Spotlight, Top 10 List & Giveaway: As Rich as a Rogue by Jade Lee

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As Rich as a Rogue (Rakes & Rogues, #3) by Jade Lee

Publication Date: August 2, 2016

Synopsis

imageThird in the saucy, vibrant Rakes & Rogues Regency romance series from USA Today bestselling author Jade Lee

A most unusual wager

Mari Powel’s fiery Welsh temper is up. Peter Norwood, Lord Whitly, is back in town after six years romping around India making his fortune. Mari blames him for her social downfall and has spent all this time clawing her way back into the ton’s good graces. How dare he show up on his first day back and publicly embroil her in a bet involving long-awaited apologies, illicit kisses, and Lady Illston’s unruly parakeet? Mari is outraged, and is going to show him—and everyone else—what she’s made of. Little does she know, the unrepentant Lord Whitly has been dreaming of her all this time. Now he’ll do anything to win the wager—along with Mari’s heart.

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Author Guest Post

Top 10 Fun Facts about As Rich as a Rogue

1. As Rich as a Rogue was inspired by Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin. Can you say, duh? Everyone who writes and reads regency romance loves Austin’s work. But I was listening to an audio copy of Pride and Prejudice when I had the strongest desire to write a story based on an absolutely rude incident at a party. Just like in Austin’s book, the heroine overhears the hero being awful, but then I made it more confrontational. She chastises him face to face and both of their lives are forever changed. Each spirals in a different way from that one incident. So, in short, P&P was the basis for my book!

2. This series has an animal character in every book. 50 Ways to Ruin a Rake features a turkey that gets mistaken for a dodo bird. I wanted the publisher to put pictures of little turkeys in between every scene, but they refused. L One Rogue at a Time features a pig who gets drunk and forces all sorts of mishaps in the mud. I just love bathing in the creek scenes. And then As Rich as a Rogue features a bet about a rude parakeet. Hero and Heroine are racing to see who can teach the parakeet an appropriate phrase first. So in my mind (and because I’m awful with titles) the books were the turkey book, the pig book, and the parakeet book.

3. I am notoriously terrible at titles. In fact, my editor once called my title suggestion the worst she’d ever heard in 30 years of publishing. Guess what the original title of this book was.

a. The Duke’s Cunning Plan
b. That Nobody Chit from Hull
c. Of Birds, Brides, and Men
d. Megan and Peter’s Book

Answer: C and D – Option A, The Duke’s Cunning Plan was the original title for 50 Ways to Ruin a Rake. (Damon Suede changed that to the Duke’s Cunning Linguist which made my editor blush). That Nobody Chit from Hull was dubbed the worst title ever and became One Rogue at a Time. Birds, Brides and Men was just a cute thing I made up and used in my brain interchangeably with Megan and Peter’s book.

4. I’ve had lots of great covers in my career. After 50 books, some of them have been absolutely stunning, but As Rich as a Rogue is probably my favorite. Guess why.

a. Red and gold were my high school class colors. So of course, this would be my favorite cover!
b. Doesn’t the hero look hot? Enough said!
c. Her facial expression. She looks wickedly mischievous and I love that!
d. My name. Big, bold, and gold! Yes sir, I do have an ego!

Answer: C – The colors are awesome, but that has nothing to do with my class colors. The hero looks hot, but without man chest, it’s just nice. And I do have an ego, so it’s great to have my name so large, but that’s not why I love the cover. It’s all about her face.

5. One scene in As Rich as a Rogue was built directly from my Downton Abbey imagination. Guess which one.

a. The love scene of course. I’ve built lots of love scenes in my imagination with the handsome male cast of Downton Abbey.
b. The scene where the Cook and Housekeeper share tea with the hero and give him important information on the villainous things his father is doing. I set the scene in Mrs. Hughes’ tiny office and imagined her and Mrs. Patmore trying to tell Matthew Crawley something sensitive.
c. In my mind, the ball was set in the Downton Abbey ballroom. Where else would it be?
d. We’re able to visit a few lower class pubs in Downton Abbey and in my book. My imagination grabbed the seediest pub and put it into my book.

Answer: B – In my imagination, the hero’s Cook and Housekeeper worked in Downton Abbey’s belowstairs. So that setting was lifted directly into my book (minus certain appliances). All the other options above didn’t quite translate to the Regency time period.

