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Jane Ashford | Best Romantic Advice Ever!

September 7, 2016

You ask what advice I’d give the hero and heroine at the beginning of WHAT THE DUKE DOESN’T KNOW. Somehow, the question made me think about the whole concept of romantic advice. Do people ever take it? Is anyone really in a position to give it?

Certainly there’s advice flying all over the place today. And I admit I have a mild addiction to advice columns – Dear Abby, Ann Landers, Dear Amy, Miss Manners – any of them, really. I’ll be navigating the internet, maybe to pay a bill or do a bit of necessary research, and I see that headline. Too many times, I have to click:

Happy Feet Are Great Comfort to Bride on Her Special Day. This is about comfortable shoes, yes? What else could it be?

Unexpected Guest for Dinner Party Results in Empty Seats. A skunk got into the house? The dog tried to chase her out. The skunk jumped onto the table and Blam!

Couple’s 40 Years of Marriage Began Later Than Kids Think. So they jumped the gun. It happens. Everybody take a breath.

Surgeon’s Wife Surprised by His Covert Operation. Have to click on that one. I don’t think he’s going to turn out to be 007.

Seeds of Love and Peace Sown by Humble Dandelion. Umm, what? Aren’t dandelions the scourge of front lawns? Whole neighborhood gets together for a mass dandelion hunt?

Wife Says Husband Is Wrong to Claim He’s Always Right. Really? OK, I have advice here. That guy sounds like a jerk.

Woman Searches for Way to Warm Mans Cold Feet. This is a metaphor. Don’t suggest a hot water bottle or a thicker down comforter.

Two headlines not far apart in time. Visiting Grandparents Should Leave Their Pets At Home. Daughter’s Ban of Cat and Dog Peeves Her Pet Loving Parents. Ooh, I can do these – find a nearby hotel that takes animals.

Nudists at Beach Are Not Concerned With Perfection. Wise. (This one turned out to be quite touching when I – yes – clicked.)

Widow Says Husband’s Secret Should Have Stayed Buried. Mystery novel potential here. Incriminating documents stuck in a hole in the back yard? Murdered first wife under patio?

Put The Brakes on Unwanted Advice. Uh oh.

There are all sorts of blogs giving advice or complaining about other people’s habits or behavior, too. Well, first complaining and then offering the “advice” mainly. Which often consists of – stop it and go away! There are a lot of annoyed people out there – many of them poised to come swooping down like virtual vultures in the Comments section. With heavy sarcasm. And insults. And profanity. Yikes! It’s enough to put you off giving advice altogether. However, you asked me. I’ll do my best. Hero and heroine:

  • Be kind. This includes a firm, polite “no.”
  • Be willing to change if you discover good reasons to do so. But don’t assume you can change each other.
  • Take note of what makes your counterpart laugh wholeheartedly. It’s important.
  • Respect is obligatory.
  • Have fun!

Hero and heroine won’t manage all that, of course. Not at first. But the essence of an HEA for me is that they do in the end. After some difficulties. Mostly. Happy reading!


What is the best headline you’ve seen on the Internet that called out for you to respond And bonus round, what was YOUR advice? Prize is a copy of WHAT THE DUKE DOESN’T KNOW


The Duke’s Sons #2

What the Duke Doesn't Know

A proper English wife, or the freedom of the sea?

Lord James Gresham is the fifth son of the Duke of Langford, a captain in the Royal Navy, and at a loss for what to do next. He’s made his fortune; perhaps now he should find a proper wife and set up his nursery. But the sea calls to him, while his search for a wife leaves him uninspired. And then, a dark beauty with a heart for revenge is swept into his life.

He can’t have both, but he won’t give up either

Half-English, half-Polynesian Kawena Benson is out to avenge her father and reclaim a cache of stolen jewels. There’s nothing for James to do but protest his innocence and help Kawena search for the jewels, even though it turns his world upside down.

Romance Historical [Sourcebooks Casablanca, On Sale: September 6, 2016, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781492621591 / eISBN: 9781492621607]

An adventurous romance with a unique twist

About Jane Ashford

Jane Ashford

Jane Ashford discovered Georgette Heyer in junior high school and was captivated by the glittering world and witty language of Regency England. That delight led her to study English literature and travel widely in Britain and Europe. Her historical and contemporary romances have been published in Sweden, Italy, England, Denmark, France, Russia, Latvia, Slovenia, and Spain, as well as the U.S. Twenty-six of her new and backlist Regency romances are being published by Sourcebooks. Jane has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award by RT Book Reviews. She is currently rather nomadic.

The Duke’s Sons


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