Is there an author we love more than Lisa Kleypas here on Under the Covers? I don’t think there is. Her wonderful historical romances are some of the best in the genre and she’s given a whole host of hero and heroines we adore. So, as part of our celebration of all things historical romance in our A Scandalous Affair event we have interrogated Lisa about her latest release in the Ravenel series and what we can expect next!
Welcome back to Under the Covers, Lisa! It should come as no surprise that we are so excited to talk to you about DEVIL’S DAUGHTER. We love the Ravenels series and this was one of our most anticipated releases of the year.
Hello, I’m so delighted to be back!
I personally loved West Ravenel from the beginning and have really enjoyed his growth throughout the series. But I was still swept off my feet by how amazing he is! What’s your favorite thing about his character?
Aw, that makes me so happy. Thank you! There’s always a little anxiety that comes along with writing a story featuring a character readers have had to wait for. But I love it that West is a caretaking hero with a snarky sense of humor. And West, probably more than any other hero I’ve written, connects with people, no matter who they are or what place they occupy in society. He cares about ordinary people and their problems. He treats everyone, even children, with respect. To me, the essential rule of a hero’s personal code is that he would never hurt anyone more vulnerable than himself. That’s why West suffers so much at the recollection of having once been a childhood bully.
Without being spoilery, can you tell us what your favorite scene to write in this book was?
Oh, yes–The scene when West returns that thing he stole from Henry long ago. It’s a moment when he and Phoebe are unexpectedly honest and vulnerable with each other, and they discuss issues that are incredibly sensitive and private. It’s a breakthrough moment in their relationship, and the beginning of relief and healing for both of them. Also, he’s shirtless for part of it, which totally works for me! My second favorite scene was the one with Sebastian and Evie—I seem to write a lot of bathtub-related scenes for them!
How easy or difficult has it been to give fans a blend of the Ravenels and the Wallflowers series? And I’m curious on your feelings about aging such beloved characters and still giving us a glimpse into their romance after they had a full life together.
For the most part, it’s been easy and surprisingly natural. I guess I’ve never really left those wallflower characters behind—they’ll probably always exist in some world in my head. It’s been enormously fun to involve Sebastian and Evie in a couple of these Ravenel books. I don’t think I could have shown one of my Wallflower couples at a later stage in life, and done a good job of it, until I personally became middle-aged and discovered how much humor and sexiness there is at this point in a marriage. Possibly more, even, than when my husband Greg and I were much younger. As you get older, you become more your authentic self, and you don’t let the trivial stuff bug you as much, and your relationship is enriched by this huge store of memories you’ve made together. I especially love showing Sebastian and Evie from the perspective of other characters, who are all a little awed by this grand duke and duchess, and then showing them in private moments as a vibrant, sexy, funny couple.
When can we expect more books about the other Wallflowers’ kids? Notice the when not if question because we NEED them.
LOL—I noticed and that definitely sparked my joy, because I’ve been seriously thinking about going back to Stony Cross Park to visit Marcus and Lillian, and maybe doing a Wallflower II series. (I’ve always said if I couldn’t have Greg and I had to marry one of my novel heroes, it would be Marcus.)
What’s your favorite trope to read?
Marriage of convenience, without question. Two virtual strangers compelled to live in intimacy. The nervousness, excitement, surprises, disappointments and delights . . . to me there’s no better story to read or write.
What historical figure would you like to add to your book? Who would make a great hero or heroine?
I don’t even have to think about this one: Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s only legitimate daughter. She was a mathematical genius, designed plans for flying apparatus, and helped invent a computing machine . . . a mechanical computer! She died at the age of 36, of uterine cancer. What a fascinating, extraordinary woman. I’d love to make her a heroine and write a happy ending for her—by all accounts, she deserved one.
What is the strangest thing you’ve ever had to research?
