Hi Jade and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Lord Satyr!
Hello! Thanks for having me!
Tell us about the book with this fun little challenge using the title of the book:
Lord Satyr is a twist on the bluestocking/rake trope. She’s the studious botanist, and he’s the fun-loving flirt. Together, they stumble upon the business idea of bringing his Lincolnshire Daffodils to London. If they can make it the flower of the season, their individual money problems are solved. Naturally, there are all sorts of challenges in transporting the blooms (two days journey from Lincolnshire to London), but the greater difficulties are learning how to work together. There’s sparks, naughty flirtations, and crazy relatives, but mostly it’s two vastly different people learning about each other and falling in love.
What’s your favorite line(s) from the book?:
I chose a few lines that show Lady Gwyn’s unique perspective on the world and Jackson’s utter assuredness of her great appeal. Plus a little glimpse of the comfortable humor they share with one another.
I swear I shall make you appreciate your beautiful intelligence and your wicked sense of humor so you won’t care what anyone else thinks. And once that happens, everyone will be so amazed that they will try to copy everything you do.” His smile widened. “Even to the point of buying your signature flower from me at a grossly inflated price.”
“My looks are average at best. Men hate that. I am forthright in speech. Men and women alike hate that. What is special about me is my intelligence, and everyone hates that including–at times–myself.”
Did she know how much she tempted him? Especially when she licked her lips and looked up at him like a botanical temptress?
Lady Gwyn: “But I am an odd duck. And I assure you. I have been called worse.”
Lord Sayres: “Why does everyone think different is bad? Good God, odd is the best thing in the world! It means you are unique, interesting, and incredibly valuable.” He leaned forward. “Indeed, it will make you an Original.”
“You have my attention, my lord, and this is rare indeed for a person. More than that, you have my respect.” Then she arched her brow. “I cannot fathom how you accomplished it.”
Please tell us a little about the characters in your book. What first attracts your Hero to the Heroine and vice versa?
It all begins with a bad party experience. For different reasons, they end up at the masquerade depressed about life. And as they commiserate about their problems, he appreciates her bluntness. She’s not playing coy. She’s annoyed as she glares at the greenery. She appreciates that he listens to her and thinks her off-hand business idea is brilliant. They’re on the same wavelength immediately, and that starts the whole story rolling.
When you sat down to start this book, what was the biggest challenge you faced? What were you most excited about?
I wanted to write a heroine on the autistic spectrum. How I came to this challenge is a long winding tale of family discovery. My family tree is filled with extreme “bluestocking” personalities where everything else is secondary to some field of research. But I also know how desperately my relatives tried to connect in normal human ways. They longed to understand the normal and touchstones in society. Who hasn’t tried to connect with someone but didn’t know how? I certainly have. So, I wrote Gwen as someone who is extremely intelligent but doesn’t connect with people like she wants. Except, of course, with Lord Sayres who learns to understand her and adores her just as she is.
What, in your mind, makes this book stand out?
The women in the Lords of the Masquerade series are all strong people who have chosen different paths and are paying the price for their choices. Even the secondary characters are cut differently than typical. Gwen in Lord Satyr is perhaps the most unusual heroine. She’s awkward and struggles to communicate with people, and even hero Jackson doesn’t “get” her at the beginning. But he perseveres and she learns until the most amazing connection develops between them. Then it’s them against the world in a delightful ending that will surprise you!
The First Kiss…
This kiss was born of happiness and impulse. They’re at the dressmakers and have successfully ironed out the details of how best to adorn a gown with Lincolnshire daffodils. It’s impulsive, surprising, and absolutely delightful.
“Lady Gwen, do you not see it? We are alike in this. Thorough, detailed, and committed to seeing a complete success of our venture.” He was so excited, he clasped her hands. She didn’t resist his touch and that made him happy enough to swing her in a circle. “I have never been more filled with hope in my entire life.”
She laughed, and the sound was sweet because she did not try to stifle it. “We have only just begun. There are so many more—”
“Hush,” he said. “We must enjoy the moment we have.” And so saying, he drew her in for a kiss. It wasn’t a seductive kiss. Nothing so planned. It was an expression of joy because he had finally found someone who thought as quickly and as thoroughly as he did. Because she knew things he did not, and together, they could make a fortune.
But mostly it was because she was beautiful, and he was happy. He pressed his lips to hers. He tasted the tea that she’d been drinking and smelled a flowery scent he couldn’t identify. He felt the grip of her fingers in his, and the weight of her body as he drew it close.
