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About the Books

  • What is the difference between a Traditional Regency Romance and a Historical Romance?

    My traditional Regencies (which die-hard readers refer to as “trads”) are books based on the style of romance made popular by Georgette Heyer. That is, they are more steeped in a Regency flavor than other romances, in terms of language, setting, etc. They are also typically sweet romances, meaning the level of sensuality never goes much beyond kissing. Not all trads keep the bedroom door closed, but most of mine do. (Miss Lacey’s Last Fling has a brief sex scene, but it is short and not at all graphic.) But sexual tension can be very high in a traditional Regency romance.

    Historical romances are generally much sexier, often quite steamy. They are also slightly longer books. In my historical romances, I tried to keep a traditional Regency voice within a sexier story. If you prefer a story where the sexual relationship is explored as a key element of the romance, these are the books for you.

  • Is Lady Ann of Gloucester in Lady Ann’s Excellent Adventure a real historical figure?

     adventure_new180No, but her father and all the royal cousins mentioned in the story are real historical figures. Her father, Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh, was King George III’s younger brother.

    The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester had three children, two of whom survived into adulthood. None of their children was named Ann. She is entirely my invention. Had she been real, she would have been known as Princess Ann of Gloucester. Her styling in this story as Lady Ann of Gloucester is simply a matter of literary license. Lady Ann’s Excellent Adventure had a more interesting, and less young-adult, ring to it than Princess Ann’s Excellent Adventure. But for all the royal purists out there, I am quite aware that the title is incorrect.

  • Do the Merry Widows books have to be read in order? And if so, what order?

    Each book in the trilogy stands alone and you need not read any of the other books beforehand. However, if you enjoy reading stories in chronological order, the books should be read as follows:
    In the Thrill of the Night 
    Just One of Those Flings 
    Lady be Bad

  • Will Penelope get her own book in the Merry Widows series?

    bad_new180No. She gets her happy ending in Lady Be Bad. The books were conceived as a trilogy, with no books planned for either Penelope or Wilhelmina. But I got so many letters and emails asking for Wilhelmina’s story, that when the opportunity came to write a novella, I decided to give her a happy ending as well.  But, sorry, no book for Penelope.

  • Will Wilhelmina from the Merry Widows books get her own story?

    anthology_ihon_180She did! She’s the heroine of my novella “From This Moment On” in the anthology It Happened One Night. I got so many letters and emails asking for her story, that when the opportunity for this anthology came about, I decided to write it for Wilhelmina. As she was older (early 40s) and had a shady past as a high-class courtesan, I figured she would be a hard sell as the heroine of a full-length novel. But I think her story worked out nicely in the shorter novella format.

  • Is the Mallory Heart in Her Scandalous Affair based on a real jewel?

    It’s based on a composite of several real Elizabethan jewels. I collect sentimental jewelry (eg Georgian mourning brooches and hearts) and love all the sentimental iconography built into their designs. I wanted the Mallory Heart to be dripping with sentiment. And I wanted it to be older than my pieces. Elizabethan pieces are often filled with symbols and sentiment, and I used a couple of pieces from the Victoria and Albert Museum as my inspiration for the Mallory Heart. You can read more about it on the Behind the Scenes page for Her Scandalous Affair.

  • Is Her Scandalous Affair connected to any other books?

    No, it is a standalone story.

  • Was the Ladies’ Fashionable Cabinet a real magazine?

    Lady's Monthly MuseumNo, it is completely fictional. There was a real magazine called the Ladie’s Cabinet and another called the Lady’s Cabinet of Fashion, and I used a variation of those so that when Anthony won the magazine in a wager, he would think it was a piece of furniture!

    I was inspired by the Regency period magazines in my private collection, especially the Lady’s Monthly Museum. That little magazine was a very conservation reaction to the Reign or Terror in France, during a time when the British government was terrified of a similar uprising in England. Its unspoken purpose was to keep women in their place, ie firmly in the domestic world of home and family. I created the fictional Ladies’ Fashionable Cabinet as a sort of rebuttal to the conservative ideology of the Lady’s Monthly Museum. The editors were liberal thinkers who had at one time believed in the French Revolution, but who now sought only to counteract the repressive content of their rival publication.

