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Nothing Like a Duke by Jane AshfordNothing Like a Duke, the next volume in the Duke’s sons series, will be out in six weeks. RT Book Reviews gave it four stars and found it “an original love story with a fresh and feminist twist: a heroine who can rescue herself when there’s a hero around who’s willing to save her.” And Kirkus Reviews called it “a fun book, well worth reading.”

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Since you’re here, I imagine you like historical romances, Regencies in particular. I’ve loved them since I was about fourteen. Foraging in my small town Ohio public library, in the back where there weren’t any book jackets, I was searching for something new to read. I pulled down a book called Arabella, and that was it. Georgette Heyer became a new favorite. I gobbled up every book of hers I could find. When I started to write my own books, I found inspiration in her writing. She did things I wanted to do, as well as I could. First, fun. It’s always my dream to make readers laugh out loud, as I often did when I read Heyer. Think of Hugo Darracott’s masterly manipulation of a scene out of farce in The Unknown Ajax. Second, an essential humanity. I like heroes who achieve their HEAs by showing kindness, and particularly by recognizing a heroine’s needs and fulfilling them. Third, true love as a process. Of course, we can all be dazzled by a wild physical attraction. But desire alone doesn’t make a true match. My couples challenge each other and reveal their true characters through action before they find their happy endings. The romance genre has evolved since Georgette Heyer’s time. Readers want the hero’s point of view as well as the heroine’s. Many are keen to follow couples beyond the bedroom doors. Way beyond sometimes. They’re also interested in what was happening outside the ballrooms of the Regency upper classes. And that’s great. It opens up all kinds of exciting opportunities and storylines. My sources of inspiration have expanded, too. But these things remain constant: I try to create believable, humane characters; plot stories in which two people learn about each other and find their way to recognition and love; and stir up a bit of fun. Jane Ashford   Save Save Save Save