Hi Lynsay and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Love Is Blind!
Hi Sara! Thank you for having me… 😉
Please summarize the book a la Twitter style for the readers here:
Lord Adrian Montfort, the Earl of Mowbray, would like to settle down but after a wound left half his face scarred, most women won’t even look at him. Not so with Lady Clarissa. Half blind without spectacles, the fetching lass stumbled right into his arms & her cheerful disposition made a lasting impression.
Please share the opening lines of this book:
“Love is a fever… in my blood.”
Clarissa Crambray winced as those words trembled in the air. Truly, this had to be the worst of the poems Lord Prudhomme had recited since arriving at her father’s townhouse an hour ago.
Had it only been an hour? In truth it felt more like several days had passed since the elderly man had arrived.
Please share a few Fun facts about this book…
- Lady Clarissa, or Clumsy Clarissa as many call her, has a reputation…
She steps on the toes of her dance partners, she wears a bib to protect her dresses, she bumps into most everything, she set one of her suitor’s wigs on fire after bumping into him while holding a candle, she spilled piping hot tea and burned another suitor’s piffle because she mistook his lap for a table.
- Adrian Montfort has never before been nervous around anyone, but as his feelings for Lady Clarissa blossom, so do his nerves. She makes him speechless.
What first attracts your Hero to the Heroine and vice versa?
Though Adrian Montfort finds Lady Clarissa quite fetching, he’s especially taken with her honesty and cheerfulness in the face of the many disasters that plague her daily.
Clarissa likes the way the tall, dark and handsome blur named Adrian Mowbry makes her feel, safe and accepted for who she is. She also loves listening to his insightful opinions, and his infectious laughter.
Using just 5 words, how would you describe Hero and Heroine’s love affair?
A sweet, sensual, and amusing romance.
The First Kiss…
“Thank you, my lord,” she said solemnly. “It was a lovely picnic. I have not enjoyed myself so much since…well, since the last time we met,” Clarissa admitted with a smile. “I am the most fortunate of women to have a friend such as you.”
She sensed the way Adrian stiffened at her words, but didn’t understand why until he said huskily, sounding disappointed, “A friend, Clarissa? Is that how you see me?”
She could feel herself flush and lowered her head to hide her face as she admitted, “I did not wish to presume on your-”
Adrian cut off her words by catching her under the chin with one finger, lifting her face, and covering her mouth with his own.
Clarissa went still as his mouth touched hers, sliding over her own; soft, but firm, brushing them with a gentle, insistent caress. Her lips parted slightly as a little sigh slid out, then she felt something take advantage of the unconscious move and press forward into her mouth.
Clarissa was so startled, that she froze for a moment at the intrusion. When she realized that it was his tongue, she stiffened even further, shock claiming her. Then Adrian’s tongue swept through her mouth and she tasted the sweetness of the wine mixed with his own taste and she sighed again, her body relaxing into his and her mouth opening further as he tilted her head to the side.
Clarissa had been married, but never kissed. She supposed that was odd, but it was how it was. She’d never experienced the excitement and pleasure that was suddenly rushing through her, and found it all a bit overwhelming. Clutching at his arms to help keep her balance, she really didn’t kiss him back at all at first, but stayed still beneath his ministrations until his tongue lashed hers, goading her to kiss back. Uncertain at first, Clarissa moved her own tongue forward and participated in the kiss, gasping in surprise at the sparks that seemed suddenly to go off between them.
A groan sliding from his throat, Adrian slid his arms around her, pressing her close to his body as his mouth slanted over hers again and again. Clarissa slid her own arms around his neck, nearly strangling him as she tried to get closer still. She felt one of his hands drift down to her bottom and press her forward until she rubbed against a hardness that her mind was too slow to understand just then, then he had suddenly released her and stepped away.
Without revealing too much, what is your favorite scene in the book?
