Jared Westbrooke, the
dashing and roguish earl of Hawkesly, is finally coming
home to claim the exquisite stranger he married and then
abandoned two years before. He soon learns that the
beautiful and willful Lady Kathryn not only doesn't
recognize him, but isn't the kind of bride to sit and
quietly knit while her neglectful groom was sailing the
Seven Seas. Putting an end to his enchanting wife's
enterprising activities and winning her heart will take
a very special seduction indeed.
Click here to read chapter 1 & 2 now!
With The Pleasure of Her Kiss now on the shelves
of bookstores, I finally have a few moments to let
you in on the making of the story itself . .
.Frankly, I owe it all to Rock Hudson. And to two of my
favorite comedies from the early 1960's. In Come
September, Rock plays a wealthy American who visits his
estate on the Riviera only once a year, in September. Unbeknownst to him, his estate manager has turned his
mansion into a fancy hotel the other eleven months of
the year. You can imagine the fun that ensues when Rock
arrives unannounced a few weeks early. I love the idea
of an estate manager–the heroine--making clever use of
the "master's" absence.
In the second Rock Hudson comedy, His Favorite Sport,
Rock plays a nationally renown expert on fly-fishing who
writes a monthly magazine column on the fine art of
fishing. Along comes a female sports writer (Paula
Prentiss) who discovers that Rock has never even held a
fishing rod, let alone caught a fish. The fun begins
when she blackmails him into entering a fishing
tournament as the representative of his magazine. I love
Rock's antics as he tries to impress Paula and to
pretend to his boss that he's the expert fisherman,
because his job is at stake.
Since I couldn't choose between the story ideas, I
blended them together. In the beginning of the process
the heroine (Kate) was the daughter of the hero's
(Jared) gamekeeper. The keeper dies and Kate takes over
the game keeping, and Jared is gone for years at a time
and when he returns from sea he discovers that she's
turned his gamekeeper's cottage into a famous
fisherman's lodge . . . but then. . . . nothing. No
story there. So I added spies.
And a shipwreck . . . And a dozen orphans...And a
wedding between Jared and Kate that happened 18 months
before, on the deck of a ship, half-way around the
world . . . And the Irish Potato Famine . . . Oooo . . . and they'd never met before their 5 minute marriage.
And Jared was bearded and looked like a pirate at the
time, so Kate doesn't recognize him when he comes
storming into the lodge.
So he doesn't let on who he is because . . . Ah, but
then I think I'll just leave it there, and let you read
for yourself what I did with the rest of the story.
I'm off to work on the next in this "Gentleman
Rogues" series... A Scandal To Remember!