Guest Blog by Stefanie Sloane, author of The Saint Who Stole My Heart
The first appearance of the phrase “you can’t judge a book by its cover” can be found in “Murder In The East Room,” a mystery published in 1946. I’m guessing that the authors, Edward Rolfe and Lester Fuller, had no idea one line from the thousands contained within their novel would be uttered by literally millions of people over the course of some seven decades--and counting.
Nor that I would steal their delightfully true and ingeniously simple yet complex proverb.
It’s true. Rolfe and Fuller’s words inspired my latest tale, The Saint Who Stole My Heart. From my hero, Dashiell Matthews, Viscount Carrington, to the bluestocking Miss Elena Barnes and right down to the leather-bound volumes stacked ceiling high throughout, the writing duo’s urging to look beneath before judging is the current that carries the passionate adventure to its swelling conclusion—and beyond.
Take my heroine, Elena. She is, without a doubt, a bluestocking to the bone. One disastrous season in London, where her intelligence and subtle wit was not only under-appreciated but the source of ridicule, sends Elena quickly returning to the safety of Dorset. Until a bevy of valuable books calls her back to the capitol city, where the viscount awaits. Underneath years of quiet contemplation and the comfort of routine and duty, Elena discovers her heart is meant for thrilling adventure and love.
This is where the viscount comes in. Dash is smart—ridiculously so. With a photographic memory and a natural interest in puzzles, conundrums, and the like, he is the ideal Young Corinthian spy, serving country and king in an effort to one day apprehend the killer who’d long ago murdered someone very close to him. The problem? No one within the ton takes him seriously. He is, in Elena’s words, “a vacuous Adonis.”
What’s a man with hero good looks and a heart afraid of hurt to do? Pretend. Pretend to be simple when he is in fact smart. Pretend his heart is content beating a hollow rhythm when in truth it aches for meaning and sustenance.
Pretend to not be in love with Elena. And by God, he gives it his best. But when the woman reveals the real Dash hiding behind his mask, he’s done for—in more ways than one. And all of them good. Eventually. After all, what is a voyage without a few storms, sea monsters, and near-misses along the way?
GIVEAWAY: How about you? Tell me about a roadblock in your own road to happily ever after and be entered to win all four of my books, including the April 24th release, The Saint Who Stole My Heart!