I never knew when I began writing my HANGOVER-inspired novella A WILD NIGHT’S BRIDE that a character who began as a rakish sidekick would nearly take over the story and then inspire several more, but that’s precisely what happened when I introduced the character of Viscount Ludovic “the Devil” DeVere. Hence, the birth of THE DEVIL DEVERE series, four scorching hot intertwined Georgian era romance novellas whose characters all connect through the deliciously devious DeVere.
No “fake rake”, DeVere is a quintessential and utterly unrepentant, Georgian bad-boy:
(From THE DEVIL YOU KNOW)
She looked to DeVere with a scowl. “I don’t relish the mortification of collecting my husband from the round house come morning. Do you understand me, my lord?”
DeVere smirked. “Absolutely, my lady.” He added toNedin an undertone, “Since I don’t see the ring in your nose, I can only imagine she’s put one through your ba—”
“Ah! We’ve arrived!”Nedpronounced as the carriage lurched to a halt. “I’ll escort Annalee inside and return directly.”
Ludovic watched them depart arm-in-arm, musing how three short years of so-called connubial bliss had nearly emasculated his best friend. He pulled a flask of brandy from his breast pocket, up-ending it in a salute to the beneficent guardian angel who had allowed his own near escape from the same woeful fate.
(From A WILD NIGHT’S BRIDE)
“What is your name, my pet?”
“Kitty,” she replied.
DeVere threw back his head with a guffaw. “Kitty? How delightfully apropos!” His erstwhile companions forgotten, he patted a muscular thigh. “Come then, Kitty, my sweet, little puss. Sit on your master’s lap, and I’ll stroke you ’till you purr.”
While DeVere is not the hero of the first book in his namesake series (A WILD NIGHT’S BRIDE), or even of the second book (THE VIRGIN HUNTRESS), he is an integral part of both. His own story is as highly complex as is his character, and took two books to tell. (THE DEVIL YOU KNOW and THE DEVIL’S MATCH).
DeVere is meddlesome, manipulative, and acutely perceptive of human nature, but also intensely loyal and protective of those he cares about; though he would rather they didn’t know it. In A WILD NIGHT’S BRIDE, DeVere is willing to go any distance to return his best friendNed to the land of the living when he perceivesNed is mourning his life away.
WILD NIGHT’S BRIDE: What happens when a struggling actress and a grieving widower come together in a night of unbridled debauchery orchestrated by a machinating rake?
Phoebe Scott, alias Kitty Willis is a lonely lady down on her luck. Sir Edward Chambers is steadfast, respectable and avowed to a life … of celibacy. Devil in disguise, Viscount Ludovic DeVere is simply bored and hell-bent to return his best friend, Ned, to the land of the living. But with the devil in charge — there will surely be hell to pay
A Wild Night’s Bride (Book Trailer)
In THE VIRGIN HUNTRESS, when DeVere’s younger brother, Hew, has returned from the American war a shadow of his former self, he induces (bribes) him to find a wife, but then takes devilish measures to intercede when he perceives Hew is about to make the wrong choice.
THE VIRGIN HUNTRESS : Desperate times call for devilish measures… The coddled and pampered Lady Vesta Chambers is accustomed to getting what she wants and what she wants is Captain Hewett DeVere, but what’s a girl to do when the man of her dreams has eyes for another? Younger brother to Viscount Ludovic “The Devil” DeVere, “Hew” has returned from the American war scarred, disillusioned, and looking forward to settling down with the right woman. When Hew shows interest in Vesta’s godmother, Diana, Vesta vows to prove to Hew that she is no longer a little girl, but a woman with the passion of…a huntress.
(DeVere and Vesta):
“You are in love with Hew.”
“Madly. Desperately. Passionately.”
“Does my brother know of his good fortune? Does he share your sentiments,LadyVesta?”
“But how can he when he is blinded by her?” her voice quivered, “When he hasn’t even had a chance to look in my direction?”
“So in truth, you seek only to enlighten him of the treasure that lies under his very nose?”
”Yes! Do you not see that this is the only way?”
“But of course I see, my pet.”
”Then you will help me?”
“My dear, should I search the world over, I can’t imagine finding a more perfect match for my revoltingly straight-laced brother, Hew. Moreover, I have considerable, some would even say nearly infinite resources, all of which I am willing to unwaveringly place at your disposal.”
THE DEVIL YOU KNOW: When dealing with the devil it’s easy to be burned… especially when passion ignites the flames.
Who can find a virtuous woman… Beautiful, respectable, and dutiful, Lady Diana Palmerston-Wriothesley has long resigned herself to her decade-long loveless and childless marriage to a feckless husband…until his gambling pushes them to the brink of financial ruin.
