Saturday, January 10, 2015

Interview & Giveaway: The Duke of Dark Desires by Miranda Neville @Avon

Title: The Duke of Dark Desires
Author: Miranda Neville
Series:The Wilde Quartet #4
Publication date: December 30th, 2014 
Genre: Historical Romance

Wanted: Governess able to keep all hours…

Rebellious Julian Fortescue never expected to inherit a dukedom, nor to find himself guardian to three young half-sisters. Now in the market for a governess, he lays eyes on Jane Grey and knows immediately she is qualified-to become his mistress. Yet the alluring woman appears impervious to him. Somehow Julian must find a way to make her succumb to temptation … without losing his heart and revealing the haunting mistakes of his past.

Desired: Duke skilled in the seductive art of conversation…

Lady Jeanne de Falleron didn’t seek a position as a governess simply to fall into bed with the Duke of Denford. Under the alias of Jane Grey, she must learn which of the duke’s relatives is responsible for the death of her family-and take her revenge. She certainly can’t afford the distraction of her darkly irresistible employer, or the smoldering desire he ignites within her.

But as Jane discovers more clues about the villain she seeks, she’s faced with a possibility more disturbing than her growing feelings for Julian: What will she do if the man she loves is also the man she’s sworn to kill?

Ms. Miranda Neville,
Welcome to Nelle’s Nightstand! It’s so exciting to have you here! Let me just say I ADORE the cover! That black dress of Jane’s is gorgeous! I have been eagerly awaiting Julian’s story since his appearance in The Importance of Being Wicked.

Thanks for inviting me, Nelle. I love the cover too. I’m grateful to the Avon art department for coming up with something so striking and beautiful.

Describe Julian in three words/phrases.
Sardonic, self-aware, sexy.

Describe Jane in three words/phrases.
Courageous, empathetic, survivor.

It does take courage to survive what she went through!

Name fun 3 facts that readers won’t readily know about The Duke of Dark Desires?
- Julian’s favorite room is his library. I figure you have to love a hero who loves books.    I  love men who read! Isn't it just sexy?
- Fenella’s “mysterious smile” was based on a look I used to drive my brother crazy when I was her age. It reminded me of the Mona Lisa smile!
- The paintings in the Falleron collection, which plays a big part in the plot, were all inspired by famous artworks in public galleries. I enjoyed being a vicarious art thief!

 Do you have a favorite quote from the book to share?

“I’m not a proper man,” Julian said. “That’s why I hired a governess: to mitigate the dire consequences of time spent in my company.” Don't we enjoy him not being a "proper man"?

Out of the four Bad Boys, who was your favorite and why?

I always love the hero I’m writing. My favorite bad girl is Caro, of course. I’ll admit I have a very soft spot for Julian. Whenever he appeared in the earlier books I found myself giving him the best lines. And boy did he have some good lines! I think I fell for him way before his book!

This is the end of the Wild Quartet. What is next on the horizon for you?

I’m planning more historical romances but it’s too soon to reveal what. We shall look forward to more information!

If The Duke of Dark Desires was turned into a movie, who would portray Julian? Jane?
Adrien Brody              and           Troian Bellisario.

I read in your bio that you cataloged for Sotheby’s in a former life and that much of it was reading famous people’s correspondence. Can you name drop just a few of those?

Queen Elizabeth I, George Washington, Walt Whitman, Charles Dickens, T.E. Lawrence, Lillie Langtry.  The list goes on – that was a great job. To my sorrow I never handled a Jane Austen letter; they are pretty rare. Oh to read some T.E. Lawrence correspondence! Jane Austen would have been fantastic! That seems like a fun job!

At the Billionaire’s wedding came out Nov 10th. How fun was it to change eras and write a contemporary? Will you be writing more?

Writing contemporary was enormous fun and very challenging. Never say it doesn’t require research! If you read the anthology you’ll know why I never want to hear the words “internet connection” again. With an American heroine and an English hero I had to watch the language with every line of dialogue or point of view switch. And while it was relaxing not to have to police myself for modernisms, I had the opposite problem with my characters tending to lapse into Regency speak. I’d like to tackle another contemporary but I don’t know when.

I see you also hated the end of Gone with the Wind. I HAVE to have a HEA in the books I read! Do you have any books you like that don’t have a HEA? If so what are they?
I read many authors who don’t write genre romance so the HEA is optional. For example I really enjoyed Gone Girl and the ending is horrible! I do not, however consider it remotely a romance. I hate a love story that doesn't end well. I mainly read genre romance. I have ventured out as I love James Patterson but real thrillers like Gone Girl are rare.

