Thanks, Susana, for having me on your site today.
And hello, dear Readers. Thanks for helping me celebrate my latest release, What the Marquess Sees, and for tuning in to my silliness. I cannot believe the day has come! I never thought it would be quite so long between books 1 and 2. I don’t plan to allow quite so much time between books 2 and 3.
What the Marquess Sees is the second book in my Agents of Change series and tells the story of love and intrigue for two very different, yet very interesting characters, Lady Beatryce Beckett and Clifford Ross, 7th Marquess of Dansbury. Both characters appeared in the first book of the Agents of Change series, What the Duke Wants. In What the Duke Wants, Dansbury was quite the charmer and best friend to my main character, the Duke of Stonebridge. Lady Beatryce – was the duke’s betrothed and definitely not nice… and she tried everything in her power to see that she, and only she, would be marrying the Duke of Stonebridge.
Needless to say, her efforts did not play out as she’d hoped. However, I doubt now that she’s sorry she lost now…
Here’s a quick summary of what book 2, What the Marquess Sees, is about:
England 1814: He is a marquess with a woman to protect and an assassin to thwart. She is…not nice.
The Marquess of Dansbury is a strong, charismatic man living a charmed life as an agent for the crown. His past isn’t without tragedy, but he is too amiable to allow misfortune to mar his positive outlook on life. Until now…when he finds himself tasked with protecting the one woman in the world he actively disdains, Lady Beatryce Beckett.
Lady Beatryce Beckett is mean. She ruins other women on purpose. She lies. She cheats. She even steals. And she takes particular pleasure in provoking a certain marquess. In short, she’ll do anything to get what she wants: freedom from her abusive father. But she is strong (she’s had to be), worthy (who’d have thought it), and in love… Wait, what?
It will take a special man to see the true woman beneath the surface…and a strong woman to allow him that glimpse. Is the Marquess of Dansbury up to the task?
Recently, I was able to catch up with Lady Beatryce and Dansbury and ask them some questions about their story and their life. Here’s what they had to say:
Amy Quinton, author: Lady Beatryce, Dansbury – it’s great to see you…. It’s been a while.
Lady Beatryce: Thank you.
Dansbury: It’s a pleasure to see you again. How are you?
Amy Quinton, author: Still the charmer, I see. I’m fine Dansbury. Working with a couple of your friends on my next story, Book 3 of the Agents of Change series.
Dansbury: Excellent. Can you give us some hints?
Lady Beatryce: D… Let her ask her questions…
Amy Quinton, author: Thanks Lady Beatryce. So Lady Beatryce, Dansbury – tell us about the first time you met.
An uncomfortable silence ensues. Dansbury clears his throat, no longer quite at ease.
Lady Beatryce: It’s rather a sore topic of conversation.
Lady Beatryce looks over at D who is still ill at ease and then turns back to me. She folds her hands and lifts her chin. Confidence is her forte.
Lady Beatryce: It was a black moment in my life. He caught me at a low point. I had just ruined a girl, on purpose, you see… I don’t regret my actions; I had my reasons, but there it is…
Dansbury: I must admit, for a moment there, I questioned your decision to throw us together, Mrs. Quinton… though I’m glad you did, of course.
Lady Beatryce: He hated me.
Dansbury: Actually, that wasn’t my very first reaction, my urges where far more, er… base, but then when I overheard you and Lord Middlebury…
Dansbury’s hands turn white as he clenches them into fists. His voice takes on a rough edge.
… then, yes, I did hate – well, I’ll admit to strongly disliked – her.
Lady Beatryce just raises her brow in question…
…right, then. Yes, I hated her.
He looks at Beatryce…
…But you were exactly who I needed you to be…
Dansbury reaches over to Lady Beatryce and squeezes her hands. My God, he loves that woman.
Amy Quinton, author: Honestly, I didn’t like her either. Sorry, Lady Beatryce. But I began to learn (while working on the Stonebridge’s story (What the Duke Wants)) that she was more than the mask she presented to the world. And I realized that of everyone, you, Dansbury, were the one man capable of seeing the woman beneath the surface…. So it was inevitable. And truthfully, you were simply too charming to fail.
Dansbury: Aw, Mrs. Quinton, if you’re not careful you’ll make me blush.
Amy Quinton, author: *laughing* I won’t tell. I admit I was also surprised that your story turned out to be so much more… erotic… and used far more adult… um language, if you will, than my first book.
Dansbury: Now I am blushing. But we aren’t anything like Grace and Stonebridge, are we? We’re both very passionate people and we genuinely hated each other… but then you threw us together, on the run from a madman, no less – against our expressed wishes – so, things were bound to be explosive.
Lady Beatryce: La, that is certainly true.
