Meet Katharine

Katharine Ashe is the USA Today bestselling author of the acclaimed Devil’s Duke series and more than a dozen other historical romances reviewers call “intensely lush” and “sensationally intelligent.”  A professor of European history and popular culture, she writes fiction because she adores the grand adventures and breathtaking sensuality of historical romance.

Katharine is a two-time finalist for the prestigious RITA® Award of the Romance Writers of America, a four-time nominee in the Reviewers’ Choice Awards — including winner for Best Historical Romantic Adventure — and her novels The Duke and How to Be a Proper Lady have been honored on Amazon’s Best Romances of 2012 and 2017 lists.  Her books are recommended by Woman’s World Magazine, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All About Romance and many others, and translated into languages around the world

Wearing her other hat (rather, tam!), as a professor of history and popular culture Katharine teaches courses on the history of romance fiction, religion in film and fiction, and creative writing at Duke University.  She co-founded and runs Duke’s UNSUITABLE Speakers Series about women, history, and popular fiction, and she writes publicly and teaches workshops on women’s history, feminism, romance, and writing.  She is also the convenor and moderator of Facebook’s Feminist Romance Book Club.

Katharine lives in the wonderfully warm Southeast with her husband, son, dog, and a garden she likes to call romantic rather than unkempt.  She loves meeting readers in person, and connecting with readers by mail and email and on social media too!

The Backstory

Many of my heroes and heroines have secret identities. There might be a reason for that…

In the third grade I dreamed of being a veterinarian when I grew up and spent every extra minute walking my best friend’s dog.  That year I wrote a sequel to Margret Rey’s Pretzel, “the longest dachshund in the world,” featuring a much friendlier love interest than poor Pretzel’s wretchedly snobbish girlfriend.

As a high-schooler I still intended to be a vet, but of large animals, and I longed to live by the ocean—”down the shore” as they say in my hometown, Philly.  Over vacation, on a yellow legal pad I penned the story of a horse-crazy girl summering at the beach who discovers the magical allure of that unique animal, the teenaged lifeguard.  (My little sister sat next to me reading each page as I produced it. God bless every writer’s first fan.)

By the time I graduated from Duke University with my bachelor’s degree, I had a yen to teach. About then I delved into another writing project: a novel about a young English teacher learning a breathtaking new language in the arms of her soccer-coach colleague.

A decade or so later I found myself finishing up a PhD in History.  While allegedly taking notes on ancient texts in the Vatican Library, I furtively filled my laptop with steamy chapters about a heretic priestess and the inquisitor-knight to whom she burns to surrender.

Eventually, I got the message.  I love romance—the high adventure, pure emotion, and breathtaking sensuality of a hero and heroine’s journey together.  Whatever else I’m doing, I simply must write romance.

I offer heartfelt thanks to…

  • My beloved family for their help, support and enthusiasm
  • My readers, for your love of my stories, and for your kind letters, posts, tweets and messages that make me so happy
  • The team at HarperCollins Publishers, especially Executive Editor Lucia Macro, Publicist Caroline Perny, and Associate Publisher Shawn Nicholls
  • Kimberly A. Whalen of The Whalen Agency, Ltd.
  • Author’s assistant Cari Gunsallus
  • The women and men of Mid-Michigan Romance Writers and Heart of Carolina Romance Writers
  • Emily Cotler, Maxamaris Hoppe and everybody at Waxcreative Design
  • Karrie Matthews
  • Aimée Laine, LLC
  • Nan at PS Studio
  • Julie Schroeder Designs
  • Carrie Divine of Seductive Designs
  • Sharlene Martin Moore of Graphics By Sharlene