Secrets of a Scandalous Heiress by Theresa Romain

5 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, January 9, 2015.

Heiress Augusta Meredith can’t help herself-she stirs up gossip wherever she goes. A stranger to Bath society, she pretends to be a charming young widow, until sardonic, darkly handsome Joss Everett arrives from London and uncovers her charade.

Augusta persuades Joss to keep her secret in exchange for a secret of his own. Weaving their way through the treacherous pitfalls of a polite world only too eager to expose and condemn them, they begin to see that being true to themselves is not so bad…as long as they’re true to each other…

Exclusive interview with the author:

1) Which came first, the title or the novel?

The novel came first, because SECRETS OF A SCANDALOUS HEIRESS wasn’t my working title. The titles I come up with are usually…not great, let’s say. My working title for this book was THE HEIRESS TAKES A LOVER, which would be sort of like titling Gone With the Wind “Scarlett O’Hara Does Things.” Yes, ok—but what is the book really *about*? (Other titles I suggested: That Night in Bath, An Heiress Never Tells.) Fortunately my editor is much better than I am at coming up with titles that suggest the plot while also evoking history and romance. This book got its final title after my editor read it and provided her revision notes, and I think it’s a great fit for the story.

2) Let’s talk about one of your main characters, the hero Joss Everett. How did you think him up and is there any of you in him?

Joss appeared in the previous book in my Matchmaker trilogy, TO CHARM A NAUGHTY COUNTESS. Though he started out as a minor character, I knew by the story’s end that I wanted him to be my next hero. When I started writing his story, his background filled in: Anglo-Indian, grandson of a baron, now working as a man of business for his cousin. I actually had to go back and revise some of COUNTESS once I finished writing Joss’s story! (Fortunately there was plenty of lead time.)

So the character of Joss developed bit by bit. Sarcastic, funny, wary, eager for independence. He’s not much like me–though he’s the kind of guy that says what’s on everyone’s mind and does so with flair, and I’d really like that ability.

3) If there was one thing about the heroine’s life that you’d like to have in your own life, what would it be? What about the one thing about his/her life that you’d NEVER want to have?

The heroine of SECRETS OF A SCANDALOUS HEIRESS, Augusta Meredith, is (as you’d guess from the book’s title) an heiress who doesn’t fit into Regency high society. Raised by loving but poor parents who made a fortune in lotions and cosmetics, she feels caught between the world of her birth and the world her parents hoped she’d one day join.

She has the luxury of never worrying about money, which I admit I’d really love for my own life. But Augusta is also an orphan and an only child, so she feels very alone sometimes. I’d never want that for myself. I come from a very large extended family and a close-knit immediate family, and I feel grateful for that.

4) What scene or bit of dialogue in the book are you most proud of and why?

That would have to be the scene in which Joss and Augusta eat dinner together in the common room of an inn. Before that scene, they’re wary friends; after it, there’s no denying the spark between them. I won’t give too many spoilers, but I’ll tell you that it’s Chapter 14, and it includes important character confessions that I think make it the emotional turning point of the book. Those scenes are among the most difficult to write, but they usually wind up being my favorites in the end.

5) If your book were to be turned into a movie, who would your dream cast be?

I’m not very visual, so I don’t usually think of casting for a story. But in the case of SECRETS OF A SCANDALOUS HEIRESS, the characters change their appearance or the way they hope to come across to others. For a non-visual person, this is a descriptive nightmare! So I went hunting for a few images to help guide me. The heroine, Augusta, is a curvaceous redhead with a shrewd mind, and I think the actress Christina Hendricks has been a great model for that in her role on Mad Men. Since Joss is biracial, with a South Asian grandparent, I looked for inspiration in actors of Indian descent. Besides being hero-handsome, Sendhil Ramamurthy has a mischievous look that seemed very “Joss” to me. Readers, once you read the story, I’d like to know who you would cast!

About the author:

Historical romance author Theresa Romain pursued an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on. She then worked for universities and libraries, where she got to read even more. Eventually she started writing, too. Please visit her on the web at TheresaRomain.com.

Giveaway info:

Title: Secrets of a Scandalous Heiress
Author: Theresa Romain
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.
Author website: TheresaRomain.com

5 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, Jan 9, 2015.

Can’t wait? Order a copy now!

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13 Responses to Secrets of a Scandalous Heiress by Theresa Romain

  1. Theresa Romain January 3, 2015 at 1:26 pm #

    Hi, everyone! I’ll be stopping by throughout the week, so feel free to ask me whatever you like. I love chatting with readers.

    Thanks to the FBF team for the chance to post today!

  2. Laurie Gommermann January 4, 2015 at 6:43 am #

    I’m a fan of Theresa Romain. I’d love to read her latest release!

  3. Martha January 4, 2015 at 7:55 pm #

    Would love to read this!

  4. Michele Hoeft January 4, 2015 at 8:07 pm #

    Looks like a keeper..

  5. Vera Wilson January 5, 2015 at 10:40 am #

    I love to read the historical books. Thanks for the contest.

  6. Phyllis Woods January 5, 2015 at 11:38 am #

    I would love to read this book. I love romance books.

  7. Xoun J. Phetchamp January 5, 2015 at 12:01 pm #

    I’ve been wanting to read this. Thank you for the chance to win it! 🙂

  8. Valeria January 5, 2015 at 1:45 pm #

    This sounds like such an epic book! Id love to read and review it

  9. Marianne January 5, 2015 at 9:47 pm #

    I’m looking forward to this book. I just hope COUNTESS and HEIRESS are produced as audiobooks very soon. Happy release day!

    • Theresa Romain January 6, 2015 at 10:25 am #

      Marianne, I hope so too! My agent and I are working to figure out a way to make that happen.

  10. Amy Dudley January 6, 2015 at 9:32 am #

    Hello Theresa,
    Congratulations on your newest release! I look forward to reading it and learning more about Joss and Augusta. My question for you would be along the lines of your response to question number three about wishing you had the luxury of not worrying about money in a way. The question is that I have noticed that with most love stories especially historical romance that one or the other, hero or heroine, tends to be of noble birth or of great wealth is this something that most writers, readers, or editors and publishers are wanting/creating? It’s just that love occurs on all levels whether or not money or titles are involved, so it is a question that sometimes puzzles me as to why some think that there has to be a title for a good love story to sell.

    • Theresa Romain January 6, 2015 at 10:31 am #

      Amy, that’s a great question. I think having financial constraints removed from characters (in historicals, at least) frees up both characters and writer to focus on the relationship. That is, if the characters aren’t always having to work a long day, they can spend more time together. But you’re so right, love occurs at all levels. As much as I love a duke historical, I also enjoy a romance between non-titled and non-wealthy characters.

      In Secrets of a Scandalous Heiress, Augusta’s money gives her freedom from financial worry, but it doesn’t buy her a place in society or make her happy. Joss, by contrast, is incredibly poor. To him, Augusta’s money is just another reason they can’t be together. I hope you enjoy their story! Thanks again for the question. It’s the sort I could go on and on answering. 🙂

  11. nancy reynolds January 9, 2015 at 8:57 am #

    Sounds like a a great story. I would LOVE to win a copy – and thank you for the chance to win. Best of luck with the book.

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