Mia Marlowefrom Mia Marlowe…

Update: We have a winner! Congrats to Connie Fischer, who’ll receive a copy of WAKING UP WITH A RAKE. Watch your inbox for a note from Mia so she can send your mailing info to Sourcebooks.

I’d love to introduce you to my writing partner, except that she needs no introduction. She’s Connie Mason, New York Times bestseller and Grand Dame of the historical romance world since the 1980′s. Her name comes up alongside romance luminaries like Kathleen Woodiwiss, Rosemary Rogers and Bertrice Small. In 1995, she was featured on CBS’s 48 HOURS and likes to joke that she does her best work in bed–writing, of course.

Connie and I first met in 2006 when she gave my debut title MAIDENSONG its cover quote–the first one she’d ever given! We hit it off right away since we both love to travel and are hopelessly addicted to alpha heroes.  It wasn’t too bit a surprise when our editor, Leah Hultenschmidt and agent, Natasha Kern decided we’d work well together.

LORD OF DEVIL ISLE, a swashbuckling tale set on pre-Revolutionary War Bermuda, was our first joint effort. Since then, we’ve collaborated on SINS OF THE HIGHLANDER, a Scottish tale of love and revenge, and LORD OF FIRE AND ICE, a Viking love story.

Now we’ve begun our most ambitious project to date–a Regency set series called The Royal Rakes. After Princess Charlotte died in 1817, the Prince Regent’s unmarried brothers realized they had an opportunity to wed, bed, and breed in order to present George III with a legitimate grandchild who would one day wear the crown. But not everyone wanted the royal dukes to succeed. And what better way to stop them than make sure a dedicated rake came between them and their intendeds?

Book One, WAKING UP WITH A RAKE, just hit the bookstore shelves. It’s the story of Lord Rhys Warrington, a former cavalry officer whose past is tormenting his present. He’s tasked with making sure Olivia Symon, a wealthy young heiress, doesn’t become a royal duchess. Seducing her should have been easy. He simply never counted on her seducing him! Here’s a little sample from WAKING UP WITH A RAKE:

 

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Olivia started to untie his cravat but tugged the wrong end of the starched fabric. It tightened around his neck instead.

“Allow me,” he said, gentling her questing fingers away and quickly undoing the elegant waterfall of linen. “Before you garrote me with my own neckwear.”

She pulled a face at him. “Pardon me for not understanding the intricacies of a gentleman’s wardrobe.”

“Before tonight, I would have said there is no wrong way to undress a man. Apparently there are a few,” he said with a laugh. “But the ends justify the means, I suppose.”

“Are you making fun of me?”

“I’d never do that,” he assured her. “But I do want to have fun with you. If I teach you nothing else, I want you to know a man and woman should laugh together.”

She unfastened his shirt, frowning at each button in concentration. Then she smiled up at him. Blast, if it wasn’t as coquettish a smile as any courtesan’s. Where on earth had she learned that? Since Eden, he supposed, women had been gifted with the means to distract a man. Olivia had come fully into her birthright as a daughter of Eve.

He gathered her into his arms. “Not to complain, but it’s not often a man is greeted by a beautiful woman who seems intent on undressing him.”

“Surely, given your reputation, it must happen to you with regularity.”

“Not as often as you might think.” He smiled down at her. “And never as memorably as this time.”

“Really? And what makes this so memorable?”

“Because you’re doing it rather badly.”

She huffed and pulled away from him. “What do you mean I’m doing it badly?”

“That’s maybe not the best way to put it. If the goal is simply to see a man naked, you’ll accomplish it, but you could reach the same end by asking me to strip. It would save time. And my wardrobe,” he said with a grin. “However, if your aim is to seduce a man beyond bearing, there are other ways to go about it besides ripping off his buttons.” He cocked a brow at her. “Not that that can’t be fun on occasion.”

“I assumed the most direct route is best. What other ways are there?”

“So seduction is your aim?”

“To seduce you beyond bearing? You flatter yourself, sir,” she said as she flounced into one of the wing chairs. “But last night you showed me something about me. Tonight, I want to learn about you.” She tugged her sagging wrapper back up to cover her bare shoulder. “Or are you no longer interested in giving me lessons?”

Come here. Go away. Beg me to stay. Where had she learned those essential bits of the seductress’s art?

“I’m interested.” Definitely. His body was already primed and ready.

“Then how should I undress you?” she asked, innocently unaware that just those words dropping from her sweet mouth were blissful torture for him.

“You should undress a man in the same way you’d explore a pleasure garden. Slowly. Deliberately. Tarry to see the sights. Touch. Taste,” he said. “Take all the time you need.”

“All right.” She stood and walked over to him. “Let’s take it turn and turn about. I allowed you to disrobe me without interference last night. Will you trust me enough to stand perfectly still?”

“I’m at your command.”

“Good,” she said with a feline smile. “But I don’t think you need to stand before a mirror. You already know what a fine-looking fellow you are. Let’s see what you have hidden under your shirt.”

