Interviewed by Suzanne Welsh
RITA Winner and NYT best-selling author, Lorraine Heath
joins the Romance Bandits in the Banditas Lair today. Lorraine’s newest historical romance, Just Wicked Enough
, recently received a 4-1/2 star review from Romantic Times Magazine and will be on the shelves at your local book stores tomorrow. Today, she’s here to give us a sneak peek at Just Wicked Enough
and talk about writing both historicals and Young Adult (YA). Congratulations, Lorraine on the great review and welcome to our lair.
Your stories always bring your readers wonderful alpha males in need of the right heroine to love. Can you tell us about the hero and heroine in Just Wicked Enough?
Michael Tremayne, the Marquess of Falconridge, stole my heart the moment I met him. He’s extremely proud (what male isn’t, right?) and in dire financial straits. In A Duke of Her Own, he watched his best friend court a wealthy American heiress only to end up with the penniless chaperone. Michael hasn’t the time to waste courting a woman when the outcome is questionable, so he decides to hold a private auction with all the American fathers. He’ll marry the daughter of the man willing to arrange the best settlement.
Kate Rose has a secret in her past that makes her more than willing to agree to marry Falconridge if for no other reason it’ll get her out of her overbearing mother’s house. But Kate also believes strongly in love and courtship so before she’ll consummate the marriage, she insists that Falconridge earn her love. And since her father has given control over the money to her, my poor hero—who had hoped to avoid courtship—finds himself dancing to her tune.
Kate seems to be one of those headstrong Americans you love to incorporate in your books. How does she feel about her father essentially buying her a husband with a title?
When she finds out, she’s furious . . . but since it was a private auction and neither man wants to confess what he’s done, it’s a while before she learns that Falconridge didn’t approach her parents and ask for her hand in marriage.
You originally wrote Western historical romances, which garnered you your RITA award. Was it hard to change from Western settings to books set primarily in England?
It was difficult in that I had to do a lot of research because life was so very different in London than in Texas. Clothing, food, to a degree etiquette, all different. But I’d always wanted to write a story set in England, so part of the reason that I brought the second sons of English lords to Texas in my Rogues in Texas series was so that I could begin researching England and getting comfortable with the differences when a story wasn’t completely dependent upon a vast knowledge of English ways. So the Rogues in Texas became exactly what I’d hoped they would—a stepping stone to writing stories set in England.
If you had the chance is there another time or place you’d like to take your readers to with your historicals?
Actually, I wrote three medievals before I was ever published and I’ll admit that lately I’ve been considering dusting them off and seeing if they have any potential. Although I suspect in truth I’ll find that they’re simply awful.
You’ve ventured into contemporary romances with Hard Lovin’ Man and Smooth Talkin’ Stranger. Are there plans for more of those stories in your future?
I would like to write more contemporaries, have worked on a couple of stories actually, but I’m just not entirely comfortable with my contemporary voice and I’m not sure I’ve managed to figure out how to create that “big book” feel that you really need to be successful with contemporaries.
Our blog readers may not know this, but you also write YA stories under the name Rachel Hawthorne. Want to tell us about your latest YA release, The Boyfriend League?
The Boyfriend League
was a lot of fun to write. DH and I had gone to watch the McKinney Marshals play. They’re a collegiate team—college players move to the city during the summer, stay with host families, and play baseball. It was family appreciation
night and they recognized the families who had provided homes to the players—and I immediately envisioned a teenage girl desperate for a boyfriend who talks her parents into hosting a player so she can get up close and personal with the players. Came home from the game, sat down at my computer, wrote the synopsis, pitched—so to speak—the story to my editor, and she loved it. I had my fictitious Ragland Raiders play actual teams in the North Texas Collegiate League. Although I’ve heard that the league may disband after this year.
If you read the excerpt for this book posted at my website, you’ll discover that Michael believes he has only to guess Kate’s favorite color in order to prove that he knows her well enough to be invited into her bed. His misguided belief provides some of the lighter moments in the story. What one thing does a man need to know about you to prove that he truly knows the real you?
One lucky commenter will receive an autographed copy of JUST WICKED ENOUGH along with a JUST WICKED ENOUGH mug!