DUKE OF MY HEART – On sale January 26, 2016
About the book –
Captain Maximus Harcourt, the unconventional tenth Duke of Alderidge, can deal with tropical storms, raging seas, and the fiercest of pirates. But he’s returned home from his latest voyage to find a naked earl – quite inconveniently deceased – tied to his missing sister’s bed. And he has only one place to turn. Now he’s at the mercy of the captivating Miss Ivory Moore of Chegarre & Associates, known throughout London for smoothing over the most dire of scandals.
Miss Moore treats the crisis as though it were no more serious than a cup of spilt tea on an expensive rug. As though this sort of thing happened on the job every day. Max has never in all his life met a woman with such nerve. Her dark eyes are too wide, her mouth is too full, her cheekbones too sharp. Yet together, she’s somehow…flawless. It’s just like his love for her, imperfect, unexpected – yet absolutely true.
He tipped his chair forward on two legs, bringing himself closer to her. She held her ground. He was close enough to kiss her. He braced his elbows on his knees, the bottle dangling from his fingers, his ice-grey eyes searching her face. There was a sheen of liquor on his lower lip, the moisture visible in the flickering lantern light. She could taste it on her own tongue, imagined tasting it on his.
Her heart seemed to be crashing in her chest louder than it should, and her stomach felt as it would have on heaving seas. Her control was slipping, and taking with it her judgment and her wits. “Do you think differently of me? Now that you know who I am? The things I’ve done?” The questions slipped out of their own volition.
“The things you’ve done?” His forehead creased.
“I sold myself, Max.” There. She’d said it. “Before I had enough power to control my own destiny.”
He stared at her. “I know who you are. You are Ivory Moore. You are the woman who redressed a corpse to save my sister. The woman who kissed me to save me from myself. You are the only one who understands why I can never be put in a prison that was built for me by fate and circumstance.”
She swallowed, emotion clogging her throat.
“You are the woman I trust.” He pushed himself away from her abruptly, and the chair came back down on four legs with a thud. He stood and set the bottle back on the table with great care. Reaching down, he caught her hands in his and pulled her to her feet. He studied her hands before bringing them to his lips. “The woman I want more than anything.”
Desire streaked through her and settled somewhere deep in her belly. Time seemed to have slowed. His lips grazed the insides of her wrists.
“Max.” It came out like a plea, when she had meant it as a protest.
“I lied,” he said. He pressed his mouth to the flesh of her palm, and her knees nearly buckled.
“What?” It was hard to follow the thread of conversation, what with the feel of his lips on her skin.
“I said I wasn’t sure of anything anymore,” he said quietly.
“But that’s not true. I am sure of you.”
Ivory searched his eyes, seeing only a raw vulnerability in those clear grey depths.
“You’ve more courage than anyone I’ve ever met,” he whispered, pulling her closer to him, their hands still joined.
“Not nearly enough. But I wish I was.”
“If I were drunk, it might excuse what I’m about to do.”
Ivory didn’t have time to even respond before he kissed her.
About the author –
Kelly Bowen grew up in Manitoba, Canada. She attended the University of Manitoba and earned a Master of Science degree in veterinary physiology and endocrinology. But it was Kelly’s infatuation with history and a weakness for a good love story that led her down the path of historical romance. When she is not writing, she seizes every opportunity to explore ruins and battlefields.
Currently, Kelly lives in Winnipeg with her husband and two boys, all of whom are wonderfully patient with the writing process. Except, that is, when they need a goalie for street hockey.
A Q&A with the author –
What would readers be surprised to find out about you?
I can drive a front end loader. (Useful, I know, for a writer :))
Who gave you the one piece of writing advice that sticks with you to this day?
Honestly, the best bit of writing advice that I ever received was a quote from Stephen King that I read. He said “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” That really resonated with me – on the days that I’m struggling , there is no quitting and hoping that it will fix itself. I use his example and try to push through – sometimes you have to write the wrong thing in order to figure out what the right thing is.
Do you have any favorite book boyfriends of your own?
Jamie Lost in Kris Kennedy’s Defiant. Jamie Fraser in the Outlander. Hmmm. Maybe it’s a Jamie thing?
If your couple’s relationship had a theme song, what would it be?
At the beginning, something from the Fight Club soundtrack. In the middle, something from Pirates of the Caribbean, and by the end, something from The Italian Job. (A good example of my total lack of music knowledge here…)
If your book was being made into a movie, who would you include in your dream cast?
Stephen Amell as my hero (He pulled off remote and forbidding in the Vampire Diaries and in early episodes of Arrow. And then there’s the abs, of course…) Emma Stone as my heroine (she strikes me as clever and quick on her feet). There is also space in this one for Kit Harrington, Ian Somerhalder, Johnny Depp, Lily James, and Jennifer Lawrence. I hope there isn’t a salary cap on this question…
Where do you find inspiration for you writing? Do you use real people/places as a foundation?
Inspiration comes from everywhere. Books, TV, movies, news, real life, history. I suspect it’s why most authors can often be seen scribbling madly on scraps of paper or notebooks at odd times. You never know when inspiration will strike!
Would the 10 year-old version of yourself kick your butt or praise you for what you’ve accomplished in life?
My 10 year old self wanted to be a vet, a zookeeper, or an archeologist. In a roundabout way, I’ve managed to achieve all three (degrees and a career in vet physiology, a houseful of critters and kids both big and small, and the ability to bring history back to life). I think the 10 year old version would be pretty happy with my life (the 40 year old version is!) I love how my path to this moment has been unexpected, wonderful, and filled with amazing opportunities!
There are print copies of DUKE OF MY HEART up for grabs – go and check it out right over here: a Rafflecopter giveaway