Hello, and thanks for the chance to visit bookworm2bookworm today! I’m here to chat about A Gentleman for All Seasons, a historical romance anthology that Kate Noble, Shana Galen, Vanessa Kelly, and I have just published together.
From the beginning, we had in mind a project with tightly interlaced story threads. But there were so many questions to answer. London or a small town? The social season or a different time of year? Characters that knew each other, or strangers in the same space?
Over time—and many, many emails!—we figured out a plan. Our anthology would be set in village, to which a new family comes to stay. (Think of the Bingleys in Pride and Prejudice—but with no snooty Caroline.) Part of that family? A young woman recovering from an illness…who decides to amuse herself by matchmaking. There’s something so appealing about matchmakers in historical romance, isn’t there? At a time when social rules were far more rigid than they are today, it’s fun to think of someone giving a little push to a hero and heroine who were too shy, too supervised, or too socially distant to connect on their own.
Kate’s novella, “A Madness in Spring,” is inspired by Much Ado About Nothing. Belinda and Adam spar every time they meet—but beneath their arguments, they’re fascinated by each other. They just need a few hints to begin thinking of each other in a new and romantic way.
Shana’s novella, “The Summer of Wine and Scandal,” features a blue-blooded rake and a farmer’s daughter who’s been through trauma. They seem different, but they’re both looking for a sense of purpose. Building friendships with matchmaker Georgette and her brother Bertram makes this happen.
In my novella, “Those Autumn Nights,” Georgette uses her talents closer to home. Unknown to her rough ex-soldier brother, she invites his first and only love—who jilted him on the eve of their elopement—to stay as a houseguest. Because of this matchmaking/meddling, soldier and society lass reconnect and discover they’ve both become more than they expected.
Finally, Vanessa Kelly wrote a romance for the matchmaker herself in “The Season for Loving.” During a long convalescence, Georgie fights against physical and social strictures on behalf of other couple—but the one thing she never expected was to find a match of her own. When a shy, troubled Scotsman comes to visit, the matchmaker has to convince him—and herself—that love makes the best Christmas gift.
‘A Gentleman For All Seasons’
The tiny village of Hemshawe is the sort of place where nothing ever happens…until a handsome ex-soldier and his matchmaking sister let the imposing manor house at the edge of town. The friendly Londoners shake up the staid people of Hemshawe, and villagers see each other in a new and oh-so-appealing light.
Suddenly long-sparring enemies become lovers, a town festival heralds a new start for a fallen woman and a dandy, and a man who has given up on love gets a second chance with the woman he never forgot. And the matchmaker herself? She won’t rest until she finds her own happily-ever-after…
A Madness in Spring by Kate Noble
Adam Sturridge has made Belinda Leonard’s blood boil since childhood, and the feeling is mutual. But when a would-be matchmaker arrives in the village of Hemshawe, she’d determined to erase the thin line between love and hate. Now, Belinda and Adam are faced with falling for someone they’ve always considered an enemy — can they overcome old prejudices and discover how to rub each other the right way?
The Summer of Wine and Scandal by Shana Galen
When viscount’s son and dandy Peregrine Lochley is temporarily exiled from London to the country for his misdeeds, the last thing he expects is to encounter an intriguing woman. But Caroline Martin has a secret to hide, and it just might be too scandalous for even this debauched rogue.
Those Autumn Nights by Theresa Romain
Ten years ago, wealthy Eliza Greenleaf broke lowly soldier Bertram Gage’s heart—but the last decade brought changes in fortune to them both. Now that he’s made his mark on the world, a twist of fate brings the Greenleaf family under his power. Will this war-hardened officer triumph over his former lover…or will Bertie and Eliza give love a second chance?
The Season for Loving by Vanessa Kelly
Miss Georgie Gage, matchmaker extraordinaire, is resigned to life as a spinster—almost. When notoriously aloof bachelor Fergus Haddon arrives from Scotland to spend Christmas with the Gage family, Georgie thinks she’s finally found her own perfect match—if, that is, she can get the handsome Highlander to agree!
To stick with the theme of all this matchmaking, I’d love to know: have you ever been set up by a modern-day matchmaker, or have you helped another couple get together? To one commenter, my fellow authors and I will send [US addresses only, please]:
Kate Noble is the national bestselling, RITA-nominated author of historical romances, including the acclaimed Blue Raven series and the Winner Takes All series. Her books have earned her numerous accolades, including comparisons to Jane Austen, which just makes her giddy.
In her other life as Kate Rorick, she is an Emmy-award winning writer of television and web series, having written for NBC, FOX, and TNT, as well as the international hit YouTube series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Kate lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son, and is hard at work on her next book.
The Pirate Takes a Bride—Shana Galen
Shana Galen is the bestselling author of passionate Regency romps, including the RT Reviewers’ Choice The Making of a Gentleman. Kirkus says of her books, “The road to happily-ever-after is intense, conflicted, suspenseful and fun,” and RT Bookreviews calls her books ” lighthearted yet poignant, humorous yet touching.” She taught English at the middle and high school level off and on for eleven years. Most of those years were spent working in Houston’s inner city. Now she writes full time. She’s happily married and has a daughter who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making. Shana loves to hear from readers, so send her an email or see what she’s up to daily on Facebook and Twitter. Visit her website at http://www.shanagalen.com
Season for Surrender—Theresa Romain
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. She lives with her family in the Midwest, where she is working on her next book.
My Favorite Countess—Vanessa Kelly
Vanessa Kelly is an award-winning author who was named by Booklist, the review journal of the American Library Association, as one of the “New Stars of Historical Romance.” Her Regency-set historical romances have been nominated for awards in a number of contests, and her second book, Sex and The Single Earl, won the prestigious Maggie Medallion for Best Historical Romance. Her current series, The Renegade Royals is a national bestseller. Vanessa also writes USA Today bestselling contemporary romance with her husband, under the pen name of VK Sykes.