Never Less Than A Lady: Who’s Up This Time?

Cat 243 Dover by Mary Jo

Ever since my first Lost Lords book came out last July, readers have asked me about the second book, Never Less Than a Lady.  Was it about the cranky and enigmatic Randall?  And did he and the widowed Julia Bancroft have something going on?

The answers are yes and yes.  Major Alexander Randall (but he’s always called just Randall) was the prickliest of the three friends who went searching for the drowned body of their mutual friend, the presumed dead hero of Loving A Lost Lord.  Prickly is intriguing.  <G>

NEVERLESSTHANALADYART One of the fun things about developing a series is how characters who were sketched in lightly in an early book are developed for later books.  There may be writers who plan better than I do—in fact, there are certainly writers who plan better!—but I enjoy how small details or throwaway lines in one story become vital keys to character in later stories. 

So why is Randall prickly?  Well, he’s an officer wounded in the Peninsula who is still suffering from buried shrapnel.  Wounded soldiers are a favorite of mine—I like them to be all better by the end.  

LALL also had a vignette where the amnesiac hero remembers breaking into a London townhouse to rescue a blond man who turns out to be Randall.  More pieces for the puzzle.  Why was he being allowed to die in an attic, and whose attic was it?

Sometimes I plan which crumbs of information I can use as building blocks in the future.  Other times, they just happen.  Occasionally, when I’ve finished a manuscript I’ll go back and add hints for the book I want to write next.  The result is rather like having only a few ingredients in your refrigerator, so you type them into Google to see if they can find you a recipe that includes pickles, salt pork, honey, artichokes, and mangelwurzels.  The challenges involved require creativity to solve. <G> 

So all those bits and pieces about Randall had to be woven into a cohesive tapestry.  He’s a wounded soldier with a disastrous childhood whose most rewarding relationships were forged at the Westerfield Academy, a school for boys of “good birth and bad behavior.” 

Okay, what kind of disastrous childhood?  (My characters often have them, so I have to work to find new ways of messing with their little childish minds.)   Then the same process was applied to Julia Bancroft.

Usually I torture the hero, but sometimes, in a fit of sadism, I torture both hero and heroine, and that’s the case with Never Less Than a Lady.  The heroine, Julia Bancroft, is a widowed midwife whose first marriage was so dreadful that she’d faked her own death to escape accusations that she’d murdered her husband.  For years, she’s lived in the far northwestern corner of England doing her best to seem invisible.

Major Alexander Randall is an army officer who lost his parents when young and was raised by his difficult uncle, the Earl of Daventry.  When all the closer heirs to the earldom die, Randall is told to come home and marry and produce an heir forthwith.  Though he loathes the appearance of obeying his uncle, he’s had enough of war and he’s ready to sell out.

But he has no desire to marry the sort of boring, well-bred girl who would please his LovingALostLordrevise uncle.  The woman who haunts him is Julia Bancroft.  Ever since they met in Loving a Lost Lord, Randall has been drawn to Julia.  He hates that.  In return, Julia makes it clear that she has no interest in him or any man.

Yet when Randall decides he must see her once more so that he can then move on, he finds that danger from Julia’s past has caught up with her.  Not only does she need a rescue, but ongoing protection—and the best solution he can think of is to marry her.

Julia is appalled by the notion—but Randall does represent safety, and a bone deep honesty that calls her.  One of the things that I (and my editor and agent) particularly liked about these characters was how honest they were with each other.  They both have a lot of baggage, and they know it. 

DSCN1506 Yet slowly, warily, they enter into a marriage of convenience.  Can it become something more?  Well, this is a romance, I’m sure you know the answer.  <g> But the fun part is how they get to their happily ever after. 

I was delighted when Library Journal gave Never Less Than a Lady a starred review, saying:

“Cleverly plotted, exquisitely stirring, and flawlessly written.”
 Kristin Ramsdell, Library Journal starred review

Romantic Times gave NLTAL four and a half stars, a Top Pick, and Randall was chosen as a KISS hero for May: 

“Putney's latest Lost Lord raises the bar for historical romance. A captivating plot, charming characters with great depth of passion and sensuality combine to make this novel an intoxicating and not-to-be-missed read." 

Kathe Robin, Romantic Times Book Club

So who's up next?  I’m working on the third Lost Lords book now, and it’s tentatively scheduled for May 2011.  The hero is a fellow who turned up in NLTAL, and captured DSCN1069 my fancy so much that I decided I had to write about him.  (I haven’t done a lovable rogue in quite a while.)  If you read the book, I’m sure you’ll have no trouble picking out my next hero!  Now I’m trying to figure out how to torture him more….

Do you like heroes noble and tortured, or do you prefer lovable rogues?  Here’s an excerpt of Never Less Than a Lady so you can sample the story. 

And if you’re wondering about the cat pictures—they’re two of my cats who wandered into the book. <G>  Look for Reggie and Miss Kitty….

I'll be giving away a signed copy of Never Less Than a Lady to one of the commenters between now and Tuesday midnight.

Mary Jo

140 thoughts on “Never Less Than A Lady: Who’s Up This Time?”

  1. I prefer my heroes noble and a bit tortured. It gives them more depth and personality. It makes for a story with more suspense, intrigue and mystery. Lovable rogues are fun, but they are more for books that are a fun read.
    I haven’t gotten to LOVING A LOST LORD yet. My TBR mountain keeps growing wonderfully. Would love to add NEVER LESS THAN A LADY to it.
    Hope you have a great week.

    Reply
  2. I prefer my heroes noble and a bit tortured. It gives them more depth and personality. It makes for a story with more suspense, intrigue and mystery. Lovable rogues are fun, but they are more for books that are a fun read.
    I haven’t gotten to LOVING A LOST LORD yet. My TBR mountain keeps growing wonderfully. Would love to add NEVER LESS THAN A LADY to it.
    Hope you have a great week.

    Reply
  3. I prefer my heroes noble and a bit tortured. It gives them more depth and personality. It makes for a story with more suspense, intrigue and mystery. Lovable rogues are fun, but they are more for books that are a fun read.
    I haven’t gotten to LOVING A LOST LORD yet. My TBR mountain keeps growing wonderfully. Would love to add NEVER LESS THAN A LADY to it.
    Hope you have a great week.

