Rakes, Rogues, Parties and Princes

AP-avatar Cara/Andrea here,
TTAR The new year is barely into its first chapter, but I’m delighted to announce that tomorrow kicks off my first new release of 2011. (I hope you will all polish up your reading spectacles because you’ll be seeing a lot from me in the coming months—including a Big Announcement as we head into April) Yes, I’m popping the bubbly for To Tempt A Rake, but it’s also a tiny bit sad because as I toast the pristine new pages that are hot off the presses, I am also closing the final chapter on my “Circle of Sin” trilogy.

Russia&Prussia Hail &  Farewell
It’s particularly hard to say goodbye to the hero, Marco, He actually came to life in my Andrea Pickens “Spy” trilogy and had a lot of fun raising hell in those books. Indeed, he was such a swashbuckling character that I couldn’t resist introducing him to the circle of my scientific women when I started my current Cara Elliott series. (Some of you may already know that he tuned out to be Alessandra’s cousin . . . something that took me by surprise. ) Well, he finally got tired of playing a secondary role and demanded his own book. So it was a Good Thing that Kate, the hellion of the Circle, was worldly enough and gritty enough match his devil-may-care bravado. 

Talleyrand_devil Continental Intrigue
Given that they are adventurous and international (Kate is half American and Marco is all Italian) I decided to set part of their story outside of England. They are caught up in a deadly web of Continental intrigue when a foreign diplomat is murdered at a country house party, and Kate finds herself the prime suspect. Marco suspects she is hiding a dark secret, but has his own clandestine reasons for offering to help prove her innocence. And so their investigation leads them from England to Austria, and the famous Congress of Vienna, which convened in the fall of 1814 in order to reorganize Europe after Napoleon’s exile to Elba . . .

But enough of my fictional story—let’s take a quick look at one of the influential—and fascinating—gatherings of the 19th century.

Peace-Festival-Vienna A Waltz To Remember
The Congress of Vienna was also meant to be a grand ending of sorts—the rulers and diplomats from all over Europe were looking to close the book on the strife and upheavals of the Napoleonic Wars and begin a new chapter of world peace. (In many ways, it was the precursor to the United Nations.) Countless books have been written on the complex negotiations and their ramifications (Henry Kissinger wrote his PhD thesis on the Congress) so I won’t attempt to delve into its nuances. Suffice it to say, it was an extraordinary attempt to consider a vast range of issues, both political and social, and to structure a  “balance of power” to ensure that there would not be another world war.

Ball Politics and Parties
Some of the major issues had to do with East Europe—what to do with the various pieces of Poland that had been carved up during the wars; how to deal with Saxony and Prussia; how to keep Russia from becoming too powerful. And then there was the rising nationalism in the Italian peninsula and the Balkans to consider. All these questions of borders and national identity were incredibly important, of course. But what I found fascinating was that the leaders of Europe also understood that issues such as religious freedom, free press and individual rights were very critical in establishing stability and peace throughout the regions. And so there were delegations not just from countries, but from “special interest” groups (much like our modern day lobbyists) ranging from prominent Jewish leaders and anti–slavery organizations to a group of publishers who wanted laws passed to protect intellectual property!

MetternichsOffice Making Peace . . .and Love
Now, as you might know from my previous posts, I love doing research on little arcane details about an era, as well as the “big” picture. For me, those things—the fashion and furnishings, the people and places or the arts and ideas—are what help make a story come alive.

Well, trust me, there probably wasn’t a more “alive” spot
on the planet than Vienna during that time. Yes, the emperors, kings, princes, margraves, powerful government ministers and their entourages had come to the Austrian capital to make peace . . . but they had also come to make love (not necessarily in that order!) In other words, they had come not just to work but to play! And play they did! Glittering balls, sumptuous banquets, fanciful medieval jousts, spectacular fireworks—the daily list of extravagant entertainments for the participants was mind-boggling. (Ah well, what better way to end my trilogy than to go out with a bang. Quite literally!)

Metternich Real-Life Rakes
The cast of colorful real-life characters at the Congress of Vienna makes fiction appear, well, awfully tame. Prince Metternich, the powerful Austrian Foreign Minister who was a guiding force of the Congress of Vienna, was a savvy negotiator, a polished diplomat—and a rakish lady’s man. He was madly in love with the Duchess of Sagan, who had come to the city in order to court favor with the Tsar of Russia . . . (warning: get out your notebooks, for the tangle of love affairs and dalliances gets quite complicated.) Alas, poor Metternich. He spent much of his time writing passionate love letters to the Duchess when he should have been reading treaties and aligning borders . . . a fact that his canny rivals took advantage of.

Talleyrand Prince Talleyrand, the worldly and sybaritic French Foreign Minister, was perhaps the most brilliant—and cunning—statesman of the era. The consummate survivor, he had served King Louis XVI, the radical Revolutionary government and Napoleon (who called him ‘shit in silk stockings’ after the prince betrayed him in secret negotiations with the Allies in ’08.) Called by some le diable boiteux because of a congenital limp, Talleyrand loved the finer things in life (he always dressed in the elegantly old-fashioned velvet-and-lace style of the previous century) and brought the famous chef Antoine Careme with him to Vienna, not only for his own pleasure but to  butter up potential supporters of French interests over the sumptuous dinners and desserts. (At one point he wrote to Paris and wryly said he needed more saucepans, not more secretaries.)

TsarAlexanderOnHorse And then there was Tsar Alexander I of Russia. Charismatic, complex and  mercurial, Alexander was determined to make Russia a force to be reckoned with on the European stage. It seems he was also determined to seduce every female within arm’s reach. One of my favorite anecdotes involves him seeing the wife of a prominent diplomat at a party. As she was alone, he sidled up and asked if he could occupy her husband’s place for the evening—to which she replied coolly, “Does Your Majesty take me for a province?” In addition to the opposite sex, Alexander also loved the rich food and wines of Vienna—he had to have a whole new wardrobe sent from St. Petersburg because he gained so much weight partying every night!

DuchessofSagan And the Ladies Who Loved Them
The ladies were equally interesting. A noted beauty, the Duchess of Sagan attracted an impressive array of influential men to her weekly salons. As did her rival, Princess Bagration, a Russian who was known as the Naked Angel of the North because she wore only white muslin, well damped to cling to her shapely curves. The Duchess’s younger sister Dorothee—who was Talleyrand’s niece by marriage—served as the prince’s hostess, stirring rumors as to what else was cooking inside the Kaunitz Palace beside Careme's delicious desserts . . .

 And I haven’t even begun to talk about the parties, but I’m running out of space! (My favorite is the Carousel, a recreation of a medieval joust which took place in the indoor arena of  the famed Spanish Riding School. However, I promise you will hear about that at a later date!)

Riding-School So, to end this, let me ask a question that brings us back to books. How do you feel about linked books? Are you sad to see a series end after three books? (trilogies seem to be the favorite number with publishers these days) Or are you just as happy to move on to new things? I confess to being a big fan of some long-running series, like the Amelia Peabody books by Elizabeth Peters. Have you any favorites? I’ll be giving away a copy of To Tempt A Rake to one lucky person who leaves a comment here between now and Tuesday night. So be sure to chime in!

175 thoughts on “Rakes, Rogues, Parties and Princes”

  1. Hello, Cara! Really rascally, roguish rakes and rapscallions have no equal–and they know it! Isn’t that one of the reasons why we adore them? I enjoy series books as long as each entry is worthy of its own space and not just a weak extension of the original story concept. Trilogies are the perfect size for series, and four well-written books can also make a great series. Beyond that number and the creative process and quality control has to really be sharp. Trilogies can allow certain characters to develop through the first two books before they become fully-fleshed in the final book, and that can be very rewarding for the reader.
    I read more stand-alones than series. However, when I am hooked on a series, I will collect the entire set. Whether it’s great characters or an intriguing story line, or both, I’ll stay with it until the end. I do believe that some characters and scenarios are better suited to one intense edition that’s perfect just as it is–don’t mess with it! Some story lines work better on a larger scale, and they might just be too much for one book. They develop more slowly, with characters coming and going along the way. In the final analysis, it’s always the ability of the storyteller to spin a great tale that makes the difference.

