Brilliant but rumored mad, Michael Layward, the impoverished Duke of Wyverne, has no success courting heiresses until widowed Lady Stratton takes up his cause—after first refusing his suit. Caroline Graves, the popular Countess of Stratton, sits alone at the pinnacle of London society and has vowed never to remarry. When Michael—her counterpart in an old scandal—returns to town after a long absence, she finds herself as enthralled with him as ever. As she guides the anxiety-ridden duke through the trials of London society, Caroline realizes that she’s lost her heart. But if she gives herself to the only man she’s ever loved, she’ll lose the hard won independence she prizes above all.
I can touch my elbow with my tongue. It’s not a very useful talent, unfortunately. If I got to pick my own secret talent, I’d much rather have a photographic memory.
2. Is there a song that really reminds you of your book?
There is! I usually don’t associate music with books, because I don’t play music while I write. But for TO CHARM A NAUGHTY COUNTESS, Diana Krall’s recording of “Glad Rag Doll” seemed to suit the heroine perfectly. The song is about a woman who remakes herself hoping to be loved—and in a way, that’s what the heroine Caroline does too. After a desperate marriage and widowhood, her goal is to become the queen of London society, and any imperfections or problems that might interfere with that have to be ignored.
3. What was the easiest thing about writing this book?
Getting into the head of the hero, Michael. He’s an eccentric duke with no social graces, and he doesn’t particularly care. I t was fun to write a character who always said exactly what was on his mind!
4. Is there a word you love to use?
There are words I use waaaay too often while I’m writing, but I try to weed them out while I’m revising. In TO CHARM A NAUGHTY COUNTESS, the most fun word I got to use was “defenestration.”
5. Any real or imaginary pets?
No pets, because my husband is allergic to all warm-blooded creatures (well, except humans). This is very disappointing for our daughter, who would love to have her own petting zoo. Instead, she keeps a stuffed-animal menagerie of everything from dogs and cats to lambs and unicorns.
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