Wednesday, December 15, 2021


The Lords of Voluptas Series by Kathy Leigh

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Voluptas: a Latin word meaning pleasure, delight, satisfaction, enjoyment, gratification.

A duke, an earl, a viscount, a marquess and a baron are all members of the infamous Lords of Voluptas club and each is in search of a wife who will share the philosophy that pleasure is the greatest good.

Each book focuses on one the characters and how he finds that love is the greatest pleasure.

The first book provides a foundation for the others. It focuses on the Duke of Broadwell whose younger cousin is the Marquess of the second book.

The Marquess, Viscount, Earl and Baron have been friends since their school days and so are very involved in each other’s lives and are often there to help one another understand what it means to love.

What is the sub-genre and trope?  Did your characters lead you to this genre or was that decided before the story began?

I generally write Regency Romance with a touch of eroticism - mostly light spanking and a little bondage.

I start with that concept and then fill the specific world of each series with the characters who fit the genre.

My stories follow the trope of an alpha male who falls in love with an unlikely lady and introduces her to a world of pleasure and delight that she had never imagined existed. Each of the couples faces different kinds of opposition from jealousy to misunderstandings and problems caused by their own character flaws or by others who try to harm the relationships.

Of course, as in all good fairy tales, they do overcome their difficulties and find their HEA.  😊   


Are you more character or plot driven?

I think my books are more plot driven, although I try to give my characters depth and the situations they face help them to confront the flaws in their characters.

For instance, when Laurence begins to fall in love with Anne, he has to deal with the issues of his past that have made him cynical before he can develop a good relationship with her.  

With many main and secondary characters, how do you keep them separated in your mind?  Do you have a story/vision board above your workspace?

When I begin a series, I create a spreadsheet with a general tab for the whole series and individual tabs for each book.

Here, I list all the characters and the specific details I need to remember – like eye and hair color and specific quirks and the names of all the characters.

Sometimes the names change, especially for secondary characters because I find the original name doesn’t suit them. In “A Ward for the Baron”, Adam’s cousin began as Giles, then spent a few days as Benjamin and finely I realized that his name is actually Clive! So I keep my spreadsheet updated with this kind of information.

I refer to my spreadsheets from time to time, especially when a secondary character from a previous book makes an appearance in the new one but I have a whiteboard for my work-in-progress where I plot the story and jot down names of characters and places.

I also have a wonderful editor who keeps track for me and when I make a mistake, she usually catches it.

I know from previous interviews that characters take on a life of their own.  Were any of the characters in this series determined to take their own direction instead of where you initially wanted them to go?

Very much so. My characters often have very decided ideas of their own and quite often push the story in different directions.

In “A Paragon for the Viscount” I had a very clear idea of what kind of person Clarissa would be, but she showed me aspects of herself I did not know existed and parts of the story changed because of that.

Also, in the upcoming release, there were all kinds of details about the earl that he had kept to himself and when I discovered them, I began to realize why he is so cynical and he had to find ways to deal with his issues before the story could have a happy ending.    

Are any of the male POVs based on anyone you know?

Sometimes they combine different characteristics of different men I know but none are based completely on the POV of one particular person. There are quite a few traits in Theo, the marquess, that are very similar to someone I knew quite well a few years ago.

Are any of the female POVs based on anyone you know?

I often find little details of my own character reflected in the women in my books although most of them are not quite as reserved and introverted as I am.

Now and then, as I am writing, I also hear echoes of different conversations I have had with different female friends and these ideas filter into the characters’ opinions.

Was there any one character/scene that was harder to write about than the other?

Not really, although because Adam Loxley was very much in the background of the other stories, I didn’t know him very well and so I have had to spend some time discovering more about his character while I write his story.  

What is your favorite book in the series? (if applicable)

I think it is the one that is being released in December – mainly because the story has been with me for a long time and it is set during Christmas, which is my favorite holiday season.

Also, I like the Earl very much and I enjoyed telling his story and watching him fall in love with Anne when she challenged him and forced him to reconsider his ideas about love. She is impulsive and energetic and often ends up in situations that she needs to unravel, with the earl’s help. 

I know that we aren’t supposed to have “favorites” as far as our children, but seriously, who’s your favorite character and why?

I like the Earl of Sherbonne.

He often makes comments that are unexpected and he has insight into his friends’ characters that he hides behind a façade of cynicism and a pretended nonchalance. 

I became more and more fascinated by him as I was writing the series and in this book parts of his backstory are revealed which explains why he is cynical about love.

Series question - Who is your favorite couple and why did you decide on their dynamics?

Although I do like Laurence and Anne from the new book, I think my favorite couple is Sebastian and Amelia.

The duke is suave and intelligent although he also had to learn some things about himself before he learned to love Amelia.

