Today I have the great pleasure to have the lovely and hugely talented, Historical Romance Author; Lara Temple visiting again. To celebrate the release of her brand-new book; Lord Hunter’s Cinderella Heiress – which is out today, I have an exclusive Interview with Lara, an exclusive excerpt and Lara has come to Chicks Rogues and Scandals baring gifts, she is very generously giving away a copy of Lord Hunter’s Cinderella Heiress to one lucky winner so make sure you stick around for that.
When I was fifteen I found a very grubby copy of Georgette Heyer’s Faro’s Daughter in an equally grubby book store. Several blissful hours later I emerged, blinking, into the light of day completely in love with Max Ravenscar and with Regency Romance.
But the love remained one-sided as I progressed through various fascinating but completely unrelated careers in finance and high tech until my mother gave me a firm shove by entering one my many drawer-directed novels into Harlequin’s annual writing contest. To my shocked surprise I not only made it to the top ten but Harlequin commissioned me to write five Regency romances.
I write strong, sexy, and suspenseful regency romances about complex individuals who give no quarter but deliver plenty of passion.
Like every (or most) writers, I would love to hear from you about books (not only mine) and history and whatever you find that makes you love this period and genre.
I live with my husband and two children who are very good about my taking over the kitchen table for my writing (so I can look out over the garden and dream). I love to travel (especially to places steeped in history) and hike and read as many books as possible (which just about sums up my dream vacation).
I recently went back to look for that grubby crowded little bookstore but couldn’t quite remember around what corner it was…hopefully it is still there and another girl is in the corner by the window, reading and dreaming…
Frankie Hi Lara, Welcome to Chicks Rogues and Scandals, Thank-you for taking the time to chat with me today.
Lara Thanks for inviting me, Frankie. So glad to be here again!
Frankie It’s a pleasure, congratulations on your newest release; Lord Hunter’s Cinderella Heiress. Can you tell us a little about the book?
Lara Thanks, Frankie. Anyone who knows me knows I have trouble telling ‘a little’ but I’ll try.
When Hunter and Nell first meet they are both at a low point – Hunter’s brother committed suicide after the war despite his efforts to help him, and Nell is subject to her aunt’s bullying and her father’s indifference. In a moment of pity Hunter agrees to marry Nell when she reaches her majority. But when Nell turns 21 and discovers the betrothal she has no intention of going through with it – she has finally drummed up the courage to go seek out her childhood sweetheart at the Wilton Horse Fair and she won’t let an announced betrothal stand in her way. Hunter is only too happy for an honourable way out of his long-regretted gesture and promises to accompany her to the Horse Fair but along the way (of course) they discover they share not only a love of horses, a sense of humour, and a growing and often disconcerting attraction, they also understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Still, they have to face guilt, pain, and their own needs to reach their well-deserved HEAs.
Frankie All your books are set during the Regency period, what is it about that era that interests you so much to write about?
Lara From the age of 15 I was hooked on Regency romance and history by the incomparable Georgette Heyer. I went so deep into her world I ended up turning my back on studying physics to pursue a degree in 19th century British History. I can’t even explain what dragged me in so deeply – it isn’t just the glitz and glamor of the ballrooms, but more that it is a time of almost hidden transition. The Regency period feels to me like a twenty year old on the brink of ‘real’ life – everything is about to change dramatically and you can feel it coming but don’t know what it will all amount to. The Napoleonic Wars set in motion political developments that shaped the world we know today, some of the most amazing scientific discoveries were being brewed during this period but also weren’t fully understood. The Regency is a world poised on the brink… I love that tension.
Frankie Do you have a writing ritual? And if you do can you share it with us?
Lara Until recently I had a very demanding job so writing was recreational for me – something I did when I ‘felt like it.’ That changed completely when I got the amazing chance to become a published author (thanks to Harlequin’s SYTYCW contest!). Since then I sit down and write every weekday, from the moment I take my children to school (well, after making a big pot of tea but that’s obvious, right?) and until I have to work at my other (now less demanding) job.
Because I have so little time, even when I hit a writing wall I force myself to keep writing – I might start editing or put my WIP aside to work on another project (I often have two going at the same time precisely for this reason), but I never stop completely and wait for ‘the muse’ to strike.
Frankie If you could have one of your books made into a movie, which one would it be? And who would play your two, leading character’s?
Lara Oh, no, that is a hard question because it’s almost like choosing a favourite child. If I must choose, I’d love to see a version of my The Duke’s Unexpected Bride with Tom Hardy and Emma Watson as leads. You might think the reason is trivial – it started when I saw/received the book cover and thought the hero looked like Tom Hardy which was perfect because one of the stars of the book is Marmaduke the pug, and Tom Hardy is known not only for being an gorgeous (you know what I mean, Frankie!) and a good person, but also a dog lover. My duke of Harcourt to a T! And I chose Emma Watson to play Sophie after seeing her in Beauty and the Beast and because I think she can play sassy and smart like Sophie. I just don’t know who is good enough to play Marmaduke the pug…
Frankie Wow! That’s brilliant, I absolutely agree. What is your most treasured possession?
Lara Now that I have kids I can realize there are some things my parents did I never fully appreciated. My mother recently gave me a notebook she prepared during my first five years which is an amazing gathering of anecdotes and first words, photos and little titbits, including the first ever story I dictated to my mother (an adventure story about a city under the sea, with an HEA of course!), Ribena badges I collected, and first locks of hair. It was a true labour of love.