Amy Quinton, author: Lady Beatryce, we learn early on in this story that you have quite a sense of humor lurking beneath the surface. And you’re awfully good at impersonations – you’re especially good at impersonating Dansbury here. Care to give us a demonstration?
Dansbury: Wait… when did this happen?
Amy Quinton, author: Chapter 1 – didn’t you read the book?
Amy Quinton, author: I’ll take that as a no. But I’m surprised, Dansbury. It’s your story. Why wouldn’t you want to read it?
Dansbury: I lived it – I don’t need to read it. And perhaps I don’t honestly wish to relive those early days. I admit that I could have been a touch nicer to Bea.
He looks over at Beatryce and cracks a smile.
Amy Quinton, author: OK – now that’s sweet. That’s fine, we’ll skip the impersonations for now… hopefully our readers will enjoy reading them in the story.
Lady Beatryce, in the first book, you took your cousin’s journal, something very personal and important to her, and threw it in the fire. Right in front of her. I admit, that’s cold. Now, knowing everything you do, do you regret that?
Lady Beatryce: No
Amy Quinton, author: Wow, no hesitation there. And I see Dansbury is tensing up again…
Lady Beatryce: La, how could I possibly express regret – even now? Everything I’ve done – good or bad—has lead me to where I am now. It brought me to you, Dansbury. I would not rewrite a single moment of my past for fear that I would lose you in the process.
Amy Quinton, author: Wow that is saying something. Dansbury you are a fortunate man. She loves you very much.
One side of his mouth quirks up in a very charming way, the result a shy but charismatic grin.
Dansbury: I know it.
Of course, he isn’t looking at me when he speaks – he only has eyes for Lady Beatryce. But I’m not pulling my punches either.
Amy Quinton, author: Dansbury. Why did you ask Miss Grace Radclyffe to marry you?
And Lady Beatryce looks like she’s going to kill me now, but I’m just going to ignore her for the moment.
Dansbury: Mrs. Quinton you like to live dangerously. Let me see. I respected her, Grace, that is. And it was the only thing I could think to do at the time to protect her from the fallout of Stonebridge’s idiotic behavior. I do know, now, it would have been a dreadful mistake. Fortunately, Grace is smarter than I and refused me.
Amy Quinton, author: Thanks, Dansbury. That reminds me, you know your actions nearly had you stealing the show in book 1… I had reader after reader tell me how much they liked you… it was very naughty of you.
Dansbury: *laughing* Stonebridge expects no less from me.
Amy Quinton, author: I’m sure. I need to start wrapping this up, so let’s get a few more quick questions in… Lady Beatryce have you come to terms with your past? Have you forgiven yourself?
Lady Beatryce: I lapse from time to time, still. Old habits are difficult to break, but I try my best.
Amy Quinton, author: I turn to look at Dansbury… Plans for the future? What about the investigation?
Beatryce: We cannot discuss it at this time.
Amy Quinton, author: Lady Beatryce, I’m surprised by your response –really, by the fact that you responded. Are you going to take a more active role moving forward?
Lady Beatryce: Possibly… we will simply have to wait and see, shall we?
Amy Quinton, author: Interesting… Lady Beatryce, in the blurb, it mentions that you lie, you cheat, you even steal… Is this an accurate description of your character?
Lady Beatryce: Perhaps…
Amy Quinton, author: And Steal? I don’t recall you stealing anything in the book, per se… So can you tell us more? What have you stolen? Inquiring minds want to know…
Lady Beatryce: Hmmm all of them – er… all of the things I’ve stolen?
Amy Quinton, author: So it’s happened more than once? I see. Um, no just give us a “for instance”.
Lady Beatryce: La, let me think… I’ve stolen the odd bobble and ribbon from one of my sisters, of course, but that hardly signifies. We were siblings.
Look. Let’s just say I have stolen some valuable things from other people in the aristocracy. The reasons are many and various. I’m not sure it’s a good idea to divulge the details, but I can say that no one has unreasonably suffered due to my thieving. And I refuse to say more.
Amy Quinton, author: All right, fair enough. Now, Beatryce, in the story, we learn that you are a runner. And while exercise as it pertains to engaging in a physical activity dates back to the 17th century, it’s not very common for woman during your time. What or who turned you on to running and working your muscles for relieving stress?
Lady Beatryce: No one really. I just ran a lot as a child and realized that I always felt better afterwards… so I simply never stopped. And it came in very useful when I became a woman… I needed it… the release. I never realized just how much it would help me later in life; I’m thankful I never stopped.
Amy Quinton, author: So any plans for the future you’d like to share?
Lady Beatryce: For the moment, the investigation is our only priority.
Amy Quinton, author: Dansbury, are you going to allow her to continue working on the case?
Dansbury: Do you think I’d even try to stop her? You should know my wife better than that… so, no, not a chance.
Amy Quinton, author: Good. How about we give the readers an excerpt from the story now?