I love Amelia because she is friendly and draws people to her but she is also initially uncertain of herself and her ability to be a duchess.

I like older man-younger woman dynamics and this relationship follows that pattern. 

How do you get inside these character’s heads to find their perfect HEA?

My characters become like real people to me and it’s often more a case of them getting inside my head.

During the day when I am not writing or doing other work, I find they have conversations with each other and with me in my head and so I discover things about them that sometimes don’t actually find their way into the stories but which help me to understand them better.

What scene in this book/series sticks out the most for you?  Why?

I like the final scene in “A Companion for the Earl”. Without giving too much away, I will say that I usually like the endings because everything works out well for the couple and the final scene is usually an indulgence of pleasure.

This book is set around Christmas time and in the final scene the characters play an old Christmas game called Snapdragon – but with a rather kinky twist.

I love Christmas and it was fun imagining what could happen.

[For those like me who didn't know - here is the description from Wikipedia about the parlour game - Snapdragon! - comment from Reading by Deb]

Snap-dragon (also known as Flap-dragonSnapdragon, or Flapdragon) was a parlour game popular from about the 16th century. It was played during the winter, particularly on Christmas Eve.  Brandy was heated and placed in a wide shallow bowl; raisens were placed in the brandy which was then set alight. Typically, lights were extinguished or dimmed to increase the eerie effect of the blue flames playing across the liquor. The game as described in Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language (1755) as "a play in which they catch raisins out of burning brandy and, extinguishing them by closing the mouth, eat them."[1] According to an article in Richard Steele's Tatler magazine, "the wantonness of the thing was to see each other look like a demon, as we burnt ourselves, and snatched out the fruit."[2] Snap-dragon was played in England, Canada, and the United States, but there is insufficient evidence of the practice in Scotland or other countries.

Series - Were any of the books harder to write than others?

I think each book had similar challenges although the first one, “A Wife for the Duke”, took me a very long time to complete. I wrote it and then almost entirely rewrote it after it had been lying dormant for a few months. 


This question is if you write in MULTIPLE POVs not just the hero and heroine - I love the multiple POVs in a book.  It’s not just the hero and heroine, but we get inside the heads of multiple characters throughout this series.  I feel that it gives the story further depth.  Do you think you will write another book or series following this multiple POV outline? 

I tend to focus mostly on the heroine/hero POVs.

How long did it take you to write this book/series?

It’s taken a bit of time.

I wrote the first book and about three-quarters of the second one about two and a half years ago and then they lay dormant because of some things that were happening in my life at the time.

When I went back to them, I was not happy and I almost entirely rewrote them.

The other three have been easier to write. It usually takes me around three to four months to write a book from the first word to the final page.  

How did you come up with the title for your book and (if applicable) series?

I can’t remember very clearly.

I know when I first considered the series I played around with different ideas for the series title but none seemed right.

Then I read a series (I can’t find it again so I can’t tell you what it was!) which used a Latin word to convey the central idea and because my heroes were all educated at Oxford, I thought they would also use Latin in this way.

I searched for different Latin words and found Voluptas which is the basis of our modern word voluptuous and reflects the idea of pleasure being the greatest good.

The titles of the books were also a bit problematic at first – I tried different ideas but focused on the first one – “A Wife for the Duke” felt right and so I used the same pattern for the others.

If you met these characters in real life would you get along?

I think I might be somewhat wary of the Earl at first because of his cynicism and I would be scared of his sarcasm but after spending time with him, I think I would find him less scary and an interesting conversationalist.

Anne is so kind and gentle, although she is also very determined and clear about what she wants, that I think it would be easy to become friends with her. 

Series question – Did you know in advance that you were going to write this as a series or did one of the characters in book one demand their own story?

From the beginning this was planned as a five book series.

Usually, when I start I have a fairly good idea of various interrelated characters but the individual stories develop independently.

A secondary character who appears in a few of the stories is urging me to tell her story in a spin-off novella but I’m not sure if I will do so.  

If your book/series were made into a movie, which actors do you see as playing your characters?

Wow – this is difficult. Am I allowed to consider actors as they were a few years ago, if they have aged now?

I know that when I was writing the story of the Marquess, I had a vision of British actor Richard Armitage in his role in “North and South” in my head.

Focusing on the new release, I think Aiden Turner who starred in “Poldark” would make a great earl and Felicity Jones from the 2007 “Northanger Abbey” would be a perfect Anne.   

Can you give us a hint as to what we can expect next?  Whether a new book and series or a sequel to an existing series?  Can you share a small tease?

I am busy writing the last book in this series which I hope will be finished by the end of November.

It’s the story of the last of the group of friends –Baron Adam Loxley. When an aunt of his dies, she leaves him her house and appoints him the guardian of a distant niece of her husband’s. Harriet is heedless but full of compassion and turns his life upside-down.    

