Women Drive The Story
Posted by Literary Titan
A Wife for the Devil follows the illegitimate daughter of an English family that gets caught up in a love triangle. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
Victorian and Regency romances are quite beloved to me. They were part of some of my earliest reading experiences. In the small southern Indian town where I grew up, the library was barely stocked, but almost always could lend you Georgette Heyer and Barbara Cartland. As I planned my first novel, a romance seemed like a natural option given how familiar I am with the genre. And if I were to write a historical romance, why not bring in the oft-ignored denizens of the British Empire: children begat by cross-racial encounters? History books tell us they were pretty commonplace, and yet we have seen little of them in mainstream romances. This is being changed these days by many bold and fresh romance writers, and I wished to proceed in their wake by making my heroine someone unlikely.
The triangle came in naturally too. All stories need a few good villains and vamps. And Miranda, with her strong will and strange whims, seemed like a good foil for the two main characters.
Elizabeth starts out as a shy and timid woman in the beginning and grows into a strong independent one throughout the book. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
I am of the belief that your material conditions play a strong role in forming your psyche. I never thought of Elizabeth as shy or timid in the story, but she does behave within the confines of her circumstances. Her assertiveness in the second-half of the book is more the logical result of her falling in love than any designs on my part. Love, if I may be a bit trite, strengthens and vitalises us. In a romance, the author is always saying, whether explicitly or not, “Love is a momentous thing. It changes and enriches us.” I think that was largely my ideal.
Another aspect is the self-actualisation Elizabeth begins to embrace. This too is the result of her changing circumstances; she finally could be the woman she has always been.
Being set in Victorian-era England, what were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
Women drive the story. And this was a conscious decision. Readers rightfully do not like romances where the women are resigned to their fates, or are so divorced from their own wishes that they do not know what to do. When they recognise they want something, it is a lightning strike. So, in my novel, both the heroine and her antagonist are clear in their minds about what they want and usually act in their own interests. This I think is the main theme. In this era, women weren’t granted much in the way of an inner life and little in the way of an outer one. I hoped to invert those expectations.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
Currently I am working on a fantasy romance. Details of the plot are yet to be nailed down properly, so much of what I could say would be speculation. I am not sure when it will be released, but sometime in 2023 seems like a good guess.
Posted in Interviews
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A Wife for the Devil
Posted by Literary Titan
A Wife for the Devil by Shruti Rao tells the story of Elizabeth Lavoisier and the people in her life. Elizabeth lives with her uncle and his family and she has hardly any control over her life. Instead, she is treated like a maid and lives in fear of her beautiful, powerful, and erratic cousin, Miranda Deverril. Miranda has fallen for a man, Hugh Atwood, and enlists Elizabeth’s help in trying to win him over. Elizabeth, nervous and fearful, agrees to see Hugh, but soon she finds herself embroiled in a love triangle with her cousin… but can she find her feet in a world where money is power? Will she fight for the man she has come to love?
Shruti Rao has created a story with a rich cast of characters. From Elizabeth to her friend Lady Frazier and more. Readers will find the characters engaging and entertaining. Elizabeth is surprisingly headstrong when it comes to matters of the heart. Her love interest, Hugh Atwood, is a man with a past that hangs over his head, and Elizabeth can’t help but be taken in by him. Readers will find themselves rooting for the couple despite the obstacles in their way.
The story moves at a smooth pace giving readers time to know the characters. The story is set in London, in 1871, with all the social stigmas and properties of the time. The story is told through the interactions of the characters and through flashbacks of memories. Elizabeth starts out unsure of herself and her self-worth, but thankfully she grows into a confident and strong woman throughout the story.
A Wife for the Devil is an exciting story that will captivate readers who enjoy historical fiction. A Victorian romance set up with characters that are traditionally below the upper crust of the ton, fighting scandals, family drama, and looking for a way to make love work.
Pages: 182 | ASIN : B09R3PTSVH
Posted in Book Reviews, Four Stars
Tags: A Wife for the Devil, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, goodreads, historical romance, interracial romance, kindle, kobo, literature, multicultural romance, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, romance, Shruti Rao, story, victorian romance, writer, writing