“Dead on,” Reginald admitted, looking a bit incredulous. His gaze moved between the two women and then he gave a harsh laugh. “Now you have quite ruined it for me. I was considering favoring either, or both, of them with my attentions. But, now you have made them quite boring.” He frowned for a moment and then perked up. “Ah, I know one woman you can not size up so easily.”
Grabbing Adrian’s arm, he began tugging him around the room, pausing once they’d reached the opposite side.
“There!” he said with satisfaction. “The girl in the yellow muslin gown. Lady Clarissa Crambray. I defy you to find someone from the last season you were here to compare her to.”
Adrian looked over the girl in question. Tiny, delicate looking in fact, and lovely as a newly blooming rose. She had dark, chestnut hair, a heart-shaped face, large, wide eyes, full lips, and looked about as miserable as he’d ever seen a young woman look. A state he suspected had something to do with the older woman at her side. Well-rounded with dark hair, she was still pretty despite the bloom of youth being gone…or she would be if she weren’t wearing a pursed, dissatisfied expression as she surveyed the activity in the ballroom, Adrian thought and glanced back to the girl.
“First season?” he queried, his curiosity peaked…
“Yes.” Reg was looking amused.
“Why is no one dancing with her?” A beauty such as she should have had a full card.
“No one dares ask her to dance and you will not either if you value your feet.”
Adrian’s eyebrows rose, his gaze turning reluctantly from the young woman to the man at his side.
“She is blind as a bat and dangerous to boot,” Reg announced, nodding when Adrian looked disbelieving. “Truly, she cannot dance a step without stomping on your feet and falling about. She cannot even walk without bumping into things.” He paused, cocking one eyebrow at Adrian’s expression. “I know you do not believe it. I did not either… Much to my own folly.”
Reginald turned to glare at the girl as he continued. “I was warned, but ignored it and took her in to dinner…” He glanced back at Adrian. “I was wearing dark brown trousers that night…unfortunately. She mistook my lap for a table and set her tea on me…Or rather, tried to. It over set and…” Reg paused, shifting uncomfortably at the memory. “Damn me if she did not burn my piffle.”
Adrian stared at the man and then burst into laughter.
Reginald looked startled, then smiled wryly. “Yes. Laugh. But, if I never sire another child – legitimate — or not, I shall blame it solely on Lady Clarissa.”
Shaking his head, Adrian laughed harder, and it felt so good. It had been many years since he’d found anything in the least bit funny. But, the image of the delicate little flower along the wall, mistaking Reg’s lap for a table, and oversetting a cup of tea on him was priceless.
“What did you do?” he got out at last.
Reg shook his head and raised his hands helplessly. “What could I do? I pretended it had not happened, stayed where I was, and tried not to cry with the pain. ‘A gentleman never deigns to notice, or draw attention in any way, to a lady’s public faux pas,’” he quoted dryly, then glanced back at the girl with a sigh. “And truth to tell, I do not think she even realized what she had done. Rumor has it she can see fine with spectacles, but is too vain to wear them.”
If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would be absolutely crucial to include?
This is an important scene because not only does it clear up the biggest misconception tarnishing Clarissa’s reputation, but we get a glimpse of how perceptive and thoughtful Adrian is. It also reveals how much he likes Clarissa.
Clarissa considered his words, then sighed. “The rest of the ton thinks the marriage was consummated, does it not?”
“That seems to be the prevailing thought. I am afraid while your father’s taking you home to the country to avoid the scandal was understandable, your disappearance allowed the vicious rumor to surface that the marriage had been consummated and produced offspring. Some said you were in the country giving birth to and raising the child of the marriage.”
Clarissa’s jaw dropped open and she turned on him with horror. “That is what they all think?”
She thought Adrian was frowning, but couldn’t be sure until he said grimly, “Perhaps I should not have told you this.”
“No, I am glad you did. Better to know what I am dealing with, then not.” She sighed. “The only problem is, I know of no way to combat such gossip.”
“Perhaps there is no way,” he said quietly. “Perhaps the only action here is to learn to ignore it and not care what people think.”
“Is that possible?” Clarissa asked unhappily.
