Published by Emily Larkin on May 25th 2017
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
If he helps her, he'll ruin her...
Eleanor Wrotham has sworn off overbearing men, but she needs a man’s help—and the man who steps forward is as domineering as he is dangerous: the notorious Mordecai Black.
The illegitimate son of an earl, Mordecai is infamous for his skill with women. His affairs are legendary—but few people realize that Mordecai has rules, and one of them is: Never ruin a woman.
But if Mordecai helps Miss Wrotham, she will be ruined.
Can you tell us a little bit about the Baleful Godmother series?
It’s a Regency romance series that revolves around several families who’ve inherited a (very baleful) faerie godmother who grants each adult daughter one wish.
Why did you write the series?
I love writing Regency romances, but I was keen to get my heroines out of the ballrooms and drawing rooms of the aristocracy and expand their (and my) experiences. I wanted to expose them to the seedier side of Regency England if I could.
I didn’t want to write a series where magic is common; I wanted to write a series where only a few characters have magic, and it’s a deep, dark secret, and no one else knows.
Yes, the characters have adventures, but everything happens within the constraints of Regency society.
Why did you decide to include a heavily mystery theme in the Baleful Godmother series?
I think it was more of a natural evolution than a conscious decision. Having characters with special gifts pretty much begs that the plots have an element of mystery or adventure, whether it be unmasking traitors or tracking down criminals—or escaping from said criminals!
How do you decide which abilities your heroines will have?
I try to choose abilities that will enhance the story I want to tell. For example, I really wanted to write a woman-pretending-to-be-a-man book, so Charlotte in Unmasking Miss Appleby chooses metamorphosis (the ability to change shape). This gave me lots of scope for humor and adventure.
I also had a burning desire to write a book about a hero who had suffered a truly traumatic war experience and was trying to hide it, so Letty in Trusting Miss Trentham is able to hear lies and she eventually uncovers his secret.
In my latest novel, Ruining Miss Wrotham, I wanted the heroine to be forced to choose a gift she didn’t want, one that she thinks is useless but that unexpectedly saves both her life and the hero’s.
How do you determine the personalities of each of your protagonists? Does it take shape from the plot, or does characterization come first?
It’s a pretty organic process. I outline the plot and the characters’ personalities, backgrounds, and goals beforehand, but once I start writing the characters take on lives of their own. It’s kind of like having a pencil sketch of a person and then painting a multilayered portrait in oils over top of the sketch.
Mordecai had taken half a dozen steps towards the library when the drawing room door opened abruptly and a young lady strode out. “—hiding behind excuses. A hen has more courage than you!”
He’d been truly and deeply surprised twice in his life. Once, when his father had come to claim him, and the second time when Henry Wright had stood up for him at Eton. This moment qualified as the third. He was so astonished that he gaped. Eleanor Wrotham was here? In Roger’s house?
“If you won’t help me, I’ll find someone who has the gumption to do so!” Miss Wrotham was magnificent in her scorn, eyes flashing, voice vibrating, cheeks flushed.
And then he saw the tears trembling on her eyelashes. She wasn’t merely angry; she was upset.
Miss Wrotham didn’t see him. She crossed the entrance hall briskly, flung open the door before the butler could reach it, and marched outside.
Roger emerged from the drawing room—red-faced and righteous, his blond hair sleek with pomade. Mordecai ignored his cousin. He strode after Miss Wrotham and shut the door firmly in the butler’s face. “Miss Wrotham!” He took the steps two at a time.
Miss Wrotham halted on the flagway and glanced back. He saw surprise cross her face—a brief, wide-eyed flare of astonishment—and then the surprise snuffed out and she was once again her father’s daughter, haughty and aloof.
Mordecai trod down the last three steps. “I’ll help you,” he said. “Whatever it is, I’ll help.”
Miss Wrotham’s eyebrows lifted slightly. She looked him up and down.
Mordecai was suddenly acutely aware of what he must look like: sweaty, hulking, unshaven, dressed in clothes that had been elegant yesterday, but today were wrinkled and travel-stained.
He resisted the urge to tighten his neckcloth and brush the dust from his coat, but it was impossible not to feel embarrassed. Of all the ways he’d imagined meeting Miss Wrotham again, this wasn’t one of them. He felt a faint blush creep into his cheeks—and when was the last time he’d blushed?
Mordecai endured her scrutiny, and wished he knew what Miss Wrotham thought of him. Not what she thought of his appearance—it was obvious what anyone would think of his appearance right now—but what she thought of him. Mordecai Black. Earl’s son. Bastard.
You can follow the Baleful Godmother series on Goodreads.
Emily is giving away 2 (two) digital copies of Ruining Miss Wrotham (download via BookFunnel, open to anyone in the world) to 2 lucky commenters.
She is curious….
If you had a faerie godmother, what gift would you choose? (I’d choose shapeshifting.)