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Today on the blog we have one of my favorite authors spilling the beans on her latest release. I fell in love with her The Rarest Blooms series and often find myself eradicated from a reading slump between the pages of one of her stories. Check out our interview below:
About the Author:
Madeline Hunter’s first romance was published in
June, 2000.Since then she has seen twenty-four historical romances and one novella published, and her books have been translated into twelve languages. Over six million of her books are in print. She is a seven-time RITA finalist, and two-time RITA winner. Twenty-three of her books have been on the USA Today bestseller list, and she has also had titles on the New York Times printed list, Publishers Weekly list, and the Waldenbooks paperback fiction list. She has received two starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, and Romantic Times has awarded twenty-two of her books 4 1/2 stars. Madeline is a Ph.D. in Art History, and she teaches at the college level. She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons.
Find Madeline Online: Website | Facebook | Twitter
About the Book:
Most women will give him anything he wants. She is not most women…As a well-known barrister and the son of a duke, Ives confines his passionate impulses to discreet affairs with worldly mistresses. A twist of fate, however, has him looking for a new lover right when a fascinating woman shows up in his chambers, asking him to help save her father from the gallows. Unfortunately, he has already been asked to serve as the prosecutor in the case, but that only ensures close encounters with the rarity named Padua Belvoir. And every encounter increases his desire to tutor her in pleasure’s wicked ways...Having always been too tall, too willful, and too smart to appeal to men, Padua Belvoir is shocked when Ives shows interest in her. Knowing his penchant for helping the wrongly accused, she had initially thought he might be her father’s best hope for salvation. Instead, he is her worst adversary—not least because every time he looks at her, she is tempted to give him anything he wants…
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RJ: Welcome and thanks for stopping by Not Another Romance Blog, Madeline! Congrats on your latest book, TALL, DARK AND WICKED (October 6, 2015 | Berkley/NAL). Could you give us the author’s cut of the book’s blurb?
MH: As a well-known barrister and the son of a duke, Ives confines his edgy sensuality to discreet affairs with worldly mistresses. A twist of fate, however, has him looking for a new lover right when a fascinating and unusual woman shows up in his chambers, asking him to help save her father from the gallows
RJ: Let’s get to know more about your Hero and Heroine (Ives and Padua). What are some of their flaws and positive qualities? What attracts them to each other?
MH: The sensible Hemingford brother, the lawyer with sage advice, Ives also has a volatile streak in him. When it surfaces, he is apt to throw the first punch. He has refined sensual tastes, and by that I mean erotic refinement. Think a few shades of light gray. He avoids real romance in his life, for reasons he never contemplates. Being a lawyer, he can be a bit preachy about the logic, or lack of it, behind others’ choices and activities, especially when it comes to his older brother the duke..
No one is more astonished than he is when he falls hard for Padua Belvoir, the daughter of a man he is expected to prosecute for a major crime. What he calls desire is actually more, and as the story progresses he makes choices that could ruin his reputation, and he risks all that he has built.
His most endearing qualities are his bond with his brothers and his willingness to defend criminals if he thinks they are innocent. On the other hand, his decision to become a lawyer---not totally unheard of for a man of his birth, but hardly appropriate and extremely unusual--- was mostly a way to thumb his nose at the eldest of the brothers, who died prior to the series beginning. At least he does not pretend it was anything other than an immature way to irritate someone he disliked!
Ives has a little list of the six essential qualities in a mistress, and Padua fits them all. Most significant is that she has what he considers the most important one--- loyalty. She stands by her father even as her father repudiates her. Among her virtues are things that her world and the men in it normally do not admire---She has always been too willful, too independent and too smart to appeal to men. She is perhaps too careless with her reputation, too, and even with her sole means of employment, and her habit of stating her mind’s thinking creates problems that she doesn’t need. She harbors a romantic streak in her, that prior to the book’s time got her into trouble at least once.
They are initially attracted by physical qualities. Even though Padua is not a typical beauty, Ives finds her quirks, like her unusual height, elegant and provocative. From their first meeting each intrigues the other as distinctive and interesting. There is the magnetism of equals meeting from the get-go.
RJ: Is there anything special you can share behind the inspiration for the book’s plot, characters, or setting? Also, did you incorporate any quirky research findings into the story?
MH: Ives’s character developed in the first book in the series. In the course of that book there is a little exchange/misunderstanding regarding which brother another man’s wife meant when, in a letter her husband found, she referred to her lover as Hemingford. Ives explains he never allows his mistresses to call him that. He much prefers they call him Lord and Master. With that line I saw an inner life for this secondary character, who, with his written contracts with mistresses, orders that part of his life as neatly as the rest. What, I asked myself, if he met a woman who makes his life very messy?
Padua is named after the city in Italy where her mother studied at the university and received a degree. There were several such cities in Italy where woman could obtain a higher education, and even teach. The history of those women and those institutions was very interesting to me, so I gave her this background and the dream, fading fast, of literally following in her mother’s footsteps. I chose the university in Padua because that worked as a woman’s name, where, for example, Bologna does not.
RJ: I understand that this book will be the second in The Wicked trilogy. What is the premise for this series and how did the idea for it come about?
MH: In my last couple of series, the males characters have had a bond, and their give and take while together, away from the ladies, was a lot of fun to write (and, I hope, to read.) They joke with each other, and there is a lot of good-natured male goading too. My editor suggested I consider a series that is male-centric. The men would need a connection, and I chose having them be brothers because an overarching plot point came to me, the event that serves as the catalyst for the first book’s beginning, and the final book’s plot. That plot required they be brothers, all sons of a duke.
RJ: What makes a good romances novel to you and who are your favorite authors?
MH: I like stories with stakes that require the characters to grow in their understanding of themselves, and each other. Also stories where the characters seem very real to me, and are experiencing the kinds of things real people experience, and processing it all that way too. I like there to be a meaningful secondary plot that brings them together and that weaves into the romance. I have enjoyed books by many authors, and have a long list of auto-buys, but some of my earliest favorites that I continue to read are Mary Balogh, Mary Jo Putney, and Amanda Quick.
RJ: What projects are you currently working on and what can we expect from you next?
MH: I am writing the third and last book in the trilogy, The Wicked Duke. When book #1 opened, the eldest of the brothers and the then current duke has died unexpectedly. There is a chance he was poisoned, and suspicion falls on brother number 2., Lance, who inherits the title. The Wicked Duke is his story, and revolves around that mystery and its solution, and the woman he pursues because of his need to clear his name.
RJ: Final Question: Let’s say your book gets its own PBS Masterpiece Classic adaptation; which actors and actress would you ideally cast to portray your characters?
MH: Wow, don’t I wish! For Ives, I would seriously consider James Caviezel and for Padua, Anne Hathaway.
RJ: Thanks again for visiting my blog and I can’t wait to get to know Ives and Padua better! Best wishes on TALL, DARK AND WICKED available 10/6/2015!
I hope you all have enjoyed this interview and will get to know Ives and Padua through Hunter's latest release! What's your favorite book by one of Madeline's go-to authors: Mary Balogh, Mary Jo Putney, and Amanda Quick?