I’m so excited to be in Susana’s Parlour today. My new Regency romance, A Whisper of Desire, released this week. It’s book #4 in my Disgraced Lord series but it can be read as a standalone. I thought I’d take the opportunity to interview my heroine, Lady Marisa Hawkestone. We ladies like to chat, but as I live in New Zealand I don’t get the opportunity to visit England very often.
About A Whisper of Desire
Sensual heat melts the ice in the new Disgraced Lords novel from USA Today bestselling author Bronwen Evans, as a marriage of convenience leads to delightful pleasure—and mortal danger.
Lady Marisa Hawkestone’s nightmare is just beginning when she wakes up naked, with no memory of the night before, lying next to Maitland Spencer, the Duke of Lyttleton—a man so aloof and rational he’s nicknamed “the Cold Duke.” A scandal ensues, in which Marisa’s beloved beau deserts her. As a compromised woman, Marisa agrees to marry Maitland. But on her wedding night, Marisa discovers the one place the duke shows emotion: in the bedroom, where the man positively scorches the sheets.
Taught from a young age to take duty seriously, Maitland cannot understand his new wife’s demands on his love and affection. Marisa’s hot-blooded spirit, however, does have its attractions—especially at night. In retrospect, it seems quite silly that he didn’t marry sooner. But being one of the Libertine Scholars requires constant vigilance, even more so when the enemy with a grudge against his closest friends targets Marisa. Now Maitland must save the woman who sets his heart aflame—or die trying.
Bron: Welcome, Marisa. Tell us a little about yourself.
Marisa: Good afternoon. Thank you for visiting with me today. Would you like some tea? (Me: yes, I’m a big tea drinker. Thank you). Hmmm, what shall I reveal?
I’m the eldest daughter of the late Marquis of Coldhurst. Both my parents are dead. They died in a carriage accident when I was young, and Sebastian, my elder brother, is now the Marquis, brought us up. I have a younger sister Helen.
Bron: Did you have a happy childhood?
Marisa: (sigh) No, not really. I had Helen. She’s only eighteen months younger than me but my brother is ten years older and he was rarely around. He was the lucky one. He could escape.
Bron: Escape what?
Marisa: My parent’s terrible altercations and even physical fights. You see, their marriage was a ‘supposed’ love match. The were both of them consumed with jealousy, accusing each other of infidelity. The fights were awful. Helen and I used to hide in our rooms.
Bron: That must have had a dreadful affect on you?
Marisa: It did. If this was love I wanted nothing to do with it.
Bron: You’re married now—you had to marry. Is that still the case?
Marisa: (shakes her head) No. When Sebastian married Beatrice (Book #2 A Promise of More), I learned what true love means. It’s about trust, friendship, loyalty, real love doesn’t hurt. I thought I’d found that with Lord Rutherford but he was a liar and manipulator and I’m so thankful that my husband, the Duke of Lyttleton was set up to compromise me.
Bron: Do you love your husband?
Marisa: With every breath I take. He’s taught me about all those things I mentioned – loyalty, friendship and trust.
Bron: Does he love you?
Marisa: (gives a big smile) Unconditionally. If you read the book you’ll learn why, to me, his love for me is such a blessing.
Bron: Thank you for opening up your personal life to us. I look forward to hearing more of your story in the follow up books to A Whisper of Desire.
Maitland had hero-worshipped Marisa’s brother for many years. He’d been able to repay Sebastian, and the other Libertine Scholars, with his uncanny investment ability. Numbers had always made more sense to him than people. Numbers didn’t lie. They were logical, rational, and impossible to manipulate, if you were smart.
“I will agree that you can ask Rutherford if he will still marry you, even though you’re now compromised.” He looked at Marisa. Really looked. “Shall we make a pact to be friends? Regardless of the outcome of your talk with Rutherford, I shall count you as my good friend as I would Sebastian.”
“If you were my friend you’d tell me what you know about Rutherford. I bet you’ll tell Sebastian.”
She was right. If he were her friend he would tell her. He was certainly going to tell Sebastian. “I knew you were intelligent. I’ve walked right into your trap.”
She rolled onto her side, facing him, and the quilt dropped dangerously low. He could almost see one nipple as his eyes roamed over the swell of her breast. Her eyes twinkled and her smile tugged a reluctant upturn of his lips in return.
“As your friend, tell me.”
He pushed a stray piece of hair behind her ear, the urge to touch her too strong. “I don’t want to hurt you. Rutherford should be man enough to tell you himself, but as I know he’s deceiving you, I doubt the boy knows what the word ‘truthful’ means.” She pulled her bottom lip between her teeth and began to chew on it. At her silence, he looked her in the eye and told her what he knew. “He was in the garden tonight while I was smoking a cheroot and he was not alone.”
He watched her swallow back a curse.
“He was with a woman?”
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About the Author
USA Today bestselling author, Bronwen Evans grew up loving books. She writes both historical and contemporary sexy romances for the modern woman who likes intelligent, spirited heroines, and compassionate alpha heroes. Evans is a three-time winner of the RomCon Readers’ Crown and has been nominated for an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award. She lives in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand with her dogs Brandy and Duke.