AKA the If You Give a Rake a Ruby Launch Party
My mother reads my books, but she’s pretty conservative. She’d rather I didn’t write about S-E-X so much. I think she skips those parts. In any case, she never mentions them. We can have a lengthy discussion about my new book, and you’d never know there was a love story in there.
So you can imagine my sense of foreboding when I started a new series about three Regency courtesans. How was I going to pitch this to my mother? I got around it for a little while. When you’ve written a few books, you can talk about your work in generalities. No one is all that interested in what the story is about. But finally my mother realized I had sold a new 3-book series, and she asked what it was about. I mumbled, “It’s about three glamorous Regency mumble mumble who find true love.”
“Courtesans?” She looked a little pale. “Aren’t those prostitutes?”
“Not really. They were independent women. They chose their own lovers and could be highly fashionable.”
She was not fooled. “But how did they earn their money?”
“They had protectors.”
“In other words, they had S-E-X for money.”
“I mean, that’s one way to look at it.”
So I was a little apprehensive when When You Give a Duke a Diamond was released. What would my mother think about my courtesan book? To my relief, she loved it. She was especially glad the courtesans weren’t too “courtesan-y.”
Now the next book in my Jewels of the Ton series is out. I do worry a little about what my mother will think of Fallon from If You Give a Rake a Ruby. She’s a little rough around the edges, compared to Juliette, the heroine from the first book. Fallon can handle herself, and she can definitely kick some ass. In fact, that’s how the book opens.
Kwirley was slower than she’d anticipated, and she had almost gained the towering mahogany doors before he caught her elbow and spun her around. “Not so fast—” he began.
Fallon kicked him in the belly, sending him sprawling backward. He knocked over a pedestal holding a jeweled lamp, and she had a moment’s worry because it was one of her favorites. But a quick glance reassured her the lamp was not broken.
The glance also revealed Kwirley was getting up. Blockhead. “Go home, my lord. I don’t want to hurt you.”
“Really?” He wiped his hands on his breeches. “Because I would like to hurt you. I don’t know who you think you are, but you’re going to pay for—”
She sidestepped him, spun, and booted him in his lower back. The blow set him off-balance, and she had a moment to grab a book and hurl it at him. Her aim was perfect, and the book’s spine hit him in the center of the forehead. “Ow, you little bitch!” He charged her, and Fallon shook her head. He wasn’t even thinking, simply acting blindly. She easily sidestepped him again, and he rammed into a settee, knocking it over. While he struggled to rise, Fallon dug her heel into the back of his neck and pressed him down.
“Had enough?” she asked. “Or would you prefer to go another round?” Because she was tired and wanted to go to bed, she ground her heel into his neck.
“Enough,” he mumbled.
“Good.” Without lifting her heel, she reached for a little silver bell and rang it. The sound tinkled softly in the room and the drawing room doors opened immediately to reveal Titus.
Titus was close to seven feet tall and easily twenty-five stone. He had a thick head of bright red hair, shocking blue eyes, and a mouth full of crooked teeth. His hands were as big as puppies and his legs tree trunks. He did not walk so much as lumber, and Kwirley began protesting the moment Titus entered the room.
“There’s been some sort of mistake. I didn’t intend any disrespect.”
Fallon sighed. “Titus, I might have known you would be standing right outside.”
The giant shrugged, his shoulders small mountains. “I like to make sure there’s no trouble, my lady.”
Fallon had told him an hundred times she was no lady, but he insisted on referring to her as such anyway. Who was she to protest? It wasn’t as though anyone else was clamoring to call her a lady.
She pressed her foot into Kwirley’s neck for good measure then lifted it and stepped away. “Would you be so kind as to show Lord Kwirley out?”
“I’ll show ‘em out,” Titus said. “But I won’t be kind about it.”
Kwirley gave her a panicked look, and Fallon was sorely tempted to shrug helplessly. But at the last moment, she took pity on the man. “Titus, be nice. Don’t throw Lord Kwirley farther than the lamp post.”
What does your mother think about you writing romance? If you’re not an author, have you ever shocked your mother or father? One person who comments will win When You Give a Duke a Diamond (US and Canada).
If You Give a Rake a Ruby by Shana Galen—in stores March 2013
HER MYSTERIOUS PAST IS THE BEST REVENGE . . .
Fallon, the Marchioness of Mystery, is a celebrated courtesan with her finger on the pulse of high society. She’s adored by men, hated by their wives. No one knows anything about her past, and she plans to keep it that way.
ONLY HE CAN OFFER HER A DAZZLING FUTURE . . .
Warrick Fitzhugh will do anything to protect his compatriots in the Foreign Office, including seduce Fallon, who he thinks can lead him to the deadliest crime lord in London. He knows he’s putting his life on the line . . .
To Warrick’s shock, Fallon is not who he thinks she is, and the secrets she’s keeping are exactly what make her his heart’s desire . . .