Lord Stanton’s Last Mistress

Release Day Blitz of Lord Stanton’s Last Mistress by Lara Temple; Exclusive Interview & Giveaway

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I have the greatest pleasure of welcoming Historical Romance author; Lara Temple back to Chicks Rogues and Scandal’s for a very special release day post. I have a very insightful chat with lovely Lara, plus an exclusive giveaway.

About Lara

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…

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads / Amazon

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About the Book

Now he can’t resist her!

A Wild Lords and Innocent Ladies story: Lord Stanton’s stay on the island of Illiakos is shrouded in memories of fever and his mysterious nurse. Years later, an Illiakan royal visit to Stanton Hall reveals the princess’s chaperon Christina James is the woman who saved his life! Alexander is a master of control, but Christina makes him long to unleash the sinful side he’s buried…and unlock her passionate nature too!

Lord Stanton’s Last Mistress can be found at Amazon

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Interview

Frankie Hi Lara, Welcome back to Chicks, Rogues and Scandals! It’s so good to have you visit again.

Lara Hi Frankie, it is lovely to be here again, thanks so much for inviting me!

Frankie For those that don’t know you, can you tell us a little about yourself and your work?

Lara I’m Lara Temple and I write strong and sexy Regency romances for Harlequin/Mills & Boon. I’ve written stories for as long as I can remember but I never thought I’d actually become a published author and I’m still pretty new to the romance writing world. I was so lucky – I entered the Harlequin SYTYCW contest and was shocked to discover I not only reached the finals but I was offered a contract! It was an amazing experience and the beginning of a real romance with writing…

Frankie When you first sit-down to start a new book, do you work from a well drafted plan, or do you just go with the flow and hope for the best?

Lara I’m a definite panster with a hint of plotter. Part of what I love about writing is not quite knowing what my characters will to do next – some of my best scenes (I think) were a complete surprise to me, and sometimes I wonder where they came from! It’s like I sometimes look at my kids and am a little dumbfounded at how amazing they are (when they aren’t driving me up a wall, of course) and I wonder – could they possibly have come from me? But now that I write professionally there is always a point in my writing when I stop and take stock – when the story and characters are strong enough already to stand up to criticism and then I sit down and write an outline and begin to see what is working and what isn’t and then I go back to some more (now informed) pantsing.

Frankie As you’re a Historical Romance writer, I have to ask this crucial question; Who is your all time favourite Hero and Heroine?

Lara I always cringe when I have to choose just one story – I feel I’m cheating on all my other loves! But at the moment I have to say John Thornton and Margaret Hale from North and South. I’m writing about a dark and serious Highland Duke and John Thornton keeps buzzing around in my brain. I loved the book and the series almost equally – they both brought together romance, history, and social commentary in a beautiful and vivid way. Both the hero and heroine went through a full emotional journey and they truly earned their HEAs. I adore them.

Frankie Totally agree, I love their story. *Swoon* How do you decide which characters will take centre stage and which will be more background extras?

Lara That’s an interesting question! I love writing secondary characters even through there is not much room for them in 75,000 words. Often they shove their way onto the stage as I’m writing and I have to rein them in so they don’t take up too much space. But they are so important to give depth not just to the story, but also to the hero and heroine. For example, in my latest book, Lord Stanton’s Last Mistress, Alex’s aunt and Christina’s adoptive family help me show just how loyal and warm my damaged hero and heroine are. They are part of who Alex and Christina. I can’t imagine telling the story without them? The same goes for the animals that often find their way into the stories and even some inanimate objects or scenery. For example, Alex finds calm and expresses himself through wood carvings – they can be found throughout the house and Christina unknowingly connects to Alex through them. So they’re in the background, but also an integral part of the my hero and heroine…

Frankie That is so very fascinating, and I do love that side of Stanton. Do you have a favourite book, that you can read and re-read over and over again?

Lara I have a few but probably I am most faithful to my collection of Georgette Heyers – I’ve had them since I was a teenager and somehow they have managed to survive all my moves and travels. I particularly adore Sylvester and The Grand Sophy – two utterly different heroines but like all Heyer heroines they are unique and powerful characters and so worthy of being loved. Sometimes I think I might not have become a romance writer if I hadn’t come across Heyer’s books.

Frankie Which do you enjoy writing most, a series or a one off/standalone?