    Reply
  2. Hello, Cara! Really rascally, roguish rakes and rapscallions have no equal–and they know it! Isn’t that one of the reasons why we adore them? I enjoy series books as long as each entry is worthy of its own space and not just a weak extension of the original story concept. Trilogies are the perfect size for series, and four well-written books can also make a great series. Beyond that number and the creative process and quality control has to really be sharp. Trilogies can allow certain characters to develop through the first two books before they become fully-fleshed in the final book, and that can be very rewarding for the reader.
    I read more stand-alones than series. However, when I am hooked on a series, I will collect the entire set. Whether it’s great characters or an intriguing story line, or both, I’ll stay with it until the end. I do believe that some characters and scenarios are better suited to one intense edition that’s perfect just as it is–don’t mess with it! Some story lines work better on a larger scale, and they might just be too much for one book. They develop more slowly, with characters coming and going along the way. In the final analysis, it’s always the ability of the storyteller to spin a great tale that makes the difference.

    Reply
  3. Hello, Cara! Really rascally, roguish rakes and rapscallions have no equal–and they know it! Isn’t that one of the reasons why we adore them? I enjoy series books as long as each entry is worthy of its own space and not just a weak extension of the original story concept. Trilogies are the perfect size for series, and four well-written books can also make a great series. Beyond that number and the creative process and quality control has to really be sharp. Trilogies can allow certain characters to develop through the first two books before they become fully-fleshed in the final book, and that can be very rewarding for the reader.
    I read more stand-alones than series. However, when I am hooked on a series, I will collect the entire set. Whether it’s great characters or an intriguing story line, or both, I’ll stay with it until the end. I do believe that some characters and scenarios are better suited to one intense edition that’s perfect just as it is–don’t mess with it! Some story lines work better on a larger scale, and they might just be too much for one book. They develop more slowly, with characters coming and going along the way. In the final analysis, it’s always the ability of the storyteller to spin a great tale that makes the difference.

    Reply
  4. Hello, Cara! Really rascally, roguish rakes and rapscallions have no equal–and they know it! Isn’t that one of the reasons why we adore them? I enjoy series books as long as each entry is worthy of its own space and not just a weak extension of the original story concept. Trilogies are the perfect size for series, and four well-written books can also make a great series. Beyond that number and the creative process and quality control has to really be sharp. Trilogies can allow certain characters to develop through the first two books before they become fully-fleshed in the final book, and that can be very rewarding for the reader.
    I read more stand-alones than series. However, when I am hooked on a series, I will collect the entire set. Whether it’s great characters or an intriguing story line, or both, I’ll stay with it until the end. I do believe that some characters and scenarios are better suited to one intense edition that’s perfect just as it is–don’t mess with it! Some story lines work better on a larger scale, and they might just be too much for one book. They develop more slowly, with characters coming and going along the way. In the final analysis, it’s always the ability of the storyteller to spin a great tale that makes the difference.

    Reply
  5. Hello, Cara! Really rascally, roguish rakes and rapscallions have no equal–and they know it! Isn’t that one of the reasons why we adore them? I enjoy series books as long as each entry is worthy of its own space and not just a weak extension of the original story concept. Trilogies are the perfect size for series, and four well-written books can also make a great series. Beyond that number and the creative process and quality control has to really be sharp. Trilogies can allow certain characters to develop through the first two books before they become fully-fleshed in the final book, and that can be very rewarding for the reader.
    I read more stand-alones than series. However, when I am hooked on a series, I will collect the entire set. Whether it’s great characters or an intriguing story line, or both, I’ll stay with it until the end. I do believe that some characters and scenarios are better suited to one intense edition that’s perfect just as it is–don’t mess with it! Some story lines work better on a larger scale, and they might just be too much for one book. They develop more slowly, with characters coming and going along the way. In the final analysis, it’s always the ability of the storyteller to spin a great tale that makes the difference.

    Reply
  6. Congrats on the new release. Love rakes & rogues & watching them fall 😉 enjoy intrigue as well. Sounds like there was a whole lot of that going on in Vienna.
    I enjoy series (though prefer each able to stand on their own & w/ different h/h) and often read them. It’s nice to get to know the characters for an extended period & thus a little deeper and see how the prior couple(s) are doing. In some ways it makes the books feel a little more “real” as there’s a little community/world that is created with the extended interaction with others — it’s a small world afterall. And while it’s sad to say goodbye at the end of the series, it’s better than having the series run too long and loose itself. Plus it can be nice to “meet” new characters from the author’s mind.

    Reply
  7. Congrats on the new release. Love rakes & rogues & watching them fall 😉 enjoy intrigue as well. Sounds like there was a whole lot of that going on in Vienna.
    I enjoy series (though prefer each able to stand on their own & w/ different h/h) and often read them. It’s nice to get to know the characters for an extended period & thus a little deeper and see how the prior couple(s) are doing. In some ways it makes the books feel a little more “real” as there’s a little community/world that is created with the extended interaction with others — it’s a small world afterall. And while it’s sad to say goodbye at the end of the series, it’s better than having the series run too long and loose itself. Plus it can be nice to “meet” new characters from the author’s mind.

    Reply
  8. Congrats on the new release. Love rakes & rogues & watching them fall 😉 enjoy intrigue as well. Sounds like there was a whole lot of that going on in Vienna.
    I enjoy series (though prefer each able to stand on their own & w/ different h/h) and often read them. It’s nice to get to know the characters for an extended period & thus a little deeper and see how the prior couple(s) are doing. In some ways it makes the books feel a little more “real” as there’s a little community/world that is created with the extended interaction with others — it’s a small world afterall. And while it’s sad to say goodbye at the end of the series, it’s better than having the series run too long and loose itself. Plus it can be nice to “meet” new characters from the author’s mind.

    Reply
  9. Congrats on the new release. Love rakes & rogues & watching them fall 😉 enjoy intrigue as well. Sounds like there was a whole lot of that going on in Vienna.
    I enjoy series (though prefer each able to stand on their own & w/ different h/h) and often read them. It’s nice to get to know the characters for an extended period & thus a little deeper and see how the prior couple(s) are doing. In some ways it makes the books feel a little more “real” as there’s a little community/world that is created with the extended interaction with others — it’s a small world afterall. And while it’s sad to say goodbye at the end of the series, it’s better than having the series run too long and loose itself. Plus it can be nice to “meet” new characters from the author’s mind.

    Reply
  10. Congrats on the new release. Love rakes & rogues & watching them fall 😉 enjoy intrigue as well. Sounds like there was a whole lot of that going on in Vienna.
    I enjoy series (though prefer each able to stand on their own & w/ different h/h) and often read them. It’s nice to get to know the characters for an extended period & thus a little deeper and see how the prior couple(s) are doing. In some ways it makes the books feel a little more “real” as there’s a little community/world that is created with the extended interaction with others — it’s a small world afterall. And while it’s sad to say goodbye at the end of the series, it’s better than having the series run too long and loose itself. Plus it can be nice to “meet” new characters from the author’s mind.

    Reply
  11. Virginia, that’s a great point about the books of trilogy having to stand alone. I feel the same way, both as a reader and writer. Nothing annoys me more than to start a book and realize that there are so many references to past people and events that I’m utterly lost without having read the previous story. It’s a balancing act, of course, to get just the right backstory that it works as a stand-alone, but also to connect it enough so that fans can connect to their “friends” from the earlier books. But challenges are what we authors thrive on, right?
    I think the long-running series probably work best for mysteries, because each book naturally presents a fresh problem/plot, while allowing main characters to develop and grow (ie, marry, start families, etc.)
    That said, you’ve hit the nail on the head about the essence of what works—the voice must draw you in!

    Reply
  12. Virginia, that’s a great point about the books of trilogy having to stand alone. I feel the same way, both as a reader and writer. Nothing annoys me more than to start a book and realize that there are so many references to past people and events that I’m utterly lost without having read the previous story. It’s a balancing act, of course, to get just the right backstory that it works as a stand-alone, but also to connect it enough so that fans can connect to their “friends” from the earlier books. But challenges are what we authors thrive on, right?
    I think the long-running series probably work best for mysteries, because each book naturally presents a fresh problem/plot, while allowing main characters to develop and grow (ie, marry, start families, etc.)
    That said, you’ve hit the nail on the head about the essence of what works—the voice must draw you in!

