In the last year I’ve had the privilege to meet Maya Rodale. Though we’ve only met online, she strikes me as a kindred spirit, and I happened to love her first book, The Heir And The Spare. Like anyone else who read this engaging story, I’ve been eagerly awaiting her follow-up. But rather than have me blather on like an impatient fan, I’ll let Maya introduce you to her new book. Please join me in welcoming Maya Rodale!
MR: Hello Everyone! I’m thrilled to be blogging here today in honor of my new book, The Rogue And The Rival. Thanks, Elizabeth, for inviting me! I had the darndest time thinking up a topic, but eventually I decided to go for the perennially popular subject: rakes and rogues.
A friend of mine once described a guy she liked as “a good man but a bad boy.” I thought it was a very good way of describing all those rakes and rogues we love in romance novels. But we don’t want ‘em to be too bad, so occasionally, they need a little improvement.
In my first book, The Heir & the Spare, I had the brilliant idea to give the villain every imaginable vice: he gambled to excess (so long, family fortune!), drank constantly (brandy for breakfast!), and ruined numerous young women (four going on five, to be precise), and he was a bad kisser (unforgivable!).
In my second book, The Rogue And The Rival, I had the brilliant idea to make this less than stellar specimen of manhood the hero. Lucky is the girl that gets this one! A true fixer-upper! Who doesn’t want a broke, womanizing, drunk who was a bad kisser as her hero? Well, me. And most women, too, I’m sure. So Phillip Kensington, Marquis Huntley, villain turned hero, needed to be reformed and redeemed. Big time. More good man and much, much less bad boy.
At the end of Heir/Spare, Lord Phillip fled to Paris to escape the aftermath a disastrous duel. It was there that he 1) learned how to kiss properly (or rather, not at all properly) and 2) sank so far into debt that he had to return to England. Things then go from bad to worse, because Phillip needed to hit rock bottom. The story begins with my hero waking up after having being shot at, thrown from his horse and left for dead in a ditch. Oh, and then he was robbed. He is truly a broke(n) man. He was taken to the nearby abbey to recover, and be nursed back to health by the tender ministrations of one Angela Sullivan, ruined girl and would-be nun if she could only get around to taking her orders.
Angela is no angel. She’s what I call “a lady who has lived a little”. She’s sharp and she’s smart and, thanks to previous experience, she knows better than to fall for the likes of a renowned scoundrel like Phillip. But she goes and does it anyway. She’s the first person to look past the “bad boy” to find the good man underneath, and she finds one who is thoughtful, helpful and funny. She finds something lovable there, and he loves her for looking. In short, she’s a very, very good reason for him to try to be a better man.
Alas, they can’t stay in the abbey forever, and once Phillip returns to London the consequences of his past demand his attention. But his reformation holds true, especially with Angela by his side.
Are you a fan of rakes and rogues? Who are some of your favorites?