The following conversation took place several weeks ago.
Lady B: What is the name of your next book, Miss Neville?
Miranda: The Ruin of a Rogue.
Lady B: Interesting. Why do you ladies never write books with titles like Engaged to the Nice Young Man Her Mother Likes?
Miranda: I’m not going to answer that – or pitch that title to my editor. We all know that Lady B loves a bad boy. Don’t we all?
Lady B: Tell me about this Rogue of yours.
Miranda: Marcus Lithgow comes by his roguery honestly: from his father whom Marcus describes as “the greatest scoundrel in Europe.” Dear Papa kicked the bucket in Naples, leaving Marcus with nothing but a disreputable viscountcy and the bill for the funeral. With war heating up the Continent, Marcus returns to London in deep trouble: his luck has run out and he can’t make his living as a gamester anymore. The only answer is to try to win the hand of Anne Brotherton, the wealthiest young woman in Great Britain.
Lady B: Didn’t he try to steal a Titian from the Duchess of Castleton?
Miranda: Exactly! Marcus really is pretty awful. A major course of reform is required.
Lady B: And doesn’t Miss Brotherton have a burning ambition to excavate a Roman villa?
Miranda: Right. And it turns out Marcus has one on a crumbling estate he inherits from his mother’s family. Anne, who has figured out that Marcus is a fortune hunter, can’t resist. But while she’s digging up his ruin, she also brings about his ruin as a rogue. I must say, Lady B, I am impressed! You remember what happened in my last book! (The Importance of Being Wicked).
Lady B: I peruse every word my Authoresses write with the utmost care. Several of you have written about Rogues.
Miranda: There’s Miss MacLean’s A Rogue by Any Other Name, a book with the wickedest hero ever.
Sarah: You must be talking about Bourne.
Miranda: We’re all wondering if you can possibly surpass him in roguery.
Lady B: We live in hope. Miss Ashe wrote one called Captured by a Rogue Lord. The very title shocks me to the core.
Miranda: In a good way. Alex Savege was really hot.
Lady B: Any others?
Katharine: Actually there were three in the series, Rogues of the Sea. Also How A Lady Weds A Rogue. I do like my rogues.
Tessa: I wrote Twice Tempted by a Rogue before I started coming to The Ballroom.
Lady B: You astonish me. I had no idea any of you gals wrote a thing before I told you how to do it.
Tessa: We all made pitiful attempts before we had the benefit of your wisdom and …er… example.
Miranda: Aside. Nice save, Tessa. You’d love Rhys St. Maur, Lady B. He’s a brooding war hero, just your type.
Lauren: I’m not sure if this counts, but the original working title of The Secret History of the Pink Carnation was A Rogue of One’s Own. My publisher changed it.
Lady B: Fancy that. We would never have had all those floral accents.
Miranda: I’m glad we didn’t miss Lauren’s progressively more obscure horticultural specimens.
Lady B: We should give a ball and invite all the Rogues from everyone’s books.
All the Authoresses in unison: What a splendid idea, Lady B. A Rogue’s Ball!
So that’s why we are here today, inviting any authoresses out there to bring their Rogues, past, present, and future to the Ballroom. In the comments tell us your title, blurb, and website, and your cover.
To our non-authoress visitors, tell us your favorite bad boy heroes. Also, would you buy a book called Engaged to the Nice Young Man Her Mother Likes?
Boring small print. To post your cover: right click on the cover on your website to “Copy Image URL.” Click on the link beneath the comment box and paste in the URL. Please don’t use an image from Amazon because they seem to come out enormous. You are welcome to provide a link to the book page on your website, or an excerpt, but please don’t give buys links here.