When the Scoundrel Sins by Anna Harrington is out now! We had the opportunity to ask Anna a few questions about her favorite romance novels and her story inspirations. Take a look at her answers then enter the giveaway for your own copy of her new novel!
Six years ago, a childish prank perpetrated by the reckless Quinton Carlisle ruined Annabelle Greene’s reputation and any chance she had at securing a successful marriage. Incensed, she moved to her beloved estate on the Scottish border and has reveled in the solitude…until now when the contents of a family will are revealed. Suddenly, Belle’s single status may cost her the only home she’s ever known. Now, with her only marital prospect a horribly greedy and completely undesirable man, Belle knows just the person to rescue her-the one person who owes her for his bad behavior…
There’s nothing Quinn Carlisle wants more than to get out from his older brother’s shadow and make a name for himself abroad. So when a mysterious letter arrives, promising adventure, he rushes to the Scottish border…only to find that Belle laid a trap for him. The awkward, shy bluestocking whom he so enjoyed tormenting is gone, replaced by a graceful, elegant woman who ignites a desire in him he can’t resist. Can Quinn help her save her home-and win her heart in the process?
What do you love most about writing historical romances?
I love being transported to another world, but unlike fantasy novels, this one actually existed. I like taking modern sensibilities and the same problems that plague people today and superimposing those onto the Regency World. People don’t change—fashion and technology change, civilizations come and go, but basic human desires remain the same. Especially when it comes to love and happiness. (I also like that transportation takes days, each bedroom has a romantic fire, soft candlelight warms many kisses and hearts, and NO CELL PHONES!!!)
When writing your novels, do you collect images of that time period to get a feel for your setting and characters?
I do! But they’re always pictures of places…country houses, townhouses, Cotswold villages, seaside towns, etc., and never of people, clothing, or objects. I always start with a solid sense of place when I craft my stories. I’ll often find a house or building which strikes me, and I’ll think to myself, “Who would live here? What do they want? What’s stopping them from getting it?” Then the story usually takes off from there, and the characters evolve organically from the places in which I place them. For WHEN THE SCOUNDREL SINS, I had so many pictures of Scottish castles and Cumbrian estates that I couldn’t choose between all of them and ended up creating a collage to represent Castle Glenarvon, the home that Annabelle will do anything to save.
Which character do you love writing more? A rogue or a by-the-book gentleman?
A by-the-book gentleman! A by-the-book gentleman usually possesses so many passions that are being repressed and simply waiting to burst out that it’s fun to see how long he can last in that painfully proper role and what exactly pushes him over the edge. He’s a hero living in frustration and angst, and what woman wouldn’t want to experience his passions when he releases them? 😉 Sebastian Carlisle in IF THE DUKE DEMANDS is the perfect model of a by-the-book gentleman…until love inverts his painfully proper world.
For someone just starting to read historical romance, what is your favorite novel that you would recommend to them?
There are so many…but I would start with Suzanne Enoch’s AFTER THE KISS. Suzie does such a wonderful job of crafting extremely likeable characters within a Regency setting, and she’s a nice middle ground in terms of heat level for someone who is just starting to explore what novels are out there – not too sweet, not too spicy, but enough to keep the sexual tension high throughout. She gives the type of wonderful descriptions and in-depth details that are missing from so many of the historical authors these days, creates an independent and strong heroine, and adds just enough Regency cant to add flavor without losing someone new to the era. And her hero, Sullivan Waring, is one of my absolute favs!
“You look much more like your father now,” she commented, nervously licking her suddenly dry lips but only serving to draw his attention to her mouth. Which made her even more nervous, so nervous that she couldn’t stop the trembling of her fingertips as they wrapped into the skirt of her night rail. “But you’re still a troublemaker.”
A faint smile played at his mouth. “And you’re still a bluestocking,” he countered. Unintentionally simmering a slow heat low in her belly, he reached up to tuck a stray curl behind her ear. “Still retreating to the sanctuary of your library.”
“Because books are usually more pleasant than most people,” she answered, swallowing hard when he trailed his fingers down the side of her neck. She forced out, not at all as firmly as she’d hoped beneath the soft touch of his fingers.
“And more trustworthy.”
Ignoring that jab, he slid his hand lower to let his fingers play at the edge of her shawl. “Yet there are things that people can do that books can’t.” His fingers tugged gently at the shawl and pulled it down her shoulder to reveal the scooped neck of the nightdress beneath. His gaze flicked to the small patch of revealed skin at the base of her throat, then back to her eyes. “All kinds of interesting things.”
She should stop him, swat his hand away, shove him back—but she couldn’t bring herself to do it. Just as she couldn’t hold back the hot shiver that swept through her or the gooseflesh that formed on her skin. His touch was proving to be as equally intoxicating now as that night six years ago.
“Then I have no interest in learning them,” she countered, although from the way her blood hummed, her body was very interested.
Madness—that after what he’d done to her, she could ever want to be in his arms again. Yet she desired just that, although that could never happen. Kissing him once had ruined her reputation. Kissing him again might destroy her entire future.
She thrust her chin into the air. “I know of your reputation.”
“Thank you,” he half purred.
His finger hooked beneath the wide shoulder strap of her sleeveless nightgown and slid it slowly down her arm. But this time, with a stretch of bare shoulder revealed to his eyes, he didn’t bother feigning propriety by looking away and instead flamed a prickling heat beneath her skin everywhere he gazed.
She pulled in a deep breath to steady herself. Oh, why did she always go light-headed when she was alone with him?
“That was not meant as a compliment.”
Thank you so much to Forever Publishing for facilitating this interview and Anna Harrington for answering our questions!