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Light-bulbChecking back in to the Palace of Rogues

by Stubblefield Billy - Jan 03, 2020 Star_s13 views

Where did the idea for a series set in a boarding house come from? What have you enjoyed about it so far?

The notion of a “true home” is a theme I’ve explored more than once in my books. I think it’s a yearning everyone has—to belong, to know your true family, whether they’re related to you or not. And I just loved the idea of a colorful, revolving cast of characters of various ages and social strata who move in and stir things up for a core cast —so many opportunities for connection, conflict, secret intrigues and passions, comedy and tenderness, scandal, growth, you name it! When you throw a disparate bunch of characters together, anything can happen, so it presents a wealth of storytelling opportunities. Moreover, it seemed an opportunity for two women to shine with strength—Delilah and Angelique are in charge at The Grand Palace on the Thames, irregardless of their very impressive husbands. It’s the place where they can be their truest selves. Perhaps it’s why they met their truest loves there.

Readers (myself among them!) adored Angelique in Lady Derring Takes a Lover. Did you feel any pressure to come up with the perfect man for her? And why do you think Angelique and Lucien work so well together?

I’m so happy readers seem to feel as protective of Angelique as I do! And because of that, I did feel a responsibility for finding just the right man for her. She’s far more jaded and experienced than Delilah (the former Lady Derring, current Mrs. Hardy), but in many ways she’s also far more vulnerable (something she disguises with ironic wit) because she’s been betrayed or used by men more than once. The irresistible chemistry between her and Lucien is not something easily squelched, but romantic notions have proven to be her downfall in the past, so she shuts down the physical aspect fast . . . at first. Both Lucien and Angelique have transmuted grave personal betrayals and heartbreaks into strengths—but also into ironclad defenses. Perhaps this is how they see and understand each other so clearly; they’re fitted with similar lenses. And in the distance created when she holds him at arm’s length, this understanding and intimacy flourishes until they both find themselves being almost scarily vulnerable to each other.

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