A Bandit’s Request is the second in the Request series (each can stand alone). It’s also the most layered of the three stories.
When I wrote A Scandalous Request the notion of writing a series intrigued me, but it was also daunting. That is, until one of the secondary characters, Andrew (Drew) Worthington, grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go.
Drew deserved his own story, this happy-go-lucky rake with a fierce loyalty to his friend. I couldn’t help but imagine that devotion bestowed on a woman. Then Lady Dove Barrow blew into the picture with a cart full of troubles, all of them centered around a murder mystery she’s driven to solve.
Dove is the infamous Creeping Bandit, the scourge of London, the talk of every gathering. Becoming the Bandit was necessary for her mission. Dove’s parents were murdered, and she’d become obsessed to the point of recklessness in her goal of finding the killers. Drew, fascinated, protective, and in debt to her for saving his life, vexes her until she lets him become her assistant. As the mystery deepens, so do their feelings for one another. All of it is threatened as more facts come to light.
I discussed writing the books with my editor. She told me my publisher, The Wild Rose Press, offered me the choice of contracting one book at a time or they would contract the entire series at once. I didn’t want to commit to contracting books I hadn’t yet written, but I was thrilled with their faith in me. I decided to go with contracting only the first book, and the subsequent books after they were written. A Bandit’s Request came easier than I’d expected.
This story took me on an adventurous ride, and I was excited to share. Not only to give readers a solid romance, but to exhaust them and leave them with a satisfying conclusion. Drew and Dove did not fail me. My editor loved it. Shortly after publication, A Bandit’s Request was nominated for a Reader’s Choice 2020 award.
Two more characters from the book begged me to tell their stories, and I obliged them with At Her Request. At some point I would like to add to the series. I love writing in the period and I have a notebook filled with research. There are a couple of characters from the books who keep visiting me while I’m working on other things, pestering me, wanting to know when it’s going to be their turn. As I sit here at my computer, I’m getting the eye from one of them.
As to my personal reading choices, they’re all over the place. I like reading and writing in a wide variety of genres. I’ve heard from other writers how some publishers market you in a particular genre, and that’s where they want you to stay. I understand, but I can’t do that. My tastes and imagination wander. I’m lucky to be with a publisher who lets me go where I want to go, as long as the quality is there.
That said, I’m a sucker for a good romance and they are always sprinkled into my to-be-read pile. I didn’t read my first romance novel until I was thirty. A friend gave me one and I read it out of obligation. What I expected was melodramatic sappiness and not much of a story. I was so wrong. For a while I limited myself to romance, thinking the one particular book I read was a fluke. It wasn’t. The genre has earned my loyalty.
I love that no matter how rough things get, how bleak they look, I know without a doubt it will work out for them. My favorite thing about a romance novel is the solemn promise, the absolute guarantee, of a happily-ever-after ending. Where else in life can you get that? Nowhere. I’ve looked.
When I finish reading a book in a different genre and it’s left me bereft, I will reach for a romance. The same with a bad patch in life, even a rough day. A romance novel is like a cozy chair by the fireplace when an icy wind is blowing outside. It’s pajamas and hot tea, the voice of an old friend, dessert without calories.
When I hold a romance novel in my hands, I know I’m holding an adventure that will not leave me broken. I can relax into the story because everything will be okay. It will.
Maybe that’s part of the appeal of romance novels for all those who read them. Everyone suffers in life, to varying degrees, but we all suffer. The characters in romance novels suffer, too. While we read them, through every trial, setback, and heartbreak, we can revel in the knowledge it’s going to be fine. Maybe it gives us all hope with our own troubles.
A special thanks to Authors’ Lounge for hosting me, for your interest in A Bandit’s Request, and for your graciousness.
A Bandit’s Request: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1509227296
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