I’m a sucker for historical romance books with chicks who wear specs and With Love in Sight is no exception.
I liked Caleb, but I must admit I was partial to Imogen and enjoyed her inner workings and watching her personal growth over the course of the book.
Britton does an excellent job developing a couple of my favorite tropes: the wallflower/scrappy spinster and the-rake-with-a-heart-of-gold. I thought she deviated enough from the standard treatments to keep the story fresh and interesting.
There were a couple of points where I wanted to bash the characters’ heads together and yell WAKE UP! but that happens in any fulfilling romance at some point novel, historical or contemporary and Britton was careful not to bog down the story with any TSTL characters.
Overall I found her style engaging and the story kept me turning the pages and rooting for love. I’d read another Britton book in a heartbeat.
The Devilish Duke
Historical Romantic Suspense
26th February 2018, Entangled Publishing
Minerva Spencer: Today I’m chatting with Maddison Michaels about her new Victorian novel, THE DEVILISH DUKE. Welcome, Maddison! Would you please give my readers a brief description of what the book is about?
Devlin Markham, the notorious “Devil Duke” of Huntington, needs a woman. And not just any woman. If he can’t woo one of the most eccentric bluestockings of the Ton within the month, he can kiss his hard-earned fortune goodbye. But he’s always thought love a wasted emotion and marriage an inconvenience at best. And oddly enough, Lady Sophie Wolcott seems unmoved by his charm…
When Sophie learns her beloved orphanage is in imminent danger, she will do anything to save it. Even marry a ruthless rake who takes what he wants in business and pleasure. A man who’s everything she’s always feared most—but whom she reluctantly begins yearning for.
Then Sophie becomes the target of a killer lurking from the dark shadows of Devlin’s past. And they find not only their lives in jeopardy but their very hearts.
This sounds like fun, Maddison! How about a teaser from your book.
“Hadn’t you heard? I am the Devil Duke, my very existence is blasphemous. Now run along or I will show you just how much of a devil I can be.”
Minerva Spencer: Where did you get the idea for your book?
Maddison Michaels: I think the characters first came to me – and I was watching Julian McMahon in Charmed and I liked the idea of a rake being reformed.
MS: What’s the story behind the title?
Originally the working title was The Rake’s Rules – but then I changed it to The Devil Duke, and then my Publisher changed it to The Devilish Duke.
MS: No spoiler, but tell us something we won’t find out just by reading the book jacket.
Sophie literally falls at the feet of the Devil Duke from the branch of a tree…
MS: Tell us about your favourite character.
I love both Devlin and Sophie… they’re very special to me and I imagine that as the first hero and heroine of my first novel, they always will be.
MS: If you could spend a day with one of your characters, who would it be and what would you do?
LOL! Ok well it would be with the hero Devlin, and I would be researching if the descriptions in my book regarding the action scenes, worked…
MS: Are your characters based on real people, or do they come from your imaginations?
Like I mentioned, the inspiration for Devlin was Julian McMahon from Charmed, but apart from that, they sprang from my own imagination.
MS: How long did you take to write this book? (You can share about the timeline from drafting to publication)
It was done in spurts – and because the partial earned me a spot in the RWA Australia 5 day mentor program, I had to finish it quick smart. So I actually wrote about 30,000 words in a weekend to finish it off (of course it needed lots and lots of editing, lol).
MS: What kind of research did you do for this book?
I have a heap of research books (really what writer doesn’t), which I made good use of.
MS: What did you remove from this book during the editing process?
A few scenes from the villains pov were removed, and a couple were shortened.
MS: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Definitely a plotter – if I don’t have a detailed outline I flounder, but when I know where I’m headed (much like a map) the writing flows easily.
MS: What is your favorite part of your writing process, and why?
I love the plotting – coming up with the twists and turns, is just so much fun. Plus I get to know my characters really well.
MS: What is the most challenging part of your writing process, and why?
Editing… because it’s editing…
MS: Can you share your writing routine?
When I’m writing a novel, I spend about an hour per night writing, and then on the weekend I try to have a nice block of 6-8 hours writing.
MS: Have you ever gotten writer’s block? If yes, how do you overcome it?
Yes, when I don’t have an outline, lol. So when I’m blocked, it’s usually because I haven’t fleshed out the scene beforehand. To overcome this, I just go back and plot the scene out in more detail.
MS: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Just keep going.
MS: How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I have a fair few unfinished ones – in my earlier days when I didn’t plot out the novel, I would write all steam ahead, until I hit around 15,000 to 20,000 words, then I wouldn’t know where to go, and I’d just stop. Thankfully, I’ve worked out what works now for me.
