little fingers to herself? “Who told you that?” he asked her. “Who told you this is a . . . erm . . . playroom?”
Patience pointed at John. “He did.”
Sunny’s head swung around toward the footman. Red suffused the man’s face. “Not exactly, Your Grace,” John stammered. “She overheard one of the maids telling me she needed to dust and air out your playroom in anticipation of your return.”
“Of all the—” Sunny closed his eyes and took a deep breath to bring his temper under control. “Where is their nursemaid? Why isn’t she watching over them?”
“The governess?” Dowding asked. “Miss Finch is out walking.”
“Out walking?” It vaguely occurred to him that ladies of quality went out walking with gentlemen who wished to court them. Was it the same with governesses? “With whom?”
“Why can’t we play in your playroom?” Patience, the imp who’d tugged on his coat, wanted to know. She stared up at him with barely banked defiance in her eyes. “Why do you have a playroom if children cannot play in it?”
He gritted his teeth. “It is not that kind of playroom.”
Prudence, the urchin on his swing, chose that moment to find her tongue. “What kind of playroom is it then?”
He swung around to look at her. “Why are you still on that contraption?” he snapped. “Did I not tell you to get off that thing?” He immediately regretted his harsh tone because the child’s round eyes watered and her hopeful smile turned downward.
“What kind of playing do you do in here?” the child at his side pressed, picking up where her sister had left off.
He exhaled loudly through his nostrils. “Why must you ask so many infernal questions?” These little upstarts did not know their place. Clearly the nursemaid wasn’t doing her job when it came to teaching them matters of decorum. He was a duke. He was the one who asked any questions that needed answering.
Besides, he could hardly tell her the truth. That this was the place he used for cavorting with tarts, where they all engaged in scandalously pleasurable activities that little girls should know nothing about.
“Patience? Prudence?” The governess’s assertive voice rang out from where she stood on the threshold, a plain straw bonnet partially obscuring her face. “What are you doing in here?”
Relief poured through Sunny. The harridan would take the little terrors in hand. He rounded on her. “I was just about to ask you the same thing.”
Her cool gaze went to him, her marked nose tilted upward, as if sniffing for something malodorous. “I see you have returned. From your less-than-pleasant countenance, may I assume your trip did not yield the results you’d hoped for?”
He stiffened. By God, the dragon grated on his nerves. “You may assume anything you like as long as you enlighten me as to why your charges have trespassed into my private rooms.”
Finch untied her bonnet. She wore another of her drab, uninspired gowns. “Girls, why are you not in the nursery?”
“It’s boring there,” Patience said. “And when I heard the duke had a playroom, I thought it was for Prudie and me.”
“Look,” Prudence added, “it even has a swing.”
The governess blinked and looked around, as if truly taking in the chamber and all of its accoutrements for the first time. Her eyes widened. “What is this place?”
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Meet the Author:
Diana Quincy is an award-winning former television journalist who decided she’d rather make up stories where a happy ending is always guaranteed.
Growing up as a U.S. Foreign Service brat, Diana visited and lived in many countries including Laos, Thailand, Panama, Bolivia, Peru, France, England, Jamaica, India, Pakistan, Morocco and Egypt. She’s now very happily settled in Virginia with her husband, two sons and Jimmy, their adorable foster dog.
When not bent over her laptop or trying to keep up with laundry, Diana enjoys reading, spending time with her family and dreaming up her next travel adventure.
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