Then he kissed her because that is what a man does with a woman who is smiling at him.
He felt her surprise. But he also felt the moment she gave into curiosity. She opened her mouth to him, she angled her head, and she teased him with her tongue.
Heat shot straight to his groin. His heart sped up and his mind was lost under the sudden need to deepen the kiss, to draw her harder against him, and to touch her in ways that weren’t in the least bit appropriate. And yet at that moment, he didn’t care. Not until he heard her maid cry out in alarm. Not until Madame Juliette poked him hard with a needle. And even then, he was dazed enough to ignore it.
It was the second stab that brought him back to reality. And the third had him shying sideways even as he drew Gwen with him as if to protect her from a demon seamstress.
Only then did he realize what he had done. He had kissed Lady Gwen! And he wanted to do it again and again, even though she was his partner in a business venture.
If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would you use for the audition of the main characters and why?
One of my favorite scenes in the book is a very Downton Abbey-like scene where hero Jackson has lined up all the female servants and is pinning different types of lapel vases on them. He’s charmed all the ladies of the staff into helping, and they’re laughing as he tries to put daffodils into vases that are too large or too thin or have all sorts of different problems. Gwen steps into this scene and is completely confused by what she sees. It’s a scene that could go wrong in all sorts of ways—and indeed does a little—but it is also the first time Jackson realizes that Gwen isn’t upset so much as overwhelmed and confused. For her part, she finds safety and clarity with him. It’s an important shift from confused to safe to intrigued, especially while the servants are putting their own spin on things. I would love, love, love to see this produced. I think it would make a great Downton Abbey, Upstairs Downstairs, kind of scene.
“Please explain.” Two words, and she meant no insult. She was overwhelmed by all the noise and commotion when she was already in an unsettled state from before. She didn’t speak overly loud, and neither did she yell. But when she was done, an uncomfortable silence settled on the entire kitchen. The maids stopped giggling, Cook regarded her with a stern expression, and even the grinning Mr. Callatos stopped smiling. And worst of all, the footmen took the moment to step backwards out of the room. She was sure the women would have left too, but they were lined up in front of her and couldn’t go anywhere.
The only one who didn’t seem annoyed with her was Lord Sayres, whose brows arched with surprise, but his smile never faded. Instead, he dipped his chin.
“My apologizes, Lady Gwen. I’m afraid I got so wrapped up in what we were doing that I didn’t properly set the scene.” He stepped even further back from her as he gestured to the wares on the kitchen table. Grabbing the smallest piece, he held aloft a dress pin vase. It was suitable for the tiniest posies as it might adorn a petite woman’s dress. “Mr. Callatos fashions pins, among other things. I asked him if he had anything that might work for our daffodils.”
“That pin will not work,” she said, stating the obvious. “Unless you wish to add other flowers or leaves to make it stand up more.”
Meanwhile, she had to seal her mouth shut while he stepped down the row of women, dropping the paper cutting into each pin while the ladies pinked beneath his attention. She knew he was murmuring something to them. Cook even giggled. But the exact nature of his flirtatious behavior was hidden from her, for which she was both grateful and annoyed. What did she care if he whispered something scandalous to the parlor maid?
After each woman, he would step back and survey the picture. He complimented her looks—whichever her it was—but his eyes seemed to be on the pin and flowers. Each woman preened under his regard, Cook no less than the younger ladies, but in the end, he shook his head.
“I cannot think which shape is best,” he said. “They all look lovely.”
“Because you are not thinking about the use of the vase.” She stepped over to a cold teapot and brandished it aloft.
The women all looked alarmed by her movement, probably because she was known for occasionally being so absorbed in a task (usually a book) that she poured tea into the saucer rather than the cup. Or onto the table all together. Rather than terrify them, she passed the cold pot to Lord Sayres.
“Would you please put water in the vases?”
He understood immediately. Brandishing the teapot, he headed for Alice but they both could see that the spout was much too large and the vase too narrow. “It will spill all down her front,” he said. “Do you fill them first and pin them on later?”
He obviously had not worn one of these before. She had and had declared them useless, frustrating things. Even if she succeeded in getting a watered flower onto her dress, it nevertheless spilled when she sat down or stood up or walked across the room.
Webster knew just what to do. The woman might be too stiff in her idea of how a lady should act, but her maid was a genius when it came to dressing. Gwen gave her a nod, and the lady pulled out a bowl of water. She pulled the pin off herself and dropped it into the water to fill it up, then held her thumb over it to stopper it. His lordship watched with an interested look.
