I absolutely adored Elizabeth Hoyt's newest Maiden Lane story, Sweetest Scoundrel. It's sexy, unique, and a fantastic addition to one of my favorite historical romance series, which is why I'm so delighted to be a part of the Sweetest Scoundrel blog tour. My review of Sweetest Scoundrel can be found here, and if you scroll down on this post you'll find a Q&A with Elizabeth Hoyt, an excerpt from Sweetest Scoundrel, and a giveaway from Ms. Hoyt's publisher, Forever!
Q&A with Elizabeth Hoyt:Q: Finish this sentence:
A: My hero will always punch first, ask questions later.
Q: What scene from SWEETEST SCOUNDREL was the hardest to write?
A: Ooo! Good question! I think it was the climatic ending. You want it to be action-y, but it has to make sense and it has to be emotional. And fast. Harder than it would seem. ;-)
Q: You’ve written both contemporary and historical romances—what are some of the unique challenges for each?
A: Well, with contemporary, staying contemporary. I’m fifty and usually writing about people in their twenties and thirties and I’m conscious of that. With historical, making sure my twenty-first century voice doesn’t slip in to the book too much.
Q: Are there any other time periods or settings that you’d like to explore in one of your books?
A: Oh, don’t get me started. There’s the (English) civil war and all those families turning on each other and death and treason. There’s a reason so many swashbucklers were set in that time period. But! The fashions. Men were wearing what amounted to pajama pants. Shudder. Soooo sad. Then there’s the Elizabethans. Men in tights! And being literate and able to write poetry was sexy. Think what you could do with that! Oh, and late Victorians! With all their prim manners and wealthy Americans! That would be fun.
But I think I’ll probably stay in Georgian England for the nonce. ;-)
Q: What do you hope readers can learn from SWEETEST SCOUNDREL?
A: It’s never too late to be healed by love.
Excerpt from Sweetest Scoundrel:“What do you see when you look at me?”
What did she see when she looked at him?
Eve inhaled, trying and failing to tear her gaze from his.
Mr. Harte sprawled across her dainty settee like a Viking marauder in a pillaged Christian church. His broad shoulders took up more than half the width, his arms lazily draped over the back. His scarlet coat was spread open, contrasting with the sedate gray-
blue of the cushions almost shockingly. One long leg was thrust straight before him, the other cocked open and resting on a booted heel. The pose made the apex of his thighs very...obvious...and even as she kept her eyes locked on his she could feel heat rising in her cheeks.
What did she see?
She saw violence and anger, kept under a control that was tenuous at best. She saw power and a strength that could hurt her—kill her—if he so chose. She saw the innate brutality that was, in larger or smaller part, in all men.
She saw her most terrible fears.
But—and this was the truly unprecedented part—she saw more in him. She saw temptation—her temptation—alluring and frightening at the same time, his virility so strong it was nearly a visible miasma in the space between them.
She wanted him. Wanted that brash gaze, those long, muscled thighs, that mocking, insulting mouth, and the shoulders that went on forever, big and brawny and so
very, very male.
This was madness—she knew that intellectually. She’d never wanted a man before—was in fact afraid of almost all men, let alone one so obviously, blatantly sexual.
She took a breath, hoping that he couldn’t read all this from her gaze—and knowing it was a lost cause already.
His heavy-lidded green eyes were far, far too perceptive.
“I see...” She paused to lick suddenly dry lips. “I see that your hairline is nearly a perfect arc across the expanse of your forehead. That your eyebrows tilt ever so slightly up at the ends and that the right has a scar through it. I see that when you are solemn, the outer edges of your lips reach just to the midpoint of your eyes, but when you smile, they go beyond the corners. I see that your chin and jaw are almost in classical proportion and that a small white scar forms a comma on your chin just to the right of center.” She finally glanced away from him, breathing heavily, certain that she’d not thrown him off the track with her artist’s eye’s impressions. She inhaled again and ended, “I see every line of your face, every line’s intersection and how they relate. That is what I see when I look at you.”
“And is that all you see? Lines?” His voice was deep and amused.
She chanced a peek.
He still watched her, his gaze utterly unperturbed by her observations about his countenance.
No, she’d not fooled him at all.
She licked her lips again, buying time. “I see,” she said carefully, cautiously, “a very self-possessed man.”
“Self-possessed,” he drawled. “I’m not sure what that means, frankly. It sounds, just a bit, like a coward’s answer.”
Her gaze flew to his, outraged.
But before she could take him down a peg, he chuckled softly. “Tell me, Miss Dinwoody, would you like to know what I see when I look at you?”
She shouldn’t. She really, really shouldn’t.
“Yes,” she blurted, and then winced because she knew well enough what men thought when they looked at her: ordinary, if they were charitable. Plain if they were not.
She braced herself for mockery, but when she glanced again at him, his gaze was hot and hard. Certainly not gentle. Certainly not kind. But he wasn’t dismissing her, either.
He looked at her as if they were equals. As if he really saw her, a woman to his man.
“I see,” he said, his deep voice musing, “a woman afraid, but fighting her fears. A woman who carries herself like a queen. A woman who could rule us all, I suspect.”
She gazed at him, her breath caught in her throat, afraid to exhale and break the spell.
A corner of that wicked mouth tilted up. “And I see a woman who has a deep curiosity. Who wants to feel but is worried—of herself? Of others?” He shook his head. “I’m not sure.” He leaned forward slowly, destroying his pose, and she had to fight herself not to scoot her chair away from him. “But I think she has a fire banked within her. Maybe it’s only embers now, glowing in the dark, but if tinder were to be put to those embers...” He grinned slowly. Dangerously. “Oh, what a conflagration that would be.”
About Sweetest Scoundrel:SHE’S TAKING CHARGE
Prim, proper, and thrifty, Eve Dinwoody is all business when it comes to protecting her brother’s investment. But when she agrees to control the purse strings of London’s premier pleasure garden, Harte’s Folly, she finds herself butting heads with an infuriating scoundrel who can’t be controlled.
HE’S RUNNING THE SHOW
Bawdy and bold, Asa Makepeace doesn’t have time for a penny-pinching prude like Eve. As the garden’s larger-than-life owner, he’s already dealing with self-centered sopranos and temperamental tenors. He's not about to let an aristocratic woman boss him around…no matter how enticing she is.
BUT LOVE CONQUERS ALL
In spite of her lack of theatrical experience – and her fiery clashes with Asa – Eve is determined to turn Harte’s Folly into a smashing success. But the harder she tries to manage the stubborn rake, the harder it is to ignore his seductive charm and raw magnetism. There’s no denying the smoldering fire between them – and trying to put it out would be the greatest folly of all…
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About Elizabeth Hoyt:
Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times bestselling author of over seventeen lush historical romances including the Maiden Lane series. Publishers Weekly has called her writing "mesmerizing." She also pens deliciously fun contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with three untrained dogs, a garden in constant need of weeding, and the long-suffering Mr. Hoyt.
Find Elizabeth Hoyt on the Web: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
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