Blog Tour: For The Duke’s Eyes Only by Lenora Bell (Review, Teaser, Giveaway, Author Q&A)

If adventure has a name…it must be Lady India Rochester. The intrepid archaeologist possesses a sharp blade and an even sharper knack for uncovering history’s forgotten women. Unfortunately, she has one annoying weakness: the dangerously handsome Duke of Ravenwood. Former best friend. Current enemy. And the man who dared to break her heart.
Daniel Bonds, the Duke of Ravenwood, is a thrill-seeking antiquities hunter who only plays by one rule: Never fall in love. He’s in it for the fortune and glory. At least that’s what he wants the world to think. He’s sworn to hide his tangled web of secrets, especially from the one woman he cares about and will protect at any cost.
But when a priceless relic is stolen from the British Museum, the rivals must align forces. Racing to recover the stolen antiquity and avert an international disaster? All in a day’s work. Avoiding their buried feelings? More and more impossible. For love is about to become the greatest treasure of all. The grand adventure begins…now!

About the Book

For the Duke’s Eyes Only by Lenora Bell
Series School For Dukes (Each book is a standalone story.)
Genre Adult Historical Romance
Publisher Avon Books
Publication Date September 18, 2018
Purchase Your Copy Today!
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I love that Lenora Bell’s books always draw from some popular/classic books/movies. I saw bits of Indiana Jones meets 007/James Bond in this one, and may I just say LOVING IT. I am not into either of these franchises/fandoms/what-have-you enough to pick up on the subtle nuances she lives to weave into her stories, but I DID catch Miss Mina Penny (Moneypenny) and felt super smart, LOL. 

India is a strong, intrepid, powerhouse of a woman who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty (or paste on a fake mustache) to get it. At the same time she’s got some soft vulnerabilities, which she tries (with varying success) to stomp out. I didn’t much care for Ravenwood from his brief appearance in the first book in the series, but boy he sure captured my heart quickly. I do love a self-sacrificing man, even if he is going about things in a totally stupid, man-type way. 

This book has it ALL – childhood sweethearts, enemies to lovers, fake relationship, romance, espionage, art theft, mystery… I don’t typically like the mystery/thriller element in my regency romances, and this one is a little less rom-com than some of Bell’s other books, but MAN, I ate it up with a spoon. LOVED it. Lenora Bell never fails to deliver and has quickly become my favorite historical romance author. 

This is the second book in the School for Dukes series, but can easily be read as a stand alone. The characters from the first book, What a Difference a Duke Makes, make a brief appearance, and Indy and Raven have some interaction in that first book that kind of help establish them as characters and set up their rivalry, but you don’t need to read it first to get the full impact of For the Duke’s Eyes Only. (You should absolutely read it anyway if you haven’t yet, because What a Difference a Duke Makes is AMAZING as well!)

Author Q&A

What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

I’ve visited Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon; the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia and his grave in Baltimore (with a name like Lenora I have to be a Poe fan, right?); and literary sites like the Cimitiere du Pere Lachaise in Paris where Charles Baudelaire, Oscar Wilde, and Gertrude Stein are buried. I dream of visiting the Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton, Hampshire.

What is the first book that made you cry?

A lot of books make me cry. I’m a very emotional person. I’m sure I was crying over The Chronicles of Narnia as a kid, especially when Aslan died, and I probably cried when I first read the proposal scene from Pride and Prejudice – I still cry when I read that. It’s just so beautiful.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Both! When the writing’s going well it’s the most wonderful high and I’m flying. When the progress is slow or I get stuck in a difficult scene, I tend to shut down.

What are common traps for aspiring writers?

Perfectionism was a big one for me. I didn’t finish a book for nearly a decade because I knew it wasn’t going to be as brilliant as a Tessa Dare, a Courtney Milan, or a Julia Quinn. My advice to aspiring writers is this: it doesn’t have to be perfect! Just write the best book possible at this moment in your life. Dive into your writing and finish that book!

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

I’ve met writers (mostly in other genres) with huge egos who seem to believe they have a God-given talent to gift to the world. That’s great, but don’t step on the backs of others on your quest for world domination, okay? I try to have fun and I try to pay it forward.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

Too much internet. I use an app called Freedom when I’m on deadline to keep me away from social media and news. When I reflexively click on Twitter, I receive a lovely message from Freedom: You are Free. Do what Matters.”

Have you ever gotten reader’s block?

Hmm…you mean where you can’t find a good book to read? Nope. That’s never happened to me. My TBR pile is so high and filled with so many amazing books that my only problem is finding time to read.

Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

Lenora is a variation on my real first name, but Bell is a pen name and I chose it because the Brontë sisters used it as their pen name. Charlotte Bronte first published Jane Eyre under the name Currer Bell.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I try to strike a balance between the two concepts. I strive to keep readers guessing about what will happen next, while still delivering that emotionally satisfying happily-ever-after.

Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?

Anyone can be a writer! That’s the beauty of it. There are no limits or prerequisites. If you have a story to tell, unleash it and let it fly!

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I met Tessa Dare, Courtney Milan, Erica Ridley, and a host of other amazing authors when I participated in the online writing event Avon FanLit back in 2006. It’s been such a wonderful journey supporting and watching their careers grow. Their encouragement and support has meant so much to me on my own writing journey. Writers supporting other writers for the win!

Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

Within each series there will be connections between characters, themes, and settings, but probably I’ll explore several different time periods over my career and the books won’t always be related.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Let it go! It doesn’t have to be perfect! Allow yourself to fail!

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

Deadlines change EVERYTHING. You have your whole life to write your first book. After that, if you’re on contract, you have to produce the second and third on a timeline. I had a very difficult time with my second book, a lot of writers do, but I pushed through it with a lot of help from my friends and my editors. The emails I received from readers helped so much as well!

Tour Wide Giveaway

To celebrate the release of FOR THE DUKE’S EYES ONLY by Lenora Bell, we’re giving away a paperback set of the School For Dukes series thus far!

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback set of the School For Dukes series this far. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance.  Giveaway ends 10/1/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copies out to the winner directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address. Duplicates will be deleted. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

About Lenora Bell

LENORA BELL is a USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of historical romances. She blames the long, dark winters in her tiny Alaskan hometown for making her a lifelong bookworm. A teacher with a
n MFA in Creative Writing who has lived on five continents, Lenora currently shares an old farmhouse in the Pacific Northwest with her carpenter husband and two tiger-striped rescue kitties. She loves to hear from readers!

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon

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