I also have an idea for a new series that has been on the back burner for months now and I am eager to begin it. It will be about five sisters who come to London to start a new life after their father dies. 

Check out all my interviews/reviews for Kathy Leigh!


Kathy Leigh has loved books and writing since she could first follow the stories in her bedtime tales.

She began writing stories in old school notebooks when she was eight years old but only recently thought that others might want to read her stories, too.

A romantic at heart, she is inspired by thunder storms, sunflowers and the belief that every princess deserves to find her prince.

She loves curling up on her couch with a good book, a glass of wine and her cats for company.

As a young girl she particularly enjoyed novels by Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen, and sighed over Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre.

She now enjoys historical romance with an edge. She also enjoys fantasy, especially if it has a touch of romance.


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A widowed duke, still in love with his first wife, a young woman longing for her first love…

Sebastian, Duke of Broadwell, has no intention of remarrying, but an unexpected discovery of a codicil in his grandfather’s will disrupts his pleasant life. He must be married on his forthcoming birthday or forfeit his inheritance.

Bowing to the inevitable, Lord Sebastian invites a select group of potential brides to a house party. Almost against his will, the duke finds himself charmed and delighted by Amelia Hartford. But Amelia, raised in a quiet country town, finds the sophisticated world of the haute ton overwhelming.

Further complications face Lord Sebastian and Amelia when the petty jealousy of a rival for his attentions threatens their safety. Will they find a way to stop her before her jealousy goes too far?

Publisher's Note: This steamy historical romance contains graphic scenes and a theme of power exchange.


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A marquess in search of a wife; an heiress desperate to keep her secret safe.

Lord Theodore Raeburne, the Marquess of Oakdene, has spent most of his life pursuing pleasure. He is, after all, related to the Duke of Broadwell, one of the leading members of The Lords of Voluptas, a society that believes that pleasure is the greatest good. However, the marquess has begun to feel restless and jaded. He wants more than passing pleasure. He wants a wife, particularly a woman who will love him for who he is, not for his wealth and title.

Charlotte Drake, the daughter of Lord Theo’s neighbor in Worcestershire, prefers fishing in the rivers near her home to the sophistication of the Beau Monde and is more skilled at galloping across the fields than the refined accomplishments expected of young ladies. Her mother brings her to London for the season, hoping Charlotte’s substantial inheritance will attract the attention of a titled gentleman. But Charlotte has a secret, known only to her old friend Hugh Parsiville, that could jeopardize her chances of a good marriage.

Publisher's Note: This steamy Regency romance contains a theme of power exchange.


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He is obsessed with her perfect beauty; she yearns for love and passion.

Clarissa Blakeney is determined to overcome the disgrace of her background by becoming a paragon of impeccable behavior. But behind her flawless manners and cool façade, she is a woman who yearns for passion and love. Now in her third season, her guardian insists that she must marry or return to his house to look after his children. Clarissa’s perfect world is thrown into chaos when Viscount Anthony Donnington, a connoisseur of beauty and an artist, persists in pursuing her.

But someone doesn't want them to be together and is going to great lengths to make it known. Will they discover who is trying to keep the lovers apart before disaster strikes?

Publisher's Note: This steamy historical romance contains action, adventure, mystery, and a theme of power exchange.


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Lord Laurence, the Earl of Sherbonne, thinks love is a fairytale and marriage a curse. He is a rake who lives for pleasure and has been disillusioned by women. But when Anne Calverley, the vicar’s daughter, runs away from home the day before she is due to marry her father’s protégé, and finds herself at Dalen Court as his mother’s companion, he finds it difficult to keep up his rakish nonchalance.

At Dalen Court, Anne is plunged into a world of pleasure and delight far removed from the bleak existence she knew at the vicarage. The earl teaches her to embrace the joys of life and she soon discovers that love is the greatest pleasure. However, her fiancé́ is furious that she has disappeared and is determined to get her back. Is love strong enough to overcome the past and set the earl and Anne free from the things that bind them?


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A red-haired hoyden ignites the flame of love in sensible, sophisticated Lord Adam Loxley. But is love enough when her impulsive nature and his determination to keep his family honor clash?

Harriet is a lively young lady who just wants to have fun. When Baron Loxley is appointed as her guardian, she looks forward to a whirl of social activity in London. But Lord Adam Loxley is determined to keep any hint of scandal from his family name. He does not expect to fall in love with the vivacious young woman who creates a stir wherever she goes. Harriet is intimidated by her guardian’s sophistication and innate authority but she admires and respects him.

However, his cousin, Captain Clive Loxley, has his eye on Harriet and she finds herself torn between the charming, suave captain and the powerful, sophisticated baron. Will her heart choose the right man?

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