Message From The Author

Sarah Morgan

Genre: Current Series Imprints, Harlequin Presents, Series

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Author's Message

Selecting the right profession for your characters isn’t always easy. Ideally you want a career that says something about the person. A hero who has seen a loved one suffer through illness may choose to train as a doctor; someone who has battled injustice may decide to be a lawyer.

One of the hallmarks of the Harlequin Presents hero is that he is a successful man. Success has many definitions of course, but invariably he is an international businessman, financier or similar so when I was invited to write the opening book for an important new series for Harlequin Presents called The Notorious Wolfes and was told that they wanted the hero of my story, Nathaniel Wolfe, to be an ‘A’ list movie star, I confess I knew a moment of doubt. But doubt quickly gave way to anticipation as I started to think about the character in more depth and realized how perfectly his profession blended with his conflict. I decided that Nathaniel’s choice of job wasn’t random – he didn’t fall into it through chance or luck. Instead it was a deliberate decision on his part, driven by his need to hide from the world. He discovered at a young age that he had a gift for acting and he used that gift to conceal the truth about his past.

As I constructed this character and his story, I grew more and more involved and excited. Yes, parts of the book were dark and emotional - after all Nathaniel is hiding shocking secrets and I confess that I had a lump in my throat on more than one occasion as I wrote. But because Nathaniel wouldn’t dream of revealing any of that, his interaction with the heroine brought a lighter touch to the story and their exchanges were often fun and humorous.

And so A Night of Scandal took shape and became a story of light mixed with dark. It is the story of a damaged man who uses his extraordinary talent to hide who he really is from the world.

My heroine Katie, is a costume designer (she has her reasons for choosing that profession too but no spoilers here!), an ordinary girl who finds having a Hollywood mega star in her living room more than a little overwhelming. Because she has seen him act and knows how skillfully he can slip beneath the skin of another character, she knows that he can make an audience believe whatever he wants them to believe about him. Because of that, she doesn’t trust him. She wants to know the man, not the movie star, but Nathaniel doesn’t let anyone that close.

With his past closing in on him, Nathaniel is forced to make a difficult choice. He can continue to hide behind the roles he plays and risk losing the woman he loves or he can finally play the one part he’s always avoided – himself.

(Note: This book was previously published in the UK as The Tortured Rake.)

- Sarah Morgan

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