“I do not know. Does it matter to you what they think? You were so cheerful when recounting your blunders since your spectacles were taken away, that I felt sure you did not concern yourself with such things.”
“Mostly I do not,” she acknowledged. “I know what has and has not happened. I know what kind of person I am. The only time I find it hard is when they whisper behind their fans within my hearing.” Clarissa smiled wryly. “I would almost rather they flat out said these things to me so that I could clear my name, but other than that, it has never really bothered me what others thought other than those I care about.”
Adriane reached up to squeeze the hand resting on his arm and then drew her to a halt. “Here we are.”
Clarissa turned her gaze forward and squinted at the little clearing he’d led her to. There was something on the ground, a large square with different patches of color. A quilt she realized, and there appeared to be items on the quilt.
“A picnic?” Clarissa ventured uncertainly and Adrian chuckled as he led her forward to sit on one corner of the quilt.
“Yes. I remembered you saying that your stepmother will not let you eat or drink at these functions and you are left hungry and thirsty. I thought I could remedy that. We have meat, cheese, bread, fruit and wine.”
Clarissa stared at the blur of items around her, tears welling up in her eyes to blur her sight further. She’d said she missed reading, so he’d arranged for his cousin to bring her out to him so that he could read to her. She’d mentioned she could neither eat nor drink and he provided her with a picnic in the midst of the evening.
Incredibly touched by his thoughtfulness and consideration, Clarissa thought Adrian must be the sweetest of men.
“And…” He produced something light colored with a flourish and Clarissa blinked in confusion until he said, “Your bib, my lady. To prevent any little accidents from giving us away. You may feel free to pretend I am one of your servants and wear it with me. Shall I help you don it?”
Clarissa gaped, then burst out laughing, the tears drying before any had left her eyes. Adrian was definitely the most wonderful of men. He made her laugh and was considerate as well, she thought as she sat still for him to put the bib on for her.
“’Tis not really a bib,” Adrian announced as he settled it around her neck. “’Tis just one of cook’s towels, but it was the best I could do at short notice.”
“Thank you,” Clarissa murmured as he finished and settled back on his corner of the blanket. “This is all lovely. And I am starved.”
“Then we shall eat,” he said cheerfully and began to offer her food. There was cold roasted chicken, cheese, a scrumptious sour dough bread and strawberries, grapes and apples to choose from. They ate and chatted and laughed an awful lot and Clarissa thought she must be happier than she’d ever been in her life. The food was long gone, and Clarissa was laughing at a tale Adrian had just told about his troubles with his cantankerous old butler when she sensed his stiffening and saw his head shift so that he was looking somewhere over her shoulder.
Readers should read this book …
I want them to have fun and get lost in the story so that any stress or worry they have fades away in the suspense, drama, cringe worthy moments, and humour of the story.
What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned?
As for what I’m working on…
I recently handed in the next Argeneau (story after Immortal Angel) about Mac Argeneau, one of Katricia’s many siblings, and CJ, a no nonsense SIU agent investigating a local cop for misconduct. This one is pretty steamy!
And now I am about to start working on the one after that which, barring any issues (sometimes characters don’t cooperate) will be about Pet’s twin sister Quinn from The Trouble with Vampires and Jet the mortal pilot and friend of Abigail’s in Immortal Nights.
As for upcoming releases…
The story many Argeneau readers have been waiting for, Immortal Angel, comes out on September 29th. This one’s about Ildaria and GG. (So Marguerite and GG’s mom can stop worrying now, cause the Green Giant is gonna get some!)
And Rory Buchanan finally gets his story in the next Highland Brides’ story, called Highland Treasure. Set to come just after the New Year, it’s a lighthearted romp and it has the distinction of having the largest number of secondary characters of any story I’ve ever written… an entire town!
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
Giveaway: Two signed paperback editions of Love Is Blind!
To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Would you go on a date with someone you couldn’t even see?
