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Elizabeth Thornton

Genre: Regency Period, England, Historical Romance

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Dangerous to Hold

Poor Catherine! She lives alone, sees herself as an aging spinster, and though she enjoys her work as a contributor to one of London's prestigious newspapers, she can't help wishing for a little more excitement in her life. She gets more than she has bargained for when Marcus Lytton, Earl of Wrotham, accosts her on a dark London street and accuses her of being his long lost Spanish wife. Catherine vigorously denies it. What's going on?

That's how the germ of the idea for Dangerous to Hold, my April release from Bantam, took shape in my mind. It wasn't much to go on, but I kept asking questions until I had finally fathomed out what these two devious characters were really up to. Then everything jelled in my mind and we were off and running.

Marcus suspects that Catalina, the wife he hates, is trying to murder him, and he asks Catherine to help him lure Catalina into a trap. All she need do is change her appearance, learn a little Spanish and play the part of his wife. What could be simpler? Eventually, Catherine agrees, but not for the reasons Marcus thinks. She has good cause to hate this smooth-talking womanizer and has her own reasons for accepting his proposition.

This is the kind of story I love to read and write: two leading characters who are worthy opponents; a strong romantic conflict to keep them apart; and an intrigue that adds spice to the plot. Here's an excerpt:

He felt like a man rushing headlong toward the edge of a cliff. This wasn't him, or if it was, he didn't recognize himself. She had never been with a man before. He couldn't take her with all the finesse of a rutting bull. He had to get a hold of himself. He had to slow down and make this right for her.

His fingers curled around her hands and drew them gently from his neck. Her long-lashed eyes blinked up at him. He tried to smile. "Catalina..." he began.

In the next instant, she had thrown herself to the other side of the coach as far from him as possible. "I'm not Catalina! I'm not your wife," she cried out. "I'm not."

Thank you for all your support. Your letters have meant a great deal to me over the years. And thank you, Romantic Times, for nominating me for the 1994-95 Career Achievement award for Regency Historical Romance.

I enjoy corresponding with my readers. Contact me by e-mail:, or visit me at my Home Page:, or write to me c/o Women's Fiction, Bantam Books, 1540 Broadway, New York, NY 10036.

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