What is on YOUR Nightstand at this moment?
Prince of Midnight by Laura Kinsale; Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare; A Conspiracy of Paper by David Liss; Roulette by Megan Mulry. I love Tessa Dare! I have Laura on my TBR list.

I hear you like to cook, what is your favorite 30 minute meal?
Can I cheat and do 15 minutes? Pasta with garlic, olive oil, and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Simple perfection. Having lived in Italy for 3 years, that sounds lovely!!

I saw that you traveled the road of the Regency Romance Reader while in London, recently. My sister and I had the opportunity to tour London a couple of years ago.  We didn’t get to all of the “famous” spots. I missed Hatchard’s but got to see Hyde Park and Rotten Row. What is your “can’t miss” place while visiting London?
I never go to London without popping into the National Gallery to see some of my favorite paintings. The Harrod’s food hall is an incredible space, though the store itself is way overpriced! I got to stand outside Harrod's! lol I would love to go back!

When you were little, what was your favorite book?
Anne of Green Gables was always a favorite. "Oh, Anne!!!" I loved the books! I have the collectors edition of the movies. Oh such happy memories!

Are you a morning or a night person?
I used to be definitely a night owl but I find I’m getting earlier as I get older. I am a Night Owl! I have always said "If I'm up at 5 a.m., don't speak to me til 9 a.m."

Favorite food?
Really good bread and cheese.

Favorite Artist/Song?
Such an impossible question! Tonight it’s Be My Baby by The Ronettes. Tomorrow it’ll be something different. 

Favorite Man Candy? Feel free include a picture.
Nothing will ever beat Colin Firth in a wet shirt. That's a favorite of mine too!

New Year’s Resolutions? Do you believe in them? Do you have any?
I have a permanent resolution to eat less and write more. Do I succeed? I’ll take the Fifth on that. Well as a fan, I hope you succeed in writing more!

Thanks for joining us!

Julia set aside her glass, arranged her modish green skirts about her, positioned her hands to display their fine-boned elegance, and looked about the room, the ends of her mouth upturned into a bewitching smile.
“It’s a very grand house you have come into, Julian,” she said with a satisfied air. “To be sure, it could use a fresh coat of paint and a skilled needlewoman.” She poked at a hole in the French carpet with a dainty silk-slippered toe. “Whoever would have thought you’d end up as Denford? Look at you,” she said, as he stood before the massive fireplace of Italian marble. “Monarch of all you survey. I always knew you were bound for greatness.”
“I’d be flattered if I wasn’t a clear case of a man who’s had greatness thrust upon him.”
It had taken the death of every male heir and a plague of female children to bring Julian, a distant cousin of the previous duke, into the title. Mothers, widows, aunts, and daughters of assorted deceased Fortescues had protested heartily at this manifest injustice, as had their non-Fortescue husbands and sons. There was nothing they could do about the laws of primogeniture when it came to the dukedom, but they could and did object to the despised and disreputable Julian making off with the family fortune. Lawyers had been engaged. Many, many lawyers.
“Do you have enough money to live here?”
“As of yesterday, I do. After interminable wrangling over one hundred years of trusts and entails, my quarrelsome cousins realized that there’s plenty for everyone if they discharged the bloodsuckers. We came to a grand settlement. As well as this house and Denford Castle, I am now owner of twenty thousand acres of land and a nice sum in the funds to boot.”
Julia arched her fine eyebrows and laughed. “Thank the Lord your father isn’t alive. He’d have hated to be duke.”
True. Fitzlyon Fortescue had possessed wit and charm in plenty but not an iota of greed and absolutely no sense of responsibility, the reason he had died leaving his young widow and son virtually penniless.
“Would you have enjoyed being a duchess?”
“Tush! What good would it do me to have the right to sit on a footstool in the presence of the King of France? The poor man is dead.”
“I could be wrong, knowing little about the habits of dukes and nothing at all about their wives, but I believe that’s only for French duchesses. Wouldn’t you like to have been Your Grace? You’re certainly dressed elegantly enough.”
“Why, thank you. I do my poor best.”
“It’s less than a year since Mr. Osbourne died but you aren’t in mourning.”
“I never wore black for your father either. My dear Lyon would never have expected it.”
“You also married Mr. Osbourne three months later.”
“You know I had to,” she said with a reproachful look that would have chastened anyone less hardened to shame than Julian. “I couldn’t let us starve.”

Miranda Neville grew up in England before moving to New York City to work in Sotheby’s rare books department. After many years as a journalist and editor, she decided writing fiction was more fun. She lives in Vermont. She loves hearing from readers and may be reached through her website.

Find Miranda @

(Three Print Copies of THE DUKE OF DARK DESIRES)

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