Around the time this is sent out, I will be spending a few days with my three sisters. Within minutes of seeing each other, we will fall back into the dynamics we have had since we were children. We will laugh and joke with each other and sometimes grumble and sigh at each other. The quiet one will, as always, be quiet and I, despite being well into my middle years, will still be the “baby.”
Families involve a special kind of relationship. You may not like a member of your family, but that person remains in your life through your history even if you never speak anymore. Families are tied up with our memories, and with who we are and who we become. Good or bad, they are intrinsic parts of our characters and personalities.
Families play the same role in novels. No character emerges fully formed on page one. The characters have histories too, and families figured prominently in them. Even if the reader never meets a member of the main character’s family, that character carries her family inside her.
Sometimes it is all benign. The memories are good ones and the heroine is grateful for the love and guidance she received. Other times family members are toxic, and that history is an obstacle to overcome.
In my book A Devil of a Duke, the heroine’s family plays a significant role even if we don’t meet any of them until the end of the book. Her parents were thieves, and trained her to be one. She has overcome her background, only to be forced back into it by events beyond her control. She has every reason to abandon her family just as they abandoned her, but she can’t because, well, this is FAMILY, and she has an obligation to them born of blood and memories.
The hero, in comparison, seems to have had a more normal upbringing, if being brought up to be a duke can be called normal. No rogues here. But, as he says to the heroine, there are all kinds of abandonment, and he experienced an emotional abandonment that even as a child he understood. Was his rakish history with women the result? Did this wound him even more than the heroine’s experience wounded her? Readers can decide, but his love and protection of his younger brother, his best friends, and eventually the heroine speak to his awareness of what he never had, and tries to give to the people that matter to him the most.
From New York Times bestselling author Madeline Hunter comes the latest sexy tale of three untamable dukes and the women who ignite their decadent desires . . .
He May Be A Devil
He’s infamous, debaucherous, and known all over town for his complete disregard for scandal, and positively irresistible seductions. Gabriel St. James, Duke of Langford, is obscenely wealthy, jaw-droppingly handsome, and used to getting exactly what he wants. Until his attention is utterly captured by a woman who refuses to tell him her name, but can’t help surrendering to his touch . . .
But She’s No Angel Either . . .
Amanda Waverly is living two lives—one respectable existence as secretary to an upstanding lady, and one far more dangerous battle of wits—and willpower—with the devilish Duke. Langford may be the most tempting man she’s ever met, but Amanda’s got her hands full trying to escape the world of high-society crime into which she was born. And if he figures out who she really is, their sizzling passion will suddenly boil over into a much higher stakes affair . . .
Madeline Hunter’s novels are:
“Brilliant, compelling. . . . An excellent read.” —The Washington Post
“Mesmerizing.” —Publishers Weekly
“Pure passion.” —Booklist
Praise for the previous works of Madeline Hunter
“Fueled by an abundance of subtle wit and potent sensuality . . . an exquisitely crafted love story by one of the romance genre’s masters.” —Booklist
“A rash, adventure seeking heroine and an honorable, take charge hero clash splendidly as passions blaze . . . to the delight of all concerned.” —Library Journal
“Intelligent and memorable. . . . With its tangy dialogue, Pride and Prejudice themes, bits of mystery and nefarious characters, readers may be reminded of Jane Austen.” —RT Book Reviews (Top Pick)
“Hunter . . . spins the intrigues of an enterprising bastard son and a resourceful artist to delightful effect in this excellent launch.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)