  • Do the books in the Ladies’ Fashionable Cabinet trilogy need to be read in order? If so, what order?

    Each book in the trilogy stands alone and you need not read any of the other books beforehand. However, if you enjoy reading stories in chronological order, the books should be read as follows:
    Once a Dreamer
    Once a Scoundrel
    Once a Gentleman         

  • Were there really wife sales as depicted in The Bride Sale?

    wifesale_frenchYes! They were not legal, and they were not common, but they did happen. In a time when divorce was complicated, expensive, and required an act of Parliament, people in the lower and middle classes looked for alternatives to rid themselves of an unwanted spouse. You can read more about wife sales in the Behind the Scenes page for The Bride Sale.

  • Is Pendurgan in The Bride Sale based on a real house?

    Yes. I was primarily inspired be Cotehele, a lovely old Elizabethan house in eastern Cornwall. You can read more about it in the Behind the Scenes page for The Bride Sale.

  • Is The Bride Sale connected to any other books?

    No, It is a standalone story.

  • Do the Country House Duo books need to be read in order?

    No, they are standalone stories. The hero of The Best Intentions has a significant role in A Garden Folly, and his experiences in that book are mentioned in The Best Intentions. But his story is complete in The Best Intentions, and stands on its own.

  • Is St. Biddulph’s in The Best Intentions a real church?

    brixton1No, it is completely fictional, as is St. Biddulph. But the church was inspired by a real church, All Saints Church in Brixworth, Northamptonshire, shown here. It is one of the few remaining examples of Saxon architecture in England. However, the church she visits in Oundle, St. Peter’s, is very real.

  • Who is MacDougal in A Garden Folly?

    folly_new180Since this book was first published in 1997 I have continued to receive email asking about MacDougal. I deliberately gave him an air of mystery with some hints that he might be more than he seems. However, everything he does can be logically explained. It is only the context of his actions that sometimes make him seem more mysterious than he actually is. I decided to leave it to the reader’s imagination to decide who MacDougal might be. A ghost? An angel? A reincarnation of the heroine’s father? Or simply a loyal retainer? He is whoever you want him to be.

  • Is the estate of Chissingworth in A Garden Folly based on a real country house?

    It is based on several. The house was inspired by Chatsworth in Derbyshire and Burghley House in Lincolnshire, both very grand estates, worthy of my fictional duke.

    The gardens were inspired by Chatsworth, Mount Edgecumbe in Cornwall, Stourhead in Wiltshire, and Chiswick in London.

  • Do the books in the Regency Rakes trilogy have to be read in order?

    No, each is a standalone book. The characters overlap, but each story should stand on its own. But if you like to read the books in the order they were written, here is the correct order:

  • Is Thornhill in An Affair of Honor based on a real estate?

    levens2

    Levens Hall

    Like many of the country estates in my books, Thornhill is based on a compilation of several estates I’ve visited over the years. But in this case, Levens Hall in the Lake District was a key source of inspiration for the house at Thornhill.  I placed Thornhill in Suffolk as it is a horse farm and Suffolk is prime horse country.

  • I loved Sir Terrence, the heroine’s brother, in An Affair of Honor. Will he get his own book?

    I hadn’t considered it, to be honest. I don’t have any plans at the moment to write a story for him, but anything is possible!

  • Is Jack’s estate in A Change of Heart based on a real country house?

    No, it is simply a hodge-podge of various estates I’ve visited. I did want to set it in a very specific area along the South Devon coast, so many old maps were involved!

  • Are your books available as ebooks?

    Yes, all the books are avaialble in a variety of ebook formats. Visit E-Book Central to see all the books in all available formats.

  • Are your books available in any foreign languages?

    Yes, my books have been translated into French, German, Russian, Dutch, Polish, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Turkish, and Chinese.

  • There are several unfamiliar terms and phrases in your books. Dictionaries don’t always help. How can I find out what they mean?

    Check my Illustrated Regency Glossary. It lists several words and phrases that are specific to the late 18th and early 19th century. Many are slang expressions that you won’t find in a dictionary — unless you happen to have a copy of the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, one of my favorite reference books!