by Lavinia Kent
Reading Romances: You started back with Kathleen Woodiwiss and Johanna Lindsay, are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Lavinia Kent: First, let me thank you for having me back. I had so much fun the last time.
Now, back to books. I love Sarah Maclean. She adds a wonderful whimsy to her work that I wish I could capture. I’ve always admired writers who use humor really well. I’ve also just discovered Katherine Ashe and am having a great time with her books. (Her novella, A Lady’s Wish, is part of what inspired me to write my AvonImpulse novellas.) My romance auto-buy list includes: Suzanne Brockmann, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, J.R. Ward, Lisa Kleypas, Charlaine Harris, Liz Carlyle, and Gail Carriger. I am sure there are others, but those are the ones that pop to mind.
Do you start writing the book with a plan, knowing everything that’s going to happen, or does that come bit by bit as you write the books?
I am somewhere in between. I know all the major plot points of my stories, but I rarely know exactly how I am going to move between them. What I do know is my characters. Every story I write has begun with a couple entrenched in my mind. If I don’t know my hero and heroine, I can’t tell an effective story. I’ll spend as long on the first five chapters of a book as I will on all the rest of it, because it is in those chapters that I am getting to know my characters.
What influences and inspirations (both literary and non-literary) did you draw from while writing WHAT A DUKE WANTS?
I was thinking about fairytales when I wrote this book – both Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella. I am not sure that anyone else would see the inspiration unless it was pointed out to them, but I definitely had both stories in mind as I wrote. I do refer to a Cinderella ball (yes, Cinderella existed then, too), but it’s not always obvious that Isabella is a Cinderella. I’m hoping to write a series of books where each heroine is Cinderella in her own way.
What surprised or changed the most from your original intent of this book? What’s your favorite scene?
My favorite scene takes place at a ball, but I am not going to say more because it would be a complete giveaway. It happens near the end of the book and in my mind it’s just perfect.
It’s also the scene that was the most surprising for me. I knew exactly what was supposed to happen and how it was going to happen – it was also supposed to take place earlier in the story. But when I wrote it, my hero, Mark Smythe, Duke of Strattington, just wouldn’t cooperate. He knew exactly what he was going to do and he was plain and simply right. I had to rearrange the second half of the book to make it work, but there was no other choice. If I’d left it the way I originally wrote it, the plot might have worked, but the character wouldn’t have.
The reviews that I’ve read of What a Duke Wants make it clear that my hero was right. Several reviews mention that scene in particular, and I’m so glad my hero knew what should happen, even when I didn’t.
If I say no, am I awful? I do know the message of each of my books when I finish them – trust, overcoming boundaries, giving those you love the benefit of the doubt – but what I really want is for my readers to feel those special moments of deep despair and endless joy as they read my books. As a reader, it’s those moments that I remember and those moments I want to share.
Give us 5 reasons why readers should read WHAT A DUKE WANTS!
♥ It has a hot duke – do we really need more than that? (Yes, that’s him on the cover. When I first thought of him, he looked more like Sawyer on LOST, but once I saw the cover I knew it was exactly right.)
♥ I love both my hero and my heroine. They have hard time learning to compromise – but once they do, the sparks really fly. Many of my readers have been waiting for Isabella’s story and this is finally it.
♥ This book really has that moment when there is no way that things can work out, when all hope is lost – and then my hero does the right thing and everything changes.
♥ The heroine has a dance with a cute kitten. If the duke doesn’t get you, the kitten will. (I’ve clearly been watching too many YouTube videos.)
♥ How many nights can you say you went to bed with a duke? (See #1)
What can we expect from you next?
I’m not sure. I have a couple of ideas in mind and I’m not sure which direction I’ll head in. I do know that one of the characters, Annie, Lady Richard Tennant, has a story that is just begging to be told – and it’s a really good story. I’m not sure yet if it will be another novella or a full length book. I’d love to give her a book, but I know my readers want the story yesterday.
Thank you so much for having me. I look forward to chatting.
What a Duke Wants is a very lovely, exciting and captivating tale.
Isabella and Mark are incredible together! I loved all their dialogues and every little interaction between them. This book is packed with twists that will delight and surprise the reader. Lavinia Kent has the power to create scenes that will leave you on the edge of your seat desperatly turning the pages to know what will happen next. It has hints of mystery and suspense but they never overgrow the fact that it’s a very HOT romance book.
An excelent read, I highly recommend it! Get your copy now!
Heat Level: 4/5
Running from a dark secret past, Isabella Masters craves peace and stability, a life far from the prying eyes of society.
She does not dream of landing a lord.
But in the arms of a stranger with magnificent eyes, she loses herself in one breath-stealing kiss— only to discover she has been misled by a reluctant Duke.
Angered but enthralled, she dares not submit . . . though her passionate heart begs her to. He cannot wed her . . . but he must not lose her.
Lavinia and Harper Collins will be giving away a $25 Amazon.com gift certificate to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour! Go check the other stops and the more you comment, the better your chances of winning!