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(Maiden Lane, #10)

Genre: Historical Romance (Georgian)

Cover Blurb:

A MAN OF SIN

Devastatingly handsome. Vain. Unscrupulous. Valentine Napier, the Duke of Montgomery, is the man London whispers about in boudoirs and back alleys. A notorious rake and blackmailer, Montgomery has returned from exile, intent on seeking revenge on those who have wronged him. But what he finds in his own bedroom may lay waste to all his plans.

A WOMAN OF HONOR

Born a bastard, housekeeper Bridget Crumb is clever, bold, and fiercely loyal. When her aristocratic mother becomes the target of extortion, Bridget joins the Duke of Montgomery’s household to search for the incriminating evidence-and uncovers something far more dangerous.

A SECRET THAT THREATENS TO DESTROY THEM BOTH

Astonished by the deceptively prim-and surprisingly witty-domestic spy in his chambers, Montgomery is intrigued. And try as she might, Bridget can’t resist the slyly charming duke. Now as the two begin their treacherous game of cat and mouse, they soon realize that they both have secrets-and neither may be as nefarious-or as innocent-as they appear . . .

PUBLICATION DATE: 31st May 2016

♥♥♥♥♥♥

This is the tenth book in Elizabeth Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series and I have so much admiration for her ability to continue to give readers stories that are unique and engrossing; characters that are complex and fascinating, and romances that are erotic and sensual.

“Never mistake me for the hero of this tale, for I am not and shall never be. I am the villain.”

I have been fascinated by Valentine Napier, Duke of Montgomery, ever since his first appearance in DUKE OF MIDNIGHT and I was intrigued to know how Ms Hoyt would set about redeeming such an anti-hero. He may be handsome, sophisticated and charming but he is also vain, amoral, unscrupulous, unpredictable and an evil, scheming blackmailer with a desire for power over people.

Although the bastard daughter of an aristocratic lady, Bridget Crumb’s birthmother has ensured she was brought up in a foster home in the country. When Bridget decides to find employment in London, her mother has also provided her with references enabling Bridget to gain employment as a housekeeper. At the age of twenty-six, she is now regarded as the best housekeeper in London. She is competent, down-to-earth and loyal but rather plain and prim.

Val finds himself attracted by Bridget’s very normality which is in sharp contrast to his own mercurial nature. He is also impressed and aroused by her refusal to be intimidated by him, something he is not used to.

…she didn’t seem cowed by either his silence or his stare. She held her head high and she met him stare for stare, her eyes dark and intense and oddly arousing. Really, she was very self-possessed for a housekeeper when one came to think about it.

Against her better judgement Bridget is attracted to Val and I can see why she might find it hard to resist someone so delightfully wicked. He has no qualms about talking to his housekeeper while completely starkers and saying the most outrageous things.

“Oh, Mrs. Crumb, such a look,” he murmured, his voice a deep purr, his bare chest brushing against her snowy white apron. “Why, I don’t know whether to guard my bollocks . . .”—his gaze dropped to her mouth—“or to kiss you.”

There’s oodles of sexual tension between these two and the love scenes are definitely HOT (in fact I think they are steamier than any I’ve read so far in the series) and I love how Bridget reveals that she isn’t quite so prim!

I love seeing the little glimmers of hope that Val isn’t completely irredeemable. His sister Eve has always been a chink in his formidable armour and the scene where he confronts Asa, after discovering they are getting married, shows just how much he cares for her and wants to protect her. He also rescued an Arab youth, Mehmed, from a terrible fate on his travels abroad and bought him back to England as his second valet. Mehmed also provides some amusing moments with his broken English.

When Val tells Bridget of his childhood experiences at the hands of a sadistic, depraved father and a mother who hated him, it is easy to understand how Val could have become so damaged…so flawed and believing himself incapable of love. He no longer has any concept of what is right or wrong; he does what he likes, when he likes without any conscience. Only Bridget sees the real Val and knows he can be a better man. She becomes his moral compass, but he only realises this when she leaves him…

Fair Seraphine had tried to explain to him the difference, right from wrong. It made sense to her because she burned and was an angel. But to him, a creature of hollow ice and pain, it was sound and confusion without her to filter it for him.

