The Duchess and the Highwayman
By Beverley Oakley
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When I first heard about the Duchess and The Highwaymen I was immediately intrigued just by the synopsis . So when I got the chance to read this book early I was thrilled and dived into it as soon as I possibly could and it was just fantastic. We follow Phoebe who is in quite a dilemma as she is being framed for her husband death and ends up going on the run and pretending to be a maid servant after being saved by a highway man . This story was so good ! .Watching the relationship between Hugh and Phoebe develop over the course of this book was just fantastic , I was so invested in this couple and I love that they got and ending that was just perfect for them , Besides the fantastic romance , The case just had me at the edge of my seat I was so mad at some moments because of they where lying lol , however I am glad that justice was served. This historical romance was sexy , swoon worthy and had my eyes attached to the page if you love all these things your books you should definitely pick up copy of this book as soon as you can .
1 Where did the Idea from The Duchess and The Highwayman come from?
Hi Jojo, thanks for having me!
I’d written an poignant, erotic Regency – Cressida’s Dilemma - about a lovely 25-year-old woman madly in love with her handsome, kind husband who couldn’t find a way to discuss her fears surrounding a sixth pregnancy in almost as many years. In her quest to solve her problems, she winds up at a London House of Assignation, which forms the connection to this novel, The Duchess and the Highwayman. A central character who works at Mrs Plumb’s House of Assignation in Cressida’s Dilemma has an unusual connection to a character in The Duchess and the Highwayman.
So I thought that if I could introduce this connection very subtly, it would be quite an interesting way to connect two stories in a way the reader might not suspect.
2 If you could switch places with on of your characters who would it be and why?
Oh dear, well, it certainly wouldn’t be my heroine who has a perfectly dreadful life. That is, until she meets her hero, Hugh Redding (even if he does believe her a gold-digging serving wench). Her life, even then, is a great deal more secure than being a duchess on the run, falsely accused of murdering her husband.
3 What are some of your favorite Historical Novels ?
I recently re-read Georgette Heyer’s Charity Girl which was simply laugh-out-loud charming. I must read some more, and also some of my favourite Victoria Holt books, like Mistress of Mellyn. I also love Karleen Koen’s Through a Glass Darkly.
4 What are you working on now book wise ?
I’m on the final chapters of Book 3 in my Scandalous Miss Brightwell series, Devil’s Run, and really enjoying it. Two sisters who have appeared in each of the stories are wicked matchmakers when they see a need for it. They’re also quite exacting and, in fact, don’t like the heroine in this book at all, thinking her stuck-up and distant. Eliza is, it’s true, not a warm character as she’s still mourning the loss of friends, family and the child she was forced to give up after she was banished by her parents following a youthful indiscretion.
When visiting the estate of the Brightwell sisters, she rescues a group of children from drowning and recognises one of them as the child she was forced to give up five years before. Now she’s determined to find a way to be in the same household as that boy. Even if it means marrying a man she does not love. The plot of the story involves my meddling sisters being determined that the heroine who saved their own children shouldn’t marry their odious cousin, George, and having to discover the truth of Eliza’s lost love and her sad past life in order to right past wrongs.
He’d wanted to quiz Phoebe in greater detail but she was clearly shocked by the ordeal and besides, there’d not been the privacy he required. As he lowered himself into the little wooden chair that was surely too spindly to support a man of the miller’s girth, he mused upon relations between Phoebe and Wentworth. Had he even noticed his lover’s maid? Wentworth was a man who took advantage where he could so Hugh would have to ask the question. Yet several men with whom he’d shared an ale at the local tavern had suggested the local lady of the manor and her lover had eyes only for one another. The Blinley Manor servants said Wentworth was renowned for incarcerating himself in his lover’s salon for days at a time, an observation that suggested he had little interest in the underlings of his household. Hugh pushed open the casement window and stared at the starry sky above. Far in the distance he could see Blinley Manor, a single twinkling light burning in the distance. He felt foolish now, imagining he could have forced Wentworth out of his carriage at pistol point in order to gain the satisfaction he needed. The truth was that red hot fury had fuelled his wild ride to this part of the world the moment Ada had reluctantly given her brother the name he’d hounded her to reveal. But with Phoebe as his new ally, a far more sophisticated and effective plan was going to win the day. One that would ensure justice for Hugh’s sister without Hugh having to dirty his hands. A sound in the bushes below caught his ear. Instantly he was on the alert, tensing as he withdrew his head and snuffed out the candle while he peered into the darkness. With a murder having recently occurred up at the manor and Wentworth no doubt on the run, who knew what characters were about? Quietly, Hugh slipped into the corridor and exited through the scullery and into the kitchen garden. He allowed himself a moment to get used to the darkness before moving silently around the ivy clad walls, glad of his dark clothing. When he reached the casement of the front parlour he rested the back of his head against the panes and strained his eyes for a sign of movement in the bushes the bordered the grounds. But only the soft sighing of the breeze through the leaves emitted any sound. He moved forward to begin an investigation deeper into the garden when the muted splash of water within reminded him that just inside, Phoebe was having her bath. He turned, and felt a jolt of shock and something he was immediately unable to identify as through the diamond-paned windows he took in the startlingly erotic sight of a young woman with slender, milky limbs and long ripples of golden-brown hair standing in a bath rub, reaching down to soap her thighs. Her face was no longer streaked with mud and as she raised her chin Hugh felt guilt and fascination in equal measure; topped with a large degree of astonishment. The girl was a beauty. He turned away, uncomfortably conscious that his hatred of Wentworth stemmed from that man’s disregard for the dignity of a woman. Hugh did not want to be compared. But as he took a step back towards the house he felt softness beneath his feet and then the startled shriek of Mrs Within’s deaf and blind cat which flew at him with bared claws. His last glimpse before he hurried back into the safety of indoors was confirmation that Phoebe’s body was indeed goddess-like perfection, her waist tiny, her breasts full and tipped with two tiny pink rosebud nipples. Trying not to deny the effect of such a sight, he closed the door to the outside behind him and took the stairs, two at a time, to his room.
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