Message From The Author

Isobel Carr

Genre: Georgian Period, England, Historical Romance

View Isobel Carr's Profile | Visit Isobel Carr's Website

Author's Message

Dear Reader,

I was over the moon when I saw my review in RT Book Reviews, and it included a special call out for the dog in Ripe For Pleasure. W. C. Fields famously said “Never work with animals or children.” It’s a rule I can’t seem to help breaking. Dogs (and children) are simply a part of life (which may well be why the curmudgeonly Fields so frequently railed against both). But when including dogs or children, there is always a niggling concern that others will fail to find them as charming as you do.

Romance has a wonderful tradition of dogs though. I’ve always been especially enamored of Georgette Heyer’s fictional dogs: the toadeating Ulysses in Arabella, the zany “Baluchistan Hound” Lufra in Frederica, and the horrible, wheezing Pug in Friday’s Child. For years, I’ve had a scene in my head of a large, somewhat scary dog simply showing up and attaching itself to one of my characters. I had always thought it would be a hero who got the dog, and that the dog would be a “bull and terrier” (the forerunner of today’s Staffordshire Terriers and Pit Bulls), who’d show up wounded, clearly having just escaped after a bear fight. But when the scene was written, the dog had become a Mastiff, and it was the heroine (who was decidedly not a dog person) to whom it pledged its undying devotion.

I had a wonderful time writing Pen (named for the Amazon Queen Penthesilea, who fought in the Trojan War). And it was easy because I happen to own a mastiff myself. My mastiff, Clancy, is a 170- lb. snuggle-bunny, who loves nothing more than to lounge on the couch with me partially pinned beneath his enormous head (must be touching mom at ALL times). But I can tell you that the sleepy demeanor is a ruse. He’s alert to every sound, every potential hint of danger, and I have not the slightest doubt that he’d defend me to the death. His sisters, who happen to belong to my sister and my best friend, are not quite as subtle about being on guard. They both like to sit at windows and survey their kingdoms. They keep a very close eye on anyone who dares to walk up their sidewalk or knock upon their door.

Pen turned into a much larger character in Ripe For Pleasure than I had originally planned. I’d simply wanted her to be a hurdle for the characters, something they had to come to terms over—the first thing in their relationship that required compromise—but she was having none of that. Pen had to earn her keep, and she wasn’t content with comic relief. Pen was an action star waiting for her cue.

I hope you enjoy Pen and the rest of the cast of characters in Ripe For Pleasure every bit as much as I enjoyed writing them.


- Isobel Carr

Read Book Review ›