When Bridget’s life is in danger, he finally has to make a choice between good and evil, knowing the action he decides to take may lose him Bridget’s love forever. For the first time, he puts someone else first, regardless of any personal cost. It is this more than anything that made me believe that Val is truly redeemable. It won’t happen overnight but I feel that with Bridget by his side, he has every chance of becoming a better man. The scene where he says he loves Bridget is a such an emotional one.

We learn more about the notorious Lords of Chaos and their evil pursuits and a new character, Hugh Fitzroy, the Duke of Kyle, makes his appearance. As the cover blurb for the forthcoming DUKE OF PLEASURE (29th November 2016) is available to read on Amazon’s site, I don’t think I’m giving away any spoilers by saying that Hugh is the hero to Alf’s heroine and expect the return of a certain masked crusader.

The Epilogue provides further proof that Val has definitely changed for the better but I love that he is still  wicked in certain ways.😉

Val hasn’t quite managed to topple Charming Mickey off his pedestal as my favourite hero of the series, but he ties with Winter Makepeace as a close second!

MY VERDICT: What can I say other than this is another outstanding addition to this fabulous series. I can highly recommend both the book and the series!

 

REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT!

Read April 2016

 

The Maiden Lane series so far (click the book cover for more details):

Wicked Intentions (Maiden Lane, #1) by Elizabeth Hoyt Notorious Pleasures (Maiden Lane, #2) by Elizabeth Hoyt Scandalous Desires (Maiden Lane, #3) by Elizabeth Hoyt Thief of Shadows (Maiden Lane, #4) by Elizabeth Hoyt Lord of Darkness (Maiden Lane, #5) by Elizabeth Hoyt Duke of Midnight (Maiden Lane, #6) by Elizabeth Hoyt Darling Beast (Maiden Lane, #7) by Elizabeth Hoyt Dearest Rogue (Maiden Lane, #8) by Elizabeth Hoyt Sweetest Scoundrel (Maiden Lane, #9) by Elizabeth HoytDuke of Sin (Maiden Lane, #10) by Elizabeth Hoyt – 31st May 2016

Duke of Pleasure (Maiden Lane, #11) by Elizabeth Hoyt – 29th November 2016

 

**I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review. **

(The Dukes’ Club, #4)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

A Lady Who Vows Never to Wed:

Lady Allegra Portmund knows the cost of marriage. After the death of her dearest and only sister, Allegra swears she will never suffer the same fate. She will not become a possession shaped and destroyed by a husband. So, when her parents insist she marry the man of their choosing, there is only one thing for Allegra to do. Run. But when she runs, determined to be free, she meets the Duke of Roth, a singular man who sees her unique and vital spirit. Now that her heart is awakened to the most dangerous longings for love, how will she resist the temptation to break her vow?

A Duke Ruled by Honor:

Nicholas Andrew Edward Forth, Duke of Roth, values family above everything else. Despite his wild reputation, having lost both of his parents when he was a child, his most secret wish is to have a family again. When he meets a young lady in disguise, Nicholas quickly realizes that she is unlike any woman he’s ever met and is also the only woman for him. But when he discovers how quickly she has abandoned her own family, he doubts whether she is the exceptional woman he believed her to be. Now, that he knows the truth about Allegra’s past, will his own sense of honor destroy his only chance at happiness?

♥♥♥♥♥♥

This is the third book in Eva Devon’s entertaining The Dukes’ Club series and, once again, I enjoyed her engaging writing, lively characterisation and great dialogue.

Growing up, Lady Allegra Penthurst and her older sister, Juliana, are fully aware of Society’s expectations that they should marry well. They become accomplished in singing, dancing and playing the piano. However, they are somewhat unconventional because…

they also raced horses, read too many books, and had decided views on slavery and the rights of man.

