The Scoundrel & I: Author’s Note
Don’t you just love to laugh? I smiled and giggled the whole time I was writing this novella. The reason for my glee: Captain Anthony Masinter. He’s that perfectly earnest and entirely good kind of hero that makes me feel truly happy, even a little giddy, which is exactly what Gabrielle Flood, the heroine of The Scoundrel & I, feels about him too.
I had two big inspirations for this novella: one of my favorite romance authors, and every wonderful proof reader I’ve worked with over the years.
When I was writing I Married the Duke, the first book in my Prince Catchers series, I’d just read Laura Kinsale’s brilliant Flowers from the Storm. In that emotionally intense novel the hero’s two best friends provide a little comic relief. As an author, I couldn’t help but admire the way Kinsale used those minor characters so effectively.
Writers often borrow from other writers’ brilliance. So in I Married the Duke — a tumultuously emotional romance — I gave the hero two best friends who inject some extra laughter into the story: Cam Bedwyr and Anthony Masinter. They’re perfect opposites. While Cam, a goldenly rakish lord, uses his cynical tongue to hide a profoundly wounded heart, Tony is exactly what you see on the surface: big and handsome, friendly, hard-working, full of good-hearted fun, and gallant toward ladies and everybody else. I fell hard for the pair of them.
I wrote Cam’s love story immediately; it became my Christmas novella, Kisses, She Wrote. I adored Tony, too. But I’d never written a hero anything like Tony, and I had no plans for a romance starring him…
Until I met Gabrielle Flood.
Every writer needs a great proof reader to make her books shine. Excellent proof readers don’t just find typos: they point out that staunch doesn’t mean stanch, that you’ve been using semi-colons wrong your whole life, and that you completely forgot to explain how that crucial thing happened in the previous scene that changed the whole course of the plot. In other words, they’re essential.
I’ve been blessed with amazing proof readers. For me, the best is my dear mom, who’s read almost every one of my books in manuscript form. For Lady Justice, the prolific pamphleteer of my Falcon Club series, her proof reader is Gabrielle. Who better to polish Lady Justice’s fiery prose to sparkly perfection than a woman employed in a print shop owned by men who have no idea what it’s like to be a working girl struggling to make ends meet and find happiness in a world that doesn’t care about her?
Enter: the perfect hero for her, Tony Masinter, a man who all his life has fought a private challenge he refuses to surrender to, and whose spirit is so generous, so loving, that he simply cannot walk away from a woman in need.
I wrote this novella for all of us working girls like Gabrielle, for the weekend after that especially bad week when everything seemed to go wrong, and you just need a break already. I hope it will make you smile, giggle, laugh out loud, and maybe even cry a few happy tears, because at its heart is courage, hope, and the best of all good things: love.
p.s. This is a series cross-over novella, but in case you’re thinking you must read both the Prince Catchers and Falcon Club series before reading this novella, no need. The Scoundrel & I is completely standalone, just like its sequel The Pirate & I.