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When you write a long running series like the ‘Simplys…’ it can get quite complicated-especially when you don’t keep detailed notes about everyone who turns up. Sometimes I wish I was more of a plotter, because I have to go back and read the previous books to make sure I have the correct eye and hair color and that the new hero or heroine is the right age for the new book. If I don’t, I can guarantee someone will tell me about it when it’s too late. :)
The series is set in Regency London and centers round a pleasure house where the very rich can indulge in their sexual fantasies-for a price. I’ve had comments that such a scenario could never happen in that time period, but I suspect it could. One thing the British are very good at is separating their public face from their private one. As long as one appears to be doing the right thing, what goes on behind closed doors is kept there. In my opinion, one of the reasons why the Victorian period was so repressive was because it followed on from the sexual excesses of the Regency. Queen Victoria had seen quite enough lascivious behavior from her bevy of uncles, including the Prince Regent, to want to set a completely different tone during her reign.
It is also a real pleasure to follow a character and watch them grow and fall in love, particularly a character like Lisette Delornay-Ross who turned up uninvited in book #3, Simply Shameless, with her twin, Christian, and caused a huge uproar for her mother, Helene. In the earlier books, Lisette appears to be something of a flirt who is determined to shock her parents, but in Simply Forbidden we get to see her side of the story and appreciate how the uncertainty of her early life made her wary of both love and of conflict.
And even more importantly, we get to meet Gabriel Swanfield, the man who will at first reluctantly fall in love with Lisette, and then launch a military-style campaign to make sure she marries him. I love to write about characters that at first seem very different, but at their core are surprisingly similar. Gabriel’s childhood changed dramatically when it was discovered he was the only legitimate heir to an earl with consequences that damaged him forever. He is one of the few men who can understand Lisette’s uncertainty and provide her with the security and love that she needs.
Another thing I love about writing these particular books is that I get to explore the nature of sexuality. I’ve never liked labels for anything or anyone, so many of my male characters are more than willing to be flexible in their sexual needs. Some of them enjoy sex with both males and females and can only settle into a relationship where all their needs and those of their partners are accommodated. Some of them enjoy a little kink in that relationship too, as do the women who love to them. I’m a great believer that love is about accepting someone as they are-and Lisette in Simply Forbidden is surprisingly willing to take on Gabriel, kink and all. :)
- Kate Pearce
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