    Reply
  4. I prefer my heroes noble and a bit tortured. It gives them more depth and personality. It makes for a story with more suspense, intrigue and mystery. Lovable rogues are fun, but they are more for books that are a fun read.
    I haven’t gotten to LOVING A LOST LORD yet. My TBR mountain keeps growing wonderfully. Would love to add NEVER LESS THAN A LADY to it.
    Hope you have a great week.

    Reply
  5. I prefer my heroes noble and a bit tortured. It gives them more depth and personality. It makes for a story with more suspense, intrigue and mystery. Lovable rogues are fun, but they are more for books that are a fun read.
    I haven’t gotten to LOVING A LOST LORD yet. My TBR mountain keeps growing wonderfully. Would love to add NEVER LESS THAN A LADY to it.
    Hope you have a great week.

    Reply
  6. I like heroes noble and tortured, it will make me wants to know the ending of the story 🙂
    i love to read your books, coz you are a new for me author Mary Jo !

    Reply
  7. I like heroes noble and tortured, it will make me wants to know the ending of the story 🙂
    i love to read your books, coz you are a new for me author Mary Jo !

    Reply
  8. I like heroes noble and tortured, it will make me wants to know the ending of the story 🙂
    i love to read your books, coz you are a new for me author Mary Jo !

    Reply
  9. I like heroes noble and tortured, it will make me wants to know the ending of the story 🙂
    i love to read your books, coz you are a new for me author Mary Jo !

    Reply
  10. I like heroes noble and tortured, it will make me wants to know the ending of the story 🙂
    i love to read your books, coz you are a new for me author Mary Jo !

    Reply
  11. Hi Mary Jo, I’ve been looking forward to Never Less Than A Lady since I read LALL last summer. I plan to get is ASAP, but I’m going to save it for vacation reading.
    I love a tortured hero. Loveable rogues are fun too, though. I guess the perfect hero would be the tortured hero who acts the loveable rogue, and of course, only the heroine can reach deeply enough to see that.

    Reply
  12. Hi Mary Jo, I’ve been looking forward to Never Less Than A Lady since I read LALL last summer. I plan to get is ASAP, but I’m going to save it for vacation reading.
    I love a tortured hero. Loveable rogues are fun too, though. I guess the perfect hero would be the tortured hero who acts the loveable rogue, and of course, only the heroine can reach deeply enough to see that.

    Reply
  13. Hi Mary Jo, I’ve been looking forward to Never Less Than A Lady since I read LALL last summer. I plan to get is ASAP, but I’m going to save it for vacation reading.
    I love a tortured hero. Loveable rogues are fun too, though. I guess the perfect hero would be the tortured hero who acts the loveable rogue, and of course, only the heroine can reach deeply enough to see that.

    Reply
  14. Hi Mary Jo, I’ve been looking forward to Never Less Than A Lady since I read LALL last summer. I plan to get is ASAP, but I’m going to save it for vacation reading.
    I love a tortured hero. Loveable rogues are fun too, though. I guess the perfect hero would be the tortured hero who acts the loveable rogue, and of course, only the heroine can reach deeply enough to see that.

    Reply
  15. Hi Mary Jo, I’ve been looking forward to Never Less Than A Lady since I read LALL last summer. I plan to get is ASAP, but I’m going to save it for vacation reading.
    I love a tortured hero. Loveable rogues are fun too, though. I guess the perfect hero would be the tortured hero who acts the loveable rogue, and of course, only the heroine can reach deeply enough to see that.

    Reply
  16. I like both lovable and tortured heroes, but only if they’re decent to begin with.
    I like a decent man who’s suffered, and it’s made him a better man–that’s my idea of a real hero.
    I can’t stand Heathcliff types, the so-called “heroes” who hurt other people because they themselves hurt, but it’s OK because the heroine will redeem him in the end. It’s not OK. I consider that kind of so-called “hero” a villain. Whatever he suffers, he deserves.
    Randall sounds like my kind of guy, and Julia my kind of woman.

    Reply
  17. I like both lovable and tortured heroes, but only if they’re decent to begin with.
    I like a decent man who’s suffered, and it’s made him a better man–that’s my idea of a real hero.
    I can’t stand Heathcliff types, the so-called “heroes” who hurt other people because they themselves hurt, but it’s OK because the heroine will redeem him in the end. It’s not OK. I consider that kind of so-called “hero” a villain. Whatever he suffers, he deserves.
    Randall sounds like my kind of guy, and Julia my kind of woman.

    Reply
  18. I like both lovable and tortured heroes, but only if they’re decent to begin with.
    I like a decent man who’s suffered, and it’s made him a better man–that’s my idea of a real hero.
    I can’t stand Heathcliff types, the so-called “heroes” who hurt other people because they themselves hurt, but it’s OK because the heroine will redeem him in the end. It’s not OK. I consider that kind of so-called “hero” a villain. Whatever he suffers, he deserves.
    Randall sounds like my kind of guy, and Julia my kind of woman.

    Reply
  19. I like both lovable and tortured heroes, but only if they’re decent to begin with.
    I like a decent man who’s suffered, and it’s made him a better man–that’s my idea of a real hero.
    I can’t stand Heathcliff types, the so-called “heroes” who hurt other people because they themselves hurt, but it’s OK because the heroine will redeem him in the end. It’s not OK. I consider that kind of so-called “hero” a villain. Whatever he suffers, he deserves.
    Randall sounds like my kind of guy, and Julia my kind of woman.

    Reply
  20. I like both lovable and tortured heroes, but only if they’re decent to begin with.
    I like a decent man who’s suffered, and it’s made him a better man–that’s my idea of a real hero.
    I can’t stand Heathcliff types, the so-called “heroes” who hurt other people because they themselves hurt, but it’s OK because the heroine will redeem him in the end. It’s not OK. I consider that kind of so-called “hero” a villain. Whatever he suffers, he deserves.
    Randall sounds like my kind of guy, and Julia my kind of woman.

    Reply
  21. Tortured hero or lovable rogue? There’s definitely room for both on my keeper shelves, especially if said hero is a creation of MJP. I’m eager to read Never Less Than a Lady. I’m already intrigued by Randall. I’ll be at the bookstore early tomorrow.

