Today, I am very excited to be the next stop on the Two Dukes and a Scandal book tour for Avon Romance authors Caroline Linden, Laura Lee Guhrke and Gayle Callen.
Laura Lee Guhrke has written a fantastic guest post, as part of this visit. There is also a giveaway, so check it out below to see what you can win!
So, what are these Two Dukes and a Scandal about?
The three titles I am spotlighting today are Caroline Linden’s It Takes a Scandal, Laura Lee Guhrke’s How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days and Gayle Callen’s Redemption of the Duke.
It Takes a Scandal by Caroline Linden
The second book in a deliciously sexy new series from USA Today bestselling and RITA award winning author Caroline Linden, in which an utterly shocking book–Fifty Shades of Grey for the Regency era– has all of London talking and gives more than one young miss a mind for scandal.
Sometimes it takes a scandal . . .
Abigail Weston has everything: beauty, wit, and one of the largest dowries in England. Her parents hope she’ll wed an earl. Abigail hopes for a man who wants her desperately and passionately. But the money seems to blind every man she meets-except one.
Sebastian Vane has nothing. He came home from war with a shattered leg to find his father mad and his inheritance gone. He’s not a fit suitor for anyone, let alone an heiress. But Abigail lights up his world like a comet, bright and beautiful and able to see him instead of his ruined reputation. And it might end happily ever after…
To reveal your heart’s desire
Until Benedict Lennox begins courting Abigail. Ben is everything Sebastian isn’t-wealthy, charming, heir to an earl. Sebastian won’t give up the only girl he’s ever loved without a fight, but Abigail must choose between the penniless gentleman who moves her heart, and the suitor who is everything her parents want.
How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days by Laura Lee Guhrke
They had a deal…
From the moment she met the devil-may-care Duke of Margrave, Edie knew he could change her life. And when he agreed to her outrageous proposal of a marriage of convenience, she was transformed from ruined American heiress to English duchess. Five years later, she’s delighted with their arrangement, especially since her husband is living on another continent.
But deals are made to be broken…
By marrying an heiress, Stuart was able to pay his family’s enormous debts, and Edie’s terms that he leave England forever seemed a small price to pay. But when a brush with death impels him home, he decides it’s time for a real marriage with his luscious American bride, and he proposes a bold new bargain: ten days to win her willing kiss. But is ten days enough to win her heart?
Redemption of the Duke by Gayle Callen
A duke who needs to be tamed…a lady who refuses to be rescued.
Adam Chamberlin was the third son of a duke, known for gambling binges and drunken nights. No one expected anything of him …until tragedy strikes. Now Adam is the new Duke of Rothford, determined to right the wrongs he’s done. Except a secret in his past means helping the one woman who doesn’t want his help at all…
It’s not every day that a duke introduces himself to a woman sitting by herself in Hyde Park. Faith Cooper is even more surprised when Adam offers her a position as a lady’s companion to his elderly aunt. Faith refuses to be beholden to a man again-certainly not this man, who both infuriates and attracts her. But with the simmering passion between them, will Faith surrender to forbidden desire?
Here’s a little bit about each of these fabulous authors:
Caroline Linden was born a reader, not a writer. She earned a math degree from Harvard University and wrote computer software before turning to writing fiction. Ten years, twelve books, two Red Sox championships, and one dog later, she has never been happier with her decision. Her books have won the NEC Reader’s Choice Beanpot Award, the Daphne du Maurier Award, and RWA’s RITA Award. Since she never won any prizes in math, she takes this as a sign that her decision was also a smart one. Visit her online at www.carolinelinden.com
Laura Lee Guhrke spent seven years in advertising, had a successful catering business, and managed a construction company before she decided writing novels was more fun. A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Laura has penned over twenty historical romances. Her books have received many award nominations, and she is the recipient of romance fiction’s highest honor: the Romance Writers of America RITA Award. She lives in the Northwest with her husband (or, as she calls him, her very own romance hero), along with two diva cats and a Golden Retriever happy to be their slave. Laura loves hearing from readers, and you can contact her via her website: www.lauraleeguhrke.com.
After a detour through fitness instructing and computer programming, Gayle Callen found the life she’d always dreamed of as a romance writer. This USA Today bestselling author has written more than eighteen historical romances for Avon Books, and her novels have won the Holt Medallion and the Laurel Wreath Award. Gayle lives in Central New York with her three children, her dog, Apollo, and her husband, Jim the Romance Hero. Visit her website at www.gaylecallen.com.
The marvellous Laura Lee Guhrke has also stopped by My Written Romance, to ponder the question – what is it about those dukes?
