Keira: Mae Halford sounds like a great heroine. If you could describe her in ten words or less how would you do it?
Deb Marlowe: Mae is intelligent, organized and determined. She knows what she wants and goes after it. I love that about her!
Keira: What do you like best about second chance romances?
Deb: I adore second chance or reunion romances because they lend themselves to great intimacy. Plus, it’s extra scary to leave yourself open and vulnerable to someone who already knows your flaws and weaknesses, but the result can be wonderful.
Keira: What is your favorite scene in the How To Marry a Rake and why is it your favorite?
Deb: My favorite scene takes place on an isolated wooded walk during a garden party. I love it because it’s the first time Mae realizes that there really is someone who not only accepts her foibles, but values her for them. It’s also the first time that Stephen takes the risk of sharing a bit of himself with Mae. I love it, too, because of the intense physical encounter.
Keira: If you ever time traveled back to the Regency era, what would be the first thing you did?
Deb: Can I do anything I want? Because the first thing I’d like would be an audience with the Prince Regent—during a reception in which all the notables of the day were in attendance.
Keira: How do you define love?
Deb: Love is an aggregate of many beautiful things. I think acceptance is one of the greatest components of love—and it’s one that I explored in this particular book. There are so many important pieces—support and forgiveness, truth and openness, passion and generosity.
Keira: What do you think is the hardest thing for anyone to do in a relationship?
Deb: I think the answer to this question would change with nearly every person and relationship, but I believe that one nearly universally difficult thing to do is to voluntarily lower your defenses and let someone truly know you.
Keira: Besides How To Marry a Rake, what are some of your favorite heiress romances?
Deb: The Grand Sophy comes immediately to mind. The Famous Heroine by Mary Balogh. Golden Girl by Joan Wolf.
Keira: In a Regency battle of the sexes who wins: the heiress or the rake?
Deb: They both win—because though they might battle, the heiress inevitably teaches the rake the incredible beauty of love.
Keira: When it comes to writing or reading, who have you found makes or breaks a romance: the hero or the heroine?
Deb: I believe it varies from book to book. Although most in most romances the hero and the heroine both have an emotional journey to make, I think that in each book, one of the characters just naturally takes a lead role. For me, it could be either the hero or heroine, whoever has the bigger story to tell.
Keira: Can you tell us anything interesting from the behind the scenes of How To Marry a Rake? Any funny stories associated with the book?
Deb: How To Marry a Rake actually has an interesting background, in that it is one of three spin-off books from the anthology The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor.
When Harlequin offered me and my good friends Diane Gaston and Amanda McCabe a novella, we got together in Williamsburg VA to brainstorm (there was some fun touring and shopping in there too!). There the scandalous Fitzmanning family was born. In The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor we got to know the Fitzmanning Miscellany, as they are known, and each of the three sisters found love. Now each of the three brothers is going to get his own book.
Readers who are familiar with Annalise and the Scandalous Rake, my novella in the anthology, might remember the, ah… difficulty that Stephen had with his sister’s friend Mae. Well, the tradition continues in How To Marry a Rake, but Mae’s not the only one causing trouble.
Author Bio: Deb Marlowe grew up in Pennsylvania with her nose in a book. Luckily, she’d read enough romances to recognize the true modern hero she met at a college Halloween party—even though he wore a tuxedo t-shirt instead of breeches and tall boots. They married, settled in North Carolina and produced two handsome, intelligent and genuinely amusing boys. Though she spends much of her time with her nose in her laptop, for the sake of her family she does occasionally abandon her inner world for the domestic adventure of laundry, dinner and carpool. Despite her sacrifice, not one of the men in her family is yet willing to don breeches or tall boots. She’s working on it.