Please welcome Eileen Dreyer to the blog! She’s here to celebrate the release of her newest book, Three Times a Lady, and we’re going to hush so that she can get right to it.
I’ve been writing romance for a long time. I’ve written a lot of romance of all kinds: contemporaries, suspense, fantasy, historical, humorous. I think the only kind of romance I haven’t written is dinosaur romance, which managed to outstretch even my imagination.
Right now, I’m writing what I call a historical romantic adventure. Nefarious spies in Regency England (and possibly beyond), who have been threatening the heroes and heroines in my Drake’s Damsels series (and beyond). My new book, Three Times a Lady, also involves a group of good spies going against bad spies, in which our heroine, the irrepressible Pip (Phillipa) Knight finds herself entangled. Unfortunately, she also accidentally entangles the man she’s long since loved, who swears he doesn’t love her, Beau, Viscount Drummond. Beau is a welcome well-behaved member of the aristocracy. Pip is an anomaly. Instead of needlework, piano and etiquette, she excels in riding, shooting, and tracking, which she learned when she and Beau’s brother, Theo, decided, as children, to become pirates.
So, spies, heroes, and two people who, for very good reasons, haven’t been able to get along. Does it make me an evil author that I couldn’t wait to put them into my favorite romance trope? Well, I did. I tucked them right into a marriage of convenience, from which, as they say, hilarity—and passion, and fury and fear and frustration—ensues.
So why marriage of convenience? (And why might I have included marriage of convenience in the vast majority of my historical romances)? Part of it is the same reason I love writing in the Regency period. There are definite walls involved within which my characters are caught. Restrictions, expectations, compromise, the need for resourcefulness from a person who must learn how to navigate through a small space crowded with obstructions. Be they old friends or perfect strangers, the hero and heroine are caught in a situation they definitely hadn’t expected with a set of expectations they either have to embrace or escape. And they have to do it together.
Of course, things are complicated by sexual tension, which is definitely not supposed to be a factor in a marriage of convenience. And please. What is a romance without some smoking sexual tension? And that attraction stirs up the roux of emotion in a relationship that is still finding its legs, as it were. (Did I just mix metaphors?)
That sexual tension is what gets my Pip and Beau into trouble in the first place. Well, that and the nefarious spies they are trying to bring down. The time is right after Waterloo when the world should feel safe. It doesn’t. A group of traitors, who are highly placed in the government, are trying to depose the king and replace him with Princess Charlotte, whom they plan to control.
The problem is that Beau has been sent to a house party to intercept a message that will name the traitors. The bigger problem is that the traitors know and intend to trap him with the message and kill him. It is Pip who finds out. It is Pip who has to intercept Beau and give him another reason to be away from the party in the room where the plans are hidden. So, she follows him into the library just in time to see him retrieve the message. She hardly gets a word out when she hears the voice of one of the traitors approaching. She has no choice but to grab Beau and pull him down for the kiss of her life. See? A reasonable excuse.
Except that the kiss ignites a fire neither expected, a fire neither knows how to control. That might have been overcome if they weren’t walked in on by the very worst people. That they might have still escaped if not for Princess Charlotte herself, who insists that she would love to help them marry. Right. Then.
Beau doesn’t want the marriage at all. Pip doesn’t want the marriage as it is. And they are locked inside together while enemies circle, while society watches them just waiting for the first sign of discord. While Pip fights for her right to autonomy at the same time she seeks belonging and family, and Beau resents and fears it all.
Which means they must work together to negotiate their place in this marriage. They must decide what they want their future to be and whether they even have the right skills and desires to make it so.
Their mutual attraction isn’t in question. If they lived now, they would set off fire alarms. They know each other better than they would sometimes like. They have shared history, which is both good and bad. And somehow, as they battle their enemies, they must negotiate their marriage and find their way to a life of love.
And that is why I love marriage of convenience books. Especially for my Drake’s Damsels.
New York Times bestselling author and RWA Hall of Fame member Eileen Dreyer and her evil twin Kathleen Korbel have published over forty novels and novellas, and ten short stories in genres ranging from medical suspense to paranormal to multiple sub-genres in romance. She is thrilled to bring her work, including the continuation of her Drake’s Rakes series, which she considers historical romantic adventure, to Oliver-Heber Books.
A native of St. Louis, where she still lives with her husband Rick and family, Dreyer is an RN, BS with two decades experience, including sixteen in trauma medicine before retiring to write full time. She is also trained in forensic nursing, death investigation and Tactical EMS (as in being a medic on a SWAT team) (yeah, it was that cool).
A seasoned conference speaker, Dreyer travels to research, and uses research as an excuse to travel. She has animals, but refuses to subject them to the limelight. And yes. She was on Jeopardy. The way she puts the results is that she won the silver medal.