How Do You Turn A Spy Into A Diplomat? Donna MacMeans' Redeeming the Rogue Heroine Has The Answers

Donna MacMeans' new historical novel Redeeming the Rogue is an August RT Top Pick. The novel follows English Lady Arianne Chambers who undertakes an unusual mission for her government, transforming spy Michael Rafferty into a man who could convince the world that he is a proper diplomat! We knew we needed to get the inside story on how Lady Arianne Chambers worked her magic. But we never expected the answer we got ... 

Good Morning. While it’s not considered proper to introduce oneself, I suppose under the circumstances it is necessary. Sometimes we all must sacrifice propriety when faced with the prospect of not otherwise achieving our goals. I know I did.

My name is Lady Arianne Chambers, sister to the Duke of Bedford. I’ve recently been commissioned by Lord Henderson to teach the finer points of international etiquette and in effect, mold, if you will, an Irish guttersnipe of a rogue named Michael Rafferty, so that he might catch the murderer of my good friend the British minister in Washington D.C.

First impressions are important in diplomatic circles. A proper diplomat does not wear his black-as-night hair so long that it sometimes hides his seductive gaze or frames his all together too masculine cheekbones. I must admit washing Rafferty’s hair in preparation for his haircut proved most enjoyable. He sat before me so that I could lean over to run my fingers through his thick hair and douse it with water. Of course then I realized my corset ended right about where his lips began and ...Heavens! It has warmed up considerably, hasn’t it?

We were speaking about appearances, correct? When I first met Rafferty, he was not dressed appropriately for the occasion. His jacket was too small and of the wrong cut. In fact, buttons popped and seams ripped at the slightest provocation. In his defense, he claimed he borrowed the jacket from his friend, stage magician Phineas Connor. In hindsight, I should be grateful that he only discovered that embarrassing string of knotted handkerchiefs in his pocket and not a rabbit or two. Needless to say, he has wardrobe issues which I must attend to. Which is difficult as some men are better fashioned not to wear clothes at all, if you understand my meaning...

A diplomat spends a great deal of his time at state dinners, eleven course affairs that require extensive knowledge of what utensils to use for the various courses. I taught Rafferty about the fourteen types of forks and the eleven types of spoons - but he walked out of the lecture before I got to the knives! The nerve of that man.

We had better success when I taught him to dance. I suppose he might have survived Washington without that skill, but even an etiquette teacher is entitled to some fun.

I polished him up for his introduction to the American President James A. Garfield. A turned out Rafferty still takes my breath away. Too bad that nice president was shot such a short time later. I’m still not certain why my Rafferty was hauled off to jail, but he was the best looking prisoner there.

And then there was that nasty coffin business. There’s no proper etiquette about that, I’m afraid.

I hope you can use these tips for sprucing up your own ruffian.  To learn more about my adventures with Rafferty, and Redeeming the Rogue, please visit

- Lady Arianne Chambers 

Want to find out what happens to Lady Arianne and her pupil Michael? You can pick up your own copy of their novel in stores now. And of course, for the latest genre news and insider details about new releases be sure to check out our Everything Romance Page!