    Reply
  13. Virginia, that’s a great point about the books of trilogy having to stand alone. I feel the same way, both as a reader and writer. Nothing annoys me more than to start a book and realize that there are so many references to past people and events that I’m utterly lost without having read the previous story. It’s a balancing act, of course, to get just the right backstory that it works as a stand-alone, but also to connect it enough so that fans can connect to their “friends” from the earlier books. But challenges are what we authors thrive on, right?
    I think the long-running series probably work best for mysteries, because each book naturally presents a fresh problem/plot, while allowing main characters to develop and grow (ie, marry, start families, etc.)
    That said, you’ve hit the nail on the head about the essence of what works—the voice must draw you in!

    Reply
  14. Virginia, that’s a great point about the books of trilogy having to stand alone. I feel the same way, both as a reader and writer. Nothing annoys me more than to start a book and realize that there are so many references to past people and events that I’m utterly lost without having read the previous story. It’s a balancing act, of course, to get just the right backstory that it works as a stand-alone, but also to connect it enough so that fans can connect to their “friends” from the earlier books. But challenges are what we authors thrive on, right?
    I think the long-running series probably work best for mysteries, because each book naturally presents a fresh problem/plot, while allowing main characters to develop and grow (ie, marry, start families, etc.)
    That said, you’ve hit the nail on the head about the essence of what works—the voice must draw you in!

    Reply
  15. Virginia, that’s a great point about the books of trilogy having to stand alone. I feel the same way, both as a reader and writer. Nothing annoys me more than to start a book and realize that there are so many references to past people and events that I’m utterly lost without having read the previous story. It’s a balancing act, of course, to get just the right backstory that it works as a stand-alone, but also to connect it enough so that fans can connect to their “friends” from the earlier books. But challenges are what we authors thrive on, right?
    I think the long-running series probably work best for mysteries, because each book naturally presents a fresh problem/plot, while allowing main characters to develop and grow (ie, marry, start families, etc.)
    That said, you’ve hit the nail on the head about the essence of what works—the voice must draw you in!

    Reply
  16. Thank you, Donna!
    Love your line about “community.” For me, that’s the fun of writing series—to weave a real life and real friends around characters that (hopefully) makes them more textured. But one must be careful. If I love a book I’m always delighted to learn that its world continues to a few more entries. But I’m equally happy with a stand-alone. It’s all about that story and it engaging me.

    Reply
  17. Thank you, Donna!
    Love your line about “community.” For me, that’s the fun of writing series—to weave a real life and real friends around characters that (hopefully) makes them more textured. But one must be careful. If I love a book I’m always delighted to learn that its world continues to a few more entries. But I’m equally happy with a stand-alone. It’s all about that story and it engaging me.

    Reply
  18. Thank you, Donna!
    Love your line about “community.” For me, that’s the fun of writing series—to weave a real life and real friends around characters that (hopefully) makes them more textured. But one must be careful. If I love a book I’m always delighted to learn that its world continues to a few more entries. But I’m equally happy with a stand-alone. It’s all about that story and it engaging me.

    Reply
  19. Thank you, Donna!
    Love your line about “community.” For me, that’s the fun of writing series—to weave a real life and real friends around characters that (hopefully) makes them more textured. But one must be careful. If I love a book I’m always delighted to learn that its world continues to a few more entries. But I’m equally happy with a stand-alone. It’s all about that story and it engaging me.

    Reply
  20. Thank you, Donna!
    Love your line about “community.” For me, that’s the fun of writing series—to weave a real life and real friends around characters that (hopefully) makes them more textured. But one must be careful. If I love a book I’m always delighted to learn that its world continues to a few more entries. But I’m equally happy with a stand-alone. It’s all about that story and it engaging me.

    Reply
  21. Cara, I like series books, but ones that can be stand-alones. It is rather annoying trying to figure out what’s going on and who’s who in some series books. Although, I recently read a book that was not part of a series or even linked loosely to other books and my head was spinning from events that could have happened in a previously written book—if it had been written! Geesh.
    I like series books because I like catching up with previous heroes and heroines and having a glimpse into their continuing HEA. I agree with Virginia about trilogies or quads being a good number in a series. Some authors write a series, but can continue it for generations and do a good job, such as Gilbert Morris.

    Reply
  22. Cara, I like series books, but ones that can be stand-alones. It is rather annoying trying to figure out what’s going on and who’s who in some series books. Although, I recently read a book that was not part of a series or even linked loosely to other books and my head was spinning from events that could have happened in a previously written book—if it had been written! Geesh.
    I like series books because I like catching up with previous heroes and heroines and having a glimpse into their continuing HEA. I agree with Virginia about trilogies or quads being a good number in a series. Some authors write a series, but can continue it for generations and do a good job, such as Gilbert Morris.

    Reply
  23. Cara, I like series books, but ones that can be stand-alones. It is rather annoying trying to figure out what’s going on and who’s who in some series books. Although, I recently read a book that was not part of a series or even linked loosely to other books and my head was spinning from events that could have happened in a previously written book—if it had been written! Geesh.
    I like series books because I like catching up with previous heroes and heroines and having a glimpse into their continuing HEA. I agree with Virginia about trilogies or quads being a good number in a series. Some authors write a series, but can continue it for generations and do a good job, such as Gilbert Morris.

    Reply
  24. Cara, I like series books, but ones that can be stand-alones. It is rather annoying trying to figure out what’s going on and who’s who in some series books. Although, I recently read a book that was not part of a series or even linked loosely to other books and my head was spinning from events that could have happened in a previously written book—if it had been written! Geesh.
    I like series books because I like catching up with previous heroes and heroines and having a glimpse into their continuing HEA. I agree with Virginia about trilogies or quads being a good number in a series. Some authors write a series, but can continue it for generations and do a good job, such as Gilbert Morris.

    Reply
  25. Cara, I like series books, but ones that can be stand-alones. It is rather annoying trying to figure out what’s going on and who’s who in some series books. Although, I recently read a book that was not part of a series or even linked loosely to other books and my head was spinning from events that could have happened in a previously written book—if it had been written! Geesh.
    I like series books because I like catching up with previous heroes and heroines and having a glimpse into their continuing HEA. I agree with Virginia about trilogies or quads being a good number in a series. Some authors write a series, but can continue it for generations and do a good job, such as Gilbert Morris.

    Reply
  26. Hi Deb, Good points for both types of stories! That’s cute about wanting the linked stories to the stand-alone book you read. I’ve done that too sometimes . . . wishing for a certain character’s story because he/she seemed so interesting. But sometimes it’s a publisher’s decision, not an author’s, to move on.

    Reply
  27. Hi Deb, Good points for both types of stories! That’s cute about wanting the linked stories to the stand-alone book you read. I’ve done that too sometimes . . . wishing for a certain character’s story because he/she seemed so interesting. But sometimes it’s a publisher’s decision, not an author’s, to move on.

    Reply
  28. Hi Deb, Good points for both types of stories! That’s cute about wanting the linked stories to the stand-alone book you read. I’ve done that too sometimes . . . wishing for a certain character’s story because he/she seemed so interesting. But sometimes it’s a publisher’s decision, not an author’s, to move on.

    Reply
  29. Hi Deb, Good points for both types of stories! That’s cute about wanting the linked stories to the stand-alone book you read. I’ve done that too sometimes . . . wishing for a certain character’s story because he/she seemed so interesting. But sometimes it’s a publisher’s decision, not an author’s, to move on.

    Reply
  30. Hi Deb, Good points for both types of stories! That’s cute about wanting the linked stories to the stand-alone book you read. I’ve done that too sometimes . . . wishing for a certain character’s story because he/she seemed so interesting. But sometimes it’s a publisher’s decision, not an author’s, to move on.

