Today I am so pleased to welcome Summer Devon to Joyfully Jay. Summer has come to talk to us about her latest release, The Private Secretary. She has also brought along an exclusive excerpt and a great giveaway. Please join me in giving Summer a big welcome!
My kid just walked by and asked me what I was writing. I said, “Something about my book.”
“A book report? Cool.”
So here it is: SUMMER’S BOOK REPORT about Summer’s book, The Private Secretary, published June 16, 2016. (note: I asked my sons for questions they recall getting back in the day when they wrote these things.)
Why do you think the author wrote this book? I think she likes writing quirky people and the others who have to put up with them. Some of this has been taken from her own life, but she won’t tell you about that.
Why isn’t the character who has autism a main romantic character? She has started another book like that and this wasn’t it.
What is the theme of the story? Um, I’m not crazy about revealing what I think the theme is. How about we go for tropes used? False first impressions, class differences, unwilling caretaker, reform of a rake…there are a few others.
Did you enjoy the story? For me, liking one of my own stories has less to do with the finished product and its success and more to do with how easily it comes into my head and how entertained I am by it as I write it. I really liked this one. I even enjoyed the research. That means that even if everyone dislikes it, I’ll still love it. I enjoyed spending time with the characters and will miss them.
Does the author seem defensive to you? Maybe. Perhaps.
What’s one thing you learned from the story? Even more about beetles than I already knew.
If you could ask a main character one question what would it be? Believe me, I asked them both a thousand questions. I even know what they like to eat.
Will you read more by this author? I think I have to.
NOTE: This book is currently only available at Amazon. The author is trying the Kindle Unlimited program.
A canvas-and-wood cot had been set up under the windows. The cot was narrow but had been piled with a French-style duvet and a good feather pillow. Ezra had spent the night in worse conditions. Or at least on worse beds—because he suspected being trapped in a room with a man he desired and disliked would make sleep impossible. He scrambled out of his jacket and waistcoat. With some reluctance, he also took off his shirt and trousers and laid them all on top of the chair. He slipped under the duvet and closed his eyes.
Ezra had been dozing, but the creak of a floorboard woke him. Had an hour passed? Two? He didn’t dare look at his watch, which he’d set on the floor next to the cot. Demme slipped into the room, closing the door softly behind him. Ezra closed his eyes tight. For several long heartbeats, nothing happened. Was Demme silently undressing or just standing, staring at Ezra?
“If the snores coming from Ambrose’s room are any indication, he’s settled nicely,” Demme said cheerfully. A moment passed. “Your shoulders are up around your ears and your eyes are squinting, you’re making such an effort to appear asleep. You aren’t a very good actor, you know.”
Ezra released a long breath and rolled over. “Do you need anything, sir?”
“Nothing at all.” He looked very tall standing too near the cot. His face was in shadows but Ezra could make out the gleam of his teeth. “I suppose it would be unkind of me to ask you to act as valet after scolding my cousin not to force you to work.”
Ezra pushed himself up onto an elbow. “Do you require help undressing?”
“I don’t require it, but I’m sure it would be pleasurable.”
Ezra’s face went hot. Demme must have seen the rush of blood and Ezra’s dismay, but instead of goading, he walked to the far side of the room. He dropped onto the chair and untied his shoes. As he pulled them off, he said, “Don’t worry. You’ll be safe from me, Seton. I don’t seem able to stop teasing you. I beg your pardon for that. I tend to poke at people who dislike me.”
“Sir, I don’t… That is, not what I mean…” His words petered out.
Glee filled Demme’s face as he stopped working on his laces and tilted up his chin. “Go on. I’m not going to allow you to escape this one. What were you going to say? You don’t dislike me?”
Would the man ever be consistent in his behavior? He teased, then apologized, then became outrageous again. Ezra gritted his teeth. “I do not. Dislike you. Sir.”
“Ha. I’m right, and you truly are a terrible actor. Even those words coming out of your mouth seem tinged with hatred. What have I done to displease you?” And as usual, Demme changed again. He lost his smile and rubbed the permanent crease between his eyes. “No, don’t answer. I have no desire to sound like a young man begging a girl who’s jilted him to explain her reasons. I cannot understand why I even care.”
“I am not sure I am sophisticated enough to appreciate your sense of fun.” Ezra had meant to actually explain, but he sounded priggish. “That is, I am not part of your world. It’s due to my upbringing. For most of my life, my family was barely middle-class.”
“Oh? That’s not what I mean, though it is interesting. I wonder what happened to change your circumstances?”
Ezra had no intention of telling Demme about his father’s fast rise upon inheriting some funds and then his faster fall back into greater poverty.
Demme must have seen his unwillingness, because he grew impatient. “At any rate, our upbringing has nothing to do with the world I’m thinking of. I think I come begging after you because I’m a glutton for punishment. I don’t intend to annoy you or punish you.” Demme mumbled something Ezra couldn’t hear.
“I shouldn’t have had that brandy with dinner, because I want to tell you the truth.”
Ezra’s mouth went dry. “Sir?”
“Of course you’ll have no proof other than this conversation, and so I can admit the truth. It’s not a surprise to you, I’m sure. I desire men.”
Ezra couldn’t speak at all.
He didn’t need to, because Demme continued, “I enjoy male bodies. The sight of a man laughing or working or leaning over… All of it arouses me, isn’t that funny? And the masculine scent, mmm. Yes. So tell me this. Do you discern this about me and that’s why you are so disdainful?” He gave a wisp of laughter. “If you spread word about this conversation, of course, I’ll deny it, but I’ve been longing to understand why you dislike me, and that must be the reason, hmm?”
Down on his luck and desperate for employment, Ezra Seton is offered only one job: to work in the house of a heartless bully, the very man who drove Ezra’s lover away. Gritting his teeth, Ezra takes the position. But neither the new job nor the master of house are close to what he expected. Still, he vows to keep his distance, no matter how difficult maintaining his composure in the face of relentless drollery becomes.
Robert Demme’s pleasure-seeking days are over. Having rescued his cousin Ambrose from a lunatic asylum, he expends much of his energy pacifying the fragile eccentric. Hiring an assistant offers some relief—and also intriguing temptation. Unfortunately, the fascinating Seton apparently loathes him. Determined to discover the reason, Robert uses his considerable wit to get under the man’s skin, stunned when his plan backfires. Instead of unraveling the stalwart secretary, Robert has undone himself. All he’s accomplished is a deepening his own interest. Perhaps he senses Robert’s not-so-innocent attraction.
When the two spend the night together in an inn, their mutual desire proves too strong. The secretary and the gentleman succumb to lust. But when Ezra’s old flame reappears and the cousin’s experiments go awry, it’s a battle to discover which will win the day: love or lunacy.
This edition includes a selection from Simon and the Christmas Spirit, a title by Summer Devon and Bonnie Dee.
Summer Devon is the alter ego of Kate Rothwell who also writes under her own name. Summer writes romances of all sorts, including some historical m/m books with Bonnie Dee.
She has published with Kensington, Samhain, Simon and Schuster, Ellora’s Cave, Total-e-bound, Liquid Silver, Loose Id, Carina Publishing and on her own.
Summer has brought two winners a choice of any one Summer Devon title (including those co-written with Bonnie Dee). Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Thursday, June 16th at 11:59 pm EST.
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