Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Promo & Tour: Addicted to the Duke by Bronwen Evans

Title: Addicted to the Duke
Author: Bronwen Evans
Genre/Age: Historical Romance/Adult
Series: Imperfect Lords Series (Book One)
Publisher: Random House Loveswept
SynopsisA lovestruck lady charms the duke of her dreams during an expedition on the high seas in this sexy, swashbuckling novel from USA Today bestselling author Bronwen Evans.

Alexander Sylvester Bracken, Duke of Bedford, has a mission: sail to the Mediterranean and track down Lady Hestia Cary’s missing father. It is a straightforward task, but for two rather vexing complications. First, the sea holds painful memories; second, for her own safety, Hestia is to accompany him. As Alex battles the demons of his past, he must also resist Hestia’s surprisingly skillful attempts at seduction. After all, Alex has sworn to leave her untouched, and he intends to honor that vow—until he can properly ask the Earl’s blessing.

Ever since His Grace rescued Hestia from the arms of a Turkish pirate six long years ago, her heart has belonged to Alex. So when he agrees to help find her father, Hestia is thrilled. Although Alex tries to hide it, there’s passion in his eyes—and a frisson of desire in the air—whenever they meet. On board ship, miles from home, Alex won’t be able to deny her any longer. But with scoundrels lying in wait, she may not live to tell the tale of her conquest.

As with the rest of his life, Alex discovered that his willpower was sadly lacking when, just after one in the morning, he found himself in front of Hestia’s cabin door.

Torn by indecision, he leaned his forehead on the door and warred with himself.

There was a high probability that he would die in the coming days, so God, and David, could damn his soul to hell, but he wanted one night with Hestia, in his bed, where he was not in dreamland. He wanted a clear head to perfectly remember her touch. Her taste. Her scent. Her loving . . .

To remember that for one magical night she was his.

Selfishness, thy name is Alexander.

He quietly slipped inside, closing the door behind him. He leaned back against the hard wood, warmth spreading through his chest because Hestia was standing beside the porthole, her thin linen nightgown completely transparent. It took his breath away.

She turned to him. “Some prayers do get answered. I prayed you’d come.”

He crossed the room in two long strides, his arms reaching for her and pulling her tight against his chest as his lips found the bounty he’d been dying to taste all evening. Her soft lips moved under his, and when they parted to give him entrance, his knees almost buckled.

The kiss was hard, possessive, showing her that she belonged to him. Only him.

Finally she tore her mouth from his.

“You must have known I’d never choose David.”

His heart took flight. “And here I thought you were an intelligent girl.”

“Then why are you here?”

He bent down and tenderly kissed her lips. “I can’t run anymore. I’m so sick of denying my need for you.” He grimaced, not believing how easily he’d folded. The future, and the world beyond finding her father, beyond seeking his vengeance, dissolved, along with his resistance. Years of resistance, wasted years.

To deny his attraction for her had been futile from the start. The power she had over him was frightening. He belonged to this girl, body and soul, and he knew it. He could no longer refute his turbulent need for her.

And thank God, for whatever reasons, regardless of his continued remoteness and cold treatment of her, she’d chosen him. His whole body was trembling, he’d never experienced such driving need, he was only just holding on, one minute more and he’d devour her. He swallowed hard.

“You know I will still go after Murad. This night, and our wedding, will not change that.”

Using History to Build a Story – Bronwen Evans

I love studying history and often wonder what people in the future will study about us. In my latest release, ADDICTED TO THE DUKE, Imperfect Lords book #1 I looked at two interrelated historical facts.

One is the use of opium in the Regency era, and the other was the slave trade in the Mediterranean at that time, both were interrelated because in the early 1800’s the biggest supplier of opium to England was Turkey. And the Ottoman Empire at the time was the biggest slave trader (including sexual slavery) in the world.

When you are learning to write a romance you are always told to make it worse, make it worse; make the characters have to fight for their happy ever after.

So, it seemed logical to me to have a hero, Alexander Sylvester Bracken, the Duke of Bedford, who was held as a Turkish slave after the Turk-Anglo war of 1807, turned into an opium addict. Once he is rescued from captivity, how did he put his life back together, and whom does he turn to in order to soothe his soul?

What a complex man Alex is. He’s full of self-loathing and has an all consuming rage and need for revenge. His salvation comes in the curvaceous shape of Lady Hestia Cary. Her father is missing in the Mediterranean and she comes to him for help.

This is Alex’s chance. He has an excuse to sail to the Mediterranean and hunt his captor. Alex is sure that killing Murad will heal him and stop his nightmares. But soon he has to choose between his revenge or saving the woman he’s come to love.

What made writing this book hard was the fact that I could not discuss Alex’s opium addiction, because there was no such thing. No one understood anything about addiction. In fact, taking laudanum was like drinking beer, it was even cheaper than beer and could be bought at the corner store.

But you know what I’ll say next. Love really does conquer all and soon Hestia’s soothing touch is all my hero needs.

"Oh! just, subtle, and mighty opium! that to the hearts of poor and rich alike, for the wounds that will never heal, and for 'the pangs that tempt the spirit to rebel,' bringest an assuaging balm; eloquent opium! that with thy potent rhetoric stealest away the purposes of wrath; and to the guilty man, for one night givest back the hopes of his youth, and hands washed pure of blood...."
Confessions of an Opium Eater – (1821) is an autobiographical account written by Thomas De Quincey, about his laudanum addiction and its effect on his life. 

I thought this poem beautifully sums up Alex’s problem…wounds that will never heal….it take Hestia’s love to heal, it’s stronger than any drug.

USA Today bestselling author, Bronwen Evans grew up loving books. She writes both historical and contemporary sexy romances for the modern woman who likes intelligent, spirited heroines, and compassionate alpha heroes. Evans is a three-time winner of the RomCon Readers’ Crown and has been nominated for an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award. She lives in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand with her dogs Brandy and Duke.

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