MS: Do you have any writing quirks?
I make up a playlist/soundtrack for my novel, before I even start plotting it out. Then when plotting I listen to the music, and then when I write, it gets me straight back into that headspace. Oh and I also burn some lovely aromatherapy oils while I write too.
MS: Tell us about yourself.
I’m a police prosecutor by day and writer by night! I am married to my wonderful husband and have a beautiful (yet rather headstrong) 6 year old daughter.
MS: How did you get into writing?
I caught the writing bug when I was eleven and entered a writing competition. It’s just something that is a part of me.
MS: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Hang out with my family. Read. Go for walks or bike rides.
MS: Apart from novel writing, do you do any other kind(s) of writing?
Nope, not yet anyway.
MS: Share something about you most people probably don’t know.
I hate sharks – probably because I watched JAWS when I was 4 years old…
MS: Which book influenced you the most?
All of Amanda Quick’s novels and Julie Garwood’s – my two fav historical romance writers.
MS: What are you working on right now?
A new three book Victorian series – with some really strong and unusual heroines.
Thank you for joining us, Maddison! You can order your copy of Maddison’s new book from the links below. Happy reading!
Book Purchase Links:
Indoctrinated into a world of dashing rogues and feisty heroines when she was only 14-years-old, Maddison Michaels is a prolific reader and writer of romantic suspense and historical fiction. She gets her daily dose of suspense from working as a Police officer, prosecuting real life villains in the Local Courts of Sydney, Australia.
A member of the Romance Writers of America and Australia, Maddison is as passionate about her writing as she is about her other two loves; her family and her cups of tea. Maddison’s debut novel ‘the Devil Duke’ is due for publication with Entangled Publishing in February 2018, and her second novel ‘The Fiancé Fiasco’ is due for publication with Entangled Publishing in October 2018.
You can find Maddison online at www.maddisonmichaels.com.au
I’ve known about the sale of my 4th book, NOTORIOUS, for a while but I’ve had to wait until all the i’s were dotted and t’s were crossed before I could spread the good word. My agent Jessica Alvarez just announced the deal in Publishers Weekly so now I can celebrate the good news!!
Here is the PW blurb:
Minerva Spencer’s NOTORIOUS, a Regency Era romance and Book 4 in the Outcasts series, in which one man discovers that a London Season is even more dangerous than being a sultan’s heir, to Alicia Condon at Kensington, in a nice deal, for publication in Late 2019, by Jessica Alvarez at BookEnds (World).
The four books in the series and their publication dates are:
DANGEROUS June 2018
BARBAROUS November 2018
I’ll be posting more information as it becomes available.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved this book–LOVED it!
I began this story thinking it was a conventional time travel story. Boy was I in for a surprise. Wrapped in the Stars is so much more than a time travel novel it’s hard to know where to start. So I’ll begin with the characters themselves.
Honestly, it’s like the author was channeling the two women in this book. The story is told in alternating times–Maya’s (present) and Rebecca’s (early 1900s).
Right from the first chapter I was hooked. I would get so wrapped up in the story I was reading (either Maya’s or Rebecca’s) that I absolutely hated it when a chapter ended. But by the time I’d read a paragraph into the next chapter, I’d be hooked all over again. . . . And then pissed when THAT chapter ended. This book grabbed me over and over again.
Mikalsen masterfully weaves together at least a half-dozen threads to create a rich, living tapestry: a glimpse into the history of women in medicine, a look at the grassroots organization of the Russian Revolution, early Twentieth Century European social history, parallel love stories, and a FASCINATING mystery/adventure in dual times.
I have this amazingly clear picture of Bern in the early 20th century stuck inside my head! The excitement of the time: a revolution brewing, a war coming, advances in medicine, technology, and revolutionary shifts in gender roles/relations. But even with such a vibrant backdrop, the characters still stand out and do not become lost.
It would be hard for me to say who is the heroine in this story–Maya or Rebecca. So I’m going to say they both are. They are two distinct characters and there is no mistaking their voices. Mikalsen does an excellent job of respecting history and depicts a character–Rebecca– who is a product of her time even as she rebels against it. Which means she actually ends up sounding and behaving like a woman from 1914, rather than a woman from 2018 dressed in clothing from the period.
And Maya? Well, she is a woman who alternately appears to be coming apart at the seams but also strong, driven, curious, and vulnerable. In other words, she is REAL.
And then there are the secondary characters, like Sarah, who Mikalsen makes you care for with only a few subtle, but powerful, snippets of her life.
Clearly I was floored by this book. Awesome debut and I hope for more.