Firstly, thank you very much to Melanie for inviting me to visit today. It’s lovely to be here! This interview comes to you directly from the library at Methven Castle in the beautiful Highlands of Scotland where we are taking afternoon tea with Lucy, Marchioness of Methven. You may recall that the marriage of the Marquis and Marchioness has been the talk of Edinburgh society this season past. We’re here to discover how a marriage of convenience became the love match of the year!
[click on cover for an EXCERPT]
NC: Lady Methven, thank you very much for inviting us to tea. Isn’t this a gorgeous library!
Lucy: Thank you! I love this room. As a member of the Highland Ladies Bluestocking Society I was always more likely to be found reading in the library than ogling the gentlemen at balls and parties.
NC: I heard that you discovered some very interesting and inspiring books in your father’s library when you were younger…
Lucy (blushes): It’s true that my father had a very extensive collection of erotic literature…
NC: Including books with diagrams!
Lucy: You mean illustrated manuscripts. I think you have lowered the tone of the conversation already, Mrs Cornick. My father is an academic. His collection is entirely for intellectual research.
NC: I beg your pardon, my lady. Of course it is. But didn’t his… um, academic collection get you into rather a lot of trouble? I mean it almost ruined your reputation.
Lucy: Well, I blame you for that, Mrs Cornick. After all, you were the one who encouraged me to write those erotic letters to provide funds for my charities. It was your idea that got me into so much trouble.
The door opens and Robert, Marquis of Methven, walks in. Lucy looks radiant.
Lucy: Robert, darling! I didn’t realize that you would be able to join us. How lovely!
NC: Good afternoon, my lord. We were just discussing how Lady Lucy wrote those wonderful letters on behalf of her brother to tempt your fiancé to elope with him. You can’t have been pleased when Lady Dulcibella jilted you at the altar…
Robert bends to kiss Lucy before taking a seat beside her on the red velvet sofa.
Robert speaking mildly: I admit I was a little annoyed at the time.
Lucy: Robert, you were furious!
Robert, smiling: Only because I needed a wife, not because I wanted to marry Dulcibella. I had a lucky escape there. She wasn’t the right woman for me.
Lucy: But that was the right answer!
They kiss again. Nicola fans herself.
NC: Of course the two of you were childhood sweethearts…
Robert: Well, we did meet one moonlit night when Lucy was only sixteen and I was nineteen.
Lucy: He kissed me.
Robert: Did I?
Lucy: Don’t tease me! You know you did. It was my first kiss.
NC: Yet when you met again it took a while for Lord Methven to persuade you into marriage, didn’t it, ma’am?
Lucy: Persuade me? He deliberately set out to compromise me into marriage, the scoundrel!
Robert, shrugging: When I see something I want I go after it by any means necessary.
Lucy: That’s the Viking blood in you.
Robert: Besides, you refused to be compromised. I hadn’t realised that you were so determined.
Lucy: You had a lot to learn about me. I’m descended from Malcolm MacMorlan, the Red Fox of Forres. We MacMorlan girls don’t give in without a fight.
NC: How did Lord Methven win you over, ma’am?
Lucy: I think it was when I saw his magnificent…
NC raises her brows.
NC bemused: Island?
Robert: Lady Methven is referring to my estate of Golden Isle. He turns to Lucy. You hated it when first you went there.
Lucy smiles: But then I saw how much you cared about your people there and how you would do anything to help them and I loved you for it.
Robert takes her hand and gazes into her eyes.
NC clears her throat: Clearly I am de trop here. Before I leave, is there anything else you would like to tell us all?
Lucy: Oh yes! I’d like to mention my sister Mairi, whose story will be told soon in One Night with the Laird. She looks dubious. It‘s really is quite a shocking book, though. I’m not sure I should recommend it to the gentle reader.
Robert laughing: It’s outrageous. How could it be otherwise when my wicked cousin Jack is involved?
NC: Thank you for the rake warning! Lord Methven, Lady Methven, thank you so much for your hospitality today. Would it be acceptable to you if we explore the rest of the castle whilst we are here? I can’t wait to take a stroll on the battlements. She starts to sidle towards to door.
Lucy: Yes, of course… Oh, she’s gone already!
[this is UK cover]
The Lady & the Laird is available online at:
I hope you enjoyed my interview with Robert and Lucy. And now I have a question for all of Melanie’s bookworms…
Robert and Lucy first meet on a moonlit terrace and share a stolen kiss. Is there a first meeting from a book or movie that you particularly like?
She is a Membership Secretary for the Romantic Novelists’ Association and critique manuscripts for aspiring authors via the RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme, and also for the Romance Writers of America Beau Monde mentor scheme.
Nicola Cornick obtained a honours degree in Medieval History from London University. She worked for many years in university administration, and later being as an Assistant Academic Registrar and Operations Manager. She returned to college in Oxford, to study for a Masters degree at Ruskin College.
To learn more about Ms. Cornick, click here.