Lexi: We’ve been swooning over the gorgeous cover of DARE TO LOVE A DUKE. So we’re very excited to welcome our guest of the day, the author of said beautiful book - Eva Leigh!
Thank you so much for inviting me!
Lexi: Congrats on the release of your third book in your London Underground series! Not only is it a lovely addition to the set, its packed with a powerful message about consent and equality. How did our world’s current issues impact this series?
Consent has always been a part of the ethos of the Orchid Club, but #MeToo helped shine a light on the fact that so many people have been sexually harassed or assaulted, and with the horrendous events surrounding Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, it became extremely important for consent to be foregrounded.
Further, gender equality was and is crucial to my version of a HEA. The law in England at the time of DARE TO LOVE A DUKE was unfavorable and sometimes downright cruel to women. Yet even as women pushed for greater equality, there were men, too, who advocated that (white) women be considered the equal to men. I believe firmly that my heroes never be misogynists, and would, in fact, support a heroine’s need to be seen as an independent human being.
Please note that the advancement of WOC’s rights has lagged far behind that of white women, and it’s critical that we acknowledge that much of that bias came from white women—as it does to this day.
Lexi: For those of us who are fans of your writing, we know your words are powerful. And you make us feel them through every character. Lucia, the heroine in DARE TO LOVE A DUKE, is quite a woman. She runs a secret club where fantasies can become reality. Did you have any specific person or thing inspire Lucia?
We’re living in a time when, yet again, immigrants are vilified, which is maddening and heartbreaking. Lucia is an immigrant, and she must endure great hardship to survive. But this only strengthens her commitment to do right by others and lift up as many people as she can in her journey. Immigration has become maligned across the globe—most notably when the immigrants are black or brown people—but here in the United States, there seems to be a collective amnesia that many in this country are immigrants or descendants of immigrants. Yet bringing many cultures together only strengthens community and country. To quote Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Immigrants/ We get the job done.”
Lexi: So far we’ve chatted about the pretty serious stuff. But DARE TO LOVE A DUKE is a historical romance novel and is also filled with plenty of gorgeous gowns and scenery. In a time when society is strained and tenuous, we need an escape more than ever, and we believe our dear readers will adore the third book of The London Underground. How about you, are you able to escape through reading? Do you read historical romances in your downtime?
The funny thing about being a writer is that it winds up cutting into my time so that I have less opportunity to read! But when I can get the headspace for it, I definitely turn to different subgenres of romance. For historical romance, my favorites include Julie Anne Long (who’s coming back to writing historicals, YAY!), Tessa Dare, Joanna Bourne, Meredith Duran, and I’ve been reading more Vanessa Riley and Alyssa Cole. Lately, I’ve been reading more contemporary romance to help keep my mind fresh, and I’ve really enjoyed books by Talia Hibbert and Tracey Livesay. They’re sexy, fun, and also quite emotional.
Lexi: Your books are filed with strong messages told with powerful words. Thank you so much for stopping by to share DARE TO LOVE A DUKE with us! Cheers to your newest release!
Thanks again for having me!