Posts Tagged ‘K. C. Bateman’

K C Bateman Interview - author photo

I’m delighted to welcome Award-Winning Historical Romance Author KATE BATEMAN (writing as K. C. BATEMAN) to Rakes and Rascals today for an exclusive interview.

Hello, and thank you for having me!



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

I was born in Cambridgeshire, England, but my parents also had a house on the coast of Southern Spain, so my childhood was split between school in England and idyllic summers on the Costa Blanca. I love the deeply-rooted history of the UK – my old school was founded in 1556 and I can honestly say that if you want to imagine what it was like, just think of Hogwarts, but without the loch! We had pillared stone cloisters, a great hall, and a lovely chapel. In contrast, my summers were spent driving haphazardly through Europe on our way to or from Spain, with my adventure-loving parents often saying, ‘let’s just keep going until we reach Switzerland, shall we?’ or ‘who wants to stop at that chateau and have some lunch?’ Since both my parents were artists, and later had an antique shop, we were always rummaging around flea markets, antique shops, or attending auctions. I remember once we were staying somewhere in southern France and my father (who speaks very bad French) was sent out for milk. He returned, many hours later, with a light-up globe and an accordion! Mum wasn’t even surprised; that was completely typical for my family. We’ve had some wonderful adventures.
K C Bateman Interview - with melon age 5
Me tucking into a melon in Spain

K C Bateman Interview - as a kid with sister 5-6
With my little sister on a donkey in Spain
(I’m at the front)


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

I think I’m pretty easy going. I tend to get along with almost everyone and I definitely dislike arguments and drama – unless it’s written on the page in one of my books! Then, love to write snarky, argumentative heroes and heroines. The only person I’m tough on is myself, since I tend to set myself high standards –  although my three children / monsters might disagree with me there, especially when I insist they do their homework!

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

Both. I love trying new foods, especially from other countries, and I really enjoy cooking and baking with my kids. My favourite meal (and one I really miss now that I live in the US) would probably be a traditional English afternoon tea, complete with lots of little sandwiches, scones with jam and cream, assorted cakes and pastries, and a nice cup of tea. Perfect!


What is your most treasured possession?

It’s an enormous painting by my father, artist Ronald Bateman, that he gave to me for my birthday one year. It’s of daffodils, (he’s Welsh, and daffs are the Welsh national flower) and it’s the one inanimate thing I’d probably run back into a burning building to save. Back in England I didn’t have a wall large enough to hang it on, but my US house has a double-height living room which is perfect. I’m lucky to have such a wonderful loving, creative, and supportive family. The painting makes me feel close to them all, despite the fact that I now live on a different continent for most of the year.

K C Bateman Interview - Ronald Bateman Daffodils painting
My father’s painting


If you could afford a second home anywhere in the world where would you choose and why?

I adore Italy, especially Tuscany, Umbria, and the Amalfi Coast. The history geek in me loves all the history, plus there’s the architecture! The landscape! The food! The wine! The art! I’d live in a massive crumbling castle / villa perched on the edge of a cliff with a view of the sea and a garden full of lemon trees, figs and olives. (The house used in the Kenneth Branagh film version of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ would be perfect.) Hopefully it would be close to Florence or Siena, so I could bask in the renaissance architecture and grab a cup of coffee on a shell-shaped piazza while people-watching. The fact that I don’t speak much Italian would only be a minor inconvenience to this plan. I would definitely learn with such an inducement.


Finally, what has been your most embarrassing moment?

That’s tough, I have embarrassing moments all the time! I do remember once, a few years ago, I happened to have been invited to an evening reception with the Prime Minister at Number 10 Downing Street in London. Thoroughly excited, I enjoyed a glass or two of wine to steady my nerves. Since there was very little food, I got increasingly ‘jolly’ as the evening wore on. The next morning, I was horrified to discover that my friend had a photograph of me, in front of the famous black front door of No. 10, kissing the cheek of the very solemn-looking policeman standing guard! She assures me I asked – and was granted – permission, but I have very little recollection of it, and needless to say, that embarrassing photograph has never seen the light of day! Looking on the bright side, I always reassure myself that it could have been much, much worse!



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

Thank you for having me! Hope to see you all again soon. And Happy Reading!


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






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To Steal a Heart

(Secrets and Spies, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency, 1815)

Cover Blurb:

Forced to do the bidding of a corrupt government minister, Marianne de Bonnard agrees to plant incriminating evidence in the offices of France’s most notorious spymaster. Under cover of night, the tightrope-walking thief puts her skills to good use—until her aerial stunt is foiled when her target appears in the window and, with consummate poise, helps Marianne off the wire and into his lair. The tremors that run through her body are not just from fear; there’s an unwanted frisson of desire there, too. But is it because of her elegant, wickedly handsome host . . . or his proposition?