    Reply
  31. I do like books in a series but I think it’s a fine line an author has to walk when giving information about previous books and what happened. Not enough information on a series that I start in the middle and then I am lost or too much information when I have already read the previous books and then I’m bored. It is nice to revisit characters and families I have already met and see what happens next to these people.

    Reply
  32. I do like books in a series but I think it’s a fine line an author has to walk when giving information about previous books and what happened. Not enough information on a series that I start in the middle and then I am lost or too much information when I have already read the previous books and then I’m bored. It is nice to revisit characters and families I have already met and see what happens next to these people.

    Reply
  33. I do like books in a series but I think it’s a fine line an author has to walk when giving information about previous books and what happened. Not enough information on a series that I start in the middle and then I am lost or too much information when I have already read the previous books and then I’m bored. It is nice to revisit characters and families I have already met and see what happens next to these people.

    Reply
  34. I do like books in a series but I think it’s a fine line an author has to walk when giving information about previous books and what happened. Not enough information on a series that I start in the middle and then I am lost or too much information when I have already read the previous books and then I’m bored. It is nice to revisit characters and families I have already met and see what happens next to these people.

    Reply
  35. I do like books in a series but I think it’s a fine line an author has to walk when giving information about previous books and what happened. Not enough information on a series that I start in the middle and then I am lost or too much information when I have already read the previous books and then I’m bored. It is nice to revisit characters and families I have already met and see what happens next to these people.

    Reply
  36. The series reading habit was formed early in my reading life with the books of Maud Hart Lovelace, L. M. Montgomery, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and others. I’ve been a series addict ever since. I find the idea of an on-going world immensely appealing.
    As for the number of books in a series, I think it depends on the author’s ability to sustain the quality. I have many trilogies and quartets on my keeper shelves, but I recently read #16 in my favorite mystery series, Margaret Maron’s Deborah Knott books. I also loved Eloisa James’s six-book Desperate Duchesses series, and I’ll read Jo’s Rogues’ World and Malloren World books as long as she writes them. OTOH, I’ve read some books in extended series that seemed endlessly repetitive or, even worse, as if the author had grown bored with her characters.

    Reply
  37. The series reading habit was formed early in my reading life with the books of Maud Hart Lovelace, L. M. Montgomery, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and others. I’ve been a series addict ever since. I find the idea of an on-going world immensely appealing.
    As for the number of books in a series, I think it depends on the author’s ability to sustain the quality. I have many trilogies and quartets on my keeper shelves, but I recently read #16 in my favorite mystery series, Margaret Maron’s Deborah Knott books. I also loved Eloisa James’s six-book Desperate Duchesses series, and I’ll read Jo’s Rogues’ World and Malloren World books as long as she writes them. OTOH, I’ve read some books in extended series that seemed endlessly repetitive or, even worse, as if the author had grown bored with her characters.

    Reply
  38. The series reading habit was formed early in my reading life with the books of Maud Hart Lovelace, L. M. Montgomery, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and others. I’ve been a series addict ever since. I find the idea of an on-going world immensely appealing.
    As for the number of books in a series, I think it depends on the author’s ability to sustain the quality. I have many trilogies and quartets on my keeper shelves, but I recently read #16 in my favorite mystery series, Margaret Maron’s Deborah Knott books. I also loved Eloisa James’s six-book Desperate Duchesses series, and I’ll read Jo’s Rogues’ World and Malloren World books as long as she writes them. OTOH, I’ve read some books in extended series that seemed endlessly repetitive or, even worse, as if the author had grown bored with her characters.

    Reply
  39. The series reading habit was formed early in my reading life with the books of Maud Hart Lovelace, L. M. Montgomery, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and others. I’ve been a series addict ever since. I find the idea of an on-going world immensely appealing.
    As for the number of books in a series, I think it depends on the author’s ability to sustain the quality. I have many trilogies and quartets on my keeper shelves, but I recently read #16 in my favorite mystery series, Margaret Maron’s Deborah Knott books. I also loved Eloisa James’s six-book Desperate Duchesses series, and I’ll read Jo’s Rogues’ World and Malloren World books as long as she writes them. OTOH, I’ve read some books in extended series that seemed endlessly repetitive or, even worse, as if the author had grown bored with her characters.

    Reply
  40. The series reading habit was formed early in my reading life with the books of Maud Hart Lovelace, L. M. Montgomery, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and others. I’ve been a series addict ever since. I find the idea of an on-going world immensely appealing.
    As for the number of books in a series, I think it depends on the author’s ability to sustain the quality. I have many trilogies and quartets on my keeper shelves, but I recently read #16 in my favorite mystery series, Margaret Maron’s Deborah Knott books. I also loved Eloisa James’s six-book Desperate Duchesses series, and I’ll read Jo’s Rogues’ World and Malloren World books as long as she writes them. OTOH, I’ve read some books in extended series that seemed endlessly repetitive or, even worse, as if the author had grown bored with her characters.

    Reply
  41. I normally like linked books because I like following up on previous characters. I just finished the 6 book in a series and I’m pretty disappointed though. It’s been a while and I’ve read so many books in between book #5 and book #6 that I don’t remember the characters anymore. The magic is gone and that’s the last book I’m reading in the series. So sad. =(

    Reply
  42. I normally like linked books because I like following up on previous characters. I just finished the 6 book in a series and I’m pretty disappointed though. It’s been a while and I’ve read so many books in between book #5 and book #6 that I don’t remember the characters anymore. The magic is gone and that’s the last book I’m reading in the series. So sad. =(

    Reply
  43. I normally like linked books because I like following up on previous characters. I just finished the 6 book in a series and I’m pretty disappointed though. It’s been a while and I’ve read so many books in between book #5 and book #6 that I don’t remember the characters anymore. The magic is gone and that’s the last book I’m reading in the series. So sad. =(

    Reply
  44. I normally like linked books because I like following up on previous characters. I just finished the 6 book in a series and I’m pretty disappointed though. It’s been a while and I’ve read so many books in between book #5 and book #6 that I don’t remember the characters anymore. The magic is gone and that’s the last book I’m reading in the series. So sad. =(

    Reply
  45. I normally like linked books because I like following up on previous characters. I just finished the 6 book in a series and I’m pretty disappointed though. It’s been a while and I’ve read so many books in between book #5 and book #6 that I don’t remember the characters anymore. The magic is gone and that’s the last book I’m reading in the series. So sad. =(

    Reply
  46. Thanks for sharing Shannon. Alas, that’s the negtaive of a series . . .if you forget the characters, it does feel like the magic can go out of the stories, and then it’s hard to get back. That said, I have a few series that I go back to time and time again, and no matter how long it’s been, they still feel like old friends.

    Reply
  47. Thanks for sharing Shannon. Alas, that’s the negtaive of a series . . .if you forget the characters, it does feel like the magic can go out of the stories, and then it’s hard to get back. That said, I have a few series that I go back to time and time again, and no matter how long it’s been, they still feel like old friends.

    Reply
  48. Thanks for sharing Shannon. Alas, that’s the negtaive of a series . . .if you forget the characters, it does feel like the magic can go out of the stories, and then it’s hard to get back. That said, I have a few series that I go back to time and time again, and no matter how long it’s been, they still feel like old friends.

    Reply
  49. Thanks for sharing Shannon. Alas, that’s the negtaive of a series . . .if you forget the characters, it does feel like the magic can go out of the stories, and then it’s hard to get back. That said, I have a few series that I go back to time and time again, and no matter how long it’s been, they still feel like old friends.

    Reply
  50. Thanks for sharing Shannon. Alas, that’s the negtaive of a series . . .if you forget the characters, it does feel like the magic can go out of the stories, and then it’s hard to get back. That said, I have a few series that I go back to time and time again, and no matter how long it’s been, they still feel like old friends.

    Reply
  51. Congrats on the newest release. I am loving this series and I can’t wait to read this book.
    As for series books I can’t get enough of them. The more the merrier. I love being able to keep up with characters that I fell in love with. I also enjoy being able to see what other characters think of them. When I see old characters in books it’s as if I am seeing old friends. I know it sounds a little cheesy but that is how I feel. It’s like we get an extra long epiloque.

