Could she use her skills as a lockpick to crack open the secrets to the murder as well as unlock his heart?
Lady Katherine Thornton has no interest in men after an indiscretion at her disastrous Season in London. No man can be trusted. Instead, she indulges in her fascination for gears and all things mechanical. Her unique drafting skill is an asset to her uncle Bennett Sutton, who is automating his textile factory. She doesn’t need anything else.
Lord Ian Wallace, the 4th Duke of Blackhall, is a retired military officer. An accidental duke after the deaths of his father and brother, he retreats from society and the clawing mothers and debutantes who stalk him. He’s focused all his energy on his partnership with Sutton. He’s satisfied and needs nothing else.
An oath to marry, a family legend to preserve, an uprising of the factory workers, and Sutton’s murder, throw Katherine and Wallace together to find a blackmailer and murderer. They also will find two things neither knew they were missing… each other and their happily ever after.
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5 Stars: “Mystery, legends, and romance are the key factors in this engrossing novel.” ~ Margaret W.
An Interview with Lady Katherine Thornton the heroine in The Lady and Her Duke
Justin Case: I cannot tell you how excited I am. Our staff has gone over and above. But I am ahead of myself. For those who are here by special invitation or may have stumbled in let me introduce myself. My name is Justin Case, host and executive producer of The Inside Scoop, where we interview the characters in the stories created by author Ruth A. Casie. I ask everyone to sit back and imagine sitting in a comfortable chair and talking with today’s guest, Lady Katherine Thornton. I hope my interviews are informative and thought provoking and that you enjoy reading them as much as I had conducting them.
[Lady Thornton takes her seat.]
Justin Case: “Good Day, Lady Thornton. Thank you for coming. Please tell our audience a bit about yourself and the role you play in Ms. Casie’s story, The Lady and Her Duke.”
Lady Thornton: “Have we been introduced? Yes, at the pageant. I believed you sang with Mr. Green, our minstrel. I really think the best part of the pageant is when he sings with everyone. You were quite good. But on to your question. I’ve lived in Sommer-by-the-Sea all my life. And yes, I have been to London but I really would prefer forgetting about that. As for what role I play in the novel… I was the ‘Diamond’ my debut season five years ago. And you have come to the right person to learn about Lord Whitaker. A landless, do-nothing. All he saw was my family’s fortune and vast holdings. Once I understood his game I left.” She leaned forward. “I didn’t even wait for the gala to be over or for the season to be over. I went right back to Sommer-by-the-Sea.”
Justin Case: [Looking for a more agreeable topic] Share with us your hobbies and interests. Why you enjoy them.
Lady Thornton: “You know about my challenge lock? It all started very innocently. My Uncle Bennett is not much older than me. We were a pair at times. He would taunt me with his secrets that he kept locked in a small chest. To add insult to injury, he proudly put on the drawing room mantel. No matter what I did I couldn’t open it. So, I learned to be a lockpick. It took me a long time, but I got inside that chest of his and when I did I left him a note. I remember when he opened it. We celebrated. That started my fascination with gears. I was already a good artist, drafting was the logical next step. When Uncle Bennett decided to build a factory with mechanicals, I found a use for my hobby.”
Justin Case: [Relieved her ladyship was calm] “Tell us how you feel about being in a novel, and if you are happy with how your author presented you to readers.”
Lady Thornton: “It’s not easy being a subject in a novel. Everyone gets to see everything about you. What you know, what you don’t know, and how you feel. I will say that Ms Casie was very gentle and extremely discreet when she wrote about me and Ian. Lord Ian Wallace. He’s the 4th Duke of Blackhall. He was my uncle’s partner. [Katherine got quiet for a moment gathering her thoughts before she continued.] He had the difficult job of bringing my uncle back from Royston Mills where he died. It was the most awful time, next to my father’s death. But I am still angry with Ms. Casie. She never, not once I tell you, let me know that my uncle made Lord Wallace take an oath that he would marry me. I didn’t find that piece of information out until my friends showed me the announcement in the London Gazette. We do get that paper here in Sommer-by-the-Sea.”
Justin Case: “If Ms. Casie was to create another novel with you in mind, give us a quick blurb of what it would be about. And be sure to give the title.”
Lady Thornton: “Another novel with me in mind. I know exactly what it would be. The Lady and Her Lord. It would be about Mrs. Bainbridge and Captain Barrington, well Lord Barrington. All the stories in The Ladies of Sommer-by-the-Sea are graduates of Mrs. Bainbridge’s Female Seminary. You cannot apply to the school. She carefully selects her students. Each of her ladies has a special skill. Lady Alicia in The Lady and Her Quill is a writer. Lady Patrice solves puzzles. I am a lockpick. I understand Ms. Casie is contemplating a story for Lady Anna who is a wiz at getting votes for her cousin who wants to be PM, Lady Harriet who is better at medicine that her father, and there may be one or two others. I don’t quite know Lady Euphemia, Effie for short, well enough. What do you suppose her skill is? But she MUST write a story, a love story for Mrs. Bainbridge and her captain. They are always together. You will see them in every story. They deserve one of their own.”
Justin Case: “Which character in The Lady and Her Duke do you like the most, and why?”
Lady Thornton: “There is only one person for me. Ian. Lord Ian Wallace. When the agitators came to the Uncle Bennett’s factory, he was the one who brought us through the difficulty. When they set the factory on fire it was Ian who without concern for his own well-being ran into the burning building to help the others out. And as much as I was angry about the oath he gave to my uncle, the oath that he would marry me, my uncle knew me better than I knew myself. Ian and I were made for each other.
Justin Case: “Which character in the novel do you dislike the most, and why?”
Lady Thornton: “There is one person I will hate for the rest of my life, Lord Ryder Whitaker. His only skill was relieving people of their money then wasting it away. Ian and I proved that he killed his uncle, Lord Percival Kinsleye only to find that the vast estate was out of his reach. He never intended to marry me, just compromise me then blackmail my uncle. Ian wouldn’t let that happen. He got what he deserved. And my god forgive me, I celebrate it.”
Justin Cast: “Tell us why we should read the featured novel and what we will find most intriguing about you.”
Lady Thornton: “”Ms. Casie has a way with words. Her descriptions put you in the story, right next to me. Just not to close to Ian.” [Lady Thornton laughed.] “Seriously, we can experience the story together. And I promise you. You will want to about my close friends as well. I am tell you all this because I hope you convince that my story is the last. I have almost convinced her to take anything you may sat about her stories to her publisher. Lady Alicia did in The Lady and Her Quill and look what happened to her. Oh, and her fight scenes. I haven’t told you about the pageant and how Ian had to take up a sword, or when she described Ian dancing with me, or… Well, you’ll just have to read my story for yourself to decide. Now you will have to forgive me, Mr. Case. I must meet Lord Wallace.”
Justin Case: “Of course, Lady Thornton. I understand the wedding will be soon. Congratulations to you both.”
[Lady Thornton stood and left]
Justin Case: “With a quick nod, Lady Thornton gracefully glided out of our studio. Thank you all for joining me today. Keep a look out for our next, Inside Scoop.