Sometimes the devil is in disguise…as a gentleman… Viscount Ludovic, “The Devil DeVere”, is a man accustomed to taking what he wants according to his whim and heedless of the cost…until he encounters a woman who won’t be had at any price.
When dealing with the devil, it’s easy to be burned… When Diana discovers a secret that shatters the carefully built façade concealing her private pain, she seeks aid and comfort from the most unlikely place…the devil’s arms. But will a single night of heavenly passion damn them both forever?
She wanted him too. He could see it in the rapid rise of her breasts. He could smell her budding arousal and would relish bringing her to full bloom. God, how he loved this dance! She had taken the first tentative steps, yet she still fought her desire, refused to give in to it, but he would lead her now. He was a master…and a ruthless bastard.
He moved behind her, taking possession of her waist, his fingers riffled gently through her hair. He closed his eyes to inhale her faint rose scent mixed with womanly musk. He dipped his head, letting his breath tickle her ear. She shivered. He whispered low and sultry. “Do you wish me to name the ways I can please you? I am delighted to comply if that excites you…although it would please me far more to demonstrate.”
My story will conclude with THE DEVIL’S MATCH (August 24) when DeVere’s past catches up with him and an old flame finally brings the devil to his knees!
THE DEVIL’S MATCH:
Once burned twice shy… but when old flames come together…passion reignites…
When burned once… Arriving in London as her goddaughter’s chaperone, Baroness Diana Palmerston-Wriothesley wants to avoid her erstwhile lover at all costs. Once nearly consumed by passion, four years has reduced the former inferno to bitterness and ashes.
By an old flame… A world-weary master of seduction, Ludovic “The Devil” DeVere is bored with his chosen life of debauchery. When Diana’s charge disappears, she is forced to seek help from the devil’s lair, and their mutual desire reignites with undeniable ferocity.
Fire is best fought with fire… While DeVere is hell-bent to have her back for keeps, Diana is equally determined to bring him to his knees…by acquiring some sensual secrets of her own.
DeVere’s gaze narrowed. “Why so concerned for my brother? One might think you have feelings for Hew.”
“What if I did?” she retorted. “It’s no business of yours! Besides, your abominable machinations have already destroyed any potential of that.”
DeVere rose and came to her, perching himself on the arm of the settle. “My honorable and straitlaced brother could never satisfy a woman like you, Diana. He could never plumb the depths of your passion…unlock your secret desires.”
His voice was low and seductive, and the flickering blue fire in his eyes heated her insides. Diana fiercely tamped down the smoldering sensation that threatened to reignite feelings she’d struggled to suppress. “And what would you know of my wants and desires after four years?”
“A great deal.” He gave her a slow, confident smile. “Given that I was the one to unleash them.”
Diana averted her face with a bitter laugh. “Thus you presume to have an exclusive claim to me?”
“Has any other exerted one?” he asked softly. He reached out a hand and traced a long, manicured finger along her jaw. “You are still unwed, Diana. Have you taken another lover in my absence?”
“It is none of your business whether I have or not, and you are grossly impertinent to ask.”
He laughed long and low. “I think I have my answer.”
She glared at him, and thus they remained, silently challenging one another for an interminable beat. Then suddenly his mouth was on hers, taking, possessing, as if it was indeed, his singular privilege.
Diana leaned into him, teasing his lower lip with her tongue and sucking it eagerly into her mouth before sinking her teeth into it. Hard. Savoring the coppery taste of his blood.
“What the hell!” DeVere jerked back with a cry. He touched his lip and examined the crimson stain on his fingertip, his expression a mix of outrage and bemusement.
“You took without invitation,”Diana said. “It was a warning not to do so again.”
A lover of history and deeply romantic stories,Victoria Vane combines these elements to craft romantic historical novels and novellas for a mature reading audience. Her writing influences are Georgette Heyer for fabulous witty dialogue and over the top characters, Robin Schone, Sylvia Day, and Charlotte Featherstone for beautifully crafted prose in stories with deep sensuality, and Lila DiPasqua for creative vision in melding history with eroticism. Ms.Vane also writes award nominated romantic historical fiction as Emery Lee.
THE DEVIL DEVERE SERIES (Must be read in order!):
A WILD NIGHT’S BRIDE, Breathless Press 4/27/12
THE VIRGIN HUNTRESS, Breathless Press, 6/29/12
THE DEVIL YOU KNOW- Breathless Press, 7/27/12
THE DEVIL’S MATCH – Breathless Press 8/24/12
THE DEVILDEVEREVOL.I (Trade paperback8/3/12)
THE DEVIL DEVERE VOL. II (Trade paperback9/22/12)
A BREACH OF PROMISE, Ellora’s Cave 12/23/11