I’m so please to be hosting award-winning author Darcy Burke on the blog today. Darcy is a lovely person, and she writes wonderful historical romance (and contemporary romance, too). She’s here to tell us about her latest series and book, Scoundrel Ever After.
Thank you for having me here today, Vanessa! Now that my Secrets and Scandals series is finished (sniff!), I’m reflecting on the characters and stories. I really loved the multi-book redemption arc of Ethan Jagger. Reformed bad boys are one of my favorite tropes and I especially love a series that introduces a character as a villain (or as seemingly irredeemable) and lets you see the transformation from “hell no!” to “ hell yes, please!” What surprised me, though, is that I had not one, but two, female characters who traveled a redemption arc.
The first book in this series, Her Wicked Ways, features a spoiled London debutante who’s banished to the country to reform herself. Instead of multiple books to transform her, she (hopefully!) went from immature and selfish to independent and selfless. That book took place over several months, so her evolution and that of the love story definitely had time to percolate and grow. Still, reformed heroines are harder than heroes!
So why’d I do it again? head/desk. In the second book, His Wicked Heart, I introduced two secondary characters to befriend the heroine (Olivia). They were Lydia and Audrey, who ended up being heroines of their own books. But I didn’t introduce them with that in mind. Lydia, in fact, was more of a frenemy. She was a gossip and a bit condescending to Olivia, who was new to Society. Audrey was much softer and I knew earlier with her that she needed her own book. Lydia, on the other hand, was a tough sell. She’d been introduced as a foil and to make her into heroine material, I had to figure out why she was the way she was. I surprised myself when I paired her with Jason Lockwood, but I’m so happy with how their story turned out. It seemed natural—and exciting—that the socially vilified Jason would find love with the gossip-mongering Lydia.
I’m sure there’ll be reformation of some kind in my next series, Regency Treasure Hunters. One of the heroes, Lord Kersey, appeared very briefly in Her Wicked Ways. He had a somewhat notorious reputation he was trying to live down. We’ll find out how successful he was! I’m planning for the first book in that series (a prequel novella) to be out this summer.
Redemption is definitely one of my favorite themes and as I said, reformed bad boys is one of my favorite romance tropes. What are your favorite themes and tropes? What do you think of reformed heroines and what are some of your favorite books that feature them? One lucky commenter will get a copy of Secrets and Scandals Volume 1, which includes the first three books in the series!
Wow! That’s a very generous giveaway, Darcy – thank you! Personally, I’m very fond of the reformed heroine, since my third book, My Favorite Countess, featured a heroine who had to follow a pretty steep course of redemption. What about you, readers? What are some of your favorite themes and tropes. Does it include redemption? Let us know, and I’ll also throw in a copy of My Favorite Countess for Darcy’s winner!
A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her devoted husband, their two great kids, and two Bengal cats. Darcy writes hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance. Visit Darcy online at http://www.darcyburke.com and sign up for her new releases newsletter, follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/darcyburke, or like her Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/darcyburkefans.