HH: Thank you for talking with us at TRS.
VV:Thank you so very much for having me!
HH: Your featured book is The Devil’s Match and is part of your fantastic Devil DeVere series. First, what can you tell us about the series’ origins?
VV: The DEVIL DEVERE Â series began as a single romantic comedy novella, A WILD NIGHT’S BRIDE, Â that was largely inspired by the 2009 film, THE HANGOVER. After watching the movie on DVD, I thought how fun it would be to write something similar but set in the very bawdy Georgian Era. Adding to this idea was the incorporation of a shockingly real Otaheitian Feast of Venus that took place at Charlotte Hayes’ Kings Place brothel in the late 1760′s. I thought it would be the perfect setting for my erotic romantic comedy adventure.
What changed everything, however, was the introduction of Ned Chamber’s rakish sidekick, Viscount Ludovic ”Devil” DeVere. I think every writer dreams of creating characters who are larger than life, those so strong and intriguing that they can carry an entire series and DeVere, became all that and more. I never knew that one story would become two, and then three, and then four, all because of DeVere.
HH: What can you tell us about the first three books in the series?
VV: All four novellas are very tightly connected. Although they technicallycan stand alone, they really shouldn’t, because so very much is lost- especially regarding DeVere whose true nature is slowly revealed by layers in the combined stories. I actually wrote the series so that one novella leads directly into the next to read much like a serial novel.
Although A WILD NIGHT’S BRIDE and THE VIRGIN HUNTRESSare both romantic comedies the tone is uniquely different in each. Both are very funny but AWNB is pretty wild, whereas TVH would be considered sweetly sexy. And while not the hero of either of these books, DeVere is an absolutely integral part of both, as all six characters in the series connect through this deliciously debauched master manipulator.
The third book, THE DEVIL YOU KNOWis where everything takes a 180. The tone is no longer comedic, but darkly erotic with elements of mystery and intrigue. This book is part one of Diana and DeVere’s two part story and where the reader really begins to see what makes DeVere tick. It’s absolutely fascinating!
HH: How does The Devil’s Match continue it?
VV: I have already revealed that DeVere’s story is done in two parts. It’s the only way I could do justice to it, as the history between Diana and DeVere is as complex as the man himself! I just couldn’t write it all as back story. It deserved to stand on its own. THE DEVIL’S MATCH reunites Diana and DeVere through Hew and Vesta from THE VIRGIN HUNTRESS. Ned and Phoebe also make an appearance. Thus, the final book serves to tie all four novellas together with a nice neat bow.
HH: What do you like best about DeVere and why will readers love him?
VV: DeVere is absolutely fabulous. Intelligent, witty, and debauched, he is the rake of all rakes and poor Diana doesn’t stand a chance! Here are a few snippets from THE DEVIL YOU KNOW:
(Diana meets DeVere)
“Baroness.” The timbre of his voice, the curve of his lips, was fraught with meaning, sending a jolt of heat to a place low in her belly. He gave a shallow bow that set his gaze on a horizontal plane with her breasts and lingered there much longer than proper, his eyes flickering like a blue flame. Her nipples tightened, contracting against her layers of muslin and silk, sending a tiny tremor rippling over her. Without having uttered a word beyond her name, the portentous weight of an indecent proposition hung between them.
(later that night)
“Should you later grow chilly, dear lady, you need only whisper the word, and I shall command every hearth in this monstrosity be lit. I would rather set my entire house aflame than cover such a magnificent… ” His gaze raked over Diana’s bosom with an appreciative gleam. “… gown.”
She wanted him too. He could see it in the rapid rise of her breasts. He could smell her budding arousal and would relish bringing her to full bloom. God, how he loved this dance! She had taken the first tentative steps, yet she still fought her desire, refused to give in to it, but he would lead her now. He was a master… and a ruthless bastard.
HH: What do you like best about Diana and why do you think readers will relate to her?
VV: I tried very hard to make Diana a woman of her time, but not a doormat. She is strong, dutiful, and loving, but has never known the love that she so desperately craves. This makes her entirely vulnerable to such an unprincipled rake as DeVere. In THE DEVIL YOU KNOW, she comes out on the losing end, a mistake she is not about to repeat in THE DEVIL’S MATCH.
“And what would you know of my wants and desires after four years?”
“A great deal.” He gave her a slow, confident smile. “Given that I was the one to unleash them.”
Diana averted her face with a bitter laugh. “Thus you presume to have an exclusive claim to me?”
“Has any other exerted one?” he asked softly. You are still unwed, Diana. Have you taken another lover in my absence?”
“It is none of your business whether I have or not, and you are grossly impertinent to ask.”
He laughed long and low. “I think I have my answer.”
Suddenly his mouth was on hers, taking, possessing, as if it was, indeed, his singular privilege. Diana leaned into him, teasing his lower lip with her tongue and sucking it eagerly into her mouth before sinking her teeth into it. Hard. Savoring the coppery taste of his blood.
“What the hell!” DeVere jerked back with a cry. He touched his lip and examined the crimson stain on his fingertip, his expression a mix of outrage and bemusement.
“You took without invitation,” Diana said. “It was a warning not to do so again.”
HH: What makes you this series stand out amongst fierce competition?
VV: It is truly unique in every way — the historical details and my distinctive writing voice are both very true to the Georgian period, the sophisticated humor, the over-the-top characters, the witty dialogue, the way the novellas are woven together, and last but most certainly not least, the scorching- hot- turn-up-the-air-conditionerloves scenes!
HH: What else do you have in store for lucky readers?
VV: I have several projects underway. I have just completed my first full-length novel for Entangled’s new Scandalous historical imprint. It is a dark and erotic romance that is in a sense, an homage to the romantic novels of the 18th century which centered on the battle between virtue and vice, largely using seduction. It should be released February 2013. I am also working on a paranormal (timeslip) erotic romance with elements of mystery set in the Victorian era. After that, who knows?
HH: What goals have you set for yourself at this point in your career?
VV: My goal is for readers to always expect the unexpected from me! I want to write what I love and surprise them every time!
HH: What do you enjoy reading?
VV: Anything with both strong history and romance (all sub-genres and heat levels). I am the group moderator for Goodreads Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/33864 and also the creator/blog mistress for the Romantic Historical Lovers book review blog. http://romantichistoricallovers.wordpress.comIn both of these forums, I actively seek out and promote books and authors who strike the perfect balance between history and romance in all the historical sub-genres.
HH: What are you most looking forward to before the year’s end?
VV: A significant payoff for my dedication, discipline, and really hard work! In truth, I have worked my little tail off in the past ten months. I have already written a total of 250,000 words and the year is not yet over. I believe in the Devil DeVere series with my whole being. I’ve offered a series that is refreshing and unique, both sexy and sold and unlike anything else out there. Now I just hope to find my readers!
HH: Thank you!