Now that the page proofs are on back in New York–meaning no more tinkering, ever–I’ve finally posted a full excerpt of His at Night.
(Funny how prescient I was. Everything that came after what I dared to post earlier changed.)
A quick glance at the excerpt is quite enough to illustrate the difference between this new book and my entire backlist. All three of my already published books immediately set up the relationship: Private Arrangements plunges into a description of the perfect marriage of the Tremaines; Delicious says in the first line that it is a Cinderella story; and Not Quite a Husband opens on the night Bryony decides to seek an annulment.
By the end of the 2,500-word excerpt of His at Night, the H/H haven’t met yet–and wouldn’t for another 4000 words. Phew, all that to just set up a meeting. Yep, no reunited lovers in this story, no past to draw on for instant conflict, no shared history to exploit for poignancy and heartache, just two strangers who’d never clad eyes on each other before.
So that’s one huge difference. Another is that this book was originally intended to be a comedy. In fact, when my agent read the proposal–nothing of which has translated to the finished product, by the way–she thought it was a farce. (After months of bawling my eyes out writing Not Quite a Husband, I was totally ready for teh funneh.)
At one point, I even openly declared that I was writing a Loretta Chase book, Mr. Impossible, to be specific, which I’d thoroughly enjoyed. Mr. Impossible has a hero who is mistakenly thought by the heroine to be a dumb lummox at the beginning of the book. His at Night has a hero who is mistakenly thought by the heroine to be a dumb lummox at the beginning of the book, ergo I must be writing Mr. Impossible.
As it turns out, I might have written the anti-Mr. Impossible. Rupert, the titular Mr. Impossible, is about the most irrepressible, sunny, forthright fellow you can hope to meet in Romancedom. Vere from His at Night is just the opposite, repressed, secretive, and, gulp, damaged. I’ve never done a damaged hero before–wounded, yes, but not damaged. Camden from PA and Leo from NQAH wouldn’t have a single problem if it weren’t for their women. Even Stuart from Delicious, who’s had a rough childhood, is completely normal. But Vere, Vere is effed up.
So a romp this ain’t. And although I think it is screamingly funny at times–a dangerous statement as nothing is more subjective than humor–it is also possibly the darkest book I’ve written. A romantic dramedy, I guess, with a side of suspense.
Let me see. What else is there in His at Night that I don’t normally do? I know, a virgin. Oh boy, this book hits all the possible highlights of a historical romance: a lordship who’s a secret agent, a virgin, a forced marriage, and an evil uncle. We are only missing a duke–Vere is a marquess instead–and a ball.
And this has been a post in reader expectation management. Thank you. 🙂