Excerpt from Love Is Blind:
“You dance divinely, my lady,” he said quietly near her ear, gently leading her with his arm, and pressure on her hand, past the gay colors of the other dancers.
Clarissa flushed and smiled a bit proudly, then sighed and shook her head.
“No, my Lord,” she said demurely. “You give me too much credit. I fear you are the one who dances divinely. I know it is not I, for I have been able to do nothing but stumble and fall about when dancing with others.”
“Than the fault lies with those `others’. You are as light, and graceful as a feather on the dance floor with me.”
Clarissa considered that briefly, then, with her innate sense of justice, nodded her head. “I believe you may be right, my lord. After all, if it were me alone, even your obvious skill could not have made it so easy. Perhaps my previous partners were a bit nervous and awkward.”
She could hear the smile in his voice and raised her eyebrows in question. “My Lord?”
“Your honesty. I am pleased by your lack of false modesty. It is something that never really bothered me before, yet now seems as fake and unpleasant as the airs everyone puts on when in the city. I find your honesty most refreshing.”
Clarissa felt herself blush, then the first strains of a new song hummed through the air and her companion paused and turned her into his arms once more.
“Close your eyes,” he instructed and began to move her around the room once more.
Clarissa closed her eyes and relaxed into his arms. She suspected they shouldn’t really be dancing this closely, but feared if she insisted they reduce the closeness, she may return to the clumsy stumbling she’d suffered before. Besides, she quite liked being in his embrace. Between that and her closed eyes, she felt quite coddled and safe.
“Why do you not disobey this stepmother of yours?”
Clarissa blinked her eyes open, tried in vain to see the face dancing before her and then gave it up and raised a questioning eyebrow. “What do you mean?”
“I mean, why do you not simply wear the spectacles anyway?”
“Oh, I tried that the first day I was in London,” Clarissa admitted with irritation. “I came downstairs dressed for Lord Findlay’s ball wearing them. Lydia was livid. She snatched them off my face and broke them right in front of my eyes. Almost close enough that I could see what she was doing.”
“She broke them?” He was obviously shocked by the lengths her stepmother would go to.
Clarissa gave a solemn nod. “Lydia does not care to be disobeyed.”
“But if she broke them, how do you see to get around at home?” he asked with dismay.
“I do not.” Clarissa grimaced and then admitted with some vexation, “I have to be led around by servants. It is quite tedious.”
“I imagine it would be,” he murmured.
“Hmm.” She briefly reflected on the humiliation of it all and then said, “But the worst of it is that I can not do anything without my spectacles. I can not embroider, or arrange flowers… or anything. And it is impossible to read. Even if I move the books right up to my eyes, I can not read long before the strain makes my head ache. ‘Tis quite boring. I have nothing to do but sit about, twiddling my thumbs.”
Adrian murmured sympathetically despite the slight smile tugging at his mouth. The pout on her lips — unconscious though it was — was quite endearing as he gazed down on her. She was quite a lovely chit. Though, perhaps not in a traditional way. Her lips were too big for any member of the season to think of her as lovely, but he just thought they were quite seductive. And her nose was just a bit too pert for today’s standards, but he thought it cute.
Adrian was so preoccupied with taking in her features, that he hardly noticed when the music changed, heeding it only enough to swing her into a waltz as he continued to gaze down at her face while she went on to tell him the trials and tribulations of not having her spectacles. There was quite a long list of them.
Dressing was difficult and she had to depend entirely on the good humor of her lady’s maid and hope that she was dressed appropriately. She never knew quite what her hair looked like and there too had to depend on her maid, Clarissa explained and hardly seemed to hear his assurances that her hair was perfection and her gown lovely.
The lady obviously wasn’t seeking compliments. Blushing furiously, she waved his words away and continued to explain that she had to be led about the house by the same maid, for fear of tumbling down stairs, or tripping over something she had not seen. And apparently, mistaking people for others was a problem, though she assured him she was getting quite good at recognizing voices. There was also the irritating problem of spilling food down her front, albeit only when she was alone with servants since she was not allowed to take refreshments or food in company. She had taken to wearing a bib to save her gowns.
