Wednesday, December 2, 2009

MY UNFAIR LADY is released!

As you can guess from the title, My Unfair Lady was inspired by the movie My Fair Lady, based on Shaw’s Pygmalion. About an American heiress who goes to London to hire a sponsor to turn her into a lady, I’d like to celebrate the release by telling readers what I love the most about my heroine, Summer Wine Lee.

Although I like that Summer is bold, and a bit dangerous, and a product of her environment (she’s more of an Annie Oakley than she is an Eliza Doolittle), I think my favorite thing about her is her compassion. It’s her greatest strength, and sometimes her greatest weakness.

She can’t turn her back on the suffering of ‘critters’, and picks up quite a menagerie of hurt and stray animals. Since she spent most of her life growing up on an Arizona mine, she relieved her loneliness by adopting her first friends, some coatimundi’s. (These are really cute animals native to the Southwest desert.) As an adult, she picked up a cat named Moo-moo who has issues which makes her climb to feel secure, a three-legged dog named Lefty, a large dog named Sweetie who is a bit of a coward, and a tiny little Chihuahua named Chi-chi. Unfortunately, she can only bring Chi-chi with her on her voyage to London, but Summer and her friend Maria manage to rescue a monkey and a baby fox while in England.

Summer’s compassion also allows her to see beyond the surface appearance of a person. She does this with the hero’s mistress (which, unfortunately for my hero, the Duke of Monchester, causes their immediate breakup). Summer hires the duke to sponsor her and sees beyond his façade of arrogance as well, although it will take some time before she can truly unveil the entire character of the man that lies beneath.

Unfortunately, Summer’s compassion is also the reason for her insecurity. She carries a secret from her past. An action that she was forced to commit, but can’t forgive herself for. She thinks she wants to be turned in to a lady because she’s engaged to a man in New York who is connected to the Astor family, and they’ve made it clear to her that she’s an unacceptable bride. But as she works toward this goal, her secret creeps out to haunt her again and again, until she finally realizes why she wants to be a lady. And that it might be impossible.

But the duke finds out her secret, and is determined to help her.

And Summer’s compassion gets her into more trouble. She’s beginning to find out some contradictions about the duke and his family, and resolves to help him as well. When she discovers that someone might even be trying to kill him, she cannot turn her back on him, even when it would be in her best interest to do so. As she uncovers even more truths about the duke, she also finds herself growing more attracted to him. And her compassion for her fiancé prevents her from acting on those feelings, throwing Summer into more confusion. But her strength carries her through, and although sometimes she’s forced to make some difficult decisions, I can’t help but admire those that she does make. And eventually Summer will use her compassion for herself, as well, to discover her own inner truths.

Although Summer’s compassion might have made her story a deeper, more serious study of her character, her personality, penchant for outrageous behavior (at least as far as London society is concerned) and habit of caring for her critters makes the book a fun and light-hearted journey of self-discovery. The predicaments she gets into, and her unique way of solving them, are always fueled by her compassion…for better or worse.

So what is one of the traits you admire the most in your favorite heroine? And why? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

With My Best Wishes,

PS. Join me today for my Virtual Book Tour at: Night Owl Romance

And take a peek at my interview today at: Readaholic

My Unfair Lady
By Kathryne Kennedy
Victorian Romance
Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 978-1-4022-2990-9
December 2009
$6.99 US/MM Paperback

Starred review from Publishers Weekly! A Library Journal Editor’s Pick! 5 book rating from Long and Short Reviews/5 stars from Huntress Reviews/WRDF Reviews says “A fantastic read!”/Romantic Times BOOKReviews says “Kennedy’s writing is witty and enjoyable.”/Merrimon Book Reviews says “A pure delight.”/Booklist says “Plenty of sexy romance.”

He created the perfect woman…
The impoverished Duke of Monchester despises the rich Americans who flock to London, seeking to buy their way into the ranks of the British peerage. So when railroad heiress Summer Wine Lee offers him a king’s ransom if he’ll teach her to become a proper lady, he’s prepared to rebuff her. But when he meets the petite beauty with the knife in her boot, it’s not her fortune he finds impossible to resist…

For the arms of another man...
Frontier-bred Summer Wine Lee has no interest in winning over London society—it’s the New York bluebloods and her future mother-in-law she’s determined to impress. She knows the cost of smoothing her rough-and-tumble frontier edges will be high. But she never imagined it might cost her heart…


  1. I love the premise of this story, Kathryne.

    The thing I love about Erica in In Over Her Head is that she doesn't cave in to her fear. Why? Oh, I'm sure some therapist would have tons of fun with figuring that one out. LOL. I'm also enjoying another heroine I'm writing now, where, basically, no one is going to tell her what she can and can't do. That one I do own up to - after travellign through Spain when I was 21, navigating a looooong Spring Break with 3 others who didn't A) know how to drive stick, B) couldn't read a map, or C) had a clue how to pack for a week at the beach (26" hardcover pullman suitcase anyone? In a Ford Festiva - 2 door hatchback with little to no leg room? Times 3???), I survived, they survived and I had an awesome trip. Don't tell me there's something I can't do. I did that; I can do pretty much anything. LOL.

  2. Good stuff Kathryne! Congrats on the new release!

  3. I agree, Judi! After that, you could pretty much be confident of doing anything! Thanks for stopping by to celebrate with me. :}

  4. Hey, Cheryl! Thanks so much for the congrats!

  5. Congrats on your new release, Kathryne!

    I like a heroine with flaws I can relate to. But I hate when they whine and complain more than I do (which is quite a bit) :)

  6. LOL, Danielle. Whining relieves stress, which makes you more no worries!

  7. Congratulations, Kathryne! We are so happy to have you aboard the Sourcebooks Casablanca train! Your reviews have been fabulous and I am sure My Fair Lady will be a major hit! Best of luck on the tour. We will be following you.......

  8. You're terrific, Sharon. Thanks so much for the good wishes!

  9. Fantastic Kathryne! I see a trip to B&N in my future.

    Gutsy heroines are always fun.


  10. Same for me, Linda, although I'll be looking for HEX's. :}

  11. SUPER CONGRATS on your release of My Unfair Lady, Kathryne! And even MORE congrats on your GREAT reviews!

    Your heroine sounds wonderful, probably because I happen to have a soft spot for small furry critters myself. ;-) Also, one of her traits that she happens to share with all 3 of my heroines, and that I really admire is determination. Okay, SOME people might call it stubbornness, but I LOVE a determined heroine.


  12. What a lovely comment, AC! Stubborn, err, determined, is one of my fav character traits as well, for fictional or real characters. :} Thanks so much for celebrating with me today!

  13. Congrats, Kathryne! My Unfair Lady sounds incredible. May you have many sales. I love feisty heroines with smart mouths and brains to back them up.

  14. Thanks so much for the good wishes, Robin! Greatly appreciated. :}