It’s no secret that we are huge fans of Elizabeth Hoyt and the Maiden Lane series. We are celebrating early the release of DUKE OF DESIRE, which comes out October 17, and had a chance to chat with Ms. Hoyt. Be sure to check it out and enter the giveaway at the end of this post.
Hi Elizabeth, welcome back to Under the Covers to celebrate the release of DUKE OF DESIRE.
We love our scarred heroes! What do you personally find fascinating about writing them and what’s your key at making us all fall in love with them?
Scarred heroes are the best, aren’t they? There’s always something Beauty-and-the-Beast about the dynamic between the scarred hero and the heroine. His physical scars are not only a sign of his mental wounds, they also serve to set him apart from society. The heroine is the only one to see past the hero’s scars and her love helps him reconnect with the world. It’s all very satisfying—who doesn’t want to nurse a big, burly hurt man?
What can you tell us about the Lords of Chaos and what kind of research did you have to do into secret societies of the time? Anything stand out as an interesting fact from your research?
Erm. Well, I didn’t do too much new research. I’d already read about the Hellfire Club—or clubs, there were actually several during the eighteenth century. They were rumored to be composed of aristocrats who gathered to do…scandalous things. What exactly the scandalous things were is the subject of debate. A lot of the rites seem to have been sacrilegious, which might’ve been shocking and titillating in the eighteenth century, but is kind of less so now? Basically the Hellfire clubs in reality were kind of disappointingly tame.
What do you love most about the chemistry between Iris and Raphael?
He’s dark so he needs her light. She’s never been the most important person in anyone’s life and from the beginning he takes her very seriously and focuses on her. Together they are complete—though of course they don’t know that at the beginning of the story.
This is book 12 in the series and you always manage to keep the stories fresh. Where do you often find the most inspiration for your stories?
Oh, that’s a good question! I like challenging myself by writing new-to-me tropes, characters and plots, otherwise I’m afraid of getting bored. That usually means a lot of thinking and looking through Pinterest. I also like watching movies and TV and analyzing what worked (and didn’t work) in different shows.
What are you working on next?
I’m starting a new series! I’m still in the plotting stage right now, so it’s very nebulous, but readers can check out my Pinterest page for some of the things that are inspiring me. https://www.pinterest.com/elizabethhoyt/
That’s so exciting! We can’t wait for that, but in the meantime we hope everyone checks out DUKE OF DESIRE.
Available October 17, 2017!
by Elizabeth Hoyt
Released: October 17th 2017
Series: Maiden Lane #12
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Mysterious, brooding, and horrifically scarred, Raphael de Chartres, the Duke of Dyemore, has spent his adult life in exile from England. When he returns home after his father's death, he's enraged to find that the Lords of Chaos are still active---and holding their revels in a ruined abbey on one of his estates. The members wear masks during their ceremonies, so Raphael must join the secret society in order to destroy it from the inside. All of his plans are in place, until he catches a glimpse of that night's sacrifice.
Iris Daniels, Lady Jordan, has been mistaken for a duchess and kidnapped by the Lords of Chaos. But before they can torture and kill her, a bag is thrown over her head, and she's dragged into a carriage. She has the presence of mind to struggle out of the bag, search the carriage, and find a pistol under one of the seats. When the door opens again, she shoots her attacker, only to discover she might have made slight mistake. The man she just shot was the Duke of Dyemore, and he was rescuing her.
Iris takes it upon herself to nurse Dyemore back to health, and hidden away in his hunting lodge, they begin to fall in love. But Dyemore can't give in to his feelings, not until the Lords of Chaos are destroyed and Iris is safe.
Desperately she flung herself at the opposite seat and tugged it up. Thrust her hand in.
She cocked it, desperately praying that it was loaded.
She turned and aimed it at the door to the carriage just as the door swung open.
The Wolf loomed in the doorway—still nude—a lantern in one hand. She saw the eyes behind the mask flick to the pistol she held between her bound hands. He turned his head and said something in an incomprehensible language to someone outside.
Iris felt her breath sawing in and out of her chest.
He climbed into the carriage and closed the door, completely ignoring her and the pistol pointed at him. The Wolf hung the lantern on a hook and sat on the seat across from her.
Finally he glanced at her. “Put that down.”
His voice was calm. Quiet.
With just a hint of menace.
She backed into the opposite corner, as far away from him as possible, holding the pistol up. Level with his chest. Her heart was pounding so hard it nearly deafened her. “No.”
The carriage jolted into motion, making her stumble before she caught herself.
“T-tell them to stop the carriage,” she said, stuttering with terror despite her resolve. “Let me go now.”
“So that they can rape you to death out there?” He tilted his head to indicate the Lords. “No.”
“At the next village, then.”
“I think not.”
He reached for her and she knew she had no choice.
She shot him.
The blast blew him into the seat and threw her hands up and back, the pistol narrowly missing her nose.
Iris scrambled to her feet. The bullet was gone, but she could still use the pistol as a bludgeon.
The Wolf was sprawled across the seat, blood streaming from a gaping hole in his right shoulder. His mask had been knocked askew on his face.
She reached forward and snatched it off.
And then gasped.
The face that was revealed had once been as beautiful as an angel’s but was now horribly mutilated. A livid red scar ran from just below his hairline on the right side of his face, bisecting the eyebrow, somehow missing the eye itself but gouging a furrow into the lean cheek and catching the edge of his upper lip, making it twist. The scar ended in a missing divot of flesh in the line of the man’s severe jaw. He had inky black hair and, though they were closed now, Iris knew he had emotionless crystal-gray eyes.
She knew because she recognized him.
He was Raphael de Chartres, the Duke of Dyemore, and when she’d danced with him—once—three months ago at a ball, she’d thought he’d looked like Hades.
God of the underworld.
God of the dead.
She had no reason to change her opinion now.
Then he gasped, those frozen crystal eyes opened, and he glared at her. “You idiot woman. I’m trying to save you.”