Allegra is initially jealous when Juliana marries but, as she watches her once spirited sister slowly crushed beneath the conventionality of marriage to a man who considers a woman’s role to be bearing children and running a household, Allegra resolves that marriage is not for her. It’s a decision only strengthened when her sister dies in childbirth while her husband is at his club. She vows then that she will never succumb to her sister’s fate. Three years later, when her parents insist she marry or be forced to spend the rest of her days at the secluded family estate in the far north of England, she takes the only course of action open to her and runs away. Disguising herself as a young lad, she finds employment as a stable boy on the Duke of Roth’s estate in the Devonshire countryside. But under the ever watchful eyes of the duke, how long will it be before her secret in uncovered?

I could understand how seeing what happened to her sister would colour Allegra’s views on marriage and instill in her a desire to be herself and live unfettered by Society’s expectations. She is intelligent, bold and stubborn with a love of horses and talking politics but her parents are self-serving, not caring at all for their daughter’s wishes, only what advantages a good marriage could confer on them.

Nicholas Forth, The Duke of Roth, only wishes his loving parents were still alive. He had lost them both in a terrible carriage accident when he was just a boy. They were his anchor in a world of uncertainty and, since their death, he has always felt adrift and alone. He has built an impenetrable wall around himself, never letting anyone touch him emotionally. He longs for the security he felt as a boy and has even contemplated marriage but has no desire for a typical ton marriage; he wants the sort of love his parents had shared. However, his life is about to take an unexpected turn when he meets the rather perplexing new stable boy.

Of course, Nicholas sees right through Allegra’s disguise but chooses to have a little fun first before admitting he knows the truth. This leads to some amusing situations which had me smiling.

“Alfred?” he said.
“Your Grace?” came her muffled reply, nearly bent halfway into the chest.
“What the Devil are you doing?” he drawled.
An impatient and audible sigh came from the trunk. “Looking for your smalls.”
“I don’t wear them.”

I enjoyed the steady development of the romance. At first, Allegra finds Nicholas arrogant, but fascinating and compelling but gradually she discovers he is kind, honourable and protective of those he cares for. Nicholas is totally disarmed by Allegra and finds he likes her and I enjoyed seeing the walls Nicholas has erected gradually crumbling as he falls under her spell. When they finally make love, it just seems right and I love Allegra’s boldness.

This wasn’t how it was supposed to transpire. He had no idea why, but he’d assumed she would be nervous and need him to ease her fears. Instead, she was beckoning him to bed.
He loved it. God, how he loved it.

Of course, Allegra’s actions have consequences. When Nicholas discovers that she ran away without telling her parents, he is furious and says some pretty hurtful things. In his eyes, what she did to her parents is unforgivable but, of course, his view is coloured by the loss of his own loving parents.

“I would give anything, anything for one more moment with my parents. Anything for a touch, a glimpse, a word. And you have thrown your parents away.”

It takes his friend, the Duke of Aston, to make Nicholas realise just how wrong his judgement of Allegra is and I love his confrontation with her self-serving father and his determination to protect her. I have to admit that I  became frustrated by Allegra’s constant fears of losing her independence after marrying Nicholas, but he understands her so well and I love everything he does to allay those fears. It was satisfying to see Allegra come to realise what truly matters.

She had thought it so important that she have the trappings of freedom. But here, in this room, watched by hundreds of Londoners, her hands in Nicholas’, she knew that the world and its laws matter not a wit. The only things that mattered were their love for each other and their mutual respect.

As with the other books, there is a colourful cast of secondary characters to aide Allegra and Nicholas on their journey to a happy ever after. I absolutely adore the notorious and vain Duke of Aston and the repartee between him and Nicholas is so funny. The heroines from the previous books, Kathryn, Cordelia and Imogen make a welcome appearance when Nicholas thinks Allegra needs intelligent, independent, female friends to help her navigate the strange waters of the ton.

I like how Ms Devon introduces real historical figures into the story. Nicholas likens Allegra to Aphra Behn, a 17th century British playwright, poet, translator and fiction writer, and Allegra converses with Mrs Wollstonecraft in Hatchards bookshop and again later in the story.

Those readers who, like me, have a fondness for a charming Epilogue won’t be disappointed.

MY VERDICT: Another enjoyable addition to this delightful series!

