Today I am so pleased to welcome Annabelle Greene to Joyfully Jay. Annabelle has come to talk to us about her latest release, The Vicar and the Rake. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Hello everyone! Thanks very much to Joyfully Jay for letting me camp out here for a little while. I’m here to talk about my debut m/m Regency romance, The Vicar and the Rake–and I thought an interview with myself would be a good way to go about it.
So, Annabelle–tell us about your writing journey!
Well, I’ve been writing things ever since I knew how, and reading for even longer than that. Books are my first and greatest love, and romance novels were the books I read with so much pleasure when I was supposed to be volunteering at the library. When I finally decided to write a book, a romance novel was always going to be my first destination–and when Carina Press offered to publish it, I couldn’t have been happier!
So what’s your book about?
Great question! It’s about the romance between Gabriel Winters, an emotionally repressed vicar, and Edward Stanhope, the gleefully scandalous Duke of Caddonfell. The two men were childhood friends, with Gabriel concealing overwhelming feelings for Edward–feelings he tried to crush when Edward abandoned him. But when Edward returns to his childhood home with a price on his head and finds Gabriel lying feverish on his front lawn, it’s time to confront their shared past and maybe, just maybe, create a shared future.
There’s also a fat ginger kitten, a secret society of gentlemen who prefer gentlemen, stolen diamonds and a devilish, blackmailing genius. To put it mildly, there’s quite a lot going on.
Wow! That’s a lot of plot. What deeper themes does it have?
There are a couple of strong themes that I think are fairly evident in the book. The first is how people respond to and recover from trauma. Without giving too much away, Edward didn’t have a happy childhood, and a big part of his eventual happiness and peace with Gabriel comes from his slowly healing sense of self. Traumatised people deserve love and happiness as much as everyone else, and can do the work of love as well.
The other theme is the importance of friendship. Gabriel’s sister Caroline isn’t only his sister, she’s also his best friend–and as honest as a best friend should be about what’s good for him. Edward’s secret society, forged through the need for protection in a world that punishes men for loving other men, is where he can be at peace with his closest friends and not have to hide about who he is. All of the supporting characters really support the heroes, apart from a few notable exceptions!
Lots of plot, trauma, friendship–got it. So what else can people expect from the book?
Feelings! So many intense emotions from Gabriel and Edward. Passion, tension, anger, forgiveness, hair dye (it’s relevant!), a glorious house in the Surrey countryside, cravats, roses, tea. Most importantly, second chances.
Thanks for reading!
As a young man, Sir Gabriel Winters left behind his status as a gentleman, turning his back on his secret desires and taking a self-imposed vow of celibacy. Now he’s a chaste, hardworking vicar, and his reputation is beyond reproach. But, try as he might, he’s never forgotten the man he once desired or the pain of being abandoned by his first love.
Edward Stanhope, the Duke of Caddonfell, is a notorious rake, delighting in scandal no matter the consequence. With a price on his head, he flees to the countryside, forced to keep his presence a secret or risk assassination. When Edward finds Gabriel on his estate, burning with fever, he cannot leave him to die, but taking him in puts them both in jeopardy.
With the help of a notorious blackmailer, a society of rich and famous gentlemen who prefer gentlemen, and a kitten named Buttons, they might just manage to save Edward’s life—but the greatest threat may be to their hearts.
Annabelle Greene writes hot, heartwarming historical romances with plenty of humor.When she isn’t crafting the perfect HEA, she’s making pasta or walking along Italy’s beautiful Adriatic coast.
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