Guest Julia Justiss and The Rake To Rescue Her

juliaWelcome our guest today–Julia Justiss who is here to talk about her new release, The Rake To Rescue Her (Harlequin Historical, March 2015). Julia is giving away one copy of The Rake To Rescue Her to one lucky commenter, chosen at random.
See what RT Book Reviews’ Maria Ferrer has to say about The Rake To Rescue Her:

The Ransleigh Rogues return with a passionate and poignant tale of betrayal, revenge, sexual healing and second chances. This is another keeper with strong characters and authentic settings.

RESCUE FRONT COVER 9780373298242HE’S NEVER FORGOTTEN HER.  BUT CAN HE FORGIVE HER

When Alastair Ransleigh sees Diana, Duchess of Graveston, for the first time since she jilted him, he makes her a shockingly insulting offer…the chance to become his mistress.  And even more shockingly, she accepts!

But the widowed duchess is nothing like the bold, passionate girl Alastair once loved.  Years of suffering at the hands of a cruel husband have taken their toll.  And as Alastair resolves to save Diana from the damage of the past, their chance meeting turns feels of revenge to thoughts of rescue…

Thanks to Diane and the other Riskies for hosting me today!

My March release, Book Three of the Ransleigh Rogues, is the story of Alastair, the poet and dreamer whose world is shattered when Diana, the woman he loves, jilts him in a humiliatingly public fashion to marry a man of high rank.  When he meets her again by chance eight years later, now widowed and on the run, he is stunned, then curious, then angry that the girl who once vowed to love him forever seems to be able to treat him with so little emotion, when he is torn, attracted, and seething. While he doesn’t exactly seek revenge when she offers to do what she can to make it up to him—he really wants to try to purge her from his heart and mind once and for all—the idea of making her feel something, after she has put him through every extreme of emotion, is certainly one of his chief motivations.

222808A revenge sub-theme figures in another one of my favorite all-time romances, Reforming Lord Ragsdale by the stellar Carla Kelly.  Her heroine is an indentured Irish servant, detested and scorned by her English masters, whom the dissolute Lord Ragsdale rescues from a very bad situation.  Initially he is inclined to treat her just a tad less poorly than her previous master—his father was murdered by Irish rebels, and he has every reason to hate the Irish.  But he is a deeply flawed man himself, which Emma sees, and gradually, by fits and starts, the two begin to heal each other.

So, too, do Alastair and Diana.  Although Alastair initially rejects Diana’s explanation for why she jilted him as unbelievable, as he slowly puts together the bits and pieces he ekes out of her about what her life with the duke was like, he begins to realize her improbable story was true and appreciate the heroism, and suffering, she endured to protect those she loved.  As he works to bring back to life the girl he once loved and protect her from present danger, she rekindles once again the deep love he’s suppressed for so many years.

Are there any revenge-to-love stories that touched your heart?  Is this a theme that you like to read about? One commenter will win a copy of Alastair and Diana’s book, The Rake To Rescue Her.

About diane

Diane Gaston is the RITA award-winning author of Historical Romance for Harlequin Historical and Mills and Boon, with books that feature the darker side of the Regency. Formerly a mental health social worker, she is happiest now when deep in the psyches of soldiers, rakes and women who don’t always act like ladies.
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15 Responses to Guest Julia Justiss and The Rake To Rescue Her

  1. ki pha says:

    Hi Diane! Welcome Julia! This is one book I definitely want to read and have on my TBR list.

    And yes, I adore revenge plots. Why? Because nothing ever works out for whom ever it is that is trying to achieve said revenge on the opposite sex. It makes for a very good and emotional twisted ride. A hate-love relationship you know. And there are quite a few stories with this theme that I like, although I can’t think of them right now I do enjoy them.

    • Yes, that is the thing about the revenge plot–it NEVER works out the way the protagonist expects, which does lead to lots of twists and turns. I think we have some subconscious attraction to the idea of righting a wrong, but somehow any negative intentions get washed away, and the fulfillment is so much better than the retribution that was originally sought. Thanks for the comment, Ki!

  2. Usually I’m not attracted to revenge plots, but yours sounds fabulous, Julia. 🙂 And I agree re Reforming Lord Ragsdale — a wonderful story.