Frankie What I love about Lord Hunter’s Cinderella Heiress is how the Hero; Hunter and his friend Raven set up Hope House, the charity home for veterans who are in need, can you tell us why you chose that subject to play such a prominent role in the plot?
Lara I’m an army veteran myself and I am closely acquainted with people who have suffered PTSD because of combat experiences, sometimes with tragic results. I know how it affects the families of survivors as well – they have to deal not only with a loved one’s trauma or loss but also often with their own guilt and sense of failure. I found myself thinking what did people do two hundred years ago? How did they and their families cope, both emotionally and financially with almost none of the awareness and support systems that exist today? That was where the idea of Hope House came from and I specifically chose heroes who faced different aspects of the upheaval of the times and coped with them in different ways. I try to deal with this difficult topic without sacrificing tenderness and humour and I hope I strike the right balance.
Frankie You definitely do, Lara. Your Regency books are brilliant, would you ever consider setting one of your books in a different era, and if so which one?
Lara I love this period but I also love the Edwardian period because the whole world is teetering on the brink of change, both good and bad – you can see how women are demanding more freedom and stretching their limits and really pointing the way in which the world would go, even if much of the upper echelons of society were in deep denial. I love periods steeped in tension, there is so much to write about.
Frankie Animals always play such a big role in your books whether that be Pugs or Horses, is there any animal that you would like to feature in your books, if you could?
Lara I really don’t mean for it to happen but it just does! In my next Wild Lords book, Lord Ravenscar’s Inconvenient Betrothal there is a large wolfhound named Grim (named after “church Grims” – a tradition of burying black dogs in cemeteries to protect the dead) and my heroine’s best childhood friend is a manatee named Rupert (I think I can safely say that’s an unusual pet in a Regency romance).
Since I loves dogs I’m certain they will appear again but perhaps it’s time for a cat – In fact you’ve given me an idea – in my WIP the heroine asks a fake Gypsy to show her how to be an occultist so she can gather information about her godfather and I think an indolent cat will do very well in some of those scenes. Thanks, Frankie!
Frankie Ooh, That’s interesting. Thank you for talking with me, Lara. I have just one last sneaky question. What is your perfect girly night?
Lara I’m not a big party animal (those days went the way of the dodo when my children were born). Now my idea of a perfect girly night starts in the afternoon – I would meet two or three (max) good friends, maybe do a little shopping (I’m a hopeless tomboy and have a hate/love relationship with shopping but with a friend it’s great fun) then find someplace nice, a bottle of good wine, and just talk Life, the Universe, and Everything (oh, and receive no phone calls from children wondering where their football/fluffy pony/toothbrush is or from Mr. T wondering where we keep our spare lightbulbs). I know it sounds disgustingly tame but I think it’s perfect…
Frankie That sound’s perfect to me.
About the Book
Building a life away from her bullying family, schoolmistress Helen Tilney now needs to convince her childhood sweetheart she’s a worthy bride. Standing in her way is Lord Hunter—the man Nell has just discovered she’s betrothed to!
Hunter’s offer of marriage to Nell came out of guilt, and now seems less than appealing! So when she asks for his help to win another man, he agrees. Until their lessons in flirtation inspire a raging desire that has Hunter longing to keep Nell for himself…
Purchase the book HERE
Firstly I must warn you that I will probably do a great deal of gushing throughout my review, but when you read something that is as superb as this, then I hope you will forgive me. This is book one in this new series; The Wild Lords and Innocent Ladies Series by the highly talented Lara Temple, and one that I have been looking forward to reading. But nothing prepared me for the huge emotion that surges through you as you read it.
I know that Lara has said that this series is her baby, this is a personal story for her and you can really understand as you are reading it just how much of herself she has put into this. I have always liked her work but this really resonates with me, this touched a cord with me more than any other book I have read before, you can feel Temple’s heart and soul running through this, it is very emotional and it packs a real punch and it stays with you long after the last page. ~ Chick’s Rogues and Scandals
Hunter’s grin widened.
‘Very amusing, Saxon. Now come down before I decide to put all this hay to good use.’
Nell really should get down but she didn’t want to, not yet. As she remained unmoving the raffish quality of his grin shifted, mellowed, his lashes dipping slightly.
‘You do look like a Saxon queen up there; about to bestow her favour on her knight.’ He observed and Nell planted her feet more firmly as the bale quivered beneath them, or maybe that was just her legs that had wobbled. She was used to looking down at men, but very contrarily looking down at him made her feel dainty. Dainty?
‘She would probably be a Norman queen if there were knights,’ the schoolmistress corrected, and then, more to the point and in a less resolute voice. ‘I don’t have anything to bestow.’
‘Yes you do.’
How could three words turn a quiver into a blaze? He might as well have touched a match to the hay the heat was so intense. And the sense of danger. He was making love to her in the middle of a stable yard without raising a finger and she didn’t want it to stop. This is not making love, just flirting, the schoolmistress pointed out and was kicked off the bale of hay.
***Giveaway Closed, Winner’s Post can be found HERE****
It’s giveaway time, we have a copy of Lord Hunters Cinderella Heiress to giveaway to one lucky winner, to be in for chance just answer Lara’s question and leave your answer in the comments below or on the Chicks Rogues and Scandals Facebook Giveaway post.
Animals are always cropping up in my novels. For example, Nell and Hunter have a shared passion for horses. What was your favorite pet or what animal would you like to see make its appearance in a novel?
Good luck! 💜
*Giveaway closes at midnight GMT on 8th November 2017 and is open internationally, winner will have the choice of format; Print or Ebook. Only comments on this post or on the Facebook Giveaway post will be counted.