23 July 2017

Blog Tour & Giveaway ~ The Duchess and the Highwayman by Beverly Oakley

The Duchess and the Highwayman
By Beverley Oakley

Beverley is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate and an ebook The Mysterious Governess to randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here.


A duchess disguised as a lady’s maid; a gentleman parading as a highwayman.

She’s on the run from a murderer, he’s in pursuit of one…

In a remote Norfolk manor, Phoebe, Lady Cavanaugh is wrongfully accused by her servants of her brutal husband’s murder.

There’s little sympathy in the district for the duchess who’s taken a lover and made clear she despised her husband. The local magistrate has also vowed revenge since Lady Cavanaugh rebuffed his advances.

When Phoebe is discovered in the forest wearing only a chemise stained with the blood of her murdered husband, she persuades the noble ‘highwayman’ who rescues her that she is Lady Cavanaugh’s maidservant.

Hugh Redding has his own reasons for hunting down the man who would have Phoebe tried and hanged for murder. He plans to turn ‘the maidservant with aspirations above her station' into the 'lady' who might testify against the very villain who would see Phoebe dead.

But despite the fierce attraction between Phoebe and the 'highwayman', Phoebe is not in a position to admit she's the 'murderous duchess' hunted across the land.

Seizing an opportunity to strike at the social and financial standing of the man who has profited by her distress, Phoebe is drawn into a dangerous intrigue.

But when disaster strikes, she fears Hugh will lack the sympathy or understanding of her unusual predicament to even want to save her a second time.


Phoebe was just starting to nod in great sympathy, now they were protected by a high hedge, when Miss Redding raised her head, her eyes flashing in self defence. “I can understand why we are different, though. I succumbed to the charms of a gentleman because of my foolish heart whereas you are forced to do so-”

“Forced to do so?” Phoebe faced Miss Redding, squarely. “Are we talking about Mr Wentworth?”

Miss Redding looked confused for a second before her brow cleared. “I was disgraced through my association with Mr Wentworth because I lost my heart but your association with my brother is through pecuniary necessity.” She put her hand up to stay Phoebe’s protest. “I’m not condemning you, truly I’m not. But you can’t tell me you love my brother when you met him only three days ago.”

Phoebe was lost for words. “You are more straight-talking than you look, Miss Redding,” she murmured at last.

“I pride myself on speaking the truth as I see it. I also love my brother very dearly. He’s been both father and mother to me since the early death of my parents. But I can see he’s lonely and that you coming into his life in such a manner would have made him susceptible to you. I’m sure it’s a very convenient arrangement and I quite understand his concerns that I should not associate with you-”

“Except that I might suggest your association with Mr Wentworth has blurred those lines between us which you suggest preclude a certain levelling in our stations,” Phoebe said hotly. Who did this young woman think she was, taking the moral high ground like this?

To her astonishment Miss Redding promptly burst into tears. Again.

Phoebe shook her head as she watched Miss Ada bury her face in her hands, rocking her shoulders as she shook her head, the green feather of her bonnet threatening to snag on the spikes of the hedge. Miss Redding was perhaps fours years younger than Phoebe. Perhaps just a year or so out of the school room when she’d met Wentworth.

“Stop behaving like an emotional child,” Phoebe muttered putting her hand awkwardly on her shoulder. “First you accost me and then you insult me and say you’re not supposed to be speaking to me. I think it’s time to bid you good day, Miss Redding before your brother sees us and accuses me once again of upsetting you.”

Miss Redding looked up at her through reddened eyelids. “Don’t go,” she pleaded. “I know I was rude even though there’s truth in what I say – you surely must admit it. But my situation is so much worse than yours. I have lost everything!” “Your virtue, which you so foolishly offered?”

Instead of another angry outburst, Miss Redding merely nodded sadly. “My virtue.. and then …” She took a deep breath. “That which I cannot speak of. So much worse. And now my will to live.” She began to cry again but this time with such heart-rending sobs that Phoebe was moved.

She gripped Ada by the shoulder and drew her deeper into the garden where there was no chance of being observed and asked, “There was a child?”