I’ve researched some weird stuff, which has sometimes led to questionable plotting decisions on my part, such as the “exercise chair” featured in a love scene in Lady Sophia’s Lover—lol. And I researched some fascinating Victorian medical devices for my physician heroine in Hello Stranger. For example, I learned about a variety of blood transfusion devices they came up with before coming to understand the reason for so many transfusion failures was because there was such a thing as different blood types. For Devil In Spring, I was actually a little worried about all the internet research I was doing on how to make and set off brass cylinder bombs with clockwork timers! And with Devil’s Daughter . . . it was bat shit. Literally. I kept finding references in antique farming periodicals about importing Peruvian guano for fertilizer. I wondered, “Why Peruvian? Why not British bat droppings?” As it turns out, Peruvian bats produce a high amount of nitrogen in their guano, which is perfect to fertilize British clay soil.
What was the first historical romance you read?
The first big historical romance with love scenes was The Flame And the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss, who basically invented the genre. A sweeping epic romance with wonderfully flourishy purply writing. I was enthralled.
If you could be reborn into any era, which would it be?
If we’re talking strictly on a fantasy level, bypassing all the dangers, discomforts, affronts to women’s and minority rights, imperialism, etc . . . definitely Victorian. I love the elaborate style, the gadgetry, the waltzing, afternoon tea, and the sort of endearing confidence that they could solve any problem by inventing something.
What are you currently working on and what can we expect from you next?
I’m working on the story of Lady Cassandra Ravenel and railway magnate Tom Severin, and it’s a marriage of convenience plot! I’m loving it so far. He’s charismatic and calculating, kind of villainous, but so so smitten with Cassandra. And all she’s ever wanted is a cozy country home and a loving husband and children, a life that’s drastically different from what Tom can offer. It’s going to be a wild ride, but also passionate and surprising, with some moments of real sweetness. I can’t wait for you to read it!
by Lisa Kleypas
Released: February 19, 2019
Series: The Ravenels #5
Published by Avon
Although beautiful young widow Phoebe, Lady Clare, has never met West Ravenel, she knows one thing for certain: he's a mean, rotten bully. Back in boarding school, he made her late husband's life a misery, and she'll never forgive him for it. But when Phoebe attends a family wedding, she encounters a dashing and impossibly charming stranger who sends a fire-and-ice jolt of attraction through her. And then he introduces himself...as none other than West Ravenel.
West is a man with a tarnished past. No apologies, no excuses. However, from the moment he meets Phoebe, West is consumed by irresistible desire...not to mention the bitter awareness that a woman like her is far out of his reach. What West doesn't bargain on is that Phoebe is no straitlaced aristocratic lady. She's the daughter of a strong-willed wallflower who long ago eloped with Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent—the most devilishly wicked rake in England.
Before long, Phoebe sets out to seduce the man who has awakened her fiery nature and shown her unimaginable pleasure. Will their overwhelming passion be enough to overcome the obstacles of the past?
Only the devil's daughter knows…
Under the Covers is graciously giving away
Two Historical Romance Bundles
DUKE WITH BENEFITS by Manda Collins
THE STUDY OF SEDUCTION by Sabrina Jeffries
LOVE WITH A SCOTTISH OUTLAW by Gayle Callen
BLISS by Lynsay Sands
THE VISCOUNT AND THE VIXEN by Lorraine Heath
MERELY A MARRIAGE by Jo Beverly
THE TEXAN DUKE by Karen Ranney
I DARED THE DUKE by Anna Bennett
HOW TO FORGET A DUKE by Vivienne Lorret
TOO WILDE TO WED by Eloisa James
MY ONCE AND FUTURE DUKE by Caroline Linden
THE DUKE OF HER DESIRE by Sophie Barnes
GOVERNESS GONE ROGUE by Laura Lee Gurhke
BEAUTY LIKE THE NIGHT by Joanna Bourne
THE PRINCE AND I by Karen Hawkins
THE GROOM WORE PLAID by Gayle Callen
THE SCANDALOUS FLIRT by Olivia Drake
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