Hi Amy Rose and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Up All Night with a Good Duke!
Thank you so much for having me!
Please summarize the book for the readers here:
Up All Night with a Good Duke is the first title in my brand-new Byronic Book Club series with Sourcebooks Casablanca! Artemis Jones, the heroine, is an unapologetic bluestocking who works at a very proper finishing school for young ladies. However, she dreams of establishing her own academic ladies’ college—the sort of institution that will help young women gain entrance to male-dominated universities like Oxford and Cambridge, if not right now, then in the future. Of course, Artemis, the daughter of a vicar, doesn’t have the money to start her college. Aside from scrimping and saving her teacher’s wage for years, she’s also been putting aside any income she derives from her secret career as the racy Gothic romance novelist, Lydia Lovelace. But then an opportunity presents itself to make Artemis’s dream come true, a whole lot sooner. Her dear childhood friend Lucy—a confirmed spinster just like Artemis and a fellow “Byronic Book Club” member—asks Artemis to quit her job and come to London to help her navigate her first Season. While helping Lucy to avoid any would-be suitors in London’s ballrooms—Lucy does not want to marry despite what her father has decreed—Artemis intends to court the favor of a wealthy patroness for her college. The only problem is, Artemis’s meddling aunt, a dowager baroness, won’t let Artemis’s younger sister Phoebe wed until Artemis does. Yes, it’s a Taming of the Shrew scenario!
Dominic Winters, dubbed the “Dastardly Duke of Dartmoor” after the suspicious death of his wife, is keen to emerge from self-imposed social exile to find a new duchess to help him manage his rebellious teenage daughter. But then, it’s difficult to find a fiancée when one has a murderous reputation… And then he keeps bumping into the brazen and intriguing Artemis Jones, a woman who really isn’t duchess material, but he can’t seem to get her out of his mind…
Artemis hatches a madcap plan—she decides that she’ll stage her own “faux ruination”—to get her Aunt Roberta to disown her once and for all. That way she’ll be free to start her college and Phoebe can at last find a husband without Artemis having to wed first. But in order to enact her fake ruination, Artemis needs a man to go along with her scheme…and that’s where Dominic Winters, the Duke of Dartmoor, comes in. But will he play along?
Please share your favorite line(s) or quote from this book:
As Artemis’s shoulder connected with the wool-clad chest of the tall, solidly built stranger, she skidded and stumbled, and her full-to-bursting carpetbag flew out of her hand and onto the pavement. The battered clasp came undone, and several books fell out, skittering across the wet flagstones toward the gutter and the cab’s wheels.
“Lucifer’s love truncheon,” Artemis muttered without thinking. And then her heart did an odd little tumble when she realized that the man had put out a hand to stop her from slipping. His fingers were curled about her elbow, and when she looked up, her gaze collided with his.
Lucifer’s love truncheon indeed…
Please share a few Fun facts about this book…
- Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books ever, so Up All Night with a Good Duke, is a bit of an upside down take on this classic. Artemis, my “teacher” heroine, is similar to Jane Eyre in some ways, but in other respects she’s quite the opposite. Like Jane, she’s highly intelligent and believes in gender and social equality. She wants agency for herself and other women. Conversely, Artemis is not an inexperienced nineteen-year-old, but a bold, twenty-nine-year-old woman who knows what she wants from life and owns her own desire. She’s not a virgin and she’s willing to have an affair if the right man comes along. Dominic Winters, the Duke of Dartmoor, might come across as a brooding “Byronic hero” initially—a “Mr. Rochester” type character who was once married to a “mad wife”—but he really is progressive-minded and supportive despite his dark, tragic past. I really enjoyed playing with Gothic themes as I wrote Up All Night with a Good Duke. I hope readers enjoy this aspect of the story too.
- I should also mention Artemis’s habit of creative cursing. It was a way for me to demonstrate how she pretty much thumbs her nose at Victorian society’s strict conventions. She uses a range of “naughty” alliterative curses including: Beelzebub’s ballocks, Mephistopheles’s member, Old Nick’s nob, and of course, Lucifer’s love truncheon. It was actually my wonderful husband who helped me come up with this last one. We were brainstorming in the kitchen one night, and I mentioned the term “truncheon” was an amusing euphemism for a particular male anatomical part in the eighteenth-century erotic novel by John Cleland, Fanny Hill. Once my husband suggested Lucifer’s love truncheon, I knew I had to include it my book! My darling husband gets full credit for this in the acknowledgments.
What first attracts your Hero to the Heroine and vice versa?
I had such fun writing the meet-cute scene between Artemis and Dominic. I totally played around with the classic “heroine bumps into the hero” scenario i.e. Artemis is rushing for a hackney cab in the rain on a busy London street and she crashes into the hero as he’s headed for the same one. Of course, her bag goes flying and then this mysterious, handsome stranger helps Artemis retrieve her things.