 

REVIEW RATING: 4/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: WARM

Read April 2016

 

The Dukes’ Clubs series (click on the book covers for more details):

Once Upon a Duke (Duke's Club, #1) by Eva Devon Dreaming of the Duke (Duke's Club, #2) by Eva Devon Wish Upon A Duke (The Dukes' Club, #3) by Eva Devon Wish Upon A Duke (The Dukes' Club, #3) by Eva Devon Duke Ever After (Dukes' Club Book 5) by Eva Devon

 

** My thanks to Eva Devon for sending me a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

I’m so thrilled to welcome New York Times Bestselling author LISA KLEYPAS to Rakes and Rascals today for an exclusive interview.

Thank you so much for inviting me. It’s my honor, and I’d like your readers to know that you are undoubtedly the most patient woman in the world given when you first asked me to participate.

~~~~~~~


R&R:

Could you tell us where you were born and what it was like growing up there?

Lisa:
I was born in Temple, Texas, but before I was a year old, my family moved up to Massachusetts. For a few years we lived in Watertown, and after that, Carlisle. Both towns played huge roles in the American Revolution, so I grew up being steeped in colonial history. I remember riding my bike through Carlisle and Concord, past stone fences and old gray barns, and revolutionary battlefields. At least once a year, I would visit Louisa May Alcott’s house, where she wrote “Little Women,” and walking through those cozy, creaky-floored rooms felt like I was walking through the story itself. I think growing up in a place like that made history feel incredibly real and visceral to me, so it’s no coincidence that I ended up writing so many historical romances!


Baby Lisa

 

R&R:
How would you describe yourself – temperamental or easy-going?

Lisa:
I think I’m pretty easy-going in general, but I also love (and need) a lot of solitude. For me, writing is like meditation—it keeps me calm and focused—and if I go too many days without that quiet time, I start to feel scattered and irritable. But overall I’m a happy person—I try never to take things for granted. I have a loving husband, two healthy children, incredible friends, and a fulfilling career—I don’t know how I got so lucky!

 

R&R:
When it comes to food do you like sweet or savoury or both?

Lisa:
I like salty, savory food the best, preferably with a lot of texture. A can of fancy mixed nuts all to myself is my idea of heaven! (And maybe a little glass of cabernet to wash it down with)

 

R&R:
What is your most treasured possession?

Lisa:
Years and years ago, I got one of those little plaster handprint kits, and I had both my son and daughter put their little hands in the wet plaster-of-paris mixture. Now both kids are taller than me, and when I look at the preserved shapes of those tiny fingers and palms, it makes my heart ache in the best possible way.

 

R&R:
If you were able to afford a second home anywhere in the world where would you choose and why?

Lisa:
A little thatched roof cottage in Hampshire, England would be perfect. I’ve set so many books in Hampshire—the Wallflower series, the Hathaways, and now the Ravenels—to me it would feel like living in a romance novel. Hampshire is in South East England, so the climate is mild, and the land is green and fertile, with rivers, lakes and woodland. It’s also Jane Austen’s birthplace, so it would be very inspirational. I could visit her house in Chawton, which is now a museum. In fact, maybe they would let me occupy a couple of rooms in the off-season? I’m sure Jane wouldn’t mind!


A little thatched roof cottage in Hampshire

 

R&R:
Finally, what has been your most embarrassing moment?

Lisa:
I have such a wide selection to choose from . . . I’m not sure if I should call that an embarrassment of riches, or riches of embarrassment. Way back in 1987, I was Miss Massachusetts in the Miss America pageant, and I was interviewed by a Boston newspaper. So I met the reporter (a very nice woman, fortunately) at a fancy sidewalk café on Newbury Street. Well, this was in the days when you always wore a slip beneath your skirt (as well as pantyhose), and pretty much every slip I had was worn out, with a frayed hem and saggy elastic. But I always figured no one would ever see one of my slips, so it didn’t matter how appalling they were. So I was walking down Newbury Street in my high heels and little skirt suit, and I could see the reporter waiting for me at one of the café’s outside tables. But before I reached her, I felt that slip sink down over my hips and fall to my knees and ankles. It seemed to happen in slow motion—just awful! So I stepped out of that limp little circle of nylon on the ground, snatched it up and stuffed it in my purse, and kept my perky pageant smile on. The reporter pretended not to have noticed, and I was too embarrassed to say a word. But I know she saw the whole thing. What a nice woman she was!

