Author's Notes

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The Duke: Author’s Note

I adore epic romances.  What do I mean by epic romance?  It’s a story that sweeps me away and transports me to a distant time and place where I meet a hero I can fall in love with and a heroine I’ll cheer for.  A story that hurls me on an emotional rollercoaster ride through dangers and against unimaginable odds, and that only when I’ve lost nearly all hope awards me with a huge, satisfying payoff: the hero and heroine win!  They beat the bad guys!  They’re safe, together, in love.

How did I come to be a fan of epic romances?  As a girl, reading by flashlight under my bedcovers, I cut my reader’s teeth on big, thick historical novels set in faraway lands, in ancient castles and sumptuous palaces, on magnificent sailing ships and majestic horseback — novels with fantastic casts of loveably quirky characters, loads of danger, and just enough mystery to keep me turning the pages into the wee hours of the night.

Only later did I realize that at the heart of every one of my favorite epic historical novels is a gorgeous love story, Read the Author’s Note →

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The Pirate & I: Author’s Note

There’s something so deliciously wonderful about a character that sneaks up on me slowly, who doesn’t impress or astonish me from the start, but whose courage and strength and true humanity nevertheless shine through and make me realize he’s actually fantastically heroic.  That happened for me with Charles Brittle.

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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.

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How a Lady Weds a Rogue: Author’s Note

What is an author to do with a gentleman who appears on the page of another hero’s book and captivates her from his first teasing smile?

What is that same author to do with a girl who peeks through the cracked open doors of another heroine’s book, speaks entirely without irony, and seems to have nothing whatsoever in common with that gentleman mentioned above?

Well, I’ll tell you: that author hurls them together on a harrowing road trip and lets them discover where the road will take them — together.

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Captive Bride: Author’s Note

Long ago I wrote a story in which the heroine’s sister played a minor part.  This sister, barely sixteen, had wide doe’s eyes and a sweet, pensive smile. In that story a handsome young gentleman noticed those wide doe’s eyes and sweet, pensive smile.

He noticed them and he could not forget them.

But that story was not theirs.  It went along its way, leaving them stealing glances at one another, tongue-tying him when their gazes met yet offering him no opportunity to become un-tongue-tied.

After that the girl and young gentleman visited me occasionally.  Like ghosts. Late at night when the wind howled and all lights were dimmed save the lamp of my laptop, one or the other would tap meaningfully on my computer screen.  They had stolen enough glances to know the truth of it.  They urged me to write their story.

Usually, he did the urging.  He was impatient to enjoy this pretty girl upon his arm.  Rather, in his arms.  She urged more decorously, hinting that her heart would not be young forever.  But she could not hide from me that she had already given it to him.  Wouldn’t I allow her what she longed for?

They haunted me.

And so in the dark I wrote a scene here, a few lines of dialogue there.  In the daylight I often thought of them—ghosts are difficult to ignore—but I could never find time.

But this hopeful pair would not be put off.  Their haunting grew persistent.  I assured them their time would come.  I reminded him that at the very least he must wait a few years until she became a lady.

Then, on a chill, gray day not long ago I found myself in Wales, encompassed in fog upon a velvet hillside.  In the mists towered a great ruin of a fortress, black and craggily, mysterious, downright ominous.  And their story unfolded — a cursed castle, a tortured specter, and a love strong and constant enough to fight the darkest demons and inspire the most breathtaking miracles.

Now, dear readers, because every satisfying ghost story should be shared—not to mention every delicious love story — I am giving it to you.  Also, they insisted upon it, he with dashing confidence, she with that sweet, pensive smile, all the sweeter now because…  Well, I’ll let you discover that for yourselves.