It’s definitely a case of “lust-at-first-sight” for both Artemis and Dominic. Artemis is initially attracted to the hero’s handsome face, fine physique, and his aura of power. She even likens him to “a darkly brooding Byronic hero who’d stepped from the pages of one of her own books.” During their second “accidental” encounter at a bookstore, Artemis discovers her “mysterious Byronic hero” has a fifteen-year-old daughter and she’s impressed that this man wishes to purchase a few Jane Austen titles for her. She notes his charm and wit but tells herself she’s unlikely to ever met this handsome, charismatic stranger again. But of course, Fate has other plans…
Aside from being physically attracted to Artemis, Dominic is drawn to her bold character and intelligence. He likes that she’s a bluestocking who speaks her mind—he finds their initial conversations to be both stimulating and amusing. He’s also fascinated by the wicked glint in her dark brown eyes, and he can’t seem to stop thinking about her, even though she’s not exactly suitable duchess material. When Artemis does find out he’s a duke, Dominic is also impressed that she’s not overly impressed by his title. Overall, he finds her intriguing.
Did any scene have you blushing, crying or laughing while writing it? And Why?
I will admit to having a bit of a giggle when I wrote Artemis’s “faux ruination” scene which takes place in a library at a ball. Artemis’s close “Byronic Book Club” friends, Lucy Bertram and Jane Delaney, are in on the plan. The idea is, Artemis’s fearsome aunt, Roberta, Lady Wagstaff, will catch Artemis in a compromising situation with Dominic and be so scandalized when neither are willing to “do the right thing” and get married, she’ll disown Artemis. The whole scene has a bit of a slapstick, rompish sort of feel to it which I really enjoyed writing. Here’s a wee snippet…
“Aunt Roberta,” Artemis began as she struggled to simultaneously push her bunched skirts down and push herself up from the depths of the settee. “I can explain—”
“No. You cannot,” declared the middle-aged dowager baroness. She was bristling with so much anger, the peacock feathers adorning her mask were shivering like autumn leaves in a gale. “I’m speechless. Flabbergasted. Dumbfounded. So shocked and mortified, I can barely speak.”
If only that were true, thought Dominic with a sigh. “Lady Wagstaff.” He rose and then helped Artemis to her feet. “Your niece is not to bl—”
“Oh, yes I am. I am to blame,” Artemis rejoined. “I take full responsibility for my own scandalous behavior leading to my complete and utter ruination. I was the one who lured the Duke of Dartmoor here—”
All of sudden, one of Artemis’s friends, Miss Delaney perhaps, gasped in a most melodramatic fashion, “Oh, no! Viscountess Seagrove and a few of her friends are headed this way! And everyone knows what frightful gossips they are.”
“Lady Seagrove?” Lady Wagstaff cried. “Oh dear Lord.” She pressed a gloved hand to her forehead as though she were about to faint. “Quickly, Phoebe. Shut the door before the viscountess or anyone else sees what’s going on in here. Your sister’s name cannot be linked with that of the Dastardly Duke. No offense, Your Grace.” She gave a slight nod in his direction.
“None taken,” he said with mock solemnity and an equally slight tilt of his head.
“Oh dear, Lady Wagstaff. I’m afraid the footman stationed at the door has seen rather a lot,” ventured Artemis’s other friend, the one with the blond curls and a tendency to blush. “In fact, he’s still looking,” she added in a stage whisper. “Let’s hope he’s not the sort of man who’d sell gossip to a scandal rag like the London Tatler for the right price.”
“Oh God. You’re right, Miss Bertram,” wailed Lady Wagstaff. “Oh, what a disaster.” Then she scowled at Dominic’s footman. “You, young man. Be off with you.” Then to her niece.
“What are you doing, Phoebe? Do you want everyone to witness your sister’s shameful conduct? Close the blasted door. At once!”
“Everyone’s crinoline skirts are in the way,” the young woman in question cried and then she began to make frantic shooing movements with her hands. “Move. Inside. Quick sticks. Hurry up.”
Dominic had to bite the inside of his cheek to stop himself from laughing again. He felt like he was taking part in a comedy of errors. Although the ending for Artemis might not be a happy one. Even though she had good reason to sever ties with her aunt, he couldn’t help but worry that in years to come, she might regret their estrangement. Of course, it wasn’t his place to judge.
Readers should read this book….
If you like the idea of the following, Up All Night with a Good Duke just might be the book for you:
- A feisty, progressive bluestocking heroine who’s career-minded rather than marriage focused
- A “brooding Byronic” duke hero, who despite his tragic past, isn’t afraid to fall in love
- Close female friends with a mutual love of “horrid novels”
- Sizzling hot love scenes (fans and a cool beverage recommended while reading)
- Tropes such as: compromised heroine, fake engagement, secret identity/career, class difference, Taming of the Shrew scenario
- Gothic romance elements including a wink and a nod to Jane Eyre.
What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have in the works?
I recently finished writing the third title in the Byronic Book Club series (Jane Delaney’s story) and it’s now with my fabulous editor! I’m also about to start the copy edits for Book 2 in the series, Curled Up with an Earl, which is due for release in early February next year. Lucy Bertram is the STEM heroine in this one, and the Scots hero, “Will Armstrong”, is an earl masquerading as a gruff-as-Heathcliff groom. Apart from that, I’m about to pen a Christmas novella for the Duke in a Box anthology. I’m also going to finish writing the third book in my Scandalous Regency Widows series, A Most Unsuitable Countess.
