Today we welcome a special guest, Salime, who was secondary character from The Devils’ Match & A Devil Named DeVere in the award-winning Devil DeVere series. She is now the heroine in Jewel of the East.
Would you please share a bit about yourself?
As readers will learn, I was taken from my home at an early age and raised in Topkapi Palace in Constantinople where I was an odalisque to the Valide Sultana the sultan’s mother, the most powerful woman in the Ottoman Empire. In the Imperial Harem, even a slave has a chance for a better position if she is possessed of beauty and talent. Being chosen as a concubine is the only path to a life of ease and security for a woman such as myself … but that was not to be. Any chance I had was destroyed by a jealous rival. After coming to England, I became the reigning courtesan at King’s Place, the most exclusive brothel in London.
Was the dance Devil requested Salome’s Dance of the Seven Veils or one of your own devising?
It was my own devising. My “dance of seduction” had never failed to bring any man to his knees—until Simon. She shakes her head sadly. Though Simon was the one man in whom I most desired to invoke passion, he proved impervious to my best efforts.
Was it truly love you felt for Devil or gratitude, affection, and loyalty, for saving you mixed with a bit of attraction/lust (after all he’s quite a feast for the eyes).
Lord DeVere was my rescuer, my salvation, and my loyal friend. At times we were almost as intimate as lovers. In hope of becoming more to him, I danced for him, smoked with him, and tended him in the hammam. In truth, I worshipped him as a god. For years I tried to win his love, but his heart always belonged to another. In the end, I only cared for his happiness and sacrificed my own to help my rival, Diana, the woman he loved.
It was only after I met Simon that I came to know the difference. He was the only man aside from Lord DeVere who ever cared to know me and the first ever to touch my soul.
Do you believe in love?
I believe that love exists, but it is often tragic and cruel, is it not? It is so often beyond our reach—unrequited or forbidden.
What do you desire or long for most in your heart of hearts?
The same as any other woman, I suppose— love, security, and happiness. But these are only foolish dreams for a woman such as myself. I believe it is better to have no heart at all than to harbor such fruitless fantasies.
Having once lived his life only for larks, laughter, and ladies of easy virtue, Captain Simon Singleton has returned from the war with the colonies a shambles of a man. Now free from six years of captivity, he’s still fettered by irrational fears that confine him to a life of seclusion.
Once the crowning jewel of the most lavish brothel in London, the exotic Salime finds her reputation and livelihood destroyed by a bitter rival. With a closely guarded secret stripped away, Salime fears no man will ever desire her again. Seeking aid from one who once saved her life, Salime accepts a proposition to repay her debt by becoming a companion to his war-scarred friend.
Circumstance brings these two damaged souls together; but fate ignites a love story worthy of the Arabian Nights.
Victoria is giving an ecopy of JEWEL OF TH EAST to one (1) lucky commenter. How do you feel about damaged heroes & heroines? Giveaway ends@12am est 1-26-14 with the winner announced shortly thereafter. Good Luck y’all, it’s a good one!
My thoughts 4.5 stars
Devil DeVere has hit upon a plan to help both Selime and his friend, Simon, better known as Sin. All these years Sin was believed dead but was actually being held as a prisoner of war. Sin’s returned home changed almost beyond recognition both physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Once again our devious Devil devises a scheme designed to kill two birds with one stone.
As much as I have loved the books in this series JEWEL OF THE EAST is my favorite. Sin and Selime are two hopeless broken people, one is aware of it and one is oblivious. You couldn’t ask for a more beautiful love story than two such people being each other’s salvation. The following excerpt shows how Sin has matured since last we saw him while also highlighting Selime’s disbelief in what he speaks of.
“No. I tell you the truth. Aashiq never truly loved Asma. If he had, he would have known her, even had he been struck blind and deaf.” “But her shape and voice?” “Would still have spoken to his soul. He would have known her, Salime,” Simon insisted. “I maintain that he never truly loved her to begin with. Aashiq, like the Jinn, was merely enthralled with her beauty.” “You speak with such scorn. I cannot believe that you have never been so infatuated.” “Me?” Simon laughed outright. “A hundred times I have been an utter fool for a pretty face. But that was in the madness of my youth.” “And now?” she asked. “Are you not still moved by beauty?” “Every man is,” he said softly. “But some men have eyes to recognize other kinds of beauty. I don’t mean a preference for fair over dark complexion, or a plump figure over slim. No, I refer to the grace of her movement, the brilliance of her smile, the melodious tone of her voice, her unique scent, her easy laughter or sense of the absurd, the peculiar way she cocks her head, the sparkle of her wit; even a steadfast character has beauty. Beauty appears in myriad manifestations. Hundreds of unseen things can make even a plain woman beautiful if a man has not scales over his eyes.” She stared at him in breathless incomprehension, feeling as if scales had suddenly dropped from hers. She hadn’t believed such a man existed…yet his words made her pulse race. She shook herself out of such fanciful thoughts, reminding herself that in the end they were only words. And words could not be trusted.
In many ways the excerpt says it all. Wonderfully romantic and sensuous, JEWEL OF THE EAST speaks to what we all desire, to be loved not for our outer appearance but for whom and what we are inside. Truly sigh worthy.
Victoria Vane is an award-winning author of smart and sexy romance. Her collective works of fiction range from historical to contemporary settings and include everything from wild comedic romps to emotionally compelling erotic romance. Her biggest writing influences are Georgette Heyer, Robin Schone, and Sylvia Day. Victoria is the founder of Goodreads Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers and the Romantic Historical Lovers book review blog. Look for her sexy new contemporary cowboy series coming from Sourcebooks in 2014.