6. All of the Rakes and Rogues books have a silly side to it. A part of the plot that is designed for humor and inevitably spirals out of control. In 50 Ways to Ruin a Rake, every person in the book has a plan that goes horribly awry. A zillion competing agendas clash in hilarious ways! In One Rogue at a Time, the heroine believes something that no one else does. Her insistence becomes funnier and funnier until the world aligns with her. In As Rich as a Rogue, I played with all the things we do to maintain or fight appearances until it becomes incredibly silly. Great fun to read, but OMG it was hard to write. Finding that spot of funny without becoming too silly is a difficult target to hit. I think I managed it, but you’ll have to decide for yourself.

7. True or False: I wrote this book without benefit of coffee.
TRUE! I hate having to search for coffee when travelling. Sometimes I have to get up incredibly early during conferences (well early for me), and adding in time to find a café for a soy latte is a real challenge. So I decided to go coffee free and see how I felt. Answer: TIRED! They say everyone has a drug of choice, and mine is caffeine. This book took a month longer than usual to write and I felt like I had to work twice as hard to be witty. All of that was magically solved the minute I went back on a morning cup of joe!

8. My very first published regency romance, Rules for a Lady, featured a young street boy adopted by the heroine. He was a delightful source of a disagreement between hero and heroine. It works because the heroine has a very soft heart and picks up strays all over the place. In As Rich as a Rogue, I turned that around. The very practical-minded hero ends up adopting a street boy and trying to justify his tender heart. Plus, this street boy is a great deal more savvy than in my first book, so there’s a few more challenges there. Great fun!

9. The first sexual encounter (more than a kiss) in As Rich as a Rogue had to be completely re-written several times. That’s extremely unusual for me. Normally love scenes are relatively easy for me. By the time the characters get sexual, I’ve built up the tension so high that the hero and heroine just implode together. But in this case, I couldn’t get the tone right. In the first go round, what started as a funny scene becomes hero dominant fast. That wasn’t right, so I lessened the funny and it just didn’t work with the lighter tone of the book. I tried fully funny and ended up with slapstick. OMG it was a mess. Finally, I just stopped and re-read the book from beginning again. I flowed deeper into the heroine’s mindset and managed a balance. My editor didn’t have one correction on the scene, so I think I finally got it right!

10. Mari, the heroine of As Rich as a Rogue, appears in an earlier ebook novella titled Winning a Bride. In fact, that’s my favorite novella of all that I’ve ever written, but it has a significant error. It features a character named Megan when that name didn’t come into use until the twentieth century. Oops! So rather than perpetuate the error, I changed her name to Mari and wrote her story with that name.

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Excerpt

“I never imagined that I would have to fight so hard for the woman of my choice.”

“Because you are a wealthy lord?”

“Yes.”

She sighed and kicked idly at a stone. “If you wish to pursue this, you need only speak to my father. He will put me on bread and water and lock me in a dungeon until I accept your proposal.”

His eyes narrowed. “Your father would do that?”

“Probably,” she said with a laugh. Her expression was easy despite what she was suggesting.

“So your father is a harsh man,” he pressed. This was something he needed to know.

“What? Papa? Well, no more than the usual, I suppose. He’s considered merciless in business.”

“How merciless?” In his experience, a man’s business practices could be very ugly indeed. “I need particulars, Miss Powel.”

She faced him squarely. “Then you should talk to my father.”

He took a deep breath. “Very well,” he said. “I will.” It took her a moment to process those words and then another breath before she grabbed his arm in alarm. “Oh no. I misspoke. My father is the gentlest man in the world, and you should definitely not speak to him.”

Now they were getting somewhere. “Afraid of bread and water, are you?”

“Yes! Well, no, not literally. Good God, why are we speaking of my father? You are correct, he is the one who wants the title and would do a great deal to see me wed to you. But after the vows are exchanged, you would not be shackled to him. It would be me in your bed. Day in and day out with a wife who spends most of her time wanting to throttle you.”

He heard her words, but most of them were lost under the fantasy of her in his bed. Of her beneath him night after night and well into the morning, when he could wake her with sweet kisses and bold thrusts. “My lord?” she pressed when he had been silent too long.

He forcibly drew himself out of his reverie. “So what is it that you want in a man, if it isn’t a title or money?”

She glanced at him but quickly looked away. “Shall I name for you the countless well-heeled peers who would be a nightmare as a husband? There are exactly fifty-three.”

“Are those the eligible gentlemen?”

She shuddered. “Goodness, no. The unmarried or widower titles number thirty-seven. Beyond that, there are over a dozen in my acceptable column, and exactly none who wish to court me, a wayward Welsh cit.”

“Lord Rimbury is courting you.”

“Well-heeled, my lord.”

“I am courting you.”

“You are in my nightmare category.” He turned to her. “Why?”