Adrian was biting his lip at the image of her in a bib, but it only got worse as she went on to say she’d nearly set fire to the townhouse several times while attempting to light candles and such. She’d tripped up the butler in her home and several of the servants numerous times and was positive that because of this they all hated her. She was sure they cringed away from her when she was near and were beginning to murmur that she was a walking disaster.
Lady Clarissa was dreadfully cheerful as she admitted all this. Adrian had great difficulty stifling his amusement as she spoke, but managed to withhold his chuckles until she sensed his polite efforts and gave him leave to laugh. The robust laughter that escaped him then surprised Adrian. It had been so long since he’d even smiled that this laughter was a joy to partake of and he found his eyes softening on the woman who had brought it about. She was a wonder. Adorable, lovely and so cheerful about the disasters that followed her… Clarissa made his soul feel light and his heart ache with longing.
“You have a nice voice, my lord. A nice laugh too,” she announced with a smile.
“Thank you, my lady,” he said after clearing his throat of the laughter clogging it. “It is kind of you to say so, but I show my bad manners in laughing at your misfortune. Prey, forgive me.”
“Oh ta ra,” Clarissa said lightly. “In retrospect I suppose it is all rather funny, though I doubt that Lydia would agree.”
Adrian’s humor ended there and he arched one eyebrow in displeasure though she could not see it. “Forgive me for saying so, my lady, but your stepmother sounds to me to be a rather nasty, old cow.”
“Oh,” Clarissa squinted up at him in dismay. “Oh you must not say that….Ever.”
“Why not?” he asked with careless amusement. “I am not afraid of her.”
“No, but…She would be furious…And she would not like you were she to hear you say such things about her.”
“I could not care less if she likes me or not–” Adrian began, but she cut him off.
“Oh, but you must. If she does not like you, then she will not allow me to dance with you anymore and…and…I do quite like it,” Clarissa ended with some embarrassment.
The look of scorn on Adrian’s face melted away at her confession and he softened slightly. “Well, then, I shall have to be sure to treat her with the utmost respect.” He watched her pink, embarrassed face for a moment, then added, “Because, I quite like it too.”
Clarissa turned her face up and beamed brightly.
Adrian smiled gently back despite the fact that she could not see it and then some instinct made him peer over her shoulder. He slowed his dancing somewhat as he spotted the woman who had been seated next to the girl when Reginald had first pointed her out. It seemed her stepmother had returned from stuffing herself to find the seat where she’d left her charge empty. Lydia was now frowning around the room in search of the errant girl. It did not take her long to spot the chit in his arms.
As Adrian had expected, the woman looked less than pleased to see her dancing with him. In fact, she looked quite horrified. When she immediately began to make a bee-line toward them, he pretended not to see her and began to dance Clarissa in the opposite direction, leading her away from her guardian.
Excerpts. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Adrian Montfort, Earl of Mowbray, had been warned that Lady Clarissa Crambray was dangerous. From stomping on toes to setting wigs on fire, the stunning beauty was clearly a force to be reckoned with. Still, he’s in need of a wife, and is sure he can handle one woman and her “unfortunate past.” Intrigued by the mysterious vixen, he soon discovers he’s greatly underestimated the lady…
Clarissa would like to find a husband, but perhaps not as much as her stepmother would like one for her. The woman has forbidden Clarissa from wearing her spectacles so she can look prettier, but how is she to see her potential suitors? Besides, she’s already caused enough mayhem to earn a rather horrible nickname. Just when she is about to give up hope of anyone asking her to dance, a man comes to lead her to the dance floor…a dark, handsome blur of a man.
Book Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Goodreads |
Meet the Author:
My name is Lynsay Sands and I’m the author of the Argeneau series and many hysterical historicals (as my readers tend to call them). I have written sixty books and twelve anthologies, which probably tells you I really enjoy writing. I consider myself very lucky to have been able to make a career out of it.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | | Instagram |