    Reply
  52. Congrats on the newest release. I am loving this series and I can’t wait to read this book.
    As for series books I can’t get enough of them. The more the merrier. I love being able to keep up with characters that I fell in love with. I also enjoy being able to see what other characters think of them. When I see old characters in books it’s as if I am seeing old friends. I know it sounds a little cheesy but that is how I feel. It’s like we get an extra long epiloque.

    Reply
  53. Congrats on the newest release. I am loving this series and I can’t wait to read this book.
    As for series books I can’t get enough of them. The more the merrier. I love being able to keep up with characters that I fell in love with. I also enjoy being able to see what other characters think of them. When I see old characters in books it’s as if I am seeing old friends. I know it sounds a little cheesy but that is how I feel. It’s like we get an extra long epiloque.

    Reply
  54. Congrats on the newest release. I am loving this series and I can’t wait to read this book.
    As for series books I can’t get enough of them. The more the merrier. I love being able to keep up with characters that I fell in love with. I also enjoy being able to see what other characters think of them. When I see old characters in books it’s as if I am seeing old friends. I know it sounds a little cheesy but that is how I feel. It’s like we get an extra long epiloque.

    Reply
  55. Congrats on the newest release. I am loving this series and I can’t wait to read this book.
    As for series books I can’t get enough of them. The more the merrier. I love being able to keep up with characters that I fell in love with. I also enjoy being able to see what other characters think of them. When I see old characters in books it’s as if I am seeing old friends. I know it sounds a little cheesy but that is how I feel. It’s like we get an extra long epiloque.

    Reply
  56. I enjoy linked books where I can grow to love certain characters and get glimpses of those beloved (or not so beloved) characters after their stories have been told. It’s nice to get little updates or re-visit with friends. After all, life doesn’t end after the I Love You’s or a wedding. I’m new to the genre, only reading romance for about a year, and initially it was frustrating to pick up a book that looked good only to realize it was Book 2 of a trilogy. I like order, so that meant checking to see if my county library system had a copy, and if not, purchasing the first book online. So, at times, it can be frustrating for me as a reader if a book isn’t clearly marked as “Book One in the ABC Series”. I agree that the book needs to be able to stand alone, and most that I’ve read have done a good job doing that. I’m looking forward to picking up your books.

    Reply
  57. I enjoy linked books where I can grow to love certain characters and get glimpses of those beloved (or not so beloved) characters after their stories have been told. It’s nice to get little updates or re-visit with friends. After all, life doesn’t end after the I Love You’s or a wedding. I’m new to the genre, only reading romance for about a year, and initially it was frustrating to pick up a book that looked good only to realize it was Book 2 of a trilogy. I like order, so that meant checking to see if my county library system had a copy, and if not, purchasing the first book online. So, at times, it can be frustrating for me as a reader if a book isn’t clearly marked as “Book One in the ABC Series”. I agree that the book needs to be able to stand alone, and most that I’ve read have done a good job doing that. I’m looking forward to picking up your books.

    Reply
  58. I enjoy linked books where I can grow to love certain characters and get glimpses of those beloved (or not so beloved) characters after their stories have been told. It’s nice to get little updates or re-visit with friends. After all, life doesn’t end after the I Love You’s or a wedding. I’m new to the genre, only reading romance for about a year, and initially it was frustrating to pick up a book that looked good only to realize it was Book 2 of a trilogy. I like order, so that meant checking to see if my county library system had a copy, and if not, purchasing the first book online. So, at times, it can be frustrating for me as a reader if a book isn’t clearly marked as “Book One in the ABC Series”. I agree that the book needs to be able to stand alone, and most that I’ve read have done a good job doing that. I’m looking forward to picking up your books.

    Reply
  59. I enjoy linked books where I can grow to love certain characters and get glimpses of those beloved (or not so beloved) characters after their stories have been told. It’s nice to get little updates or re-visit with friends. After all, life doesn’t end after the I Love You’s or a wedding. I’m new to the genre, only reading romance for about a year, and initially it was frustrating to pick up a book that looked good only to realize it was Book 2 of a trilogy. I like order, so that meant checking to see if my county library system had a copy, and if not, purchasing the first book online. So, at times, it can be frustrating for me as a reader if a book isn’t clearly marked as “Book One in the ABC Series”. I agree that the book needs to be able to stand alone, and most that I’ve read have done a good job doing that. I’m looking forward to picking up your books.

    Reply
  60. I enjoy linked books where I can grow to love certain characters and get glimpses of those beloved (or not so beloved) characters after their stories have been told. It’s nice to get little updates or re-visit with friends. After all, life doesn’t end after the I Love You’s or a wedding. I’m new to the genre, only reading romance for about a year, and initially it was frustrating to pick up a book that looked good only to realize it was Book 2 of a trilogy. I like order, so that meant checking to see if my county library system had a copy, and if not, purchasing the first book online. So, at times, it can be frustrating for me as a reader if a book isn’t clearly marked as “Book One in the ABC Series”. I agree that the book needs to be able to stand alone, and most that I’ve read have done a good job doing that. I’m looking forward to picking up your books.

    Reply
  61. I like series. It is always nice to catch up with what is happening with in the families of those that have been in earlier books.
    I am reading some mystery series that have over 25 books in the series.

    Reply
  62. I like series. It is always nice to catch up with what is happening with in the families of those that have been in earlier books.
    I am reading some mystery series that have over 25 books in the series.

    Reply
  63. I like series. It is always nice to catch up with what is happening with in the families of those that have been in earlier books.
    I am reading some mystery series that have over 25 books in the series.

    Reply
  64. I like series. It is always nice to catch up with what is happening with in the families of those that have been in earlier books.
    I am reading some mystery series that have over 25 books in the series.

    Reply
  65. I like series. It is always nice to catch up with what is happening with in the families of those that have been in earlier books.
    I am reading some mystery series that have over 25 books in the series.

    Reply
  66. I hope you’ll all pick up a copy of Cara’s book. It’s a marvelously fun read!!!
    I adore linked books, because then you don’t have to say goodbye to characters you’ve worked hard to know and understand. I do understand that some readers get bored with long series, so pubs have deemed three is the right number. But count me as another fan of JoBev’s Mallorens and Rogues–I’ll read as many as she’ll write. Another fan of Amelia Peabody. Lisa Kleypas does series very well, too, as does Connie Brockway. Nicola Cornick’s latest series is very fun. I have enjoyed some of Eloisa’s longer series. And then Julia Quinn’s famous Bridgertons are very popular.

    Reply
  67. I hope you’ll all pick up a copy of Cara’s book. It’s a marvelously fun read!!!
    I adore linked books, because then you don’t have to say goodbye to characters you’ve worked hard to know and understand. I do understand that some readers get bored with long series, so pubs have deemed three is the right number. But count me as another fan of JoBev’s Mallorens and Rogues–I’ll read as many as she’ll write. Another fan of Amelia Peabody. Lisa Kleypas does series very well, too, as does Connie Brockway. Nicola Cornick’s latest series is very fun. I have enjoyed some of Eloisa’s longer series. And then Julia Quinn’s famous Bridgertons are very popular.

    Reply
  68. I hope you’ll all pick up a copy of Cara’s book. It’s a marvelously fun read!!!
    I adore linked books, because then you don’t have to say goodbye to characters you’ve worked hard to know and understand. I do understand that some readers get bored with long series, so pubs have deemed three is the right number. But count me as another fan of JoBev’s Mallorens and Rogues–I’ll read as many as she’ll write. Another fan of Amelia Peabody. Lisa Kleypas does series very well, too, as does Connie Brockway. Nicola Cornick’s latest series is very fun. I have enjoyed some of Eloisa’s longer series. And then Julia Quinn’s famous Bridgertons are very popular.

    Reply
  69. I hope you’ll all pick up a copy of Cara’s book. It’s a marvelously fun read!!!
    I adore linked books, because then you don’t have to say goodbye to characters you’ve worked hard to know and understand. I do understand that some readers get bored with long series, so pubs have deemed three is the right number. But count me as another fan of JoBev’s Mallorens and Rogues–I’ll read as many as she’ll write. Another fan of Amelia Peabody. Lisa Kleypas does series very well, too, as does Connie Brockway. Nicola Cornick’s latest series is very fun. I have enjoyed some of Eloisa’s longer series. And then Julia Quinn’s famous Bridgertons are very popular.

