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Becoming Lady Lockwood by Jennifer Moore - Win $50 Amazon/Paypal cash, ends August 8
Tempted by His Touch historical anthology - Win an iPad Mini with surprise bonus books, ends in October
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I Adored a Lord by Katharine Ashe - Win 3 digital copies of I Married the Duke, ends August 26
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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Blog Tour: A Kiss of Lies by Bronwen Evans (Review + Interview)


I'm happy to invite Bronwen Evans to my blog today, to celebrate the release of the first book in her Disgraced Lords series, A Kiss of Lies

A Kiss of Lies: The Disgraced Lords Series
A Loveswept Historical Romance
978-0-345-54728-6
January 14, 2014
About the book:
In Bronwen Evans’s Loveswept debut, a pair of damaged souls ignite each other’s deepest passions—even as they tempt fate by deceiving the world.

 Desperate to escape her abusive past, Sarah Cooper disguises herself as a governess in the employ of Christian Trent, Earl of Markham, the man who, long ago, she fantasized about marrying. Despite the battle scars that mar his face, Sarah finds being near Christian rekindles her infatuation. A governess, however, has no business in the arms of an earl, and as she accompanies Christian on his voyage home, Sarah must resist her intense desires—or risk revealing her dangerous secrets.


 One of the renowned Libertine Scholars, Christian Trent once enjoyed the company of any woman he chose. But that was before the horrors of Waterloo, his wrongful conviction of a hideous crime, and his forcible removal from England. Far from home and the resources he once had, Christian believes the life he knew—and any chance of happiness—is over . . . until his ward’s governess sparks his heart back to life, and makes him remember the man he used to be. Now Christian is determined to return to England, regain his honor, and win the heart of the woman he has come to love.
Buy Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes
Review:
Having read just one of Bronwen Evans's books in the past, I came to this book without expectations. And it surprised me, in a very good way. There is an overlying mystery coursing through her Disgraced Lords series, and while the plot of this book introduces that overarching mystery, it never strays from telling a moving love story between two people in need or redemption and love. 

Christian Trent, the Earl of Markham, was wrongly accused or raping the daughter of the duke, and forced to flee from England upon the latter's threats. Christian survived his migration to Canada with the aid of a kind Mr. Pearson, who later died leaving his daughter, Lily, to be Christian's ward. Now, as Christian is making plans for his return to England and needs a governess for Lily...in comes the mysterious Mrs. Cooper for the position.

Sarah Cooper is but a false name that never existed. Lady Serena Castleton, however, is seeking escape from an abusive man and a horrifying past. Sensing an escape through taking refuge on Christian's ship, she dons the disguise of a governess only to find herself closer to her fears than ever before as they got closer to England, yet she finds an unexpected champion at her side. 

In a story heavily governed by the actions of the culprit who repeatedly tries to destroy Christian, I was surprised with how neatly the plot moved concurrently with the development of Christian and Serena's relationship. The two are inverses of each other; Christian with his physical disfigurement from the war believe himself to be too disgusting to deserve love, and Serena, whose internal sufferings are far worse than the scars on her back. In each other they saw a more beautiful version of themselves reflected, the pure, unblemished soul underneath the ravages of war and cruelty, and that transformed their love into hope. In temperament, gentleness, and passion they matched each other, and the force of their love is both a testament of their inner strength as well as their beauty, for even as the world shied away from their tormented selves, those two found something lovely within each other. 

Plot-wise, I am deeply intrigued with the central mystery of the series, and the next five books will surely unravel the strands of treachery that surrounded the events of this book. All in all, the flow of the story is magnificent, as are the characters, who have admirable depths of complexity. Christian and Serena are resilient, courageous people who have suffered but found hope with each other. Their interactions with each other are sizzling, real, and undeniably lovely. I will be anxiously awaiting the next books in the series, to see more of Bronwen Evans's fantastic crafting as well as the resolution of this intrigue. 

*Review copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Interview with Bronwen:  
       1. What sparked the idea for your Disgraced Lords series?
 Thanks for having me over today. 