What is it about those dukes? Many historical romances feature heroes with ducal titles, including my latest, HOW TO LOSE A DUKE IN TEN DAYS. But what makes dukes so fascinating? I’ve compiled a list of ten of Britain’s most famous dukes (and one very famous almost-duke), and I’ve given a peek or two at what makes them famous (or infamous):
1st Duke of Cornwall: Also known as the Black Prince, he was created the very first duke of the English peerage in 1337 by his father, Edward III. His nickname seems to have come from either his black shield or his very bad behavior toward the French. Historians remain undecided on this.
The Duke of Gloucester, later Richard III: Last of the Plantagenet rulers, Richard is famous not only for Shakespeare’s brilliant play about him, but also because he’s always been the main suspect in the disappearance (and possible murder) of his princely nephews. His involvement has never been proved, but the bodies of two young boys were discovered in the Tower near where the princes were housed. Hmm…maybe there could be an exhumation of the bodies, forensic examination, and a DNA test? Maybe the mystery of how the princes in the Tower died could finally be solved.
The Duke of York (Fifth Creation): James Stuart, son of Charles II, he later became King James VII, but he might be better known nowadays for the fact that the State of New York was named in his honor. That was before the whole Revolutionary War thing. No states got named for English kings after that.
The 1st Duke of Wellington: Also known as the Iron Duke, Wellington is most famous for his brilliant military victory over Napoleon at Waterloo. He also has a very yummy dish of pastry-wrapped beef named after him, and he served twice as Prime Minister of Great Britain. Of his first cabinet meeting as PM, he said, “An extraordinary affair. I gave them their orders and they wanted to stay and discuss them.”
The 9th Duke of Marlborough: Also known as Sunny, not for his temperament, but for his courtesy title as Earl of Sunderland, his main claim to fame was as a very bad husband. He married American railroad heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt, and was said to have told her on their honeymoon that he, “never wanted to marry her either.” He was in love with someone else, he explained, but needed her fortune to keep up Blenheim, his estate in Oxfordshire. Unsurprisingly, their marriage, the most famous of the transatlantic marriages, was not happy. It ended in 1921 after a painful, protracted divorce.
The Duke of Windsor: Born the eldest son of King George V, he became King Edward VIII upon his father’s death, but because of his notorious passion for American divorcee Wallis Simpson, or as he called her, “the woman I love,” King Edward abdicated the throne to his brother, who became George VI and granted his elder brother the title Duke of Windsor. The Duke of Windsor is also noteworthy for the sartorial changes he made to menswear, including the modification of the British dinner jacket that helped transform it into the modern tuxedo. He is also reported by some historians to have been a Nazi sympathizer.
The 2nd Duke of Westminster: This duke is most well-known for his mistress, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, whose affair with him inspired one of her most famous designs, the Eton jacket. Coco, of course, is more famous that her aristocratic lover, mainly due to her stupendous achievement of getting women out of corsets. She refused to marry him, reportedly saying, “There have been several Duchesses of Westminster. There is only one Chanel.”
The 9th Duke of Rutland: It was widely acknowledged that he had served commendably on the Western Front in World War I, but his part in the war was recently discovered to be a fabrication. The Duke of Rutland never served on the front lines due to his interfering mother, who used her influence to keep him from the front. Her motive didn’t seem to be love, however, but fear that if he died, his half-brother would inherit and she would be penniless. In his last years, he locked himself away from everyone and secretly altered family documents in an attempt to erase any mention of his military service. Feeling a little guilty there, Your Grace?
The 11th Duke of Argyle: In 1963, the Duke’s divorce was a scandal of epic proportions, but it became even more so when a photograph of the Duchess was uncovered that showed her naked and…ahem…on her knees in front of a naked unknown man. I leave what she was doing in this position to your imagination (or a Google search).
The Duke of Edinburgh: Also known as Prince Phillip, this particular duke is most famous as the husband of England’s current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, but Phillip also has a claim to fame for his sometimes witty, sometimes cringe-worthy comments. It’s reported that after the Queen’s coronation, he was said to have remarked, “Where did you get the hat?” Many think he was being facetious. Others are not so sure.
The (Nonexistant) Duke of London: In 1955, Sir Winston Churchill was offered a dukedom, and one name suggested for the title was Duke of London, since no peerage had ever before used the name of that city. Sir Winston, however, turned down the honor, and to this day, there is no peerage of London.
So there you have it, a list of dukes I think have some delicious tidbits in their history. But as an author, I’d love to hear from readers: what is it about dukes that makes them so popular in romance novels? Why are dukes so fascinating to us?
Tour Wide Giveaway
As part of the Two Dukes and a Scandal book tour, Avon Romance are giving away three fantastic gift packs, including a gorgeous piece of custom jewellery and copies of each author’s new release. Sounds like something you want to win? Just complete the Rafflecopter form below to take part.