“Yes…no, it must never be spoken of!” Ada heaved in another breath and rested her head against the tree trunk behind her. “I was not supposed to know it lived, apparently. But the wetnurse who was going to take little Bella away became ill and… and there was no one to nurse it but me for three days. I grew attached, realised I couldn’t live without my child, that I’d sacrifice everything… only Hugh said my reputation would not survive and that without that, I might as well be dead.” She dropped her hands and stared at the sky and Phoebe, who’d tried so desperately for a child for so many years felt a deep and primal tug for this schoolgirl who had admitted so much, so freely, of such a painful nature.

“Hugh took your child away?”

“He organised it. What could he do but find a good home for the infant?” he said. “I am not yet twenty and must find a husband for we are not wealthy and he is concerned about my future. With a child, that would not be possible. But oh, sometimes I wish I were dead.”

An Interview With Beverley Oakley

Welcome Beverley and thank you for stopping by today. How about we get started...

Where did your love of books and writing come from?

It’s probably genetic, and from my mother who’d wanted to be a writer. She lived in the mountains of Lesotho, the remote African mountain kingdom where I was born. With no other young mothers for her to chat with for miles around it’s no wonder she did so much writing. I found some of her work after she died, which had been written in Lesotho in the 60s, around this time, and it was a poignant reminder of how important to the soul writing really is. That’s certainly the reason I write: to feed my soul and because I find the thrill and journey of discovering my characters’ motivations and ultimately ‘happy-ever-after’ so exhilarating.

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work?

I’d have to cite Georgette Heyer first. Many of her Regencies don’t focus on the essential romance but are just wonderful stories of human connections, often with enormous humour and some amazingly colourful ‘characters’ in addition to the very worthwhile hero and heroine. So, while my stories are historical romances, I do make the adventure, mystery and intrigue as important as the romance in some of my series, and the humour as important as the romance in others.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I love to travel. My husband is an airline pilot so we get to go to some interesting places – sometimes to live, and sometimes just to visit.

What was your hardest scene to write?

If I’m not in the mood, a very sensual scene can be almost impossible. It varies. Sometimes the scenes just flow and at other times it’s like pulling teeth. What’s important, though, is that the reader can’t tell which scenes fall into which category.

What did you edit out of this book?

I edited out a lot many scenes where my hero is behaving like a rake or a real jerk (because I’d realised in the second draft he was far more of an honourable hero) and scenes where my heroine behaves like a harlot (because I’d also realised she was a frightened woman on the run in a very ‘fish out of water’ scenario).

What are you reading right now?

Why Spencer Perceval had to Die by Andro Linklater. It’s about the shooting murder in the UK House of Commons in 1812 of the then Prime Minister, an ancestor of mine. All the boys in my family are called Spencer and when I stumbled upon this ‘true crime’ investigation that links Perceval’s death with his anti-slavery quest, I had to read it. As many of my stories are set around this time, I also thought it would be great research.

Thanks so much for having me here, today!

Thank you again Beverely. It was a pleasure getting to know you!

About The Author

Beverley Oakley was seventeen when she bundled up her first her 500+ page romance and sent it to a publisher. Unfortunately drowning her heroine on the last page was apparently not in line with the expectations of romance readers so Beverley became a journalist.

Twenty-six years later Beverley was delighted to receive her first publishing contract from Robert Hale (UK) for a romance in which she ensured her heroine was saved from drowning in the icy North Sea.

Since 2009 Beverley has written more than thirteen historical romances, mostly set in England during the early nineteenth century. Mystery, intrigue and adventure spill from their pages and if she can pull off a thrilling race to save someone’s honour – or a worthy damsel from the noose – it’s time to celebrate with a good single malt Scotch.

Beverley lives with her husband, two daughters and a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy the size of a pony opposite a picturesque nineteenth century lunatic asylum. She also writes Africa-set adventure-filled romances tarring handsome bush pilot heroes, and historical romances with less steam and more sexual tension, as Beverley Eikli.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing The Duchess and the Highwayman :)

  2. Thanks so much for showcasing my book, The Duchess and the Highwayman. And good luck to readers for the giveaway!