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
Giveaway: A print copy of Up All Night with a Good Duke by Amy Rose Bennett
To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Dominic Winters, the hero in Up All Night with a Good Duke, is quite a gamma male—he’s alpha on the outside but has a soft gooey middle and he isn’t afraid to own his feelings. What sort of historical romance heroes do you like? Strong “bad boy” alphas, cinnamon-roll betas, or gamma heroes (men with a combination of alpha and beta characteristics)? Or do you love them all?
Excerpt from Up All Night with a Good Duke:
I thought I’d share a snippet of a romantic interlude between Artemis and Dominic…
He stepped back from the doorway, and Artemis could see that the room beyond was an elegant, very masculine library. The light of the brightly leaping fire in the gray marble fireplace glanced off the glass fronts of several oak bookcases, the brass fixtures of an enormous, elaborately carved desk, and a gilt-framed mirror above a mahogany sideboard. When Artemis traversed the fine Persian rug, she caught the rich scents of leather, woodsmoke, and coffee; a fine bone-china cup sat beside a silver coffeepot and a pile of papers on the desk’s dark-red blotter.
The door closed behind her with a soft click, and Artemis’s pulse capered when she realized they were completely alone.
She turned, and almost at once, Dominic caught her about the waist with his large, warm hands. His dark-gray eyes burned with an intensity that made her breath hitch.
“Artemis. God, how I’ve missed you.” And then his mouth was on hers, demanding and fierce. He tasted of coffee and desire, and within seconds, he’d backed her into one of the glass-fronted bookcases. His large, hard body pressed heavily against hers, crushing her skirts, trapping her. But she didn’t want to be anywhere else.
Her fingers curled around his biceps, and she couldn’t suppress a moan when the hard, bulging muscles flexed beneath her palms. How well they fit together. How glorious the feel of his wicked mouth possessing hers. One of his hands clasped the back of her neck while the other skimmed over her ribs and then covered her breast, kneading with gentle urgency. His tongue was hot and slick as it stroked every inch of her mouth with ruthless, studied purpose, enflaming her own desire.
How could it be that this man’s kisses and wicked caresses instantly turned her into a wanton, mindless creature? She’d been kissed before, but never like this. Had never experienced such heady, decadent sensations. Like she was intoxicated and her head was spinning. Like she was melting and aching and wanting and burning up with need.
When Dominic at last drew back to drag in some much needed air, Artemis was also panting. Her knees were so weak that she clung to his shoulders, and perhaps Dominic felt a little overcome too; he rested his forehead against hers as if he didn’t wish to move.
“I hope you can forgive me,” he murmured, his voice low and hoarse. “When I saw you in the hallway just now, I knew I had to see you. To kiss you. I–I can’t stop thinking about you. Truth to tell, I’ve been having fantasies about kissing you all day.”
“The fantasies are mutual,” she whispered. She reached up and stroked his jaw. Light stubble rasped against her fingertips. “You need a shave.”
He chuckled softly. “I’m a beast.”
“Well, it’s a good thing that I happen to like beasts. Fairy-tale princes are rather boring.”
He lifted his head. “Yes. You like monsters and scowling misanthropes. I suppose I’m lucky that I fit into the latter category.”
“You’re not scowling at the moment.” Indeed, Dominic was smiling down at her and a soft glowing warmth lit his gray eyes. A frisson of fear curled around Artemis’s spine.
No, the Duke of Dartmoor couldn’t be developing tender feelings for her, could he? She suddenly felt like they were both on a treacherous slope, sliding headlong into perilous uncharted territory. But Dominic wasn’t a prince with noble intentions, she sternly reminded herself. And she wasn’t a sweet, virginal maiden looking for a hero to save her or take her to wife.
She almost laughed aloud. No, she wanted this “hero” to ruin her.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Artemis Jones―”respectable” finishing-school teacher by day and Gothic romance writer by night―has never lost sight of her real dream: to open her own academic ladies’ college. When Artemis is unexpectedly called upon by a dear friend, a fellow Byronic Book Club member, to navigate her first London Season, she comes at once. Who knows, perhaps she can court the interest of a wealthy patron for her school. As long as she can avoid her high-handed aunt’s schemes to marry her off.
Dominic Winters, the widowed Duke of Dartmoor, needs a wife―someone who will provide him with an heir and help him to manage his spitfire adolescent daughter. The problem is, Society has dubbed him “The Dastardly Duke.” Rumors are rife that he murdered his mad wife, so his choices for a suitable bride are limited. But then, he meets the ravishing and passionate Artemis Jones, who might just be everything he needs.
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Meet the Author:
Amy Rose Bennett is an Australian author who has a passion for penning emotion-packed historical romances. Of course, her strong-willed heroines and rakish heroes always find their happily ever after.
A former speech pathologist, Amy is happily married to her very own romantic hero and has two lovely, very accomplished adult daughters. When she’s not creating stories, Amy loves to cook up a storm in the kitchen, lose herself in a good book or a witty rom-com, and when she can afford it, travel to all the places she writes about.
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