    Reply
  22. Tortured hero or lovable rogue? There’s definitely room for both on my keeper shelves, especially if said hero is a creation of MJP. I’m eager to read Never Less Than a Lady. I’m already intrigued by Randall. I’ll be at the bookstore early tomorrow.

    Reply
  23. Tortured hero or lovable rogue? There’s definitely room for both on my keeper shelves, especially if said hero is a creation of MJP. I’m eager to read Never Less Than a Lady. I’m already intrigued by Randall. I’ll be at the bookstore early tomorrow.

    Reply
  24. Tortured hero or lovable rogue? There’s definitely room for both on my keeper shelves, especially if said hero is a creation of MJP. I’m eager to read Never Less Than a Lady. I’m already intrigued by Randall. I’ll be at the bookstore early tomorrow.

    Reply
  25. Tortured hero or lovable rogue? There’s definitely room for both on my keeper shelves, especially if said hero is a creation of MJP. I’m eager to read Never Less Than a Lady. I’m already intrigued by Randall. I’ll be at the bookstore early tomorrow.

    Reply
  26. I like noble and tortured–seems to make a more interesting story.
    Beautiful dress on the cover. Very eye-catching.
    Love the kitties.

    Reply
  27. I like noble and tortured–seems to make a more interesting story.
    Beautiful dress on the cover. Very eye-catching.
    Love the kitties.

    Reply
  28. I like noble and tortured–seems to make a more interesting story.
    Beautiful dress on the cover. Very eye-catching.
    Love the kitties.

    Reply
  29. I like noble and tortured–seems to make a more interesting story.
    Beautiful dress on the cover. Very eye-catching.
    Love the kitties.

    Reply
  30. I like noble and tortured–seems to make a more interesting story.
    Beautiful dress on the cover. Very eye-catching.
    Love the kitties.

    Reply
  31. NLTAL was in Walmart yesterday! (but no more unless the shelf has been restocked) Hope the story soars to the top, Mary Jo!
    As a reader… give me a lovable rogue suddenly derailed by crisis gone horribly wrong. Then queue up the story’s opening line.
    As a writer, I have been accused of concurrent (and repeated) fits of sadism, but not yet convicted. 😉
    Nina

    Reply
  32. NLTAL was in Walmart yesterday! (but no more unless the shelf has been restocked) Hope the story soars to the top, Mary Jo!
    As a reader… give me a lovable rogue suddenly derailed by crisis gone horribly wrong. Then queue up the story’s opening line.
    As a writer, I have been accused of concurrent (and repeated) fits of sadism, but not yet convicted. 😉
    Nina

    Reply
  33. NLTAL was in Walmart yesterday! (but no more unless the shelf has been restocked) Hope the story soars to the top, Mary Jo!
    As a reader… give me a lovable rogue suddenly derailed by crisis gone horribly wrong. Then queue up the story’s opening line.
    As a writer, I have been accused of concurrent (and repeated) fits of sadism, but not yet convicted. 😉
    Nina

    Reply
  34. NLTAL was in Walmart yesterday! (but no more unless the shelf has been restocked) Hope the story soars to the top, Mary Jo!
    As a reader… give me a lovable rogue suddenly derailed by crisis gone horribly wrong. Then queue up the story’s opening line.
    As a writer, I have been accused of concurrent (and repeated) fits of sadism, but not yet convicted. 😉
    Nina

    Reply
  35. NLTAL was in Walmart yesterday! (but no more unless the shelf has been restocked) Hope the story soars to the top, Mary Jo!
    As a reader… give me a lovable rogue suddenly derailed by crisis gone horribly wrong. Then queue up the story’s opening line.
    As a writer, I have been accused of concurrent (and repeated) fits of sadism, but not yet convicted. 😉
    Nina

    Reply
  36. Congratulations, Mary Jo! I can see from the pictures how the cats ended up in the story. Hard to ignore when you can’t get to the keyboard! It’s a shame, though, that we have to wait another whole year for the next LL book. I love series, and I understand that it takes a while to write a good book, but I hate it when there’s such a time gap between stories that it’s hard to remember from one to the other. Unfortunately, my aging memory isn’t as good as it used to be and this happens more and more all the time.

    Reply
  37. Congratulations, Mary Jo! I can see from the pictures how the cats ended up in the story. Hard to ignore when you can’t get to the keyboard! It’s a shame, though, that we have to wait another whole year for the next LL book. I love series, and I understand that it takes a while to write a good book, but I hate it when there’s such a time gap between stories that it’s hard to remember from one to the other. Unfortunately, my aging memory isn’t as good as it used to be and this happens more and more all the time.

    Reply
  38. Congratulations, Mary Jo! I can see from the pictures how the cats ended up in the story. Hard to ignore when you can’t get to the keyboard! It’s a shame, though, that we have to wait another whole year for the next LL book. I love series, and I understand that it takes a while to write a good book, but I hate it when there’s such a time gap between stories that it’s hard to remember from one to the other. Unfortunately, my aging memory isn’t as good as it used to be and this happens more and more all the time.

    Reply
  39. Congratulations, Mary Jo! I can see from the pictures how the cats ended up in the story. Hard to ignore when you can’t get to the keyboard! It’s a shame, though, that we have to wait another whole year for the next LL book. I love series, and I understand that it takes a while to write a good book, but I hate it when there’s such a time gap between stories that it’s hard to remember from one to the other. Unfortunately, my aging memory isn’t as good as it used to be and this happens more and more all the time.

    Reply
  40. Congratulations, Mary Jo! I can see from the pictures how the cats ended up in the story. Hard to ignore when you can’t get to the keyboard! It’s a shame, though, that we have to wait another whole year for the next LL book. I love series, and I understand that it takes a while to write a good book, but I hate it when there’s such a time gap between stories that it’s hard to remember from one to the other. Unfortunately, my aging memory isn’t as good as it used to be and this happens more and more all the time.

    Reply
  41. I know all about mangelwurzel plotting! Love that line.
    It would be lovely if we could write books as fast as we can think of them and if publishers could publish them just as quickly. My aging mind loses track, too. But if you keep the first books on your shelf, they’re easy to review before reading the next. And more fun the second and third time around…
    I’ve read Randall’s story, and it’s really worth hanging onto!