~~~~~~

 

Thank you for taking time out to be here today and sharing these interesting facts about yourself, Lisa.

Thank you, Carol. It was my pleasure–especially thinking of my most treasured possessions!

 


If you would like to find out more about Lisa and her books, here are the links:

Website
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

(Wicked Trilogy, #2)

Genre: Historical Romance

Cover Blurb:

A wickedly wonderful new romance from the New York Times bestselling author of His Wicked Reputation

Most women will give him anything he wants. She is not most women…

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 wilful, 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…

♥♥♥♥♥♥

I really enjoyed TALL, DARK, AND WICKED, the second book in Madeline Hunter’s Wicked Trilogy. A mix of mystery and romance, it features a deliciously sexy hero and an unconventional heroine, who is no shrinking violet.

Although the younger brother of the Duke of Aylesbury, Ives is unusual in that, against his late father’s wishes, he became a barrister. As one of the most well-respected barristers in England, he frequently prosecutes on behalf of the Crown. Unlike others in his profession, whose sole interest is in winning a case, Ives is an honourable man and genuinely dedicated to the pursuit of justice. I like that Ives works for a living and Ms Hunter provides an interesting insight into the workings of the judicial system of the time.

Ives is wealthy, handsome and charming but, according to gossip, he has one flaw…his rather wicked proclivities in the bedroom. For this reason, Ives’ chooses mistresses who are worldly and not easily shocked by his unusual preferences.

Padua is just the sort of unconventional heroine I like. Unusually tall and described as handsome rather than beautiful, she is intelligent, bold, outspoken, a proponent of women’s rights and a forward thinking teacher of higher mathematics at Mrs. Ludlow’s School for Girls. Her ambition is to study in Padua (her namesake city where her mother studied and met her father) at one of the universities that accepted women, with the ultimate aim of opening her own school.

She has been estranged from her father for the past 10 years since her mother died when Padua was fifteen. At a time when she needed him most, her father had been cold and unfeeling, sending her away to school. Although Padua moved to London to be near her father, he has no wish to see her. Even though I felt her father didn’t deserve it, I admired Padua’s loyalty to him and her determination to help him when she believes he has been wrongly accused of a crime.

When Padua first visits Ives to ask him to help her father and in all their subsequent interactions, there is a definite frisson of sexual awareness between them, but matters are complicated by the fact that Ives is the prosecutor in her father’s case. Despite the conflict of interests, Ives reveals his protective side when he shows concern for Padua’s safety, fearing there is more to the case against her father than meets the eye. He also makes himself responsible for her after she loses her job at the school. I really felt him struggle between his sense of duty and his feelings for Padua.

The Crown’s friendship, or that of the daughter of a criminal. Only a fool would think there really was a choice.

I love how Padua, knowing that their affair would brief, throws caution to the wind and fully embraces the passion between them and enthusiastically succumbs to Ives’ wicked games.

“If I am going to be scandalous and irresponsible, I would prefer passion to politeness. I would prefer the wicked Ives to the upstanding Lord Ywain.”

Yes, there is plenty of heat in the love scenes but nothing overly kinky.

I love all the bickering and teasing between Ives and his two brothers, Lance and Gareth, and this is one of my favourite exchanges …

“I do not have a tendre for her.”
“He does not have a tendre for her,” Lance echoed.
“It is not like that.”
“It is not like that,” Lance repeated. “Miss Belvoir is just an acquaintance. A friend. A woman in need of sanctuary. Isn’t that right, Ives?”
“I think I will thrash both of you right now.”
“Quick-tempered, isn’t he?” Gareth asked. “Miss Belvoir is a ticklish subject.” “I suppose that means she won’t have him.”
“That is my conclusion. At least she won’t so far. Nor will he have her, while they are here. I have forbidden all such activity under my roof.”

At the same time, I knew they share a caring relationship and would always be there for each other in times of trouble.

