The Inside Take

Eloisa's Exclusive Extras

Inside When the Duke Returns

Warning! In describing relations between characters, I may wreck a book for you by making it clear who someone marries, or the outcome of a book. Please do not read about The Inside Take if you're wary of knowing who is paired with whom!

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  • This is the fourth book in the Desperate Duchess series. So, although it stands alone, a number of characters appeared first in earlier books, such as the Duke of Villiers, and the Duke and Duchess of Beaumont (Jemma and Elijah). Jemma’s story, This Duchess of Mine, will be next in the series, publishing in June, 2009.
  • Every book in the Desperate Duchess series opens with the party that closed the previous book. Here’s the party circuit, so far: Desperate Duchesses closed with Jemma’s party to celebrate her brother’s dueling victory; An Affair Before Christmas opened at that same party and ended with Jemma’s Twelfth Night masquerade; Duchess by Night opened with the masquerade and ended at Lord Strange’s endless house party;  When the Duke Returns began at that house party and ended on the King’s yacht, the Peregrine. No prizes for guessing the opening location of the fifth book, This Duchess of Mine!
  • In each of the Desperate Duchess series, I leave one tiny question unanswered. To catch each question, check the Inside Take for the various books. For When the Duke Returns, the question involves Simeon’s fortune, told in India: “He told me that it was up to me to make sure that my fortune didn’t turn out as he prophesied.” What grim news do you think that Simeon managed to avoid? For the answer, wait for the sixth book in this series, A Duke of Her Own.
  • Signora Angelico, Isidore’s Italian lingerie maker, is based on my husband’s delightful aunt, who has built a stellar career creating hand-made nightgowns for (literally) royalty all over the world, especially the Arab countries. Her studio, like that of Signora Angelico, is a treasure box of ribbons and lace.
  • I got the idea of the Dead Watch from reading an article about a modern business that specializes in difficult cleaning jobs, of just this sort. Unlike the Dead Watch, their modern offspring are both entirely respectable and limit themselves to violent death, rather than septic tanks.

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