    Reply
  42. I know all about mangelwurzel plotting! Love that line.
    It would be lovely if we could write books as fast as we can think of them and if publishers could publish them just as quickly. My aging mind loses track, too. But if you keep the first books on your shelf, they’re easy to review before reading the next. And more fun the second and third time around…
    I’ve read Randall’s story, and it’s really worth hanging onto!

    Reply
  43. I know all about mangelwurzel plotting! Love that line.
    It would be lovely if we could write books as fast as we can think of them and if publishers could publish them just as quickly. My aging mind loses track, too. But if you keep the first books on your shelf, they’re easy to review before reading the next. And more fun the second and third time around…
    I’ve read Randall’s story, and it’s really worth hanging onto!

    Reply
  44. I know all about mangelwurzel plotting! Love that line.
    It would be lovely if we could write books as fast as we can think of them and if publishers could publish them just as quickly. My aging mind loses track, too. But if you keep the first books on your shelf, they’re easy to review before reading the next. And more fun the second and third time around…
    I’ve read Randall’s story, and it’s really worth hanging onto!

    Reply
  45. I know all about mangelwurzel plotting! Love that line.
    It would be lovely if we could write books as fast as we can think of them and if publishers could publish them just as quickly. My aging mind loses track, too. But if you keep the first books on your shelf, they’re easy to review before reading the next. And more fun the second and third time around…
    I’ve read Randall’s story, and it’s really worth hanging onto!

    Reply
  46. I would definitely rather read about a lovable rogue. I am not a fan of the tortured, dark hero. I am looking forward to reading this story!

    Reply
  47. I would definitely rather read about a lovable rogue. I am not a fan of the tortured, dark hero. I am looking forward to reading this story!

    Reply
  48. I would definitely rather read about a lovable rogue. I am not a fan of the tortured, dark hero. I am looking forward to reading this story!

    Reply
  49. I would definitely rather read about a lovable rogue. I am not a fan of the tortured, dark hero. I am looking forward to reading this story!

    Reply
  50. I would definitely rather read about a lovable rogue. I am not a fan of the tortured, dark hero. I am looking forward to reading this story!

    Reply
  51. Okay, first off, I have to say that after having just read the ribald innuendo filled news article at TNHG, this line you typed just jumped out at me!
    ***Well, he’s an officer wounded in the Peninsula who is still suffering from buried shrapnel.***
    He was wounded in the Peninsula? Or while *serving* in the Peninsula?
    Sorry, I laughed until I could barely breathe over that one.
    That said, each rogue brings something different to the page, whether tortured or lovable. It’s the depth the author gives them that makes them keepers to me. So yes, I’m with Janga. There’s room for both on my keeper shelves.
    I have LALL. It’s in my TBR pile. I had a very bad winter and have just recently started reading and writing again (which isn’t like me at all) so it will be a few weeks before I read it. Rest assured, I shall! I always look forward to your books. :o)

    Reply
  52. Okay, first off, I have to say that after having just read the ribald innuendo filled news article at TNHG, this line you typed just jumped out at me!
    ***Well, he’s an officer wounded in the Peninsula who is still suffering from buried shrapnel.***
    He was wounded in the Peninsula? Or while *serving* in the Peninsula?
    Sorry, I laughed until I could barely breathe over that one.
    That said, each rogue brings something different to the page, whether tortured or lovable. It’s the depth the author gives them that makes them keepers to me. So yes, I’m with Janga. There’s room for both on my keeper shelves.
    I have LALL. It’s in my TBR pile. I had a very bad winter and have just recently started reading and writing again (which isn’t like me at all) so it will be a few weeks before I read it. Rest assured, I shall! I always look forward to your books. :o)

    Reply
  53. Okay, first off, I have to say that after having just read the ribald innuendo filled news article at TNHG, this line you typed just jumped out at me!
    ***Well, he’s an officer wounded in the Peninsula who is still suffering from buried shrapnel.***
    He was wounded in the Peninsula? Or while *serving* in the Peninsula?
    Sorry, I laughed until I could barely breathe over that one.
    That said, each rogue brings something different to the page, whether tortured or lovable. It’s the depth the author gives them that makes them keepers to me. So yes, I’m with Janga. There’s room for both on my keeper shelves.
    I have LALL. It’s in my TBR pile. I had a very bad winter and have just recently started reading and writing again (which isn’t like me at all) so it will be a few weeks before I read it. Rest assured, I shall! I always look forward to your books. :o)

    Reply
  54. Okay, first off, I have to say that after having just read the ribald innuendo filled news article at TNHG, this line you typed just jumped out at me!
    ***Well, he’s an officer wounded in the Peninsula who is still suffering from buried shrapnel.***
    He was wounded in the Peninsula? Or while *serving* in the Peninsula?
    Sorry, I laughed until I could barely breathe over that one.
    That said, each rogue brings something different to the page, whether tortured or lovable. It’s the depth the author gives them that makes them keepers to me. So yes, I’m with Janga. There’s room for both on my keeper shelves.
    I have LALL. It’s in my TBR pile. I had a very bad winter and have just recently started reading and writing again (which isn’t like me at all) so it will be a few weeks before I read it. Rest assured, I shall! I always look forward to your books. :o)

    Reply
  55. Okay, first off, I have to say that after having just read the ribald innuendo filled news article at TNHG, this line you typed just jumped out at me!
    ***Well, he’s an officer wounded in the Peninsula who is still suffering from buried shrapnel.***
    He was wounded in the Peninsula? Or while *serving* in the Peninsula?
    Sorry, I laughed until I could barely breathe over that one.
    That said, each rogue brings something different to the page, whether tortured or lovable. It’s the depth the author gives them that makes them keepers to me. So yes, I’m with Janga. There’s room for both on my keeper shelves.
    I have LALL. It’s in my TBR pile. I had a very bad winter and have just recently started reading and writing again (which isn’t like me at all) so it will be a few weeks before I read it. Rest assured, I shall! I always look forward to your books. :o)

    Reply
  56. “Do you like heroes noble and tortured, or do you prefer lovable rogues?”
    Both, along with several other types! It all depends on what fits the story and the heroine.
    The only things I can’t forgive are misogyny and a certain type of lazy selfishness that refuses to take on responsibility or see himself as part of a community or cause beyond himself. I like my heroes, no matter what they’ve been through or need to learn to win the heroine’s love, to be men of principles and honor–which is one of the reasons I look forward to your books!
    “The result is rather like having only a few ingredients in your refrigerator, so you type them into Google to see if they can find you a recipe that includes pickles, salt pork, honey, artichokes, and mangelwurzels.”
    This makes me think of Chopped, which has become my favorite cooking competition show because I enjoy watching the chefs cope with absurd ingredient combinations. Plus, I love anything with Ted Allen, and watching how the chefs deal with criticism and competition provides any number of lessons in behavior to avoid as a writer!

