Inside Your Wicked Ways
Warning! In describing relations between characters, I may wreck a book for you by making it clear who someone marries, or the outcome of a book. Please do not read about The Inside Take if you're wary of knowing who is paired with whom!
- My heroine, Helene, decides to cut off all her hair. She employs the same hairdresser used by Charlotte in my very first book, Potent Pleasures! I adore Cinderella makeovers and have to stop myself from putting a version in every novel.
- I got the idea to open the book with a chapter of letters from a brilliant mystery novel by the golden age novelist, Dorothy Sayers. Her Busman’s Honeymoon begins with a flurry of letters amongst the nobility of London, gossiping about the upcoming wedding of Lord Peter Wimsey, Sayers’ hero.
- Since this book was published, a few readers and reviewers have expressed dismay that Helene would go to the lengths of returning to her husband’s house under unpleasant and secret circumstances. What got me thinking about this was the plight of several of my friends. I’ve reached an age where I have friends undergoing invitro-fertilization for the fourth or even fifth time…so desperate to have a child that they wager all quality of life in the search. Helene is my imagined version of a 19th century woman with a similar passion.
- When I started this novel, I had only one scene in mind: that in which Helene tells her husband’s mistress that she’d like to borrow him for five minutes, and the mistress says that on a good day, Rees might take six or even seven. Obviously, I had set myself two enormous challenges, from a romantic novelist’s point of view: a hero who was less than terrific in bed, and a heroine who was talking to a fallen woman without fainting.
- The Earl of Mayne and his sister first appear in this novel and will reappear in my next series, which begins with Much Ado About You. Both Mayne and Griselda end up happily in love by the end of the Essex Sisters series.