    Reply
  70. I hope you’ll all pick up a copy of Cara’s book. It’s a marvelously fun read!!!
    I adore linked books, because then you don’t have to say goodbye to characters you’ve worked hard to know and understand. I do understand that some readers get bored with long series, so pubs have deemed three is the right number. But count me as another fan of JoBev’s Mallorens and Rogues–I’ll read as many as she’ll write. Another fan of Amelia Peabody. Lisa Kleypas does series very well, too, as does Connie Brockway. Nicola Cornick’s latest series is very fun. I have enjoyed some of Eloisa’s longer series. And then Julia Quinn’s famous Bridgertons are very popular.

    Reply
  71. I love linked books. I am usually sad to see a series end after three books, but if there is a satisfying ending, I’ll get over it, since there always something new and exciting right around the corner. One of my favorite series was Eloisa James’ Desperate Duchesses, I thought it was a fantastic series and loved the end book of the series.

    Reply
  72. I love linked books. I am usually sad to see a series end after three books, but if there is a satisfying ending, I’ll get over it, since there always something new and exciting right around the corner. One of my favorite series was Eloisa James’ Desperate Duchesses, I thought it was a fantastic series and loved the end book of the series.

    Reply
  73. I love linked books. I am usually sad to see a series end after three books, but if there is a satisfying ending, I’ll get over it, since there always something new and exciting right around the corner. One of my favorite series was Eloisa James’ Desperate Duchesses, I thought it was a fantastic series and loved the end book of the series.

    Reply
  74. I love linked books. I am usually sad to see a series end after three books, but if there is a satisfying ending, I’ll get over it, since there always something new and exciting right around the corner. One of my favorite series was Eloisa James’ Desperate Duchesses, I thought it was a fantastic series and loved the end book of the series.

    Reply
  75. I love linked books. I am usually sad to see a series end after three books, but if there is a satisfying ending, I’ll get over it, since there always something new and exciting right around the corner. One of my favorite series was Eloisa James’ Desperate Duchesses, I thought it was a fantastic series and loved the end book of the series.

    Reply
  76. I am so looking forward to reading Marco’s story! I loved him in the “Spy” trilogy and I have enjoyed the Circle of Sin trilogy too!
    I do enjoy linked books. I love getting a glimpse of previous couples and seeing how their lives turned out. I like the secondary characters that pop up in every book of a series, rather like going back to visit a town where you once lived and discovering the people have not changed. There is something comforting in that, even when the place and people are only alive in my head as I read.

    Reply
  77. I am so looking forward to reading Marco’s story! I loved him in the “Spy” trilogy and I have enjoyed the Circle of Sin trilogy too!
    I do enjoy linked books. I love getting a glimpse of previous couples and seeing how their lives turned out. I like the secondary characters that pop up in every book of a series, rather like going back to visit a town where you once lived and discovering the people have not changed. There is something comforting in that, even when the place and people are only alive in my head as I read.

    Reply
  78. I am so looking forward to reading Marco’s story! I loved him in the “Spy” trilogy and I have enjoyed the Circle of Sin trilogy too!
    I do enjoy linked books. I love getting a glimpse of previous couples and seeing how their lives turned out. I like the secondary characters that pop up in every book of a series, rather like going back to visit a town where you once lived and discovering the people have not changed. There is something comforting in that, even when the place and people are only alive in my head as I read.

    Reply
  79. I am so looking forward to reading Marco’s story! I loved him in the “Spy” trilogy and I have enjoyed the Circle of Sin trilogy too!
    I do enjoy linked books. I love getting a glimpse of previous couples and seeing how their lives turned out. I like the secondary characters that pop up in every book of a series, rather like going back to visit a town where you once lived and discovering the people have not changed. There is something comforting in that, even when the place and people are only alive in my head as I read.

    Reply
  80. I am so looking forward to reading Marco’s story! I loved him in the “Spy” trilogy and I have enjoyed the Circle of Sin trilogy too!
    I do enjoy linked books. I love getting a glimpse of previous couples and seeing how their lives turned out. I like the secondary characters that pop up in every book of a series, rather like going back to visit a town where you once lived and discovering the people have not changed. There is something comforting in that, even when the place and people are only alive in my head as I read.

    Reply
  81. Chey, Barbara and Louisa, it looks like we all feel the same way about familiar friends. Storytelling is all about “world building” and making a believable and real place for our fictiona characters to live. Making that complete with friends and an ongoing interconnection with them makes that world even more compelling, And it gives an author time to develop the secondary characters over time.(Barbara, I love the Desperate Duchesses too, and adore Leopold, partly because over the books he developed into such an interesting, complex man)

    Reply
  82. Chey, Barbara and Louisa, it looks like we all feel the same way about familiar friends. Storytelling is all about “world building” and making a believable and real place for our fictiona characters to live. Making that complete with friends and an ongoing interconnection with them makes that world even more compelling, And it gives an author time to develop the secondary characters over time.(Barbara, I love the Desperate Duchesses too, and adore Leopold, partly because over the books he developed into such an interesting, complex man)

    Reply
  83. Chey, Barbara and Louisa, it looks like we all feel the same way about familiar friends. Storytelling is all about “world building” and making a believable and real place for our fictiona characters to live. Making that complete with friends and an ongoing interconnection with them makes that world even more compelling, And it gives an author time to develop the secondary characters over time.(Barbara, I love the Desperate Duchesses too, and adore Leopold, partly because over the books he developed into such an interesting, complex man)

    Reply
  84. Chey, Barbara and Louisa, it looks like we all feel the same way about familiar friends. Storytelling is all about “world building” and making a believable and real place for our fictiona characters to live. Making that complete with friends and an ongoing interconnection with them makes that world even more compelling, And it gives an author time to develop the secondary characters over time.(Barbara, I love the Desperate Duchesses too, and adore Leopold, partly because over the books he developed into such an interesting, complex man)

    Reply
  85. Chey, Barbara and Louisa, it looks like we all feel the same way about familiar friends. Storytelling is all about “world building” and making a believable and real place for our fictiona characters to live. Making that complete with friends and an ongoing interconnection with them makes that world even more compelling, And it gives an author time to develop the secondary characters over time.(Barbara, I love the Desperate Duchesses too, and adore Leopold, partly because over the books he developed into such an interesting, complex man)

    Reply
  86. My not very helpful answer about series is that it depends. I love entering a world and getting glimpses of the characters over time. But I need to feel that their development is organic, and not simply because the author signed a contract for X books or needed a certain chess piece in a certain place on the board at a certain time. I know that the author needs to manipulate her characters at times; I just don’t want to see the authorial hand as she does so. For example, Cara mentions Elizabeth George and the Inspector Lynley series. I think EG is a very good writer, and her prose at times approaches emotional poetry. But 3 or 4 books ago a Very Big Event occurred, and it was the last straw for me. All I could think was that she had couldn’t deal with a world where anyone was happy for more than a fleeting moment, and Heaven help you if you have or want children — you’re doomed. I understand that these are murder mysteries, not romances, but surely somewhere there are happy marriages and children who either don’t die or aren’t monsters. You wouldn’t think so, however, according to these books, and because I know happiness does exist it seems unnatural they it does not in this series. Apologies to EG if her last few books change this pattern; I couldn’t bring myself to read them.
    P.S. I’m still quite engaged in Nicola’s latest series and have enjoyed series by many of the other Wenches but must admit my interest tends to flag after 5 or 6 books.