    Reply
  57. “Do you like heroes noble and tortured, or do you prefer lovable rogues?”
    Both, along with several other types! It all depends on what fits the story and the heroine.
    The only things I can’t forgive are misogyny and a certain type of lazy selfishness that refuses to take on responsibility or see himself as part of a community or cause beyond himself. I like my heroes, no matter what they’ve been through or need to learn to win the heroine’s love, to be men of principles and honor–which is one of the reasons I look forward to your books!
    “The result is rather like having only a few ingredients in your refrigerator, so you type them into Google to see if they can find you a recipe that includes pickles, salt pork, honey, artichokes, and mangelwurzels.”
    This makes me think of Chopped, which has become my favorite cooking competition show because I enjoy watching the chefs cope with absurd ingredient combinations. Plus, I love anything with Ted Allen, and watching how the chefs deal with criticism and competition provides any number of lessons in behavior to avoid as a writer!

    Reply
  58. “Do you like heroes noble and tortured, or do you prefer lovable rogues?”
    Both, along with several other types! It all depends on what fits the story and the heroine.
    The only things I can’t forgive are misogyny and a certain type of lazy selfishness that refuses to take on responsibility or see himself as part of a community or cause beyond himself. I like my heroes, no matter what they’ve been through or need to learn to win the heroine’s love, to be men of principles and honor–which is one of the reasons I look forward to your books!
    “The result is rather like having only a few ingredients in your refrigerator, so you type them into Google to see if they can find you a recipe that includes pickles, salt pork, honey, artichokes, and mangelwurzels.”
    This makes me think of Chopped, which has become my favorite cooking competition show because I enjoy watching the chefs cope with absurd ingredient combinations. Plus, I love anything with Ted Allen, and watching how the chefs deal with criticism and competition provides any number of lessons in behavior to avoid as a writer!

    Reply
  59. “Do you like heroes noble and tortured, or do you prefer lovable rogues?”
    Both, along with several other types! It all depends on what fits the story and the heroine.
    The only things I can’t forgive are misogyny and a certain type of lazy selfishness that refuses to take on responsibility or see himself as part of a community or cause beyond himself. I like my heroes, no matter what they’ve been through or need to learn to win the heroine’s love, to be men of principles and honor–which is one of the reasons I look forward to your books!
    “The result is rather like having only a few ingredients in your refrigerator, so you type them into Google to see if they can find you a recipe that includes pickles, salt pork, honey, artichokes, and mangelwurzels.”
    This makes me think of Chopped, which has become my favorite cooking competition show because I enjoy watching the chefs cope with absurd ingredient combinations. Plus, I love anything with Ted Allen, and watching how the chefs deal with criticism and competition provides any number of lessons in behavior to avoid as a writer!

    Reply
  60. “Do you like heroes noble and tortured, or do you prefer lovable rogues?”
    Both, along with several other types! It all depends on what fits the story and the heroine.
    The only things I can’t forgive are misogyny and a certain type of lazy selfishness that refuses to take on responsibility or see himself as part of a community or cause beyond himself. I like my heroes, no matter what they’ve been through or need to learn to win the heroine’s love, to be men of principles and honor–which is one of the reasons I look forward to your books!
    “The result is rather like having only a few ingredients in your refrigerator, so you type them into Google to see if they can find you a recipe that includes pickles, salt pork, honey, artichokes, and mangelwurzels.”
    This makes me think of Chopped, which has become my favorite cooking competition show because I enjoy watching the chefs cope with absurd ingredient combinations. Plus, I love anything with Ted Allen, and watching how the chefs deal with criticism and competition provides any number of lessons in behavior to avoid as a writer!

    Reply
  61. I am definitely looking forward to this – I enjoyed Loving a Lost Lord and have been wondering when the sequel will be 🙂

    Reply
  62. I am definitely looking forward to this – I enjoyed Loving a Lost Lord and have been wondering when the sequel will be 🙂

    Reply
  63. I am definitely looking forward to this – I enjoyed Loving a Lost Lord and have been wondering when the sequel will be 🙂

    Reply
  64. I am definitely looking forward to this – I enjoyed Loving a Lost Lord and have been wondering when the sequel will be 🙂

    Reply
  65. I am definitely looking forward to this – I enjoyed Loving a Lost Lord and have been wondering when the sequel will be 🙂

    Reply
  66. From MJP:
    Actually, I think my very favorite hero is a lovable rogue who is also tortured. *g* I’ve done a couple of those–probably Lord Robert Andreville, the hero of ANGEL ROGUE, fits the description best. Though Reggie the Rake would be a near second.
    I’m with you about Heathcliff, Linda. He was a sociopathic bully.
    Nina, thanks for scarfing up the first NLTAL you saw! There are always some stores that put books out before the official release date.
    Thanks for the plug, Pat! Your check is in the mail.
    Theo, I LOLed at being wounded in the Peninsula. *g* This is what happens when writing a blog late at night during a thunderstorm, and rushing to complete it before the power goes out. *G*
    Susanna, I never heard of CHOPPED, but it would be great fun to watch!
    The first cat, with the chin whiskers, is the Fluffster, whom I took in when her owner moved to California and couldn’t take her along. In NLTAL, I put her in under the name Miss Kitty, which is how she came to me, but was just too boring to keep. She’s a big cat, and LOVES standing directly in front of the monitor so I can’t work. Sometimes she walks on the keyboard with her catcher’s mitt feet. *g*
    The littler guy is Reggie T. Cat. (THe “T” stands for The. *g*)