The element of mystery and suspense surrounding the counterfeiting was intriguing enough to maintain my interest and I enjoyed seeing the brothers working together to flush out the villain. There was also a charming and most satisfying ending.

The fact that I hadn’t read the first book in the series definitely didn’t affect my enjoyment of this book. I feel it can easily be read as a standalone.

MY VERDICT: A thoroughly enjoyable story and I definitely want to read the other two books in the series.

 

REVIEW RATING: 4/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: WARM

Read April 2016

 

Wicked Trilogy (click on the book covers for more details):

His Wicked Reputation (Wicked Trilogy, #1) by Madeline Hunter Tall, Dark and Wicked (Wicked Trilogy, #2) by Madeline Hunter The Wicked Duke (Wicked Trilogy, #3) by Madeline Hunter

Wishing Her Majesty the Queen a very Happy 90th Birthday.

This is an official family portrait taken by Annie Leibovitz to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday. She is surrounded by her five great-grandchildren and two youngest grandchildren. 

I’m delighted to welcome Scottish author of hot historical romances MARGUERITE KAYE to Rakes and Rascals today for an exclusive interview.

Hi there, it’s a privilege to be invited onto the site. I’m looking forward to sharing some insights into my life and background, and am very happy to chat and answer further questions with anyone who stops by.

~~~~~~~


R&R:

Could you tell us where you were born and what it was like growing up there?

Marguerite:
I was born just outside Glasgow, Scotland’s industrial powerhouse and largest city, but my family moved to the west coast, to the little town of Dunoon in Argyll when I was five. The contrast was stark. Back then, Dunoon was a traditional seaside holiday resort, with lots of old-fashioned hotels and family-oriented attractions – lidos, paddling pools, beach cafes and putting greens (mini golf). Growing up there as a child was a delight, especially in summer, which were always long and hot – or so it seems in my memory.

We spent every available minute outdoors, much of it in the water. There was the local beach, a little mountain rock pool at Glen Massan where me and my siblings swam in the icy-cold spring water, and a short drive away was the wonderful beach at Ostell Bay which I used as a setting in Strangers at the Altar. As if this wasn’t idyllic enough, we also owned a holiday home a ferry ride away on the Isle of Bute where there were further stunning sands at Scalpsie and Ettrick. I’m surprised I haven’t got webbed feet! You can also perhaps understand now why the sea and beaches feature so often in my stories, from Scotland to Cornwall to Arabia.


Scalpsie Bay on Isle of Bute


With my mom at Scalpsie Bay

My childhood home on the Argyll and the Cowal peninsula embodies many of the romantic attributes people associate with Scotland – mountains, castles, lochs and glens, skirling bagpipes, kilts and Highland Games. And it’s true, we had all of that. So much so our shortbread tin overflows! However, Dunoon had a surprise up it’s sleeve. It was also, back then, home to a large US Navy submarine base. So growing up, we had American kids attend our school, and a strong American influence was exerted on the local culture. As a typical child, for culture read sweeties (or candy as we learned to refer to it) Oreos and Hershey Bars, Bazooka Joe bubblegum and peanut butter cookies, I gorged on them all when most people in Scotland had never even heard, far less sampled them.


Dunoon in Argyl where I live

As often happens in life, after many years living and working away from Argyll, things turned full circle and I moved back to my childhood home about five years ago. The navy base is gone, the town has changed enormously, and it feels like the weather has too, because it seems to never stop raining. But the scenery is still as lovely. Though I can pretty much guarantee I’ll never be hardy enough to swim in the sea again, never mind in a mountain rock pool.

 

R&R:
How would you describe yourself – temperamental or easy-going?

Marguerite:
I suspect I’m like most people, easy-going when things are going well but prone to a wee strop when they aren’t. Luckily any setbacks tend to be mild and almost exclusively related to my writing life. I care passionately about what I do and I’m enormously privileged and fortunate to be able to scrape a full-time living out of it, but if it’s not going well I get frustrated and very down on myself. I keep thinking that the more books I write the easier this writing lark will become, but the opposite is the case, mainly because I hate the idea of resting on my laurels. I want each book to be better and more ambitious in scope than the last one. Ever heard the phrase “setting yourself up to fail”? If the words aren’t flowing, or I need to think something though, or I’m simply trying to come to terms with the fact that what I’ve written is boring and is going to have to be deleted, then I go walking, and I find that really clears my head. I love to walk, and there are some spectacular walks with scenic views where I live. But I’m very much a fair weather rambler, and the weather in Argyll is not often fair. It’s then, when I can’t get out a walk, and I have run into a major problem with a story, that I resort to my full proof cure-all – a large vodka martini. It’s never been known to fail. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t fix the story but it certainly cures my strop!

 