    Reply
  87. My not very helpful answer about series is that it depends. I love entering a world and getting glimpses of the characters over time. But I need to feel that their development is organic, and not simply because the author signed a contract for X books or needed a certain chess piece in a certain place on the board at a certain time. I know that the author needs to manipulate her characters at times; I just don’t want to see the authorial hand as she does so. For example, Cara mentions Elizabeth George and the Inspector Lynley series. I think EG is a very good writer, and her prose at times approaches emotional poetry. But 3 or 4 books ago a Very Big Event occurred, and it was the last straw for me. All I could think was that she had couldn’t deal with a world where anyone was happy for more than a fleeting moment, and Heaven help you if you have or want children — you’re doomed. I understand that these are murder mysteries, not romances, but surely somewhere there are happy marriages and children who either don’t die or aren’t monsters. You wouldn’t think so, however, according to these books, and because I know happiness does exist it seems unnatural they it does not in this series. Apologies to EG if her last few books change this pattern; I couldn’t bring myself to read them.
    P.S. I’m still quite engaged in Nicola’s latest series and have enjoyed series by many of the other Wenches but must admit my interest tends to flag after 5 or 6 books.

    Reply
  88. My not very helpful answer about series is that it depends. I love entering a world and getting glimpses of the characters over time. But I need to feel that their development is organic, and not simply because the author signed a contract for X books or needed a certain chess piece in a certain place on the board at a certain time. I know that the author needs to manipulate her characters at times; I just don’t want to see the authorial hand as she does so. For example, Cara mentions Elizabeth George and the Inspector Lynley series. I think EG is a very good writer, and her prose at times approaches emotional poetry. But 3 or 4 books ago a Very Big Event occurred, and it was the last straw for me. All I could think was that she had couldn’t deal with a world where anyone was happy for more than a fleeting moment, and Heaven help you if you have or want children — you’re doomed. I understand that these are murder mysteries, not romances, but surely somewhere there are happy marriages and children who either don’t die or aren’t monsters. You wouldn’t think so, however, according to these books, and because I know happiness does exist it seems unnatural they it does not in this series. Apologies to EG if her last few books change this pattern; I couldn’t bring myself to read them.
    P.S. I’m still quite engaged in Nicola’s latest series and have enjoyed series by many of the other Wenches but must admit my interest tends to flag after 5 or 6 books.

    Reply
  89. My not very helpful answer about series is that it depends. I love entering a world and getting glimpses of the characters over time. But I need to feel that their development is organic, and not simply because the author signed a contract for X books or needed a certain chess piece in a certain place on the board at a certain time. I know that the author needs to manipulate her characters at times; I just don’t want to see the authorial hand as she does so. For example, Cara mentions Elizabeth George and the Inspector Lynley series. I think EG is a very good writer, and her prose at times approaches emotional poetry. But 3 or 4 books ago a Very Big Event occurred, and it was the last straw for me. All I could think was that she had couldn’t deal with a world where anyone was happy for more than a fleeting moment, and Heaven help you if you have or want children — you’re doomed. I understand that these are murder mysteries, not romances, but surely somewhere there are happy marriages and children who either don’t die or aren’t monsters. You wouldn’t think so, however, according to these books, and because I know happiness does exist it seems unnatural they it does not in this series. Apologies to EG if her last few books change this pattern; I couldn’t bring myself to read them.
    P.S. I’m still quite engaged in Nicola’s latest series and have enjoyed series by many of the other Wenches but must admit my interest tends to flag after 5 or 6 books.

    Reply
  90. My not very helpful answer about series is that it depends. I love entering a world and getting glimpses of the characters over time. But I need to feel that their development is organic, and not simply because the author signed a contract for X books or needed a certain chess piece in a certain place on the board at a certain time. I know that the author needs to manipulate her characters at times; I just don’t want to see the authorial hand as she does so. For example, Cara mentions Elizabeth George and the Inspector Lynley series. I think EG is a very good writer, and her prose at times approaches emotional poetry. But 3 or 4 books ago a Very Big Event occurred, and it was the last straw for me. All I could think was that she had couldn’t deal with a world where anyone was happy for more than a fleeting moment, and Heaven help you if you have or want children — you’re doomed. I understand that these are murder mysteries, not romances, but surely somewhere there are happy marriages and children who either don’t die or aren’t monsters. You wouldn’t think so, however, according to these books, and because I know happiness does exist it seems unnatural they it does not in this series. Apologies to EG if her last few books change this pattern; I couldn’t bring myself to read them.
    P.S. I’m still quite engaged in Nicola’s latest series and have enjoyed series by many of the other Wenches but must admit my interest tends to flag after 5 or 6 books.

    Reply
  91. Congratulations on the new book! Our local bookstore closed so I have to “search the web” to find out where I can get it. I love your stories and just can’t miss To Tempt a Rake because you never let your readers down.
    I got a Kindle at Chirstmas but there is just something more erotic about having a “real” book and being able to turn the pages and go back to those favorite scenes.
    Loved the blog and all the information.

    Reply
  92. Congratulations on the new book! Our local bookstore closed so I have to “search the web” to find out where I can get it. I love your stories and just can’t miss To Tempt a Rake because you never let your readers down.
    I got a Kindle at Chirstmas but there is just something more erotic about having a “real” book and being able to turn the pages and go back to those favorite scenes.
    Loved the blog and all the information.

    Reply
  93. Congratulations on the new book! Our local bookstore closed so I have to “search the web” to find out where I can get it. I love your stories and just can’t miss To Tempt a Rake because you never let your readers down.
    I got a Kindle at Chirstmas but there is just something more erotic about having a “real” book and being able to turn the pages and go back to those favorite scenes.
    Loved the blog and all the information.

    Reply
  94. Congratulations on the new book! Our local bookstore closed so I have to “search the web” to find out where I can get it. I love your stories and just can’t miss To Tempt a Rake because you never let your readers down.
    I got a Kindle at Chirstmas but there is just something more erotic about having a “real” book and being able to turn the pages and go back to those favorite scenes.
    Loved the blog and all the information.

    Reply
  95. Congratulations on the new book! Our local bookstore closed so I have to “search the web” to find out where I can get it. I love your stories and just can’t miss To Tempt a Rake because you never let your readers down.
    I got a Kindle at Chirstmas but there is just something more erotic about having a “real” book and being able to turn the pages and go back to those favorite scenes.
    Loved the blog and all the information.

    Reply
  96. Aloha, Cara! Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday for Kate and Marco’s “road trip” in modern Europe.
    I do not remember Marco from Andrea Picken’s “Spy” series – in which books did he appear? What mischief did he create?
    I apologize for not remembering … I was too enamored with the heroines!

    Reply
  97. Aloha, Cara! Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday for Kate and Marco’s “road trip” in modern Europe.
    I do not remember Marco from Andrea Picken’s “Spy” series – in which books did he appear? What mischief did he create?
    I apologize for not remembering … I was too enamored with the heroines!

    Reply
  98. Aloha, Cara! Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday for Kate and Marco’s “road trip” in modern Europe.
    I do not remember Marco from Andrea Picken’s “Spy” series – in which books did he appear? What mischief did he create?
    I apologize for not remembering … I was too enamored with the heroines!

    Reply
  99. Aloha, Cara! Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday for Kate and Marco’s “road trip” in modern Europe.
    I do not remember Marco from Andrea Picken’s “Spy” series – in which books did he appear? What mischief did he create?
    I apologize for not remembering … I was too enamored with the heroines!

    Reply
  100. Aloha, Cara! Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday for Kate and Marco’s “road trip” in modern Europe.
    I do not remember Marco from Andrea Picken’s “Spy” series – in which books did he appear? What mischief did he create?
    I apologize for not remembering … I was too enamored with the heroines!

    Reply
  101. Cara,
    Books that span three or four stories are just right for me. Too often I want to know more about an intriguing secondary character or find out “what happened after the HEA”..with the main ones. To meet them again in another book is fine, but…that said, I hate to get caught up in these series that seem destined to never end because the continuity seems to come from never really allowing closure for any of the main characters! The HEA is still out of reach, the H/H are not a couple or barely one(but maybe they will be in the next book) and dare I say it? Sometimes I think it’s not about the story; it’s about selling another book. My argument is twofold: if I like the writer, I will be interested in her next book(s) anyway so I don’t need to be “lured” on, and any book in a series should be able to stand alone. SO, keep it short is my feeling.

