For those of us obsessed with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, boy do we have a book for you! FOREVER MY DUKE is about a duke who falls for an American beauty. Excited? We sure are! So join us in welcoming, Olivia Drake!
Thanks so much for inviting me. There’s nothing better than books + wine!
As unlikely as it is for a royal to wed a foreign commoner, it happens! And what great fodder for a novel. Your Natalie isn’t concerned with titles and pompous boys, she has a school to open. But every little girl dreams of being a princess, right? Did Natalie ever fantasize about crowns and gowns when she was a little girl?
Quite the contrary, she’s always had a dislike of British high society. You see, as the daughter of an English immigrant, Natalie grew up hearing her father criticize the nobility. Being a very independent woman, she prefers America’s system of equality over England’s class hierarchy. When she must travel to England to deliver an orphaned six-year-old boy to his relatives, the last thing on her mind is marrying a duke. Likewise, Hadrian already has a blue-blooded bride picked out when he finds himself captivated by the upstart American. Both Natalie and Hadrian have preconceptions about each other that must be overcome in order for love to win in the end.
Nothing could’ve prepared young Natalie for Hadrian, the Duke of Clayton. He’s English, he’s titled, he’s a stuck-up family that doesn’t like her, and he’s handsome. So naturally she slots him into the typical royal category and is ready to set him in his place. Do you have a favorite gloves-come-off kind of scene between Natalie and Hadrian?
The fact that they hail from vastly different worlds makes for a very dynamic conflict. For example, when Hadrian brings Natalie to London, he takes it for granted that she’ll happily accept his gift of a fashionable wardrobe. And naturally, she objects to his high-handed manner:
She stopped in her tracks, glaring at him. “Are you saying you’re ashamed to be seen in the company of a dowdy mongrel from America?”
His smile vanished, his dark eyebrows clashing in a frown. “Of course not. You couldn’t be more mistaken.”
“Oh? It sounds as if you believe the upper crust won’t accept me as I am. Never fear, I’ll borrow a few gowns and make myself presentable enough to pass muster with your friends.”
He strode forward to fasten his hands to her shoulders. “Listen to me, Natalie. You’ve taken this all wrong. I could never be ashamed of you even if you were garbed in sackcloth and ashes. You’re a beautiful woman, inside and out, and should anyone in society dare to scorn you, they will know my wrath.”
The ringing sincerity in his words went a long way toward easing her wounded pride. He looked fierce and formidable, a nobleman who would use his power to protect those who mattered to him. The knowledge that he would do so on her behalf burrowed deeply into Natalie’s heart, dissolving the rest of her anger and leaving her vulnerable to the rise of an unruly warmth.
Oh Hadrian, he’s nothing like Natalie expected is he. He’s stubborn! Especially when he decides that he’s going to make society do what he wants them to do. Now THAT’s the kind of arrogance that makes a woman melt at the knees. Can you share Natalie’s weakness when it comes to Hadrian? His pride? His smile? His hands?
Ooh, all of that and more! One by one, Natalie’s initial assumptions about him change as she comes to love his dry sense of humor, his strength of character, and the warmth hidden behind his mask of arrogance. In particular, she finds it very seductive that he, too, is willing to change in order to win her heart!
She drew a shaky breath. “Outward appearances cannot change the fact that I’m not bred to your world.”
“Perhaps those differences are part of the reason why we’re attracted to one another. It’s a way for both of us to break out of dullness of norms.” He tucked a wisp of her hair behind her ear, her skin tingling from his touch. “I was raised with the fixed belief that the perfect wife was a docile young lady with impeccable bloodlines. That it was my duty to wed a well-born debutante. Then I met you, Natalie. And all of that went out the window. Simply put, you’re everything I never knew that I needed.”
His declaration melted her heart. There could be nothing more romantic than to be chosen by a powerful man who made her feel alive, body and soul. A duke who could have any woman he wanted. Yet logic whispered that it would never work. She could list a hundred reasons why he was all wrong for her, not the least of which was the life she had planned back in America. Still, the fire that heated her blood could not be denied...
There are so many things to love about Hadrian and about FOREVER MY DUKE! Cheers to your release and thank you for stopping by the blog to celebrate with us!