Saturday, April 12, 2014

THE SCOUNDREL'S SECRET SIREN by Daphne du Bois: Author Interview, Review, Excerpt & Giveaway


When bored Miss Lorelei Lindon sneaks out in the middle of the night in search of ghosts, she finds rather more than she bargained for in the enigmatic Lord Winbourne. And when he does a dastardly thing and steals her treasured necklace as a memento of their encounter, she must find a way to retrieve it without causing a scandal. 

Lord Winbourne is certainly a mystery and he seems determined to make her whole world unravel. How can one man burn with such passion one moment, and assume such a frosty fa├žade the next? Will Lorelei be able to retrieve her trinket without losing her heart and her virtue to the irresistible rake? Is she a complete wanton or is the passion between them so wrong that it must be right? And will he acknowledge the true depth of his own passion before it is too late?

Throw in a few well-meaning relatives, a niece stubbornly caught up in her own romantic dilemmas and duel to the death, and Lorelei’s life will surely never be boring again…


Suddenly, as his arm intimately encircled her waist and his body moved gracefully so near her own that, Lorelei had a very good idea of exactly why the waltz had been considered so dangerous.
She felt her blood pulse and the heat of his touch branded her skin through her shift and gown. It was most outrageous! The man even had the nerve to keep up a stream of polite conversation, in which she found it almost impossible to participate. And he knew just what he was doing because even as he spoke, he had the nerve to give her an indolent little smile.
 It was as if her mind had somehow slipped out of control, wandering forbidden reaches Lorelei hadn’t even been aware she possessed. She wondered how he knew that he had managed to put her in a state – was her passion so clearly written upon her face for all to see?
The young woman had an irritating suspicion that he was playing another of his games at her expense. It made her stubbornly persist in the fruitless struggle to regain her reason – but it was so very tempting to let go. She was intoxicated by his potent masculinity.
Lorelei was quite correct in her supposition: Winbourne was well aware of the exact effect of his nearness on the young woman in his arms. It would have been impossible to miss, for her breath was unsteady and her delicate flush made her eyes brighter than ever. Her elegant bosom fluttered unsteadily, half-revealed, half-hinted at beneath the cut of her ball gown.
Winbourne’s eyes appreciatively took in the sight for a few moments before he forced himself to look back up, because the temptation to taste her skin was almost too much for his self-control. Her eyes were locked on his face and she seemed delightfully speechless.
He had to resist the urge to draw her soft form nearer to his own, propriety and watching eyes be damned. And there were many curious eyes watching them, he knew. Yet as far as he was concerned, they barely existed. Lorelei was so little and fragile compared to him. Her delicate shoulders and pale throat made her appear entirely too vulnerable.
The earl was entirely at sixes and sevens to explain this strange compulsion to hold Miss Lindon within the safety of his arms. He had never felt so out of control of his desires and emotions before. Not even during his engagement had he felt so very inexplicably protective of a lady. Yet he felt drawn to this one, with a force he could neither explain nor resist.



I have been dipping my toes back into the lovely world that is Historical (Regency) Romance lately and have had a few pleasant surprises!  The Scoundrel's Secret Siren by Daphne du Bois started with such an interesting "meet up" between Lorelei and Lord Winbourne that it was hard to put down since I was wildly curious what would happen next.  The sense of adventure, intrigued and throwing caution to the wind really kicked this story off right!

Daphne du Bois does a great job with her characters, they were interesting, a bit outside the norm and engaging.  At times I got bogged down with the vocabulary (I will admit to having to use my dictionary function on my Kindle several times reading this book) but once I pushed on I was able to sit back and enjoy the story.  

Lord Winbourne and Lorelei were an interesting and frustrating pair!  The indignation they ignited in each other and their witty banter were a joy to read.   I  will admit to wanting to see more sparks between them and wishing for more heat (but you all know my tastes when it comes to heat levels and that would be ruin for a lady of the ton) but in the end how everything played out was very satisfying.  I will be curious to see if Daphne du Bois turns this into a series, which would be a great since there were so many characters that sparked my interest outside of Lord Winbourne and Lorelei.

If you are a regency fan, The Scoundrel's Secret Siren and Daphne du Bois are a great pair to add to your reading list!  I will definitely be keeping my eye out for future books coming from this author.




Daphne has always had a passion for literature and history and one day it occurred to her: what better way to use her English Literature degree than to write the kinds of stories she loves to read? She hasn’t looked back since. 
Daphne also writes lyrical fantasy under the pen name Emily de Courcy, and who knows where she'll branch out next!

Daphne has stacks of notebooks full of stories that still need to be written, which she insists on bringing with her when she moves around the world (she’s done this a lot!). She likes her books full of romance, magic, adventure, witty repartee and a dash of silly humour. When Daphne isn’t writing, she can be found painting, picnicking, reading and listening to all sorts of exciting music.


What kind of snack/drink is a MUST for you when writing?
Tea! I absolutely must have a nice cup of tea within reach – Lady Grey, for preference. If I can, I also like to have redcurrants and dark chocolate! ☺

What made you start writing?
A school friend who was really into writing convinced me to try my hand at it. I’ve always been making up stories and day dreams and things, and I liked creative writing assignments at school, but that was the first time it ever occurred to me to really start writing things down.

What is your biggest inspiration source (where do you get your ideas)
Everything around me! I get ideas all over the place – doing laundry, talking to friends and reading history books. Sometimes, a bit of research will trigger an idea or a plot solution, other times it will just dawn on me unexpectedly. I think, as writers, we can’t help being affected by the world around us.

Describe your perfect writing space? and where do you actually write?
Ooh, what a lovely question! My perfect writing space would be a cosy room with lots of wooden furniture, shelves full of books and comfy chairs, with one of my cats napping in my lap. Maybe in a beach house, or a nice secluded cottage – but with internet, of course. ☺  Actually, I write just about anywhere – at my desk, or on my bed (terrible habit!), in a coffee shop or in a library. I also scribble things in notebooks when I’m way from my laptop. There is usually one or several of my cats nearby, though.

Is writing your full time job? If not, what else do you do?
Writing is certainly a full-time job, but that’s not to say I don’t also do others. I work as a tutor, editor, translator and copywriter, but most of my time is spent being a Medieval English Lit PhD student. I absolutely adore it: the research, the libraries and the sometimes bizarre world of academia.

What is one surprising fact about you, that not too many people know?
I spent many years learning to sing opera – close friends and family know that, but not too many others. It’s one of my absolute favourite things in the world.

What are you writing now? 
I am working on two projects, finishing off my next Regency romance The Education of Lord Hartley, the second in my Lady Adventuress series, and my next fantasy novel, Winterreise, which will follow on from my short story anthology. 

What is the first Romance book you remember reading? What is the last book you read?
My first adventure romance was The Scarlet Pimpernel – and I was in love with Sir Percy for absolute ages after that. My first real romance book was Georgette Heyer’s These Old Shades. I was completely hooked. The last book I read was Rachel Hartman’s wonderful debut novel, Seraphina. It was absolutely delightful, and I can’t wait for the sequel to see how the story and romance play out.

Who is your current book boyfriend/crush?
Christopher Heron from The Perilous Gard – I reread it again a few weeks ago, and remembered how much I adore him. He’s at once so very realistic, sad and charming. And the ending still makes me grin and hug my book in delight.

What was the last book you read that gave you a "book hangover?"

Seraphina.  I read it in just three days, and then spent the next while completely missing the wonderful world Rachel Hartman had created. It’s so charming and detailed, it stayed with me for days. Naturally, I immediately went in search of the sequel and was devastated to find it wouldn’t be out for a while yet. ☺



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