“A small piece of cork would work best, I should think,” he said as he glanced back at Mr. Callatos. The man nodded even as he stepped around to watch Webster’s work.
With her thumb over the top, she crossed to Gwen and pinned it on her just over her heart. The perfect place, her mother had once said, to accent the bosom. Then Webster pushed the paper flower into the waiting vase. That completely ruined the paper cut, but it wasn’t worth saving anyway.
“Very clever,” Lord Sayres said as he inspected the vase from every side. “I see why you wanted fabric that wouldn’t show water stains. But how well can you move with it?”
Gwen breathed deeply, lifting the pin with every breath. It didn’t spill.
“No, no,” Lord Sayres said. “We need to see how it will work with you dancing.” So saying, he grabbed her arm and set a hand on her waist. “Callatos, a waltz, if you please.”
Immediately the tinker began to hum. He had a beautifully rich voice that la-dee-dum, la-dee-dummed a tune. Meanwhile, Lord Sayres held out his hand to her.
If your hero had a sexy-times play list, what song(s) would have to be on it?
So many possibilities! Here are some favorites…
Adore You by Harry Styles
Send Me an Angel by Real Life
You’ve Got the Look by Prince
Fever by Peggy Lee
These Arms of Mine by Otis Redding
In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel
Friendly Skies by Missy Elliott (feat. Ginuwine)
Green Light by John Legend
Sweetest Taboo by Sade
What do you want people to take away from reading this book?
Love is for everyone, and everyone feels awkward, confused, and unable to connect at some point. With a little patience and effort, we can discover such things about each other! I know that sounds very floofy, and the ending scenes especially are very girl empowerment, but that’s the message of this book. Everyone feels awkward and stupid at times, even the most brilliant among us. And there is love for everyone, too.
What are you currently working on? What are your up-coming releases?
Lord Ares, the next book in the Lords of the Masquerade series. This is the love story of Lilah, the illegitimate sister of Lady Gwen, and the unattainable man of her dreams. He’s a political gentleman whose career will be damaged by marrying someone illegitimate. And yet, she’s so unusual, he can’t stop wanting her.
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Excerpt from Lord Satyr:
She gasped and spun around, then she tilted her head again, this time as she inspected him. “Lord Sayres? What are you doing up and about so late?”
“I was about to ask you the same thing.”
She shrugged. “I blame it on the nap. I am not usually so sedentary and find myself strangely restless now.”
“I was thinking exactly the same thing,” he said. Then he extended his arm. “Care for a walk?”
“Only if you swear not to tell Webster that we did. She’ll have my ears for wandering around at night.”
“Are you prone to nighttime rambles?”
She shrugged. “Only in the country. I am not so bold in London.”
“Your secret is safe with me.” Her secret, yes. But her person? Her virtue? Maybe not, because as she took his arm, his lust surged again. What things he could do to her in the moonlight. And yet, he held himself back. He was an honorable man who would not take advantage of her just because desire pounded in his veins.
“Mind the rock there,” he said as he steered her away from what looked to be a large flat stone. “It’s actually a tree root, and I bruised my toes kicking it.”
“Do you often kick stones?”
“Only when I can’t sleep.”
“Then you should be used to bruised toes.”
He chuckled, his insides settling at just being with her. He didn’t know why. She did not seem like a restful person, but then, neither was he. Their minds churned too fast. But after their heated discussions earlier, it was nice to know they could simply enjoy a moonlit walk together without poking at one another.
After a minute or so in silence, she spoke softly, her words filling the night air with the cadence of her voice. “Are you worried about our daffodils?”
He liked the way she called them “our daffodils.” It showed him she was committing to their venture. “No worries, and I am done with making plans for now.”
She blew out a breath. “Good. I confess I am tired of the discussion as well. For now.”
“So is it the moonlight that draws you outside? Or something else?”
She wrinkled her nose in the most adorable way. “I don’t know,” she finally said. “I have found myself focusing on all manner of strange things lately. It’s unsettling.”
Now he was definitely intrigued. He thought her mind was consumed by science and botany. “What strange things?” he prompted when she fell silent.
“Well,” she said slowly, “you recall that when we first met, I was in search for a husband.”
He nodded. “But you have given that up in favor of making an independent fortune.”
“Yes,” she agreed slowly. “But I have been imagining myself in five years. I have been pretending what it will be like when our flowers make enough income that my sister and I can live independently.”