Lady Beatryce, Dansbury: Sure.
Amy Quinton, author: How about the Goat Scene?
Dansbury: Absolutely not.
Amy Quinton, author: What are you worried about – it’s hysterical and they’re going to read it eventually.
Dansbury: Yes, but not while I’m present for the reading.
Amy Quinton, author: All right. I’ve got one. It’s personal and deep – and Dansbury, you’re not being too much of a dummy.
Ah, the beast awakens.
“For the sake of your life, I am going to pretend you didn’t just ask me that question.” His eyes narrowed. “But I’m thinking you’re doing it on purpose?” He looked deep and peeked into her soul. He was the only one who might be capable. The only one who’d ever tried.
“Are you, Beatryce? Are you intentionally being disgusting and low simply to infuriate me?”
“Oh, Dansbury,” she laughed in an attempt to distract him from looking too close, “you do think highly of yourself, don’t you? Besides, I can’t imagine why I would want to do a silly thing like that.”
If anything, he leaned closer. “Can’t you, Lady Beatryce?” He placed one hand at the base of her neck and slid up until he cupped her chin in the palm of his hand. “Truly, Bea? Perhaps…Hmmm…” He closed his eyes and inhaled a long, drawn-out breath, and when he opened his eyes, she nearly drowned in their brown and gold-flecked depths. She unconsciously leaned into him. “Perhaps it’s you who is scared.” His voice was a whisper now. “Perhaps you yearn…to trust…me…”
He was far too close to the truth, damn his perceptive eyes. She shook off whatever magic spell he wove over her analytical mind. It wasn’t easy.
“Dansbury, I couldn’t even trust my own father. My. Own. Father! The one person in the world I should have been able to trust. Everyone else was…dead. So, no. I will never be able to trust you, or anyone else for that matter. Because when it comes down to it, we’re all just looking out for ourselves.”
His eyes softened, a response she could not have predicted.
“Can you not see that your past is coloring your perceptions of everything and everyone around you?”
“Of course it does, I am my past. I cannot divorce myself from it.”
“Sure, sure, but you can choose to not let it define your future. You can choose to look for the good in others.”
“That’s easy for you to say.”
“This isn’t about me. Somehow, someway you are going to have to learn to put your past behind you if you ever want to have a future with any remote chance of happiness.”
“But I don’t know how to be any other way! My father abused me. Abused. Me.” She slammed her fist into her chest to drive home the point. “His own daughter. And he allowed others to do so as well. How in the hell could I possibly trust anyone besides myself?”
“No! Don’t ‘Oh, Bea’ me. Don’t pity me. And you sure as hell better not trust me.”
“Oh, I definitely don’t pity you. But I am frustrated to see the pain reflected in your eyes. To see the hint of doubt in yourself.”
“I will never doubt myself.”
He didn’t swallow the lie. “You say you are strong. You act like you are strong.
Now, you must believe it too! What is this if not doubt in yourself?”
“I never doubted myself before I met you!”
Amy Quinton, author: Well, I suppose you deserved that one, Dansbury.
Amy Quinton, author: Well, thank you Lady Beatryce, Dansbury, for giving our dear readers a chance to hear you guys speak about your story, and for being so honest with some of my more probing questions.
Dansbury: The pleasure is all ours.
Lady Beatryce: It was good to see you again, Mrs. Quinton. Let us not wait so long between visits, yes?
Amy Quinton, author: Definitely. I’m sure we’ll talk from time to time while I work through Alaistair MacLeod’s story.
Lady Beatryce: Indeed.
Dear Readers, thank you so much for considering reading What the Marquess Sees. I have additional excerpts and buy links on my website at www.amyquinton.net if you are interested.
I hope you enjoy reading What the Marquess Sees, and I look forward to hearing what you thought about the Lady Beatryce and Dansbury’s story.
About the Author
Amy Quinton is an author and full time mom living in Summerville, SC. She enjoys writing (and reading!) sexy, historical romances. She lives with her English husband, two boys, and two cats. In her spare time, she likes to go camping, hiking, and canoeing/kayaking… And did she mention reading? When she’s not reading, cleaning, or traveling, she likes to make jewelry, sew, knit, and crochet (Yay for Ravelry!).
Amy has lived in or around the Charleston, SC area her entire life. When she’s not home, at the beach (weather permitting), or camping in and around the Great Smoky Mountains (Check out Mile High Campground and Devils Fork State Park!), she loves to visit the United Kingdom. She loves the history, the culture, and the people—hence her love for Scottish and Regency Romances. She especially loves to visit the Isle of Skye—in the Highlands of Scotland—where the scenery is both rugged and breathtaking.
Amy graduated from the College of Charleston, a liberal arts college located in beautiful, historic Charleston, SC. She worked 10 years in the computer industry as a software designer before becoming a full time mom and now, a full time novelist.