Message From The Author

Author's Message

Winter Makepeace, the hero of my latest book, Thief of Shadows is many things. He’s the manager of an orphanage, a fairly religious man, strong in his beliefs and passions, and he’s also a virgin. Sexually inexperienced heroes are uncommon in romance for a good reason: it’s not particularly sexy. We like our heroes to be commanding, authoritative, and in control of things. Making one’s hero not only a virgin, but the manager of an orphanage, poor, and—horrors!—not an aristocrat is something of a challenge for the historical romance writer.

So why did I do it?

Well, first of all character is everything in a romance and to remain true to Winter’s character he simply had to be a virgin. Of course, he didn’t have to be poor and working class, but in some ways I find average men in historical times—men without the advantage of wealth and power—to be much more interesting than the typical duke. A lower class hero, by default, has to labor much harder to prove himself: he’s butting heads with all of society.

All of which presents a challenge to the writer and I have to confess I love a writing challenge. Thief of Shadows is my eleventh book and it occurred to me somewhere along the line, that if I wanted to spend the rest of my life writing—and I do—then I’d better find something interesting—something challenging—about each book that I write. After all, if I get bored writing the book, then where does that leave you the reader? My challenge in writing Thief of Shadows was to make Winter not only a realistic hero, but also a compelling one. Add to that the fact that Winter’s heroine is Isabel Beckinhall—Lady Beckinhall—a woman who is not only older, richer, and more experienced than Winter, but also an aristocrat, and the challenge becomes complete.

How to make Isabel fall in love with Winter? He may not have social power, but within his own world he is a leader. He runs an orphanage, nearly single-handedly as well as looking after and caring about the people of St. Giles, the London slum where the orphanage is situated. Winter may be a calm, even dour man on the surface, but beneath he is deeply committed to helping others. He’s deeply passionate—and what woman can withstand a passionate man?

I hope you enjoy reading Thief of Shadows as much as I enjoyed writing it!

- Elizabeth Hoyt


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