Today it is my great pleasure to introduce Bronwen Evans as my blog guest. Bronwen is an award-winning author whose Regency historicals Invitation To Scandal and Invitation to Ruin are highly acclaimed. Today she is talking about her new book, Invitation to Scandal, and in particular about her hero, the gorgeous Rufus Knight. She is also offering a copy of Invitation to Scandal to one commenter today! So without further ado, it’s over to Bron – and Rufus.
What Ten Questions would you ask a Hero?
Rufus Knight, Viscount Strathmore, the hero in my latest Regency release, INVITATION TO SCANDAL, has kindly volunteered to face the gauntlet. He’s risked the femininity of my drawing room to let me asked what we, as readers, have so longed to ask the heroes in our romance books. Before we meet Rufus, here’s a blurb about his story.
Her secrets are coming undone…
Plagued by scandalous rumors, Rheda Kerrich will stop at nothing to restore her reputation and make an honest living for herself-and she’s determined to do it without a husband. But times are hard, and smuggling is a risky though profitable trade. So when a dashing agent for the English government catches her in the act, she desperately resists his charms and conceals her illicit profession. Until she realizes he may be the key to her ultimate freedom-and unbridled passion.
Rufus Knight, Viscount Strathmore, has never had trouble beguiling the ladies of Kent. When his search for “Dark Shadow,” a cunningly elusive smuggler, leads him to alluring and headstrong Rhe, her objections to his amorous advances merely incite a tantalizing game of cat and mouse. Soon, they’ll find the very secrets driving them apart could ensnare them in a love they can’t escape…
Bronwen: Well Rufus. Would you like tea or perhaps something a bit stronger?
Rufus: (sweeping his coat tails back and taking a seat with a smile that made me weak at the knees) a brandy would be welcomed.
Once settled I waved a hand to cool my blushes and proceeded…
1. What is something you are proud of?
That’s easy. I’m most proud of Rheda, my newly married wife. Her strength of character, generosity of spirit and intelligent compassion… I’m a very lucky man to have won her heart. She singlehandedly staved off the creditors when her father left her and Daniel, her younger brother bankrupt. She clung onto Tumsbury Cliff Manor and the estate for Daniel without giving up her freedom to do so. Then, she helped me capture a French spy and uncovered the truth about my late father’s supposed treason. She’s a remarkable woman.
2. If you, were a superhero, what power would you have and why?
(Chuckle) Like most men, I suspect I’d like the power to read minds, and then Rheda would not have led me on such a convoluted and dangerous dance. She frustrated me, attracted me, and basically drove me insane until I finally managed to capture her heart. She’s a fiercely independent creature. It took me awhile to tame her. If I’m perfectly honest, tame is perhaps not the right word. Or perhaps it is—she tamed me!
3. What is something you are proud of Rheda for doing?
Apart from having the good sense to marry me? (He laughs). I’m proud of her for working selflessly to save her younger brother, Daniel’s, inheritance. I’m proud of her for sacrificing her pride to help me in my quest to clear my father of treason and I’m proud of her for not caring what Society thinks of her. She lives her life to look after those she loves regardless of the consequences. [CLUE FOURTEEN: IS]
4. What are your weaknesses?
Before I meet Rheda I think I suffered from a need to conform and be what Society expected of me. I lived my life trying to atone for my father’s supposed sins, hiding my true self. Rheda has taught me that the truth of who you are lies within. It doesn’t matter what others think of you as long as you live your life honorably, and bask in the love and friendships you have. Whatever strangers think of you is inconsequential. I never used to let anyone see the real me. I was scared they would not like what they saw. But my family loves me unconditionally. I’m so very grateful.
5. What are your strengths?
Without a doubt, Rheda. She completes me and makes me a better man. She has shown me what’s truly important in life–love. Love of your family and friends. They are the foundations of your life and offer unconditional support. Without love the world is a bleak and lonely place.
6. What have you learned since you arrived in Deal, Kent?
I’ve learned that love comes before honor, for what is more honorable than love. To protect the one you love at any cost sometimes sees you having to make sacrifices. But those sacrifices are worth it.
7. What will you teach your son?
Rheda is with child and I don’t care if it’s a boy or a girl, as long as the child is healthy and Rheda survives. She’s my world now and I couldn’t bear to lose her. If my daughter’s anything like her wild and beautiful mother she’ll be very special. But if I’m lucky enough to have a son of my own, then I’d want him to be happy. I’d want him to look to the future not to the past. To live his life his way. To do what is right for him and those he loves.
8. As a child, what was your relationship with your father like?
I worshipped my father. He was a very honorable man. He worked hard on his estate and was kind and generous to his tenants and staff. Then, when I was twenty, he died in suspicious circumstances; a rumor of treason surfaced and my world fell apart. Deep down inside I knew my father was innocent and I vowed to make it my life’s mission to clear his name.
9. Did you manage to do that?
Yes, but not publically. But that is all right. Rheda taught me it’s what I know to be true in my heart that counts. I, and my father’s loved ones, know he was innocent. That is enough.
10. What are your goals for your family now?
I want to take Rheda home to my estate near Newmarket and live a long and happy life. Rheda and I are going to breed the finest race horses England has ever seen. I also hope to breed a few more Strathmore’s (laughs raucously). I’ve also got my younger sister, Madeline’s come-out to organize. Now that I’ve restored the Strathmore name it’s time I found her a suitable husband.
Life is good. Long may it stay that way.
Thanks Rufus. It’s been a pleasure, truly, having you sip tea with me. Give my best wishes to Rheda.
Do you have a question you’d like to ask Rufus or Rheda? If so leave a comment and one lucky commenter will WIN a copy of Invitation to Scandal (open internationally).
Between April 27th to 30th June, Bron will be traveling throughout the blogosphere telling people about her newest book, INVITATION TO SCANDAL. At most places she’ll be giving away a copy of INVITATION TO SCANDAL to a random commenter (open to US and international residents). If you win and read the book, she’d love to hear what you think OR even better leave a review somewhere!
The Book Tour Grand Prize – A $200 Amazon, or B&N, Voucher PLUS… A Book Basket of 30 ‘SIGNED by the AUTHORS’ books…
New Zealander Bronwen Evans grew up loving books she’s always indulged her love for story-telling, and is constantly gobbling up movies, books and theatre. Her head is filled with characters and stories, particularly lovers in angst. Is it any wonder she’s a proud romance writer?
She writes both historical and contemporary sexy romances for the modern woman who likes intelligent, spirited heroines, and compassionate alpha heroes. She’s won several romance writing competitions and is a member of several writing organization, including RWA, RWNZ, and The Beau Monde.