Anise Drop Cookies #Food
Thank you for inviting me!
I’m so excited about the release of HOW TO FORGET A DUKE and thrilled to share a peek behind the scenes.
HOW TO FORGET A DUKE is a historical romp about a determined matchmaker who sets out to uncover her client’s secrets, only to wind up with amnesia along the way. It’s sort of like Emma meets The Bourne Identity (but with kissing instead of killing).
Jacinda Bourne tends to live by her own rules. When she wants answers, she’ll stop at nothing to find them. So, in her opinion, it’s perfectly acceptable to steal into the duke’s house at dawn and snoop through his study. Unfortunately for her, the duke catches her in the act. And that’s where their story begins…
“I will not excuse you, Miss Bourne. You are trespassing in my home, disguised as a servant, and—”
“Aren’t we all servants to one another, sir, each in our own way?” She’d heard these very words from the reverend this past Sunday.
Fortunately, her impassioned piousness stopped whatever diatribe the duke had been proceeding to inflict upon her. However, unfortunately, it also made him take two hard steps toward her.
The carpeted floor bumped beneath her feet, resonating a warning up her body. He is not one to trifle with, her inner voice of reason whispered. Jacinda did not doubt the truth of it for an instant.
It was a shame that she had yet to heed the advice of that voice.
Standing at the corner of the desk, he loomed over her, the scent of cedar rising from his clothes, his eyes turning dark as a forest at midnight. Indeed, he was a lean-bodied tree of a man, all shoulders, and arms as thick as branches. A jagged vein streaked across his forehead, looking like a gnarled twig beneath the surface of his skin. His nostrils flared as his mouth compressed into a firm white-edged line. “They say even the devil can quote scripture, and I imagine that applies to Sunday sermons as well.”
The unfounded accusation caused his voice to drop lower, more vibration than words. Her skin reacted to it, drawing tight over her bones. The bare flesh below her sleeves felt like a freshly plucked goose as she rubbed her free hand over one arm. The heat he radiated did nothing to lessen this effect. In fact, the longer she stood in his proximity, the more she became aware of her skin and the fit of her clothes, especially how the fine cambric of her chemise seemed to have abraded her nipples until they were taut. She was even strangely conscious of her height and how—if she took a half step forward—her nose would touch the knot of his cravat. And if she were to tilt up, her lips would brush the shallow cleft in his chin.
She swallowed down the thought and the startling impulse to verify this suspicion. “But what would the devil be doing in church?”
This time, he was the one with a ready reply. “Sitting beside you.”
He leaned toward her, and his hot breath drifted across her cheek, carrying the spiciness of a licorice lozenge as if he’d used aniseed tooth powder during his morning ablutions. The pleasing scent teased the glands at the back of her mouth where saliva pooled.
Beneath her cap, she felt the first prickle of perspiration and a hank of hair fell over her brow. She left it there, worried that if she moved at all she might brush against him. And she didn’t know what would happen if they touched.
For some reason, the notion caused a quiver to climb up her back, plucking each vertebra to the base of her skull and making her scalp tingle.
From HOW TO FORGET A DUKE by Vivienne Lorret, published by Avon Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Copyright © 2018 by Vivienne Lorret. Reprinted courtesy of HarperCollinsPublishers https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062685483/how-to-forget-a-duke
Later, when Jacinda washes up on Crispin’s beach with no memory, she has no idea why the intractable duke is so familiar to her. Yet because he wants to keep his secrets… well… secret, he’s in no hurry to help her remember. Unfortunately for Crispin, it’s no use. That encounter in his study left such a strong impression that, when she catches the scent of aniseed on his breath, it triggers her first memory.
There’s even a mention of aniseed biscuits (a favorite of Crispin’s) in the story. And what kind of writer would I be, if I didn’t bake a batch of these for research?
I found a fun recipe for Anise Drops at King Arthur Flour. Not a lot of people like the sharp bite of black licorice (myself included), but these cookies are delicately sweet with just a hint of aniseed and… they are self-frosting!
That’s right, they frost themselves! It’s so cool to watch the cookies transform in the oven (this is how introverts like to party).
I hope you have a chance to try these cookies, perhaps nibbling one or two as you read HOW TO FORGET A DUKE.
Thank you again for having me here today!
Warm wishes and happy reading,
How to Forget a Duke - Misadventures in Matchmaking, #1
The Bourne Matrimonial Agency has one rule: Never fall in love with the client. A simple thing to remember . . . unless you’re a matchmaker with amnesia.
The Duke of Rydstrom requires a wife. Preferably one with a large fortune and a complete lack of curiosity. The last thing he needs is a meddling matchmaker determined to dig up his dark family secrets.
All Jacinda wants is to find a bride for a duke. How hard could that be? He’s handsome, enigmatic . . . and hiding something. She’s sure of it. Determined to discover what it is, she travels to his crumbling cliffside estate. Yet, by the time she washes up on his beach, she can no longer remember who she is or why the duke is so familiar to her. All she knows is that his kisses are unforgettable—and she intends to use every skill she can to discover what’s in his heart . . .
When Miss Bourne can’t remember what brought her to his ancestral home, Rydstrom intends to keep it that way. Yet as the days pass, his true challenge will be safeguarding his secret while resisting this woman who—confound it all—may well be his perfect match.
USA Today bestselling author VIVIENNE LORRET transforms copious amounts of tea into words. She is an Avon author of works including the Wallflower Wedding series, the Rakes of Fallow Hall series, the Season’s Original series, and the upcoming Emma Identity series.