    Reply
  67. From MJP:
    Actually, I think my very favorite hero is a lovable rogue who is also tortured. *g* I’ve done a couple of those–probably Lord Robert Andreville, the hero of ANGEL ROGUE, fits the description best. Though Reggie the Rake would be a near second.
    I’m with you about Heathcliff, Linda. He was a sociopathic bully.
    Nina, thanks for scarfing up the first NLTAL you saw! There are always some stores that put books out before the official release date.
    Thanks for the plug, Pat! Your check is in the mail.
    Theo, I LOLed at being wounded in the Peninsula. *g* This is what happens when writing a blog late at night during a thunderstorm, and rushing to complete it before the power goes out. *G*
    Susanna, I never heard of CHOPPED, but it would be great fun to watch!
    The first cat, with the chin whiskers, is the Fluffster, whom I took in when her owner moved to California and couldn’t take her along. In NLTAL, I put her in under the name Miss Kitty, which is how she came to me, but was just too boring to keep. She’s a big cat, and LOVES standing directly in front of the monitor so I can’t work. Sometimes she walks on the keyboard with her catcher’s mitt feet. *g*
    The littler guy is Reggie T. Cat. (THe “T” stands for The. *g*)

    Reply
  68. From MJP:
    Actually, I think my very favorite hero is a lovable rogue who is also tortured. *g* I’ve done a couple of those–probably Lord Robert Andreville, the hero of ANGEL ROGUE, fits the description best. Though Reggie the Rake would be a near second.
    I’m with you about Heathcliff, Linda. He was a sociopathic bully.
    Nina, thanks for scarfing up the first NLTAL you saw! There are always some stores that put books out before the official release date.
    Thanks for the plug, Pat! Your check is in the mail.
    Theo, I LOLed at being wounded in the Peninsula. *g* This is what happens when writing a blog late at night during a thunderstorm, and rushing to complete it before the power goes out. *G*
    Susanna, I never heard of CHOPPED, but it would be great fun to watch!
    The first cat, with the chin whiskers, is the Fluffster, whom I took in when her owner moved to California and couldn’t take her along. In NLTAL, I put her in under the name Miss Kitty, which is how she came to me, but was just too boring to keep. She’s a big cat, and LOVES standing directly in front of the monitor so I can’t work. Sometimes she walks on the keyboard with her catcher’s mitt feet. *g*
    The littler guy is Reggie T. Cat. (THe “T” stands for The. *g*)

    Reply
  69. From MJP:
    Actually, I think my very favorite hero is a lovable rogue who is also tortured. *g* I’ve done a couple of those–probably Lord Robert Andreville, the hero of ANGEL ROGUE, fits the description best. Though Reggie the Rake would be a near second.
    I’m with you about Heathcliff, Linda. He was a sociopathic bully.
    Nina, thanks for scarfing up the first NLTAL you saw! There are always some stores that put books out before the official release date.
    Thanks for the plug, Pat! Your check is in the mail.
    Theo, I LOLed at being wounded in the Peninsula. *g* This is what happens when writing a blog late at night during a thunderstorm, and rushing to complete it before the power goes out. *G*
    Susanna, I never heard of CHOPPED, but it would be great fun to watch!
    The first cat, with the chin whiskers, is the Fluffster, whom I took in when her owner moved to California and couldn’t take her along. In NLTAL, I put her in under the name Miss Kitty, which is how she came to me, but was just too boring to keep. She’s a big cat, and LOVES standing directly in front of the monitor so I can’t work. Sometimes she walks on the keyboard with her catcher’s mitt feet. *g*
    The littler guy is Reggie T. Cat. (THe “T” stands for The. *g*)

    Reply
  70. From MJP:
    Actually, I think my very favorite hero is a lovable rogue who is also tortured. *g* I’ve done a couple of those–probably Lord Robert Andreville, the hero of ANGEL ROGUE, fits the description best. Though Reggie the Rake would be a near second.
    I’m with you about Heathcliff, Linda. He was a sociopathic bully.
    Nina, thanks for scarfing up the first NLTAL you saw! There are always some stores that put books out before the official release date.
    Thanks for the plug, Pat! Your check is in the mail.
    Theo, I LOLed at being wounded in the Peninsula. *g* This is what happens when writing a blog late at night during a thunderstorm, and rushing to complete it before the power goes out. *G*
    Susanna, I never heard of CHOPPED, but it would be great fun to watch!
    The first cat, with the chin whiskers, is the Fluffster, whom I took in when her owner moved to California and couldn’t take her along. In NLTAL, I put her in under the name Miss Kitty, which is how she came to me, but was just too boring to keep. She’s a big cat, and LOVES standing directly in front of the monitor so I can’t work. Sometimes she walks on the keyboard with her catcher’s mitt feet. *g*
    The littler guy is Reggie T. Cat. (THe “T” stands for The. *g*)

    Reply
  71. Oh, I love those kitters!
    I like my heroes tortured, irritable, and with a strong sense of honor.
    And wow–I want the dress on your cover! 🙂

    Reply
  72. Oh, I love those kitters!
    I like my heroes tortured, irritable, and with a strong sense of honor.
    And wow–I want the dress on your cover! 🙂

    Reply
  73. Oh, I love those kitters!
    I like my heroes tortured, irritable, and with a strong sense of honor.
    And wow–I want the dress on your cover! 🙂

    Reply
  74. Oh, I love those kitters!
    I like my heroes tortured, irritable, and with a strong sense of honor.
    And wow–I want the dress on your cover! 🙂

    Reply
  75. Oh, I love those kitters!
    I like my heroes tortured, irritable, and with a strong sense of honor.
    And wow–I want the dress on your cover! 🙂

    Reply
  76. Sounds like an intriguing plot line in the book. A nice combination of external & internal conflict and getting to know each other romance.
    I like both noble & tortured and lovable rogues (and other combinations). It depends a little on the mood I’m in as well as the story itself. Sometimes I just want a story that makes me smile and laugh a lot from start to finish. In that case the lovable rogue is a must. Other times I want a little more serious or tender story.
    Good luck in coming up with new tortures.