Lara I love series because they allow me to develop different nuances in characters. They are like a kaleidoscope – in each consecutive book I get to see a different aspect of the other characters and so when I reach their turn, they are more complex (which means more challenging but also much more rewarding for me). Right now I’m working on two series – one is my one and is called the Sinful Sinclairs (if you’ve read Lord Stanton you know his scandalous mother’s family is called Sinclair and this is about siblings, love letters, and uncovering the value of family).

The other series I am writing with three other Harlequin Mills&Boon authors (Janice Preston, Elizabeth Hobbes, and Nicole Locke) and it is a Highland romance series that goes back through time following two families. I’m writing the Regency book and absolutely loving it – I adore the setting (my first Highlander) but mostly I love collaborating with these amazing, talented ladies!

Frankie Oh, wow! Loving the sound of all this, I can’t wait to meet the Sinclairs and your Highland collaboration sounds so good. I have a last question, that’s just for fun.

If you won the lottery what is the first thing you would do with your winnings?

Lara Oh, I’m boring. I’d probably first help my mother and brothers and put money way for my kids. But THEN I would take my kids and husband on a long leisurely trip around Italy and probably eat far too much pasta and ice cream but come up with marvellous ideas for more books. I’d also forget about my other job and spend more time writing – that would be marvellous!

 

Frankie That sounds marvellous! Before, I let you go, I have something a little different. If you could ask your readers one question what would it be? And I will try and answer it.

Lara This is hard. Although I read romance, I would really like to get into the mind of more readers’ heads and ask what are the three key things they find make a perfect historical romance (so I can see if I’m heading in the right direction).

Frankie I will do my best to answer, the three key things that I find make a perfect historical romance are:

  • Atmosphere! – I love it when reading historical romances where the story is charged with feeling and you become so absorbed into the mood and tone of the era that it feels very real. Which includes the environment, and surroundings it all adds to the overall feel of the story.
  • Realism! – The best thing about reading historical romance has got to be getting to know the characters as people, understanding their actions and getting to know their history. By knowing them, you can connect with them and I love that.
  • Dialogue! – The key to a great romance is the to-ing and fro-ing between the hero and heroine, whether they start out as enemies and do nothing but argue or have been friends for life and are always teasing. For me there needs to be great bantering between them, everything from witty, fun and playful to snippy, naughty and gruff.

Frankie Thank you so much, Lara for chatting with me again, its always pleasure.

Lara It’s always a pleasure chatting with you, Frankie. Thanks so much for having me on your blog and I’m looking forward to reading more about your own amazing writing project based on your family’s history!

Frankie Thank you, so kind of you to say.

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Giveaway

I have the most amazing giveaway, Lara has very generously donated signed copies of the brilliant Wild Lords and Innocent Ladies series to be given away to one very lucky winner. That is THREE SIGNED BOOKS!!!

!!!This series is amazing, by the way!!!

All you have to do is answer the very simple question, as Lara and myself have been chatting about heroes and heroines, the question is;

Who is your favourite Hero and Heroine?

This can be TV or Books or both, Lara has shared hers, mine is Heathcliffe and Cathy, so what yours?

Comment below, or on Twitter and Facebook

*Giveaway if open Internationally, closing date is 6th June 9pm GMT. Giveaway is open on here, Facebook and Twitter. Winner will be contacted by myself.

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Review – Lord Stanton’s last Mistress (Wild Lords and Innocent Ladies #3) by Lara Temple

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She saved his life…

Now he can’t resist her!

In this Wild Lords and Innocent Ladies story, Lord Stanton’s stay on the island of Illiakos is shrouded in memories of fever and his mysterious nurse. Years later, an Illiakan royal visit to Stanton Hall reveals the princess’s chaperone, Christina James, is the woman who saved his life! Alexander is a master of control, but Christina makes him long to unleash the sinful side he’s buried…and unlock her passionate nature, too!

Wild Lords and Innocent Ladies miniseries

1. Lord Hunter’s Cinderella Heiress

 2.  Lord Ravenscar’s Inconvenient Betrothal 

 3.  Lord Stanton’s Last Mistress

My View

What a finale!! This is wonderful and romantic series about finding love and conquering past ghosts is book three in the Wild Lords and Innocent Ladies series. I have been engrossed with the series and getting to know each of these characters and following them of their journey’s, each book takes the reader on a story that is both utterly devastating and brilliantly romantic. Temple has gifted readers with a thoroughly dazzling, utterly romantic and unbelievably layered and intricate plot.

