I’m so honored to have Julia Justiss visit the blog today to talk about her latest release, The Rake to Rescue Her. Julia is one of those authors that I started reading, and then had to go out and find all of her previous books. One of my favorites is The Wedding Gamble. Julia is going to award two copies of the first book in this current series, The Rake to Ruin Her, to two commenters at the end of the post, so be sure leave a comment for a chance to win.
SECOND CHANCE AT LOVE
Thanks to Rose at Roses Are Blue for her invitation to talk about the background to my March release, THE RAKE TO RESCUE HER.
Although Alastair’s book is the third of the Ransleigh Rogue books to appear, it was the defining crisis of Alastair’s life that set in motion the forces that changed the destinies of all four close-knit cousins. At the ball at which Alastair expected the father of the girl he adored to announce their engagement, he discovered instead that she was to wed a duke. Distraught and disbelieving, he trailed her out, demanding an explanation, until his cousins literally dragged him away. When Diana refused to receive him in the days following the ball, he abandoned his promising career as a poet, bought a commission in the army, and headed off to the Peninsula, determined to die gloriously in battle.
Of course, his cousins had to follow to watch over him. Their time in the army altered the futures of them all: Max, whose assistance to a lonely widow at the Congress of Vienna implicated him in a conspiracy to assassinate Wellington and ruins his diplomatic career; Will, who vowed to find the woman who ruined Max and bring her to justice; and Dom, who was severely wounded at Waterloo. But we’re focusing on Alastair.
When I envisioned the cousins, I knew Alastair would be the poet and dreamer, one whose heartbreak would be more deeply felt and more difficult to repair than an ordinary man’s. Having hardened his heart to all women after Diana’s betrayal, it would take someone extraordinary to teach him to trust again. It wasn’t until much later, as I started sketching out the details of his story, that I realized only one woman could do that: Diana herself.
His former fiancé, it turns out, had very good reasons for abandoning the man she loved to marry someone else. When years later, the widowed Diana finally has an opportunity to explain, she vows to do so, even though she believes Alastair must despise her. When he makes an angry offer that she make it up to him by becoming his mistress, she sees it as a way to even the score between them, and to his astonishment, accepts.
Neither of them at first have any expectation of reviving the love they once shared. Uncertain whether to begin the liaison or not, but recognizing he has never fully extinguished the emotion he felt for Diana, Alastair hopes that association with the real woman, who could never live up to the ideal of the girl he once cherished, will finally burn Diana out of his heart and mind for good. Diana wants only to fulfill her vow to offer restitution for Alastair’s s humiliation and heartache so she can concentrate on meeting the threat from her late husband’s first son and heir, who has vowed revenge upon the woman he blames for the death of his mother and the estrangement from his father.
But despite the obstacles against it, two people who are made for each other must find a way to recapture the love neither has ever truly forgotten.
I love stories about second chances at love, and in this case, while I was writing Diana and Alastair’s story, I got to witness such a love story in real life.
The daughter of a good friend—my children’s first babysitter—fell in love as a junior in high school with a young man who was a junior in college, and the relationship quickly became serious. Her father, concerned for her welfare and feeling the age difference between them at that time of their lives was too great, forbade her to see him any more. Reluctantly, she broke with her college beau, and moved with her family to another state.
Both of them went on with their lives and eventually married other people. After a decade of marriage, my friend’s daughter and her husband parted ways. When she returned to the former state for a high school reunion, she decided on a whim to look up her old boyfriend.
It turned out that he, too, was divorced. They met for coffee—and found that the attraction that had brought them together all those years ago was as strong as ever. Despite living several states apart, they began seeing each other again. Two years after that first coffee date, they were married.
So romance doesn’t just happen in novels!
Are you a sucker for second-chance-at-love stories? Do you have personal experience with such a love story? I’d love to hear about it!
Thanks so much, Julia, for sharing those insights into your current series. I love a second chance at love story, and this one sounds delicious.
Remember to leave a comment below for a chance to win one of two copies of The Rake to Ruin Her. Winners may choose an electronic copy, or print. (Print copies for U.S. residents only).