    Reply
  102. Cara,
    Books that span three or four stories are just right for me. Too often I want to know more about an intriguing secondary character or find out “what happened after the HEA”..with the main ones. To meet them again in another book is fine, but…that said, I hate to get caught up in these series that seem destined to never end because the continuity seems to come from never really allowing closure for any of the main characters! The HEA is still out of reach, the H/H are not a couple or barely one(but maybe they will be in the next book) and dare I say it? Sometimes I think it’s not about the story; it’s about selling another book. My argument is twofold: if I like the writer, I will be interested in her next book(s) anyway so I don’t need to be “lured” on, and any book in a series should be able to stand alone. SO, keep it short is my feeling.

    Reply
  103. Cara,
    Books that span three or four stories are just right for me. Too often I want to know more about an intriguing secondary character or find out “what happened after the HEA”..with the main ones. To meet them again in another book is fine, but…that said, I hate to get caught up in these series that seem destined to never end because the continuity seems to come from never really allowing closure for any of the main characters! The HEA is still out of reach, the H/H are not a couple or barely one(but maybe they will be in the next book) and dare I say it? Sometimes I think it’s not about the story; it’s about selling another book. My argument is twofold: if I like the writer, I will be interested in her next book(s) anyway so I don’t need to be “lured” on, and any book in a series should be able to stand alone. SO, keep it short is my feeling.

    Reply
  104. Cara,
    Books that span three or four stories are just right for me. Too often I want to know more about an intriguing secondary character or find out “what happened after the HEA”..with the main ones. To meet them again in another book is fine, but…that said, I hate to get caught up in these series that seem destined to never end because the continuity seems to come from never really allowing closure for any of the main characters! The HEA is still out of reach, the H/H are not a couple or barely one(but maybe they will be in the next book) and dare I say it? Sometimes I think it’s not about the story; it’s about selling another book. My argument is twofold: if I like the writer, I will be interested in her next book(s) anyway so I don’t need to be “lured” on, and any book in a series should be able to stand alone. SO, keep it short is my feeling.

    Reply
  105. Cara,
    Books that span three or four stories are just right for me. Too often I want to know more about an intriguing secondary character or find out “what happened after the HEA”..with the main ones. To meet them again in another book is fine, but…that said, I hate to get caught up in these series that seem destined to never end because the continuity seems to come from never really allowing closure for any of the main characters! The HEA is still out of reach, the H/H are not a couple or barely one(but maybe they will be in the next book) and dare I say it? Sometimes I think it’s not about the story; it’s about selling another book. My argument is twofold: if I like the writer, I will be interested in her next book(s) anyway so I don’t need to be “lured” on, and any book in a series should be able to stand alone. SO, keep it short is my feeling.

    Reply
  106. I am a big fan of series, the longer the better. I read so quickly that I love to be able to continue a saga for a few weeks or months. I usually wait until the last book is out before starting the series or I end up re-reading the last book before the latest release. I adore the Amelia Peabody series and Jo’s rogues and Mallorens.Then there’s the Cynsters, Merridews, Devil Riders and Bedwyns.
    I just bought the Spy trilogy for my Kobo so I’m excited to get started on that journey. Now I’ll have to add To Tempt a Rake.

    Reply
  107. I am a big fan of series, the longer the better. I read so quickly that I love to be able to continue a saga for a few weeks or months. I usually wait until the last book is out before starting the series or I end up re-reading the last book before the latest release. I adore the Amelia Peabody series and Jo’s rogues and Mallorens.Then there’s the Cynsters, Merridews, Devil Riders and Bedwyns.
    I just bought the Spy trilogy for my Kobo so I’m excited to get started on that journey. Now I’ll have to add To Tempt a Rake.

    Reply
  108. I am a big fan of series, the longer the better. I read so quickly that I love to be able to continue a saga for a few weeks or months. I usually wait until the last book is out before starting the series or I end up re-reading the last book before the latest release. I adore the Amelia Peabody series and Jo’s rogues and Mallorens.Then there’s the Cynsters, Merridews, Devil Riders and Bedwyns.
    I just bought the Spy trilogy for my Kobo so I’m excited to get started on that journey. Now I’ll have to add To Tempt a Rake.

    Reply
  109. I am a big fan of series, the longer the better. I read so quickly that I love to be able to continue a saga for a few weeks or months. I usually wait until the last book is out before starting the series or I end up re-reading the last book before the latest release. I adore the Amelia Peabody series and Jo’s rogues and Mallorens.Then there’s the Cynsters, Merridews, Devil Riders and Bedwyns.
    I just bought the Spy trilogy for my Kobo so I’m excited to get started on that journey. Now I’ll have to add To Tempt a Rake.

    Reply
  110. I am a big fan of series, the longer the better. I read so quickly that I love to be able to continue a saga for a few weeks or months. I usually wait until the last book is out before starting the series or I end up re-reading the last book before the latest release. I adore the Amelia Peabody series and Jo’s rogues and Mallorens.Then there’s the Cynsters, Merridews, Devil Riders and Bedwyns.
    I just bought the Spy trilogy for my Kobo so I’m excited to get started on that journey. Now I’ll have to add To Tempt a Rake.

    Reply
  111. Susan, I totally understand your feelings about EG’s direction. I’m still ambivalent. I was going to give up on them, then read a very long and thoughtful interview with her on why she went the direction she did. I’m still not convinced that I’m buying the reasoning, and I am not as invested in the series as I used to be. But am willing to try to let her redeem it, at least for another book or two. Will keep you posted on how I feel.

    Reply
  112. Susan, I totally understand your feelings about EG’s direction. I’m still ambivalent. I was going to give up on them, then read a very long and thoughtful interview with her on why she went the direction she did. I’m still not convinced that I’m buying the reasoning, and I am not as invested in the series as I used to be. But am willing to try to let her redeem it, at least for another book or two. Will keep you posted on how I feel.

    Reply
  113. Susan, I totally understand your feelings about EG’s direction. I’m still ambivalent. I was going to give up on them, then read a very long and thoughtful interview with her on why she went the direction she did. I’m still not convinced that I’m buying the reasoning, and I am not as invested in the series as I used to be. But am willing to try to let her redeem it, at least for another book or two. Will keep you posted on how I feel.

    Reply
  114. Susan, I totally understand your feelings about EG’s direction. I’m still ambivalent. I was going to give up on them, then read a very long and thoughtful interview with her on why she went the direction she did. I’m still not convinced that I’m buying the reasoning, and I am not as invested in the series as I used to be. But am willing to try to let her redeem it, at least for another book or two. Will keep you posted on how I feel.

    Reply
  115. Susan, I totally understand your feelings about EG’s direction. I’m still ambivalent. I was going to give up on them, then read a very long and thoughtful interview with her on why she went the direction she did. I’m still not convinced that I’m buying the reasoning, and I am not as invested in the series as I used to be. But am willing to try to let her redeem it, at least for another book or two. Will keep you posted on how I feel.

    Reply
  116. Hi Kim—you did SUCH a fabulous road trip—thanks again! Marco made a small appearance in To Seduce A Spy, then had a bigger role in The Scarlet Spy . . .but he waited until this current series to shoulder his way into a bigger role. How could I resist!

    Reply
  117. Hi Kim—you did SUCH a fabulous road trip—thanks again! Marco made a small appearance in To Seduce A Spy, then had a bigger role in The Scarlet Spy . . .but he waited until this current series to shoulder his way into a bigger role. How could I resist!

    Reply
  118. Hi Kim—you did SUCH a fabulous road trip—thanks again! Marco made a small appearance in To Seduce A Spy, then had a bigger role in The Scarlet Spy . . .but he waited until this current series to shoulder his way into a bigger role. How could I resist!

    Reply
  119. Hi Kim—you did SUCH a fabulous road trip—thanks again! Marco made a small appearance in To Seduce A Spy, then had a bigger role in The Scarlet Spy . . .but he waited until this current series to shoulder his way into a bigger role. How could I resist!

    Reply
  120. Hi Kim—you did SUCH a fabulous road trip—thanks again! Marco made a small appearance in To Seduce A Spy, then had a bigger role in The Scarlet Spy . . .but he waited until this current series to shoulder his way into a bigger role. How could I resist!

    Reply

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