Historical romance author Sophia Nash's second Royal Entourage book The Art of Duke Hunting hits stores tomorrow. In this tale the handsome Duke of Norwich falls for the Countess of Derby, despite his best intentions. But if this couple, which has no interest in marriage, isn't careful, the Prince Regent will sniff out their connection and demand they walk down the aisle. Today, get an insider's look at this new release as we interview with the author — and then find out how you can win a copy of the first two books in the Royal Entourage series!
Book one, Between The Duke and the Deep Blue Sea, released last month.
At the start of this series second, poor Roman Montague, Duke of Norwich, ends up at sea after the night of drunken debauchery, a bachelor party for a member of the Royal Entourage, which is the catalyst for the tension in this series. What can you tell us about the party that led up to Roman being set afloat?
It was considered the Bachelor Party of the Century as it was to precede the wedding of the premier duke of England, the Duke of Candover. Countless bottles of absinthe and a disastrous night of revelry results in the royal entourage missing the wedding entirely — and one duke, Roman, lost completely!
Hero Roman has a reputation for being mysterious — and it’s one that hides several unusual fears including fear of ducks and water. Can you share why this man is so nervous around fowl and their natural environment?
Roman is known as “Seventeen” to his intimates as there have been sixteen Norwich dukes before him who experienced humiliating “death by duck.” Rumors abound as to whether the curse is just an immense series of coincidences or not. As a result Roman avoids all water and ducks!
Esme March, Countess of Derby, has her own “eccentricities” as well. Her number one priority is not letting people get in the way of following her passion. What is it that Esme is most passionate about?
She is an immensely talented artist through and through. And she has learned how to avoid any hint of sadness by throwing herself into her art.
As the story opens, Esme helps Roman survive his fear of being on the ocean. But once they are back on terra firma, the couple does everything they can to keep their unplanned “interlude at sea” a secret from the Prince Regent who has decided his entourage must settle down. If you had to sum up the historical Roman and Esme’s attempts to keep their secret in one modern day tweet, what would it be?
“What happens at sea, stays at sea!”
The storm isn’t the first time that Esme and Roman have met. She's been nursing a tendre for the Duke for quite some time. What is one of the best parts about telling a story of unrequited love where the crush becomes the “crushee”?
Is it not the ultimate wish of anyone who has had a lifelong crush to have the roles reversed in the end? Plus, this is the ultimate crush as Esme knows that her family’s history with the duke’s family is akin to Romeo & Juliet’s conflicting family history, yet the duke has not a clue! But these fiercely independent characters must face down their greatest fears to find the freedom to love.
Book two, The Art of Duke Hunting, releases tomorrow.
Do you have one favorite line that stood out while you were writing Esme and Roman’s back-and-forths?
This is like asking a mother to pick out a favorite child. Apart from the poignant ending, Roman at one point promises, “I won’t sleep unless you do.” For anyone who is an insomniac as I am, this is the definitive show of tenderness — and it is even more so coming from Roman, who is constantly trying to put distance between them for his own reasons.
Who is one member of this story’s wide cast of secondary characters (outside of the Royal Entourage) that you would love to spend an afternoon with, and why?
Mary Haverty is featured in Book 1 and is mentioned in Book 2. She is a hauntingly beautiful and brutally honest character, who other ladies do not like as she casts them all in the shade with her beauty and wit. And yet she has had faced down much tragedy. There is something about her that is intriguing to me.
This title is the second in your Royal Entourage series, which is one-part The Hangover, one part Entourage and a whole lot of fun. With such a TV/movie inspiration, we simply have to ask, who would you cast to play Roman and Esme?
I will admit that Daniel Craig’s ice blue eyes were the inspiration behind Roman’s memorable eyes. And I could picture independent-minded Keira Knightly going toe to toe with him.
Can you give us a sneak peek at the next hero and heroine we’ll be meeting down the road?
I’ve been dying to tell the Duke of Abshire’s story. He is the darkest yet most witty and handsome member of the royal entourage. And one of the premier duke’s (Candover’s) five, very plain, very intelligent sisters is the heroine. Candover and Abshire, who used to be like brothers, have been archenemies for a decade due to a tragic accident. Verity has secrets all her own!
To learn more about Roman, Esme and the rest of the Royal Entourage, be sure to pick up your own copy of The Art of Duke Hunting. You can also enter to win the first two books in the series. And, learn more about the latest genre news and recent releases on RT's Everything Romance Page!
GIVEAWAY ALERT: Three lucky readers will each win their own copy of Between the Duke and the Deep Blue Sea and The Art of Duke Hunting. To enter tell us why you wish you could have a chance to party with the Prince Regent and his Royal Entourage. Alternatively, you can email your comment here with the subject line "Sophia Nash's Giveaway." All entrants must have a US mailing address. The winners will be announced on April 3.
BLOG UPDATE 4/6/12: The winners are LSUReader, Drmgrl99 and Suzie Zumbo.