_______________________

Connie and I hope you’ll enjoy the adventures of our rake and his adventurous virgin. If you’d like to start Waking Up with a Rake from the beginning, please pop over to my blog where I’ve posted two whole chapters!

__________________________

THE QUESTION

What do you think women find appealing about the idea of reforming a rake?

_________________________

THE PRIZE

Sourcebooks is giving away a copy of WAKING UP WITH A RAKE to one lucky commenter in the US or Canada. Leave a comment or question for Connie & Mia to enter!

 


23 thoughts on “Bring a Friend Friday~Connie Mason

  1. ki pha says:

    The excerpt was Great~! Thanks so much. To answer the question:
    I think it’s the idea of having the Rake find themselves and learn about who they are that appeals to ladies reforming a Rake, but also bring back a little bit of the childhood life the Rake never really had can also be it. It can also be making them a better person or making them be who they “truly” are and not just what others think of them.
    For me, it’s just being with them and knowing that I’ll be apart of their life no matter how short of a time I had with them, because during that short time I changed their world, even if they hated it, I’ll always be in the back of their minds, or be that little piece in their heart~

    1. MiaMarlowe MiaMarlowe says:

      Good point, Ki. There’s always a little boy hidden inside each rake.

  2. I love the idea of reforming a bad boy. I think that’s been a central theme in some of my books! I also adore Connie Mason and of course you, Mia! Can’t wait to read this book.

    1. MiaMarlowe MiaMarlowe says:

      Thanks,Katherine. Rake reforming does seem to be a universal theme.

  3. Shana Shana says:

    Mia, I remember when I first met you, I was like, how did you get to work with Connie Mason? Pretty cool! I think women like to believe that we are special, that a man will meet us and change because he wants only us. It’s a very romantic idea!

    1. MiaMarlowe MiaMarlowe says:

      Shana, I’m the first to admit that I’ve been blessed to be able to work with a writer of Connie’s stature. It’s been like a dream.

  4. Connie Fischer says:

    I think a lot of women think of reforming a man as a “project.” I would hope they able to look through the exterior facade and see a really good man inside. I’m certain that would have to be the case for me should I want to undertake such a task. Of course, we’re talking a rake and not an abuser!

    Looking forward to reading “Waking Up With a Rake” and I have it on my Wish List.

    Congratulations to both Mia and Connie for finding the perfect writing partner. That has to be quite a rarity.

    Connie Fischer
    conniecape@aol.com

    1. MiaMarlowe MiaMarlowe says:

      I think it must be, Connie. I hear horror stories from writers who haven’t worked well together. We’ve been fortunate.

  5. Margay says:

    I don’t know, there’s just something about the allure of being the one to find the good in the ‘bad’ boy.

  6. CrystalGB says:

    I would say it is the challenge and the excitement of reforming a rake that we love so much. He is a reluctant participant and we love it when he succumbs and gives up his naughty ways. :smile:

  7. catslady says:

    I think it’s the fantasy of it all. In real life, it seldom happens. Rakes or bad boys are so much better in stories than they are in real life – yet, we’re still attracted to them.

  8. Ann s. says:

    Great to learn about you and your writing partner. I enjoyed hearing about your new book. I think all women love a bad boy to some degree, they want to change him into the man they know he can be. Of course we still want him to be a bit of a bad boy.

  9. Miranda Mason says:

    I like the idea of a heroine reforming a bad boy. Makes for some much interesting banter and tension. Great excerpt! Have a wonderful Friday everyone!

  10. May says:

    I think it’s nice to reform bad boys in books… not sure about real life!

  11. Laura Polito McEleney says:

    Great excerpt :!: :!: :!: Definitely peaked my interest ;-)
    In answer to the :?: , I think that the appeal of reforming a rake ( :cool: ) is that if you can, that means, you have something special ( :lol: ) that no other woman he’s had has had. :smile: That you are special and unique, at least to him. :mrgreen:

  12. Polly says:

    For the “good” girl there’s that scary thrill of being with someone “bad”, someone who takes risks and doesn’t care what others think of him. And I think women’s nurturing, caretaker, let-me-make-it-all-better nature pops up. Like the bad boy is someone who needs fixing rather than being understood.

  13. Making him admit he was wrong. ;-)

  14. bn100 says:

    That they hope to be the only one who can do it.

  15. Barbara Elness says:

    I think women like the idea of taking a bad boy and having him love you so much he wants to be a better man and give up all his wild ways to be with the one he loves. :D

  16. LilMissMolly says:

    How do you divvy up the work and decide who writes which sections of each book?

  17. Laurie G says:

    Reforming a rake or any man…

    A person always wants what they can’t have. It’s the allure of the forbidden, the dangerous aspect.

    These men have an over abundance of charm. They’re usually nice looking. They enjoy risk taking.

    Sometimes one’s heart takes you on a wild ride and you have to meet the challenge!

  18. eap says:

    it’s the myth that we can make everyone happy in marriage, etc.

  19. Janie McGaugh says:

    I think it’s that we like the idea of a man like that being willing/able to reform for love (and he’ll still have all the appealing attributes of a rake, for good measure!).

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