Friday, July 15, 2011

Real Housewives? Meet The Real Duchesses Of London

Before there were Housewives there were The Real Duchesses of London...

I freely admit it. I am a Bravo Real Housewives junkie. I did hide it for awhile, feeling there were so many other things that I could be watching -- and that I probably should actually be writing. It always seemed slightly discreditable, like eating ice cream in bed. And it certainly didn’t help that my husband would roll his eyes and say -- that again -- when I turned it on.

And then I realized what a great character study it was. Yes, all these women know they are being filmed and would probably act differently if they weren’t -- and yes, it is clear that the conflict is set-up to create better television. However, even with the set-up, real personalities definitely shine through. (Have to admit that it is just hot, catty, and fun as well.)

I particularly felt that way with The Real House Wives of Beverly Hills. They almost all lived in what could truly be called palaces (the beginnings of my The Real Duchesses of London idea) and they were clearly all appearing on Real Housewives simply because they wanted to. It was interesting to watch who wanted to play peacemaker, who wanted to be a peacemaker, and who wanted to pretend to be queen and live in her mansion on the hill. And then there were the clothes -- and the shopping -- and the jewelry.

Watching them play dress-up is what truly formed my idea. I watched these women getting ready for party after party (only to be outdone by the NY Housewives this last season) and it reminded me of what life must have been like during the Season in Regency England. I started to imagine a bunch of Regency women being filmed as they went about their daily lives and squabbled and made up.

Obviously, I couldn’t have the benefit of filming during the Regency and so I turned to my other, and much less disreputable, favorite, Downton Abby. I’d loved watching the original Upstairs, Downstairs when I was a child, and Downton Abby reaffirmed my love of watching the servants watching their "betters".

I began to wonder if I couldn’t have the servants watching my duchesses the way TV viewers watch Housewives. It was so much fun thinking about what was really going on in my duchesses’ lives, compared with what the maids thought was happening. I’d love to play around with this idea at longer length someday.

In the meantime, some of the characters from The Real Duchesess of London also appear in my release this coming October, What a Duke Wants.

Thanks you for having me over for coffee, Sia. It’s been fun.

I’d love to give away a copy of the first of my Real Duchesses novellas and one of the cute t-shirts with the cartoon from the book trailer.

And all I want to know is: Mr. Darcy? Or Jaime from Outlander? I definitely have my own favorite in mind.


Regency England just got real(ity)

Episode 1: How Kathryn Got Her Passion Back (June 2011)

Kathryn, Duchess of Harrington, has the perfect life: a handsome duke for a husband, riches to spare, a house in Mayfair, and the right group of friends. The only thing she doesn’t have is her husband in her bed. But she’s about to change that. Enlisting the aid of her best friend, Linnette, who knows about these things even though she’s a duchess herself, Kathryn begins her seduction plan.

But Linnette knows a secret and it involves Kathryn’s husband. And, when that comes out, Kathryn’s marriage isn’t the only thing at stake. Can you say Afternoon Tea Catfight?

Episode 2: The One with the Fake Baby (August 2011)

Rumors abound – everyone has heard that Linnette, the Dowager Duchess of Doveshire is pregnant. Beautiful, young, with more freedom than any respectable woman should want; Linnette is no stranger to a little gossip. But her friends can't help her brave the fallout, because this time Linnette has done something naughty...

BUY: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders

Most days Lavinia Kent loves her life and knows that she has found her own happily-ever-after with her husband and three children But on those other days (you know which ones!), she is very glad for the wonderful romances, sensuous gowns, and tall, sexy men that fill her mind – and then her computer.

Lavinia lives in Washington, DC, with her family and an ever-changing menagerie of pets. She attended Wellesley College as an undergraduate and holds an MBA from Georgetown University.

What a Duke Wants is Lavinia’s fourth book from Avon Romance. She also has a fun and sexy serial of e-novellas, The Real Duchesses of London, available from Avon Impulse.

Lavinia Kent WEBSITE



~Sia McKye~ said...

Lavinia, welcome back to OVER COFFEE

As far as your question. Definitely Jamie from Outlander. No offense meant to anyone, but I' SO over Darcy in anything

Margay said...

It's Darcy all the way for me. I like a good Scottish hero, but I just never got into the Outlander books.

Jo said...

When you put Colin Firth and Mr. Darcy together, what more could you want?

Judi Fennell said...

you said the magic words, Sia, to get me here. The Real Housewives.

Lavinia, this is utter brilliance!!! I love the Real Housewives show (which is different than loving the real housewives, see my blog: I'd love your take on it. :)

Off to add these to the Nook!

Kat Sheridan said...

I've never watched Housewives (but I have other guilty pleasures!) But this sounds like SUCH a fun premise! As Judi said, utterly brilliant!! OK, I confess. While I adore Colin Firth, I'm not a Mr. Darcy fan. And I'm probably the only woman on the planet who hasn't read Outlander. I'll take Mr. Rochester please. I like them dark and broody. And Sia will tell you I'm almost always unconventional! Best of luck with this series. It sounds like tons of fun!

Lavinia Kent said...

Sia, thanks for having me back.

Kat, I loved Mr. Rochester for years, but now that I have a teenage daughter I have to pretend that tall, brooding stalkers are not attractive. LOL

Judi, I'll definitely head over and check out your blog. Out off all the different housewives I admit there are only about two who I might actually like as friends.

And, (hang my head shamefully), I've never really understood the Colin Firth thing. I loved him in King's speech, but just don't feel an attraction. I do believe it's something wrong with me, not him.

Lavinia Kent said...

Judi, I loved your blog. I wish I'd read it before I started writing. You hit my feeling exactly -- including which Housewives are perhaps even decent people.


Kristi Knight said...

I hope this posts! Hi Lavinia, I can't wait for J&G's bookclub. I don't have cable, but I do know that Colin did a great job in showing the sexual frustration of a gentalman of that era. Not that all gentalman were gentlemanly!!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Lavinia, I think you have a pretty cool daughter and talented too. Loved her clip art of The Duchesses!

Kat, I loved Rochester,too!

Lavinia Kent said...

Sia, I was so happy with the trailer. It's fun seeing what kids can do today that we didn't even dream of.

Kristi, Maybe I need to watch it again. It has been a few years.

Vanetta Q said...

Love all of Lavinia's work! So glad she is promoting it out there! She deserves more fans!

Can't wait for the next release! Counting down!

Great Work! Keep it going! :)