Welcome to Sugarbeat’s Books – The Home of the Romance Novel!
Today, Author Olivia Waite is visiting us to talk about her books – specifically her newest one –Damned If You Do. I hope you enjoy what she has to say. If this book sounds as interesting to you as it does to me, you can find a link to Amazon at the bottom of this post!
Let’s say hi to Olivia!
Like many other historical romance readers and authors out there, I am terribly fond of rakes.
The Regency rake always has a bit of mystery about him, even if that mystery is something as trivial as, “How does he keep his Hessians so shiny?” or “Did his valet have to sew him into those buff-colored trousers?” More often there are hints of scandal lurking in the shadows—a notorious affair with a married woman, or a former friend killed in a duel defending the honor of his sister, whom the rake had quite naturally despoiled. Sometimes even been seen speaking to such a man could ruin a young lady’s reputation.
But I think that fictional rakes continue to appeal—and to appear in romances—because they are agents of chaos.
The world of Regency women was composed of rules and restrictions. What you could say, what you could wear, whom you could talk to, what you could talk about. It’s fun to read about these limitations, partly because some of them are so outdated that they seem absurd (young women were prohibited from wearing black evening gowns!), and partly because some of them still hit uncomfortably close to home (if you haven’t gotten married by a certain age, there must be something wrong with you!).
So it’s only natural that our imagined Regency heroines would be drawn to the danger and mystery of rakes, since rakes are rule-breakers.
I’m a good girl, myself—until someone gives me an excuse not to be. And you can’t follow the rules unless you know precisely what those rules are. So I’ve grown up to be someone who asks questions, and finds exceptions, and looks for the grey areas where the rules don’t quite apply.
Which is how I ended up writing an erotic romance about a Regency rake who finds love in Hell.
Damned if You Do was incredibly fun to write. My hero, Lord Lambourne, finds himself condemned to Hell for his many creative lustful sins. He’s not your typical rake in an impeccably tailored coat and trousers—in fact, for most of the book he wears absolutely nothing at all. Because the rule I wanted to find out more about was this: is it possible to sin when you’re already in Hell?
My heroine, Idared, is an ambitious demoness with a strong sense of justice. She’s in charge of Lambourne’s punishment, and she knows that human-demon affairs are frowned upon, if not outright forbidden. But the more time she spends with him, the more tempted she is. And while she cannot sin herself—demons being exempt from the rules of sin and salvation—she knows that every sin Lambourne commits with her risks pulling him down deeper into the underworld and separating them forever.
How the Hell can this lead to a happy ending?
You’ll have to read to find out.
Olivia Waite would definitely accept carte blanche from a silver-tongued rake with a devilish smile. She blogs frequently at www.oliviawaite.com and writes erotic romance for Ellora’s Cave.
Olivia Waite writes scandalous historical novellas for Ellora’s Cave. Caffeine gives her superpowers–or at least makes her feel that way. She lives in the Seattle area, blogs frequently, and loves emails, postcards, skywritten messages, and communication of all kinds.
You can find her:
Benjamin Davis, the former Lord Lambourne, has been damned to Hell for the sin of lust. After being there for a year, he thinks he’s seen it all…until he meets his new tormenter. The demoness Idared tortures him in ways he’d never dreamed imaginable—not just with her whip, but with her lush curves, which make him wonder if one can sin in Hell.By day, Idared conforms to the precise specifications of Lambourne’s torment. By night, though, the tables are turned and it’s Lambourne who’s doing the torturing, driving Idared into a sexual frenzy unlike anything she’s ever felt before. The demoness and the damned learn each other’s weak spots and desperate desires and push each other into ever-intensifying sexual heights…but the higher they go, the farther there is to fall.
An Excerpt From: DAMNED IF YOU DO
Copyright © OLIVIA WAITE, 2011
All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.
Idared was proficient in the use of all the correct torture implements for a demoness of her rank, but with the whip she was an artist of unparalleled caliber. Her weapon of choice was a long, black leather bullwhip, lovingly oiled and finished with a cracker made of her own jet-black hair. With this, she could kiss the earlobe of a damned soul standing twenty paces behind her back without turning around. She could also land a blow that would rend flesh from chin to chestnuts on a body in front of her. The mere sight of her lithe arm with its dusky olive-green skin drawn back in preparation for a strike had been known to make hardened, centuries-dead criminals weep with despair.
Now, whip coiled and docile in her hand, she stood before her latest assignment. Until today all her work had been practiced upon groups, most often the spirits of former pirates and roving thieves who, quite naturally, came through in numbers. The vicious human wars of the past few years had swelled the ranks of the damned even more, so there were advancement opportunities for ambitious demons at every level. Hard work and dedication had paid off—Idared’s rank had recently been raised from Great Marshal to Knight, a rare and coveted promotion that separated the undistinguished, lesser demons from those with greater glories in their future. Henceforward, she was expected to devote her days to the punishment of one notably wayward soul.
“You are Benjamin Davis?” she asked the damned man standing before her.
“Lord Lambourne,” the man corrected her. He certainly seemed aristocratic enough, with his inflexible bearing and the merest hint of an arrogant smile. He was completely naked, as were all the damned and all but the very highest-ranked of demonkind—Princes and above. But somehow this man looked more than simply naked—he seemed especially naked, naked in a way that radiated outward and reminded the demoness that her own body was just as bared to his sight. Maybe it was his broad shoulders and brawny arms or his sturdy chest and powerful thighs. Maybe it was the knowing gleam in his eye, the unmissable beauty of his hands, the way that a smirk still played at the corner of his lips, which God’s own angels would have envied.
In short, Lambourne was driving Idared to distraction.
She looked back down at the scroll that carried his dossier. “It says here that you were damned for the sin of lust,” she said.
“Primarily for lust,” said Lambourne. “With just a soupçon of murder.”
“Murder?” Idared frowned. There was nothing about that on the dossier.
He inclined his head, a humble gesture, the sincerity of which Idared instantly doubted. “I may have only taken part in a single battle, but seven men went down to their death by my hand.”
“Ah,” said Idared in understanding. “Battle deaths aren’t counted as murder.”
He blinked. “But surely they count as sins?” His gaze turned hard and a muscle jumped in that chiseled jaw of his. “I assure you, the things I saw men do on that day trump anything I’ve seen here in Hell.”
“And no doubt those men will have those things tallied against them—but even in Hell, you will not be punished for killing in self-defense. If you’d killed innocents, it would have been marked down, but it seems the brevity of your time as a soldier prevented you from the corruption of warfare,” she explained. “Such cases are few indeed. We tend to err on the side of assuming greater sin rather than less.”
“Oh.” Lambourne appeared surprised. “Perhaps, then, consigning me to Hell was a mistake?”
“With this much lust tallied against you?” Idared stared in amazement at the vast catalogue of sins on the dossier. She couldn’t imagine where he would have found the time to set foot in a church, much less confess. “Did you ever repent?”
“Hardly,” he said at once, then paused. “Wait. If I say I repent, will I be released?” Idared shook her head. “Then no, I don’t. No point really.” He shrugged.
It was the shrug that did it, all those lovely muscles moving under all that lovely skin. Idared was not supposed to be the one in torment. It was time to reassert her authority. “You richly deserve your punishment,” she declared.