My new series came to me one afternoon as I was having drinks with friends I made while at university. Christian, Sebastian and Grayson popped into my head, Lords who became life-long friends while at Oxford in the early 1800’s. Soon, Christian introduced me to three more of their group, Maitland, Hadley and Arend. Each of the men fascinated me as they each were carrying a lot of baggage with them and gave me the perfect opportunity to write interesting heroine’s to challenge them and help them over come their pasts. There will be at least six books in the series and perhaps more…. 

2. Following up with the previous question, what particularly inspired A KISS OF LIES?
Christian simply arrive din my head and told me his story. Christian is a man running from his past. His father was a sadist and his childhood was not pleasant. I decided that if Christian couldn’t bear living with his father, he’d escape, and an officer in the military seemed ideal. However, the war marked him and changed him. Unfortunately, as a writer we are always told to make it worse. So I had him be accused of rape. Having been brought up with a father who killed his mother, can you imagine how that would feel? Christian cannot abide any form of violence against women. There was such bitterness, anger and resolve to clear his name…

3. When you are writing, do you think yourself more hero-centric or heroine-centric?
Definitely hero-centric. I tend to always start plotting my book by developing the hero. I love a book where a strong, outwardly confident hero, hides a wounded or tortured soul. His character growth, through interaction with the heroine, is emotionally more enthralling. I like to see how a strong heroine can help the hero face his inner fears and grow into a man we all can love and admire. 

4. Is there a message in your books you'd like to convey to the readers?
Other than love conquers all? In each of my stories I try to highlight something to do with women in the 1800’s and what life was like for them. I also tend to try and focus on a topic that is relevant today. For instance, in A Kiss of Lies, we are discussing spousal abuse. We have a high incident of domestic violence in New Zealand, and I support Woman’s Refuge in NZ. 

5. A certain mystery is interwoven in this series; do you like to include mystery and suspense in your books?
Absolutely! I have to have suspense in my stories. I love writing really evil villains (have you read Invitation to Ruin?). I’m also probably in the minority, but I love a bit of damsel in distress. There is nothing more ‘manly’ than a hero fighting to save the woman he loves, or a woman clever enough to take on a villain, and save her man.

6. I understand that the villain isn't revealed in A KISS OF LIES; was it easy or hard to not reveal the villain to the readers in this book?

Very hard. I usually have a single villain in each book, but I wanted all the Libertine Scholars (the six heroes) to have to work together to solve the mystery of who is out to ruin them all. So I had to carefully plan out the series to ensure the correct clues were revealed as the individual stories progressed. I also have a separate suspense/romance story arc in each individual book, which comes to fruition in each individual hero’s story and book.

7. Lastly, what's coming up for you in 2014? 
It’s a busy year for me. I am working on book #3 and #4 in the Disgraced Lords series, Grayson’s and Maitland’s stories. I also have book #3, Invitation To Passion coming out in the fall and another contemporary romance, The Nanny Trap. You can read all about these books on my website. 

**I’m happy to give away a book copy of Invitation to Scandal to one commenter who can tell me what happened to Christian in the battle of Waterloo (see my website).**
***
Author Info:
Bronwen Evans grew up loving books. She has always indulged her love of storytelling and is constantly gobbling up movies, books, and theater. Is it any wonder she’s a proud romance writer? Evans is a two-time winner of the RomCon Readers’ Crown and has been nominated for an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award. She lives in Wellington, New Zealand.



Connect with Bronwen Evans: FacebookTwitter  | Website
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5 comments:

  1. I love that ur helping to bring historicals back and I'm especially intrigued with the device of having the same villain for numerous books. That's a sure way to tie the various stories together while using the characters from previous books as more than just filler. On my tbr

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    1. I wanted to show true friendship, so wanted everyone in all the books. I hope it works.

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  2. Thank you for hosting today!! Great Review!

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  3. Oh I love it when there's a villain in all of the stories! Especially when it's the same villain! It makes for a fun and very mind boggling suspense case. I can't wait for it's release this Month~

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  4. he got burned in a fire set by a woman with a French accent

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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