THE HISTORICAL REANIMATOR
When I chose to write historical romance, one thing became eminently clear to me – my desire not only to craft emotionally compelling stories but to bring my chosen historical era to vivid life.
As a reader, I love to lose myself in any well-written historical romance, but I am most gratified when a novel is able to answer the cravings of both sides of my brain, by using people and events relative to the historical setting to take me well beyond the romance and deep into the era itself.
As an author, I want to truly immerse the reader in another time and place, not only by the characters’ dress, manners, and speech, but with the setting itself by interweaving real historical elements so seamlessly with the fiction that it becomes virtually impossible to distinguish the difference. In so doing, the setting becomes so much more than just a colorful backdrop but is almost equal to the characters in telling the story. I find that fact and fiction can be effectively combined in many ways.
In virtually all of my historical romances I often use real historical events in the backdrop as well as real people as secondary characters. While this requires a great deal of research, I find it a fabulous challenge to take what the past has left us and to fill in the blanks with imaginative speculation in order to re-create flesh and blood historical characters.
While my main characters in Treacherous Temptations are both fictional, they are closely modelled after real people. Hadley Blanchard’s character is based on Philip, Duke of Wharton, a brilliant young nobleman who also lost his fortune with the South Sea company. Disillusioned and on the verge of complete ruin, the duke went abroad and dabbled in Jacobite intrigue, but died early after an infamous (and short) life of dissipation.
Mary Edwardes was also modeled after one of the greatest heiresses of her time who made an ill-fated match with Lord Anne Hamilton (Yes, he was really named Anne, after his godmother the queen!) When Mary realized her profligate husband would likely squander her fortune, she took the drastic measure of destroying her marriage records and baptizing their infant son under her maiden name— choosing the stigma of bastardy over marriage to a noble rake! The real Mary Edwardes never rewed.
In Treacherous Temptations, Mary and Hadley are both pawns of unsavory secondary characters— Hadley’s wickedly wanton step-mother Barbara who is mistress to Mary’s equally unscrupulous guardian, the man responsible for Hadley’s ruin. Mary is faced with a marriage she doesn’t want arranged by her guardian in exchange for political favors. Hadley seeks to reclaim his lands and titles, as well as revenge on the man who ruined him. When Hadley perceives Mary as the answer to both, he sets out to seduce her— only to fall in love.
TREACHEROUS TEMPTATIONS by Victoria Vane
A reluctant heiress resigned to her fate… Mary Elizabeth Edwardes has one of the largest fortunes in England, but has no desire to leave her quiet country existence… and even less to acquire a husband she cannot choose for herself.
A dissolute nobleman bent on retribution… Trapped in a duplicitous existence since scandal destroyed his fortune and family name, Lord Hadley Blanchard has spent the better part of a decade posing as a disaffected exile while spying and seducing in the service of the English Crown.
A dangerous game of seduction, and intrigue… When summoned from abroad by a former lover, Lord Hadley perceives an opportunity for vengeance at last. By employing the full measure of his seductive charm, he woos the ward of the man who destroyed his life, little knowing that winning Mary’s fortune will mean risking his own treacherous heart.