Friday, 20 April 2012

Guest post: First Impressions by Maggie Robinson + Giveaway

I am happy to welcome back to Ex Libris the wonderful Maggie Robinson, author of the scorching hot historical romance Courtesan Court series! (if you like steamy seduction scenes in a historical setting, this series was made for you!) The first 3 books in the series each told the story of a heroine living in the courtesan neighbourhood of the city, however this 4th book, Master of Sin is the story of a much tortured hero who was an almost villain in Book #3! So I was very curious to see why Maggie would choose to make a hero out of her quasi-villain and how she would do it. Please give her a warm welcome and share your stories, there is also a fantastic prize for you to win!


First Impressions
by Maggie Robinson

Thanks so much for having me here to talk about the final Courtesan Court book, Master of Sin. As the title indicates, the hero Andrew knows his way around the bedroom, in more ways than may make the reader comfortable. He appears first as a secondary character in Mistress by Marriage, creeping out of a house where he’s pleasured both the husband and wife for money. Yikes, you say. He has good reasons, not all of them financial, for being as adaptable as he is. But la dolce vita is beginning to bore him, and as I finished Mistress by Marriage he just wouldn’t stay put in Italy where I sent him.

It was if he was reminding me I owed him something. After all, I’d given him a tortured childhood, a lover killed by his own trembling hand, an unrequited romance with a married woman. C’mon, he said, you’ve piled on enough. Where’s my happy ending, huh?

To be truthful, I wasn’t sure he deserved one, or whether I was capable of fashioning one that fit his psychological profile. Andrew is not the typical bad-boy historical romance novel rake—he has some serious issues that aren’t going to be solved by a sweet virgin and a waltz around a ballroom. I did not want to gloss over his reality, even if he’s not a “real” person. He’s the victim of abuse, and that’s not a trivial matter.

Frankly, if I had known I was going to turn him into a hero, I would have been a little easier on him to begin with. I knew he needed a very special heroine, someone completely different from the women he’d dealt with in the past. When he sees his heroine Gemma, their first meeting is not auspicious:

He tiptoed down the hallway as quietly as he ever had eluding a suspicious wife or husband, coming at last to the kitchen. A raggedy serving girl dressed in what appeared to be stray Tartans and tablecloths was bent over an empty fireplace, a pitiful pile of sticks on the hearth. At the sound of his footstep on the bare slate floor she turned and shrieked.

Some of Andrew’s childhood Gaelic had come back to him the further north he’d come. Immersion with the village women earlier had helped a bit. “Gabh mo leithsceal.” Excuse me.

“Does bloody anyone in this bloody place speak any bloody English?” the girl muttered.

She looked like a street urchin. Her brown hair was a nest, her pointed, unfashionably brown face was smudged and her brown skirts muddied. She was so very brown. Surely she couldn’t be—

“Miss Peartree?” Andrew asked, praying not.

The little wren’s mouth hung open like a baby bird waiting to be fed. Then she looked like she tasted the worm. “Oh, good lord. Mr. Rossiter?” She curtseyed, nearly tripping on twigs.

This “street urchin” turns into an unlikely temptress, and teaches Andrew he’s very worthy of love.

Andrew doesn’t make a good first impression on the reader in Mistress by Marriage, and Gemma strikes out with Andrew in Master of Sin. Have you ever been wrong about a “first impression?” I will give one commenter a copy of both books to form your own opinions!


Book #4 in the Couretasn Court series

Andrew Rossiter has used his gorgeous body and angelic face for all they’re worth—shocking the proper, seducing the willing, and pleasuring the wealthy. But with a young son depending on him for rescue, suddenly discretion is far more important than desire. He’ll have to quench his desires—fast. And he’ll have to find somewhere his scandalous reputation hasn’t yet reached…

Miss Gemma Peartree seems like a plain, virginal governess—or so she hopes. No matter how many sparks fly between them, she has too much to hide to catch Andrew’s eye. But with a stormy Scottish winter driving them together, it will be hard to keep her secrets. Especially when Andrew feels he has found the woman who can restore his soul—one kiss at a time…



 Read my review

Maggie Robinson is a former teacher, library clerk and mother of four who woke up in the middle of the night, absolutely compelled to create the perfect man and use as many adverbs as possible doing so. A transplanted New Yorker, she lives with her not-quite perfect husband in Maine, where the cold winters are ideal for staying inside and writing hot historical romances.

You can reach Maggie on her website, blogTwitter, Facebook and Goodreads.


GIVEAWAY RULES:

Maggie has generously offered a copy of both Mistress by Marriage and Master of Sin to a lucky commenter!

 

All you have to do is leave a comment answering Maggie's question: Have you ever been wrong about a “first impression?”

Giveaway ends on 27 April 2012 and is open worldwide!

Good luck!

ps. Double your chances of winning Master of Sin, enter at Book Lovers Inc. as well!


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