R&R:
When it comes to food do you like sweet or savoury or both?

Marguerite:
Definitely savoury, though I have recently purchased an ice-cream maker and I’m enjoying inventing all sorts of yummy combinations, Terry’s Chocolate Orange and Cointreau being the favourite so far.

Cooking is one of the big loves of my life, and if I can cook with some of the things I grow myself in my garden, then I’m even happier. In the summer that means a LOT of salad combinations, but from having lived in Cyprus for a number of years, luckily I’ve got a lot of them in my repertoire. I love to experiment, and there’s pretty much nothing I won’t try – though some things I’ve only tried once – fried calf’s brains anyone? I may be biased, but here on the west coast, I think we have the finest seafood and shellfish in the world, and that’s my very favourite kind of food, closely followed by another local speciality, venison – though not, I hasten to add, sourced from the deer I constantly chase from the garden, who seem to think my vegetable patch is some sort of all-you-can-eat buffet.


R&R:

What is your most treasured possession

Marguerite:
You mean apart from shoes and dresses and coats and handbags and nail polish? As a lifelong voracious reader I’ve accumulated quite a library of books, both fiction and non-fiction, many of which are dear to me. I also own a collection of rare and precious vinyl from my days (surprising revelation alert) as Dunoon’s only punk rocker! However, if I was forced to choose just one thing it would be my beloved bike, because I bought it with my first every royalty check.

 

R&R:
If you were able to afford a second home anywhere in the world where would you choose and why?

Marguerite:
Another tricky one. If it was a city, it would have to be Paris. I know it’s a cliché, but it is for me the most romantic place in the world, and no matter how many times I’ve visited it’s never enough. Amazing history, fantastic galleries and museums, boulevards and parks you can never tire of wandering and restaurants and cafes galore. The only thing it doesn’t possess, and it’s an essential for me, is proximity to the sea. So I think I’d have to opt instead for somewhere in the south of France such as Bandol or Cassis (which has also featured in one of my books). I’d have a little house with an outside terrace in the shade for working, and in the sun for eating, and a sea view. There would be a market for shopping, seafood landed fresh every day, a choice of restaurants and bars for when I didn’t want to cook, and some amazing walks along the calanques, the huge limestone cliffs for which the area is famous. And the bonus of Nice or Marseille a short train ride away too. Now, if I can just produce a few international best-selling books, I can realise my dream.

Cassis in the South of France – who wouldn’t want to live there?


R&R:

Finally, what has been your most embarrassing moment?

Marguerite:
My sister would tell you it was the time we were in Central Park in New York, and I asked Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, who were out walking with their children, if they wouldn’t mind moving because they were spoiling the composition of the photo I was trying to take – I never recognise anyone, not even my own family half the time!

But I would say it has to be the time I was invited to a friend’s house for dinner. Running late, I dressed in a hurry, and pulled on the pair of trousers I’d worn the previous evening. As I was sashaying down his rather grand hallway, the underwear I had worn the day before tumbled out of my trouser leg and onto his hallway carpet. In the ensuing excruciating silence, I scooped the offending article up as effortlessly as a baseball outfielder and deposited it swiftly into my handbag. I’ll leave you to guess what happened later when I was fishing for my purse to pay the taxi driver.

~~~~~~~

 

Thank you for taking time out to be here today and sharing these interesting facts about yourself, Marguerite

Thank you again for having me, it’s been really great fun, even though I suspect I’ve shared more than you, or I, intended!

 

If you would like to find out more about Marguerite and her books, here are the links:

Website
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

 

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