“And here we are full circle. I have explained to you that we do not suit. We fight constantly. You make me want to do violence. Every single one of my good intentions fly to the boughs the moment you enter a room. You make me insane, my lord, and—” He did not allow her to say more. He knew her words were meant to dissuade him, but he heard what she didn’t say. He heard that she lost her careful plans when he was around. That she was mad for him. And if they were wed, she would be this creature who challenged him at every turn to speak better, to think more clearly, and to act in every way better than the lummox he had been. That he often still was.

So he kissed her.

He jerked her into his arms and put his mouth on hers. He wrapped her tight against his chest, knew the glorious feel of her breasts flush against his torso, and when her mouth opened on a gasp of surprise, he thrust his tongue inside.

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Buy Links

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Giveaway

10 Copies of 50 Ways to Ruin a Rake by Jade Lee

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About the Author

imageUSA Today bestselling author Jade Lee has been crafting love stories since she first picked up a set of paper dolls. Ballgowns and rakish lords caught her attention early (thank you Georgette Heyer), and her fascination with the Regency began. An author of more than 40 romance novels and winner of dozens of reader awards, she brings laughter into the sexy nights of England’s elite. Quirky characters and sexy banter are her hallmarks. Find out more at her website http://www.JadeLeeAuthor.com, or check out her wild contemporary half at http://www.KathyLyons.com.

AUTHOR LINKS: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Spotlight & Giveaway: 50 Ways to Ruin a Rake (Rakes and Rogues) by Jade Lee

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50 Ways to Ruin a Rake (Rakes and Rogues) by Jade Lee

Publication Date: May 5, 2015

 
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Mellie Smithson has a plan…

Mellie Smithson is trapped in the country with no suitors and no prospects on the horizon except, perhaps, the exasperating—although admittedly handsome—guest of her father. Unwilling to settle, Mellie will do anything to escape to London…

Trevor Anaedsley has a problem…

Trevor Anaedsley’s grandfather has cut off his funds until he gets engaged. Beset by creditors, Trevor escapes to the country—ostensibly to visit his old tutor Mr. Smithson—where he meets Smithson’s lovely daughter Mellie. The obvious solution is suddenly before him—but will this fake engagement go as Trevor and Mellie plan? Or will they find that even the best laid plans often go awry?


Today we excited to welcome Jade Lee to the blog! Jade’s latest title, 50 Ways to Ruin a Rake, is out May 5th and is the first in her hilarious new Rakes & Rogues series. To celebrate her new release, Jade is here to share a quiz about the book. See if you can guess correctly!

Question: One of my favorite secondary characters in all my writing is Ronnie from 50 Ways to Ruin a Rake. How many of you have a drama queen in your life? I have several, and they’re not always the women. Ronnie was all the best and worst characteristics of my dramatic relatives. He’s both highly talented and irritatingly focused. Guess which of the following he does in the book.

A. Visualizes a grand romance and goes about proposing to Mellie in increasingly spectacular fashion.

B. Writes exquisite poetry for Mellie, but obsesses about the most trivial details about her appearance.

C. Believes that bloodletting is grandly romantic. Especially if it’s Trevor’s blood. (Trevor’s the hero.)

D. Believes that lies said in the service of epic love won’t come back to bite him.


Answer:
All of the above! Yes, Ronnie was great fun to write because he has one of those beautiful minds that is as self-destructive as it is amazing. He is a talented poet, but the object of his affection doesn’t return his love. So he goes to more and more extreme measures to win her affection. This is how the turkey gets involved. Also how the 2-way and 4-way duels begin. God, I loved writing Ronnie!


Trevor was down. Ronnie was going to finish the fight. But he hadn’t reckoned on Melinda. She’d been an unwilling participant in this whole disgusting display. Well, if her cousin wanted a Cheltenham tragedy, she would bloody well give him one.

She surged forward, having no need to fake the desperation in her voice. “Stop it! Ronnie, stop it now!” And when he didn’t hear her, she said the words she’d never thought she’d utter in her entire life. “My love!”

That got his attention. His fist was raised, but he looked to her, his eyes alight with excitement. “Mellie!”

She flung herself forward. Dropping to her knees, she slid in the mud, coming to a stop just where she’d intended—right beside Trevor’s head. Ronnie reached for her, but she pushed him away as she wrapped herself around the fallen lord.

“Stay away, you brute!” she practically spit at her cousin. Then she used her cloak to dab at the blood on Trevor’s face. “My love, my love, are you alive? Oh God, someone fetch a doctor! Please, someone!”

