My December release is GENTLEMEN PREFER MISCHIEF. As you might guess from the title, it’s a Regency-era story, and it’s a little playful. I love a story that can make me laugh while also touching my heart, and I hope that’s the kind of experience readers have with this book.
I thought it would be fun to do a little character interview with my hero, Hal, Viscount Roxham.
Tell us about you in five words or fewer: Playful, athletic, loyal, flirtatious (might as well be honest, *winks*)
What do you see as your purpose in life? Do we have to get so serious right away? I’m not wild about that word “purpose”—it’s kind of stuffy. How about my purpose for today, which, actually, is pretty entertaining: my neighbor Lily Teagarden asked for my help in solving the mystery of the lights and sounds that have been observed in the woods between our properties, which people think are being caused by an evil spirit. I’ve been away for several years and just came back to my estate, so this was news to me.
You know was else was news to me? Lily’s turned into a pretty interesting woman. She used to be awkward and a killjoy, and kind of odd-looking—way too thin and pale—and well, she wasn’t exactly the most appealing young lady. Actually, I’m fairly certain she’s still a killjoy, but somehow now that’s part of what’s fascinating about her. Like, it makes me want to see what it would take to make her laugh.
What do you have in your pockets? Today (reaches into pocket) it’s a little fold-up magnifying glass I bought on the Continent when I was over there fighting old Boney. I was using it to examine something pretty interesting of Lily’s that I happened to remember was in my possession. I got it from her four years ago, one day when I had some friends over for a party. Then I forgot all about it, and not long after that I left to take up my captain’s commission in the Foot Guards, and left it behind.
But when Lily came to ask for my help with her haunted sheep, and she was so tart and grouchy with me, I remembered about this thing of hers that I had. I could see it really annoyed her when I reminded her about it (chuckles wickedly). I think we’re going to have some fun with this little item.
If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be? I’d go back to being a soldier. It’s what I’m good at. Being a viscount involves all this stuff I’m not wild about: official duties, Parliament, being the one everyone relies on. That was something my brother was good at—being the responsible one. I, on the other hand, have always had a flair for parties and a tendency to get into trouble. But my brother’s gone now, so that leaves me as viscount.
What do you think of Lily Teagarden: I think she’s a maddening, fascinating, good-hearted woman who needs to stop taking herself so seriously and learn how to have fun.
What do you hope for your future? Again with the plans. I really like to just take things as they come. But you know, ever since I met Lily again, I’ve felt a little different. I’ve even found myself thinking about things I’d like to do with her—I guess that’s planning, isn’t it? (Laughs.) I have a feeling the future might be pretty amazing if Lily were in it.
When Adversaries Clash, Mischief Ignites Passion…
If it hadn’t been for the crazy rumors, Lily Teagarden would never have approached her neighbor, Hal, Viscount Roxhamâ – the careless rogue who broke her fledgling heart. But strange noises and lights on his property are causing serious problems for her, and she needs his help. Trouble is oh-so-diverting for Viscount Roxham, and what could be more amusing than investigating what’s plaguing his prim, beautiful neighbor – haunted sheep, of all things.
Every time he seems to make progress, though, she throws mischief in his path, and his attraction to her is becoming extremely distracting…too bad Lily’s the only woman in England who doesn’t think he’s Lord Perfect.
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