Nicolas Valette has had plans for his graceful trespasser since he witnessed her unique skills at the Cirque Olympique. Sinuous as a cat, Marianne is perfect for his next mission, but she refuses his generous offer for fear of disobeying her family’s tormenter. When their mutual enemy auctions off her virginity to the highest bidder, Nicolas leaps at the chance to purchase her cooperation. Keeping her will be like trying to tame a wild animal, but what’s life without a little risk? Besides, Nicolas and Marianne both want the same thing: revenge—and, perhaps, something else that’s equally delicious.


I loved this impressive 2016 debut novel from K. C. Bateman. Set in France just before the final defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, it combines a well-written, action-packed story, intriguing characters and a sensual romance.

Following the death of his younger brother, Nicolas carries a deep sense of guilt for having survived when his brother didn’t, and his life no longer has any real meaning. The danger, intrigue and excitement inherent in the world of spying and his desire for revenge against Napoleon, whom he holds responsible for his brother’s death, are what keep him going, earning him a reputation for being bold, arrogant and uncompromising. Handsome, virile and seductive, there are any number of beautiful women only too eager to share his bed, but he has long ago built an impenetrable wall around his heart and his emotions are never engaged.

He always enjoyed their company, but he’d never wanted more from them than a few nights’ entertainment. He had absolutely no difficulty keeping his emotions separate from his physical needs.

Ever since her parents’ death in a fire, Marianne has worked at the Cirque Olympique as a tight-rope walker and knife thrower and as a spy for her corrupt and loathsome cousin and guardian, Jean-Jacques Duval.  She is resourceful, intelligent and stubborn but has an Achilles heel – her younger sister, Sophie. Having suffered Duval’s perverted attentions, she is willing do anything to protect Sophie from him.

She felt him (Nicolas) smile against her skin. “Whore for her?”
   A wave of shame rolled over her as she forced herself to admit the unpalatable truth. To save Sophie? Yes. She’d suffer any indignity. She closed her eyes in despair. “Yes.”

Ms. Bateman blends the romance and suspense perfectly and I love the back-and-forth verbal sparring between Nicolas and Marianne and one of the most memorable early scenes is where Nicolas buys Marianne and Sophie in a brothel auction arranged by Duval and then has to pretend to relieve Marianne of her virginity.

He sat up slowly so as not to startle her and held his hands up in surrender. “I’m at your mercy, mademoiselle. Please say you’re going to have your wicked way with me.”
   She scowled, unimpressed with his attempt at humor.
   He sighed. “I suppose we’ll have to go with the backup plan then.”

The backup plan turns out to be hilariously reminiscent of the famous Meg Ryan scene in “When Harry Met Sally”!

I enjoyed the interplay of danger and sexual tension and seeing how their relationship changes and how they grow and evolve both as individuals and as a couple.

At first, Nicolas sees Marianne as merely an integral part of the mission and would willingly sacrifice her in his search for revenge. However, during the gruelling course of training for the mission, she is a constant distraction with her rebellious nature and sheer determination and gradually the dynamic between the two of them changes.

Something had changed between them, some indefinable twist to the dynamic that was both unnerving and exciting. He liked her. Respected her. Wanted her. They were no longer master and apprentice; instead of opponents, they were suddenly a team.

After his brother’s death, Nicolas didn’t really care whether he lived or died but now he finds himself beginning to care about life again all because of Marianne who has slowly broken down his defences and stolen his heart.

Marianne is an intriguing combination of strength and vulnerability. I love how she isn’t afraid to stand up to Nicolas and refuses to give in when the going gets tough.  She has to rely on her own skills, resourcefulness and inner strength.  Emotionally, Duval’s abuse left her feeling tainted and believing that she would never be able to respond to any man again, so her response to Nicolas is unexpected.

She’d thought herself immune, irrevocably tainted by Duval’s abuse. It was highly disconcerting to discover she might have been wrong. One look from Valette, and her blood heated to a slow boil.

I was frustrated by the decision Nicolas makes towards the end of the book, but I admired the way Ms. Bateman kept him true to  character. I think it was the only way he could put the past behind him. Besides, Marianne is a woman quite able to take care of herself.

Duval is a suitably odious and slimy toad while I was definitely intrigued my Raven, the mysterious smuggler. I shall look forward with interest to A RAVEN’S HEART, in which he is paired with Nicolas’ younger sister, Heloise.

Ms. Bateman has obviously undertaken a lot of research to create a real sense of the period and I particularly like how she uses a little artistic license to incorporate Louis-Charles (the “Lost Dauphin”) into the plot.

I was disappointed there was no Epilogue, which made the ending seem rather abrupt. I’m therefore hoping that I may see more of Nicolas and Marianne in the next book.

MY VERDICT: An very impressive debut novel which I can definitely recommend.





Secrets and Spies (click on the book covers for more details):

To Steal a Heart (Secrets and Spies, #1) by K.C. Bateman A Raven's Heart (Secrets & Spies, #2) by K.C. Bateman A Counterfeit Heart (Secrets & Spies, #3) by K.C. Bateman

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