To celebrate the publication of From Duke till Dawn we spoke with the author herself, Eva Leigh! From history to writing routines to her ideal romantic hero, find out more on what we got chatting about…
Your latest book From Duke till Dawn is out this month! Can you tell us a little bit more about it?
Alexander Lewis, the Duke of Greenland, is one of Society’s most upstanding and respected figures. Yet he nurses a secret heartbreak from two years ago, when he and a beautiful widow became lovers before she vanished. When he meets Cassandra again in a gaming hell, he believes fate has brought them back together. Nothing can compare to his devastation and anger when he discovers that the genteel Cassandra is, in fact, a swindler who had fleeced him.
Cassandra Blake should think of Alex as nothing more than a mark, but she never forgot him, and how he touched not just her body but also her heart. Despite the hardened exterior she has had to cultivate, Alex’s fury at discovering her true self wounds her. When her mentor’s abrupt disappearance leaves Cassandra at the mercy of London’s most vicious criminals, she has no choice but to seek Alex’s protection. The two enter into an uneasy alliance, navigating the city’s dangerous underworld while fighting the attraction that continues to blaze between them.
How would you best describe From Duke till Dawn in three words?
Duke, swindler, sexy.
We loved From Duke till Dawn and can’t wait for more from you, are you planning any spin off stories about the other characters in the book?
Oh, yes! Alex has two friends, Langdon and Ellingsworth, who have their own adventures, their own heroines, and their own explorations of London’s shadier aspects. Look for Counting on A Countess, and Dare to Love a Duke, in the coming year!
Where did you get your inspiration from?
I’m fascinated by history, especially the liminal figures that populated the fringes of respectable society—as well as how women fit into this complex, contradictory world. Whenever I consider the past, I can’t help but think of stories that illustrate and illuminate such complexities.
Here at Mills & Boon we are fans of all things romance, but what’s your favourite thing about the historical romance genre?
There are so many stories to tell, and we can use the past to shine a light on problematic or intricate aspects of our current time. Plus, the clothes were so sexy!
Has writing always been your passion and when did you first start?
I started writing fairly soon after learning to read—so sometime around the age of six. I went through some other ideas about what I wanted to do with my life, including book illustration, costume design, and academia, but I always returned to writing.
What’s your writing routine – do you have a favourite place to write?
I usually write in my home office in the morning, and then in the afternoon, I go to my local coffee shop and work there—unless I’m writing a love scene. I always write those at home. You never know who might be reading over your shoulder…including curious children!
Who is your all-time favourite fictional heroine?
Jane Eyre has long been one of my top heroines because in some ways, she reminds me of myself. Short, creative, a little weird. Even though she isn’t the picture of ideal femininity, she gets the guy and lives life on her terms.
How much of yourself is reflected in your books?
I make no secret of my feminism, so my books reflect my passionate belief in equality between the sexes. My heroines are complicated people, but they are in some ways idealized versions of who I’d like to be—independent, intelligent, unafraid to go after what they want.
How would you describe your ideal romantic hero?
I honestly love a kind man. He might be gruff, but he is always compassionate and thoughtful. He respects and admires the heroine, even as attraction burns between them.
And finally, what advice would you give to any aspiring romance writers out there?
Read abundantly, write often, and be tenacious. All romance writers face adversity, but the key is not to give up. It’s all right to be saddened and angered by setbacks. Feel your feelings, and then, when you’re ready, try again.
Thank you to Eva Leigh for taking the time to chat to us! Don’t miss out on 2018’s most scandalous regency read From Duke till Dawn.