Message From The Author

Author's Message

Sophia Nash


It is a truth universally acknowledged, that
a historical romance author in possession
of a deadline, must be in want of a good hero. This is especially true when the extraordinary heroine in question has
been jilted twice in the first two books of a series. I faced this daunting dilemma while pondering the plot and hero of Love With the Perfect Scoundrel (Mar., Avon). To add to the pressure, readers had been writing in droves, demanding that the lovely and deserving Countess of Sheffield, Grace Sheffey, find her happily ever after with the perfect hero. Unfortunately the muse who had so faithfully seen me through
the first two books in the Merry Widows series, A Dangerous Beauty and The Kiss, had become churlish of late and refused to cooperate ever since I halted all production of her favorite peanut butter blossom cookies.

There was but one thing to do: Pack up my rolling bag and Mole-skine notebook and hop a super saver flight to England, land of a thousand inspirations for Regency-set storytellers. I was determined to find the story and a hero no less exalted than Mr. Darcy himself, since Grace deserved a Colin Firth-esque icon as a partner.

Yes, I could hear my pesky muse chortling as she watched me drive white-knuckled more than 1,200 miles on the wrong side of the road -- from London to Bath, through Cornwall and, finally to Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, where the Hollywood version of Pride and Prejudice was filmed. Surely, I would uncover the story and the hero -- if not in the gilt-edged library, then perhaps in the stables? Alas, it was not to be. My one encounter with Mr. Darcy proved he would not do at all. He was naught but a cold, imposing and distinctly pale fellow. Actually, I could not blame him, really. It was freezing in the hills and dales.

And yet, while the hero refused to show his face, the story revealed itself very conveniently via a freak snowstorm in Derbyshire. I asked myself, "What if the heroine found herself near here during a wretched carriage ride which ends in the disaster of a blizzard?"

A thousand scenes, characters and images popped into my head. Except for the hero.

And so I boarded the flight back across the pond, despair lacing my thoughts (and the echo of my muse's laughter in my ear). A very nice hostess offered me a selection of magazines: People, Vanity Fair and Elle. And that's when I found him. I sat up straighter in my unforgiving seat. He was perfect: immensely tall, rugged, brutally strong, a fighter ... a Patriot! Somehow I knew no one else would do for the Countess of Sheffield but the long-lost ancestor of the New England Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady. And even better, his eyes revealed he had a secret.
A delicious secret only the heroine could unravel. I set pen to paper for the seven-hour flight, and a novel was born.

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