Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Please Welcome My Guest Dara Young

Keeping Secrets

In The Cancan Dancer and the Duke Charise, my heroine, has a huge secret. One she can’t let the hero, Ethan, know. She manages to keep her mouth shut, despite certain events (that will remain undisclosed), until she is exposed. 

Keeping secrets is usually not a good thing, but sometimes it is necessary. In her case, she originally had no intention of her secret coming to light (they never do). Then when it became apparent that her secret could shift things a certain way, she still refused to divulge it. This despite the fact that the knowledge would have given her the very thing she discovered she wanted.

When the truth comes out (it always does) everyone winds up happy. Of course, this is fiction and real life doesn’t really work that way. A relationship, a healthy one anyway, is based on honesty, trust, and integrity. Those things can’t survive in the same space as secrets.

That said, secrets are a very familiar plot device in romance. There are secret babies, secret pregnancies, secret millionaires, deadly secrets, and even secret lovers. Honestly, I could be here all day listing all the variations on the secret trope used in romance. Of course the key to the HEA is always the discovery or exposure of said secret.

Do you like secret based plots? Are there versions you don’t like? Honestly, I’ve never been a fan of the secret baby trope. How about you?

Thanks for stopping by to celebrate with me and remember to comment on each post during the blog tour for more chances to win! (Not sure what I'm talking about? Click here.)

The Cancan Dancer and The Duke
The Wild Rose Press

Can a lady on the lam and a duke on the make find love at the Moulin Rouge?

Cathedrals and museums are not Lady Charise Colton’s idea of European adventure. Turn-of-the-century Paris beckons, and she wants to grab it while she can…or rather, cancan. Flirting with fate and half of Paris, Charise eludes her chaperones and joins the cancan revue at the Moulin Rouge.

Ethan Greer, Duke of Lofton, is in Paris to settle some estate business. Chafing under his responsibilities, he discovers an enchanting distraction at the Moulin Rouge, a flirtatious dancer who stirs his lust and something more. He must have her—even if it means offering carte blanche.

Terrified of discovery, Charise tries to hold her persistent suitor at bay, though her heart has already surrendered. Will she lose him if he learns the truth, or is love enough to bind the cancan dancer and the duke?

The singular sound was a soft whisper at first. The audience strained forward to catch even a note of the eerie melody carried on the fetid air of the cafe. As the song picked up, her voice grew stronger, the words more clear. Ethan relaxed into his seat and let the warm rich alto caress him. His body grew warm with the promises carried by the witch’s husky tones.

He remained unaware of anything in the room except the siren walking toward him. Each steady, unhurried step she took further drew him in. His gaze feasted on the curve of her hip, the swell of her breast. Ethan rode the knife’s edge between lust and propriety.

The song described, in lurid detail, two lovers in the throes of passion. Upon reaching him, the dancer propped the toe of her boot onto the edge of his seat—square between his thighs. The luscious creature presented impossibly sheer bloomers which hid everything and yet nothing, causing him to let out the breath he, until now, unknowingly held. His cock grew rigid, the uncomfortable throbbing causing him to shift. The desire to haul her into his arms and demonstrate every action she described with the most sensuous mouth he’d ever seen rode him hard. Her full lower lip begged for his kiss. Ethan wanted to see it slick and glowing pink from his attentions.

The wanton dancer continued to taunt him, but his good breeding won out. Forcing himself to stay seated, his fists balled and his jaw grew rigid with frustration, but his raging lusts remained leashed. The song ended, sending her into the nether regions of the cafe in a swirl of skirts.

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  1. Enjoyed your excerpt and your cover is beautiful!

    Congrats on your book...sounds like a winner.

    As for secret tropes, I do enjoy a good secret baby story from time to time...but it has to be a bit different than the norm and I also enjoy a good read where it's secret that one of them is can always have fun with a story like that!

  2. Hey, Dara,

    I like secret plots as long as the reader knows the secret because I think that's where the build up comes in...waiting for the hero or heroine to learn the secret.

  3. Good morning, Dara. I have to admit I like the secret baby plot only if it's not the same old, same old. It has to have a twist of some sort to elevate it out of the ordinary.

  4. Hi Dara and Katherine! I'm not a fan of secrets. At least not in contemporary or maybe I should say in MY own contemporary writings. I do enjoy reading about them in some instances. If done well. It has to be a secret worthy of protecting and not something that wouldn't matter to anyone but the character holding the secret. Great post, excerpt and cover!

  5. Secrets? To me, it's hard to pull off. I don't like the emotional angst of the person keeping the secret. So often it seems melodramatic and I grow bored with the constant internal struggle--should I tell? shouldn't I tell. I get annoyed with the characters--and bored with the book.

    In my current WIP, I had the heroine share a secret she'd kept for years, to the hero. At the time I wondered if I was giving too much of her away in chapter three, that perhaps I should drag it out and reveal later in the book. But decided her revealing to him what happened to change her opinion of marriage would be a basis for the forming of their trust in each other, leading to love.

    Loved you excerpt. Wishing you great sales.

  6. Thanks ladies! I know the whole secret or no thing can be a hot button for some people. I too hate all the angsting that comes with it, and yes it hes to be a pretty freaking big secret or it just looks like a flimsy plot device. :)

  7. Congrats on your new release! I love that cover!!

    As for secrets, I use that device a lot in my own stories. In my post Civil War romance, the hero is a Pinkerton Agent and has returned to town to invetigate a physician, but can't tell the heroine he's an agent, even though they'd had a past relationship. He finally has to reveal his secret for fear of losing her again.

    I also have stories with spies and time travelers who can't always reveal the truth when the story starts, but it all has to come out in the end for that HEA.

    I like stories with secrets!

  8. Your post Civil War novel sounds interesting, Susan. I like stories that have spies and the like where the character has to pretend to be something he or she's not.

  9. Dara, thank you for being my guest today. I enjoyed your post, blurb, and excerpt. :o)