He’d barely given that idea any thought. His focus had been on establishing a profitable business now. He’d planned out this year and the next. He’d certainly touched on five years and ten, but that had been in the far-off future. He had more than enough to do now.
“What is your conclusion?”
She laughed. “So very many. For example, I should need to buy a home in Lincolnshire, I think. If I am to be of continued use in our venture, then I need to supervise the growing of the flowers, the cutting and the like. We will need a steady crop.”
He liked the idea of her in his home village. “Very practical. I applaud this idea.”
“I think I could enjoy the challenge. There are several different types of daffodils. I should like to experiment with other kinds, perhaps find some other rare ones. We could sell them all.”
They had touched on this in the carriage. “I believe that is an excellent place to expand in the future.”
“Yessss,” she said slowly and without much conviction.
“You don’t sound like that appeals to you.”
“It does. I assure you, it definitely does.”
“But?” There was certainly hesitation in her voice.
She blew out a breath. “But I find myself still unsettled. That future holds everything I could want in life. Useful work, a lovely home, opportunities to further my interest in botany, but…” Her voice trailed away on a frustrated note. He echoed it. What was bothering her?
“But what? You must tell me. I cannot build a five-year plan for our business without knowing.”
She didn’t answer. They were walking into a light wood well back from the inn, and she reached up to push a branch out of the way, but she didn’t step beneath it. Instead, she looked up at the moon now revealed in the gap between the leaves.
“I am not of a poetical bent, my lord. I think about practical things, about science and how the natural world works. I have even dabbled in astronomy.” She lifted her hand from his arm and pointed at the moon. “I know the scientific reasons for the phases of the moon and can cite the differences between a planet and a star in the night sky.”
“I know very little about that,” he confessed. “As a boy I only thought of the things here on Earth.” And as he grew older, the most he thought about the moon was how he could get a beautiful woman naked beneath it.
She looked around them, seeming to inspect every tree branch, every leaf as it was lined in white light. But in the end, she faced him. “My thoughts tonight are not scientific. I am thinking about waltzes and kisses, and I find myself plagued by a single question.”
His body tightened with the way she looked at him. Her eyes were wide, and her shoulders slightly hunched. She looked vulnerable and yet hopeful. “What is the question?” he whispered.
“Did our waltz seem…different to you? I know our kiss was an accident borne of enthusiasm, and I have so little to compare it to, but I have waltzed several times. It seemed different to me, and I wondered—”
“If I felt the same?”
She looked up at him and now it was her face touched with silver. Her lips turned dark, and yet he could see every curve. But most of all he saw that her eyes held a magical glow.
“Did it feel special to you?” she whispered.
Desire pounded in his veins, and he pulsed with the need to possess her. He held himself back. He didn’t want to frighten her, especially since she was so careful with whom she touched. But how could he resist a woman who asked such a thing? Especially when the answer was so clear.
“Yes,” he said, his voice husky. “Yes, it was different. Yes, Lady Gwen, you are special. And yes, I should very much like to kiss you again.”
Excerpts. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
It requires a special kind of magic from a lord who knows how to bring out the best in a woman. And all it will cost is his heart.
Lord Sayres has a reputation for frivolity when what he wants is something substantial. He’s looking for a business endeavor free from his past entanglements. Something fresh and completely new for a world that has seen and done everything.
Masquerades are not Lady Gwen’s typical entertainment. She’s a bluestocking with a love of botany. When her husband-hunting plans go awry, she amuses herself by analyzing the flowers with a man who looks as depressed as she feels. When they stumble upon a business idea, she’s torn between clinging to the life she’s always known and joining forces with a known flirt. Could their unlikely partnership solve both their problems?
A Special Magic
Everything hinges on presenting their product in the most intriguing way and what better plan than to make Gwen society’s newest darling? Where she leads, everyone else will follow. But how can an awkward bluestocking transform into a beauty? It requires a special kind of magic from a lord who knows how to bring out the best in a woman. And all it will cost is his heart.
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Meet the Author:
A USA Today Bestseller, JADE LEE has been scripting love stories since she first picked up a set of paper dolls. Ball gowns and rakish lords caught her attention early (thank you Georgette Heyer), and her fascination with historical romance began. Author of more than 30 regency romances, Jade has a gift for creating a lively world, witty dialogue, and hot, sexy humor. Jade also writes contemporary and paranormal romance as Kathy Lyons. Together, they’ve won several industry awards, including the Prism—Best of the Best, Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice, and Fresh Fiction’s Steamiest Read. Even though Kathy (and Jade) have written over 60 romance novels, she’s just getting started.
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