    Reply
  77. Sounds like an intriguing plot line in the book. A nice combination of external & internal conflict and getting to know each other romance.
    I like both noble & tortured and lovable rogues (and other combinations). It depends a little on the mood I’m in as well as the story itself. Sometimes I just want a story that makes me smile and laugh a lot from start to finish. In that case the lovable rogue is a must. Other times I want a little more serious or tender story.
    Good luck in coming up with new tortures.

    Reply
  78. Sounds like an intriguing plot line in the book. A nice combination of external & internal conflict and getting to know each other romance.
    I like both noble & tortured and lovable rogues (and other combinations). It depends a little on the mood I’m in as well as the story itself. Sometimes I just want a story that makes me smile and laugh a lot from start to finish. In that case the lovable rogue is a must. Other times I want a little more serious or tender story.
    Good luck in coming up with new tortures.

    Reply
  79. Sounds like an intriguing plot line in the book. A nice combination of external & internal conflict and getting to know each other romance.
    I like both noble & tortured and lovable rogues (and other combinations). It depends a little on the mood I’m in as well as the story itself. Sometimes I just want a story that makes me smile and laugh a lot from start to finish. In that case the lovable rogue is a must. Other times I want a little more serious or tender story.
    Good luck in coming up with new tortures.

    Reply
  80. Sounds like an intriguing plot line in the book. A nice combination of external & internal conflict and getting to know each other romance.
    I like both noble & tortured and lovable rogues (and other combinations). It depends a little on the mood I’m in as well as the story itself. Sometimes I just want a story that makes me smile and laugh a lot from start to finish. In that case the lovable rogue is a must. Other times I want a little more serious or tender story.
    Good luck in coming up with new tortures.

    Reply
  81. From MJP:
    Gillian, the dress is indeed fabulous, isn’t it? The One Perfect Rose cover is also gorgeous. The skirts are no doubt too full for a Regency, but I can’t resist gorgeous.
    Donna Ann, coming up with new tortures isn’t easy! It’s a big reason why I’ve diversified over recent–for a change of pace.

    Reply
  82. From MJP:
    Gillian, the dress is indeed fabulous, isn’t it? The One Perfect Rose cover is also gorgeous. The skirts are no doubt too full for a Regency, but I can’t resist gorgeous.
    Donna Ann, coming up with new tortures isn’t easy! It’s a big reason why I’ve diversified over recent–for a change of pace.

    Reply
  83. From MJP:
    Gillian, the dress is indeed fabulous, isn’t it? The One Perfect Rose cover is also gorgeous. The skirts are no doubt too full for a Regency, but I can’t resist gorgeous.
    Donna Ann, coming up with new tortures isn’t easy! It’s a big reason why I’ve diversified over recent–for a change of pace.

    Reply
  84. From MJP:
    Gillian, the dress is indeed fabulous, isn’t it? The One Perfect Rose cover is also gorgeous. The skirts are no doubt too full for a Regency, but I can’t resist gorgeous.
    Donna Ann, coming up with new tortures isn’t easy! It’s a big reason why I’ve diversified over recent–for a change of pace.

    Reply
  85. From MJP:
    Gillian, the dress is indeed fabulous, isn’t it? The One Perfect Rose cover is also gorgeous. The skirts are no doubt too full for a Regency, but I can’t resist gorgeous.
    Donna Ann, coming up with new tortures isn’t easy! It’s a big reason why I’ve diversified over recent–for a change of pace.

    Reply
  86. I’m really looking forward to this. I bought Loving a Lost lord but am saving it so I can read them with no gap. I am having surgery next week and this is to be my reward for being a brave girl!

    Reply
  87. I’m really looking forward to this. I bought Loving a Lost lord but am saving it so I can read them with no gap. I am having surgery next week and this is to be my reward for being a brave girl!

    Reply
  88. I’m really looking forward to this. I bought Loving a Lost lord but am saving it so I can read them with no gap. I am having surgery next week and this is to be my reward for being a brave girl!

    Reply
  89. I’m really looking forward to this. I bought Loving a Lost lord but am saving it so I can read them with no gap. I am having surgery next week and this is to be my reward for being a brave girl!

    Reply
  90. I’m really looking forward to this. I bought Loving a Lost lord but am saving it so I can read them with no gap. I am having surgery next week and this is to be my reward for being a brave girl!

    Reply
  91. I love BOTH the noble and tortured hero and the lovable rogue. The more, the merrier.
    If I’m in a room with a lovable rogue, I’m more than content to let him seduce me; but if I’m in the room with a cranky, noble soul, I’m more than thrilled to pour on the charm and coax a smile (or more) out of him. Men are delicious in nearly every variety.

    Reply
  92. I love BOTH the noble and tortured hero and the lovable rogue. The more, the merrier.
    If I’m in a room with a lovable rogue, I’m more than content to let him seduce me; but if I’m in the room with a cranky, noble soul, I’m more than thrilled to pour on the charm and coax a smile (or more) out of him. Men are delicious in nearly every variety.

    Reply
  93. I love BOTH the noble and tortured hero and the lovable rogue. The more, the merrier.
    If I’m in a room with a lovable rogue, I’m more than content to let him seduce me; but if I’m in the room with a cranky, noble soul, I’m more than thrilled to pour on the charm and coax a smile (or more) out of him. Men are delicious in nearly every variety.

    Reply
  94. I love BOTH the noble and tortured hero and the lovable rogue. The more, the merrier.
    If I’m in a room with a lovable rogue, I’m more than content to let him seduce me; but if I’m in the room with a cranky, noble soul, I’m more than thrilled to pour on the charm and coax a smile (or more) out of him. Men are delicious in nearly every variety.

    Reply
  95. I love BOTH the noble and tortured hero and the lovable rogue. The more, the merrier.
    If I’m in a room with a lovable rogue, I’m more than content to let him seduce me; but if I’m in the room with a cranky, noble soul, I’m more than thrilled to pour on the charm and coax a smile (or more) out of him. Men are delicious in nearly every variety.

    Reply
  96. Noble and tortured? Sign me up! Can’t wait to see this in the stores this weekend and buy my copy. And thanks for the kitties.

    Reply
  97. Noble and tortured? Sign me up! Can’t wait to see this in the stores this weekend and buy my copy. And thanks for the kitties.