Her words were ten times more dramatic than were needed, but she’d learned that the best way to deliver a message to her cousin was in the most theatrical tone possible. So she cradled Trevor in her arms and crooned like any heroine in the most lurid gothic romance.

Trevor’s face was indeed a battered mess, but not so unrecognizable that she didn’t see the gleam of appreciation in his eyes or the mischievous smile that pulled at his swollen lip.

“Are you an angel?” he asked. “Have I died?”

The man was lying in the mud, his ankle nearly snapped in half. His face oozed from a myriad of cuts, and yet he still had the wherewithal to give the crowd a good show. It was enough to make her contemplate dropping him in the mud. She didn’t, of course, but she hoped her glare would suffice.

Meanwhile, Ronnie just stood there poised, his fist still raised as he gaped. “Mellie?”

She looked up, shooting a venomous look at his bloodied fist. “Do you mean to trounce me as well? Lay me out in the mud and the shite like last week’s garbage?”

“What?” Ronnie took a moment to understand while she gestured with her chin toward his fist. Then he abruptly gasped and shook out his hand, dropping it helplessly to his side. “But I won. This was an affaire d’honor.”

“Congratulations,” she mocked. “You beat a man half your weight.”

“Hey!” muttered Trevor. “I’m not that small.”

“Oh shut up. I’m making a point.” Then she turned her attention to her cousin. Best make the situation absolutely clear. “You were right, Ronnie. You have made everything so clear to me. I could never love a brute like you. It’s him I want. A man of elegance, not violence.”

She watched her cousin absorb her words, his mind obviously working slowly, and no wonder. Certainly, Ronnie was an accomplished fighter, but he’d never in his life been called a brute. He was a poet, for God’s sake. And his father was wont to call him a useless fribble with no starch whatsoever. Of course, both appellations were completely wrong, but truth didn’t matter here. Not when he’d wanted drama. And so she stretched the truth—she outright broke it—and she felt no remorse.

“I love Trevor,” she said loudly enough for everyone to hear.

“Since when?” her cousin demanded.

Since never. She had a thorough disgust of them both. Especially as Trevor began to speak in a quavering voice.

“Oh, to finally hear those words, now in the moments before I expire. My life is complete.”

“You’re not dying,” she hissed. Unless he was hurt more than he appeared. The thought shot her with alarm until he started speaking again.

“I am dying!” he cried. “Kiss me, my love. Kiss me, and mayhap your love will keep me tethered to this mortal coil.”

“I will not,” she said between clenched teeth.

He pitched his voice to a plaintive wail. “Then I shall die for sure!”

Damnation on all bloody, arrogant, ridiculous men! One glance about her showed that the crowd was hanging on his every word. She didn’t really care until she looked at Ronnie’s face. He wasn’t stupid. He could see that Trevor wasn’t really hurt. It wouldn’t take him long to remember that she’d never spoken of Trevor with anything but disdain. And from there it was a small step to realizing that this entire display was a sham. So she had to do something quickly. Something that he’d never forget, even if he did suspect the lie.

So she did it. She kissed Trevor.

imageUSA Today bestselling author Jade Lee has been scripting love stories since she first picked up a set of paper dolls. Ball gowns and rakish lords caught her attention early (thank you, Georgette Heyer), and her fascination with the Regency began. An author of more than thirty romance novels and winner of dozens of industry awards, Lee lives in Champaign, Illinois.

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WHAT THE BRIDE WORE by Jade Lee

WHAT THE BRIDE WORE by Jade Lee
PUBLISH DATE: August 6, 2013
REVIEW BY: Reading in Pajamas/Donna
RATED: 3.5 Stars

DESCRIPTION:

When All is Lost

All Grant Benton, Earl of Crowle, can think of is restoring his family’s fortune so he can go back to being a gentleman of leisure. But when he meets beautiful, purposeful Lady Irene Knopp, he begins to question whether there might not be a better way to live life after all…

What’s Left is Desire

Lady Irene will never give up her fulfilling work dressing the most beautiful brides in England. She’d rather risk losing love forever than sacrifice her own life’s purpose. Yet she has never met a more magnetic, attractive man than Grant. Trapped between the fleeting chance at love and passion for her work, is it possible she can have it all?

REVIEW:

The author did a good job of mixing the courtship and propriety of the time period with the hidden and heated passion we all love. I came to care about Irene and Grant and looked forward to their working through all obstacles and dangers. Which they did in grand fashion. A nicely written and pleasant historical romance with enough intrigue to keep you guessing and turning the pages. And with the hints on the last few pages, I will be sure to keep my eyes open for the next book.

*ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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