  3. Elena Greene says:

    I think revenge plots are tricky. Sometimes the character seeking revenge (often the hero it seems) takes it too far for me, for instance, when he is more than willing to harm innocent people in the process. The revenge stories that work for me are when the character learns that there are things more important than revenge. The best example of this I can think of at the moment is Gail Eastwood’s THE LADY FROM SPAIN.

  4. Nancy says:

    I generally don’t like revenge plots, especially when it is a man who feels vengeful because a woman jilted him. I always want to tell him “Get over it , already.”
    In historical romances, I feel the man should know that the female had little choice until she turned 21, and even then she often couldn’t go against her father or guardian unless he literally carried her off.
    However, I have read some books where the author has managed to rescue the man from my bad thoughts by an excellent story.

  5. diane says:

    I like revenge plots, Julia. I love plots where the hero or heroine learn that love is more important than anger and hatred.

    Thanks for being our guest!!!

  6. Michelle Fidler says:

    Sounds like a good book. I like the cover.

  7. For those of you who do not know, I absolutely LOVE this book ! For a list of reasons see my review on Amazon, Goodreads, and LibraryThing. It is on the top shelf of my keeper bookcase and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Thanks, Ms. Justiss for an amazing read. I’m going to leave it at that, because I want everyone to read it for themselves. Sigh!

    I do love a good revenge plot. As has been mentioned here, when either the hero or heroine or both discover that revenge may well be a dish best served cold, but it gives no nourishment and eventually starves things like your heart and soul for no reason – it opens their hearts to the power of love. I am fond of a Medgar Evers quote : “Hating people serves no purpose. Half the people you hate don’t know. And the ones who do know, don’t care. Love, however, changes everything.”

  8. Elena, thanks for the recce. I’ve read most of Gail’s books, but not that one, so I’ll need to add it to my TBR shelf.
    I agree, Nancy, that a man needs to “get over it” if his reason for revenge is being jilted. I think in many of the successful ones I’ve read, the reason is much more compelling–the whole family ruined and the character trying to restore their status and reputation, etc. But as several have mentioned, as a reader I want him/her eventually to decide that there are better ways to do that than revenge. It’s the total change of focus and determination that makes the turn-around so dramatic and compelling.
    Thanks, Michelle. I really like this cover, too!
    Love the Medger Evers quote, Louisa. In the end, positive life forces–love and forgiveness–change so much more (including the lives of the ones doing the loving and forgiving!) than negative ones.
    Diane, thanks for having me!

  9. Carla Kelly says:

    Julia, as you well know, revenge-to-love stories are hard to write. There’s a real balance needed, or the story just doesn’t work. I’m eager to read yours, because I -ahem- obviously like a good revenge story, too. Lord Ragsdale and Emma Costello are not so likable when Reforming Lord Ragsdale begins, and that’s mostly the point of fiction: Someone must change, or there is no story. Lord Ragsdale is a perfect example of that wry expression: “Holding a grudge is like taking poison and hoping the other person dies.” Good job, Julia.

  10. Susan/DC says:

    As several others have mentioned, revenge plots are quite difficult to pull off without having the hero/heroine come off as unlikeable and sometimes foolish. I can understand the desire for revenge, but I’m unsympathetic when the hero plots to hurt innocent people just because they are somehow related to the person who wronged him — it makes him unheroic in my eyes. But some authors make it work, and I look forward to reading Diana and Alistair’s story.

    One of my favorite quotes (it’s tacked above my desk at work) is from Buddy Hackett: “I’ve had a few arguments with people but I never carry a grudge. You know why? While you’re carrying a grudge, they’re out dancing.”

  11. When I discovered romance 15 years ago, several of the books that I read during the early months had revenge plots of sorts and many of them were second-chance-at-love stories. I have a very soft spot for those, and yours sounds just wonderful, Julia! 🙂

    One of my favorite revenge stories is Teresa Medeiros’s The Bride & the Beast (which has the added bonus of referencing the classic dragonslayer story). One aspect that I’ve always particularly liked about Teresa’s novel is the way in which she forces her hero to choose between revenge and his love for the heroine.

  12. bn100 says:

    can be interesting; no favs

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