    Reply
  98. Noble and tortured? Sign me up! Can’t wait to see this in the stores this weekend and buy my copy. And thanks for the kitties.

    Reply
  99. Noble and tortured? Sign me up! Can’t wait to see this in the stores this weekend and buy my copy. And thanks for the kitties.

    Reply
  100. Noble and tortured? Sign me up! Can’t wait to see this in the stores this weekend and buy my copy. And thanks for the kitties.

    Reply
  101. I think that tortured heroes are more interesting because their stories are complex and their HEA is often seemingly in doubt. Looking forward to Randall’s salvation.

    Reply
  102. I think that tortured heroes are more interesting because their stories are complex and their HEA is often seemingly in doubt. Looking forward to Randall’s salvation.

    Reply
  103. I think that tortured heroes are more interesting because their stories are complex and their HEA is often seemingly in doubt. Looking forward to Randall’s salvation.

    Reply
  104. I think that tortured heroes are more interesting because their stories are complex and their HEA is often seemingly in doubt. Looking forward to Randall’s salvation.

    Reply
  105. I think that tortured heroes are more interesting because their stories are complex and their HEA is often seemingly in doubt. Looking forward to Randall’s salvation.

    Reply
  106. My copy of NLTAL is winging its way to me as I type, though I sneaked a peek at it in my local Borders. Looks like a real treat–and yes, the dress is gorgeous and it’s even mentioned in the book too, if I recall correctly.
    As to the main question, I can enjoy a tortured hero as long as he doesn’t use his angst as a crutch or as a stick to beat others with, especially the heroine. And if he still has traces of humor or even kindness to balance the darkness. I’ll take Mr. Rochester over Heathcliff any day of the week.
    I can also enjoy a lovable rogue, if he’s got enough depths to suggest he’s a decent man, not an overgrown frat boy. I admit, I’ve become less tolerant over the years of immature heroes, especially when that immaturity stems from behavior rather than chronological age.

    Reply
  107. My copy of NLTAL is winging its way to me as I type, though I sneaked a peek at it in my local Borders. Looks like a real treat–and yes, the dress is gorgeous and it’s even mentioned in the book too, if I recall correctly.
    As to the main question, I can enjoy a tortured hero as long as he doesn’t use his angst as a crutch or as a stick to beat others with, especially the heroine. And if he still has traces of humor or even kindness to balance the darkness. I’ll take Mr. Rochester over Heathcliff any day of the week.
    I can also enjoy a lovable rogue, if he’s got enough depths to suggest he’s a decent man, not an overgrown frat boy. I admit, I’ve become less tolerant over the years of immature heroes, especially when that immaturity stems from behavior rather than chronological age.

    Reply
  108. My copy of NLTAL is winging its way to me as I type, though I sneaked a peek at it in my local Borders. Looks like a real treat–and yes, the dress is gorgeous and it’s even mentioned in the book too, if I recall correctly.
    As to the main question, I can enjoy a tortured hero as long as he doesn’t use his angst as a crutch or as a stick to beat others with, especially the heroine. And if he still has traces of humor or even kindness to balance the darkness. I’ll take Mr. Rochester over Heathcliff any day of the week.
    I can also enjoy a lovable rogue, if he’s got enough depths to suggest he’s a decent man, not an overgrown frat boy. I admit, I’ve become less tolerant over the years of immature heroes, especially when that immaturity stems from behavior rather than chronological age.

    Reply
  109. My copy of NLTAL is winging its way to me as I type, though I sneaked a peek at it in my local Borders. Looks like a real treat–and yes, the dress is gorgeous and it’s even mentioned in the book too, if I recall correctly.
    As to the main question, I can enjoy a tortured hero as long as he doesn’t use his angst as a crutch or as a stick to beat others with, especially the heroine. And if he still has traces of humor or even kindness to balance the darkness. I’ll take Mr. Rochester over Heathcliff any day of the week.
    I can also enjoy a lovable rogue, if he’s got enough depths to suggest he’s a decent man, not an overgrown frat boy. I admit, I’ve become less tolerant over the years of immature heroes, especially when that immaturity stems from behavior rather than chronological age.

    Reply
  110. My copy of NLTAL is winging its way to me as I type, though I sneaked a peek at it in my local Borders. Looks like a real treat–and yes, the dress is gorgeous and it’s even mentioned in the book too, if I recall correctly.
    As to the main question, I can enjoy a tortured hero as long as he doesn’t use his angst as a crutch or as a stick to beat others with, especially the heroine. And if he still has traces of humor or even kindness to balance the darkness. I’ll take Mr. Rochester over Heathcliff any day of the week.
    I can also enjoy a lovable rogue, if he’s got enough depths to suggest he’s a decent man, not an overgrown frat boy. I admit, I’ve become less tolerant over the years of immature heroes, especially when that immaturity stems from behavior rather than chronological age.

    Reply
  111. From MJP:
    Tortured heroes who are whiny or abusive are SO not fun, Stephanie! I like my characters to be adults–even if they’re lovable rogues.
    In good news, I even got my author copies today, so I can send one to the winner right away rather than having to wait. *g*

    Reply
  112. From MJP:
    Tortured heroes who are whiny or abusive are SO not fun, Stephanie! I like my characters to be adults–even if they’re lovable rogues.
    In good news, I even got my author copies today, so I can send one to the winner right away rather than having to wait. *g*

    Reply
  113. From MJP:
    Tortured heroes who are whiny or abusive are SO not fun, Stephanie! I like my characters to be adults–even if they’re lovable rogues.
    In good news, I even got my author copies today, so I can send one to the winner right away rather than having to wait. *g*

    Reply
  114. From MJP:
    Tortured heroes who are whiny or abusive are SO not fun, Stephanie! I like my characters to be adults–even if they’re lovable rogues.
    In good news, I even got my author copies today, so I can send one to the winner right away rather than having to wait. *g*

    Reply
  115. From MJP:
    Tortured heroes who are whiny or abusive are SO not fun, Stephanie! I like my characters to be adults–even if they’re lovable rogues.
    In good news, I even got my author copies today, so I can send one to the winner right away rather than having to wait. *g*

    Reply

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