The story open’s in 1817 where we see exactly what the cool and mysterious Stanton has been hiding away in his past, we see those scars that he has kept well-hidden and how he got them in the brilliant prologue. After being wounded Alex is stranded on the Greek Island of Illiakos, he is brought back from the brink of death by a mysterious nurse wearing a veil – or as Alex describes it; wearing a tent. There is an instant attraction between Alex and the mysterious ‘Nurse’, he is intrigued by her elusiveness and she is drawn to devilishly handsome Englishman. Let me just say the young Stanton is absolutely adorable, he is wolfish, mysterious and a real cheeky chap.

Six years later King Darius of Illiakos is visiting England and stops at Stanton Hall along with his beautiful daughter and her companion in tow, Alex is being forced back to the Hall to hold talks with the King –something he isn’t looking forward to. He see’s it all as a waste of his time, he believes he has done enough. But that all changes when he meets a beautiful young woman reading his library, a woman who he soon learns was the ‘tent wearing nurse’ who saved his life. A woman who he has been obsessing about for the last six years and suddenly here she is. Christina can’t believe it when she learns that she is to stay in the home of the very man she has been fantasying about for the last six years, a man who even though she refuses to admit it, she fell in love with while tending to him all those years before.

Now I knew Stanton was a man of mystery, but who knew that stoic, proper and unwavering Stanton would be such a rogue; Yes, I see him as a rogue! A charming if troubled rogue. He is so different to how I first imagined Alex to be, he is just as enigmatic but there is something else about him that catches the attention something dangerous and primal. I really, really like him, Alex is so much than I thought him to be he is intelligent, perceptive, hugely protective and now his story has been told and his secrets have been revealed his other persona is revealed and this one is cold, tormented and vulnerable. He is a man who doesn’t believe in happily ever after’s, he has become jaded to love and a little cut of from life too, and my heart bleeds for him. He makes you want to prove to him that; yes, he is a good man who is deserving of a happily ever after.

I knew that Alex had a secret, when you read Lord Ravenscar’s Inconvenient Betrothal there is ever so subtly added little sniffs of him in that story, I love how Temple did that she has tantalised us readers, it was so brilliantly done. She casted out the lure and once she caught you, she then reeled you in….(I’ve just realised the fishing metaphor!…This is finally where we get the answers to questions that for bee have been building up about him, the more she reveals the more you are hooked and entranced. Which as ever is so beautifully done!

Christina is a caring and intelligent young lady, she is a woman who has fire in her blood and an adventurous spirit. When we first meet her, I see a young woman whose head is full of youthful dreams but like Alex she too over the years has become withdrawn to her true desires and detached herself from the world, she doesn’t believe that girls like her are going to meet their prince charming. She doesn’t believe in fairy tales. Christina is an amazing character, she is very real and yet there is something very other worldly about her. She is beautiful, headstrong, with one heck of a brain and wise beyond her years. She has definitely become my favourite heroines from this series, like myself a lot of women can defiantly relate to her in some way or another. I love her active mind and calm intelligence, her thirst for knowledge and yet she doesn’t brandy her self around, she is very modest.

The chemistry between Alex and Christina is sweet and natural, but more than that they are fun together they can tease and play even when she is reading those ghastly agony aunt columns in the newspaper. The scene where Alex and Christina meet again in the library is so good and one that will stay with me, the image of her sitting in the window seat reading, with her shoes thrown unceremoniously on the floor is so vivid. That one scene is fun and the air sizzles and tingles with tension from both of them. Thank you, Lara for this beautiful scene!

Oooh, I l do love Rasvenscar! I was drawn to him in Lord Hunter’s Cinderella Heiress, I fell in love with him in Lord Ravenscar’s Inconvenient Betrothal there and you wouldn’t believe how pleased I am he has dropped by again. He is even more witty and charming then he was …love this man! And when the three of them; Hunter, Ravenscar and Stanton are all together is lovely, their familial joviality, the way they can tease and poke fun at each other is adorable…I am gushing too much, aren’t I? But, they are gorgeous!

Lord Stanton’s Last Mistress is a beautifully written, elegant and thoughtful story about two people who have been through the mill in one way or another and finding themselves unable to believe in happily ever after’s. Ms Temple has a real gift at created deeply emotional and passionate characters, which are both stunningly accurate and brilliantly developed. The story flows seamlessly, the tension between Alex and Christina builds up to an eruptive and romantic end. It is concise and crisp, there are multiple layers to the story that keeps you entranced and enthralled.

It is poignant, sentimental and expertly written love story.

So good, and highly recommended!

This was an ARC copy via the author in exchange for an honest review.

Lord Stanton’s Last Mistress is to be released on 31st May and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.