Shana Galen
Shana Galen


Historical Romance, Our Books, Shana Galen


…He’ll Ask for a Pine Nut, or so I have found, which is why I really tried to avoid doing the Jaunty interview for my new book If You Give a Rake a Ruby. Here’s the pretty cover!



But Jaunty is threatening to interview me anyway. If I can’t get out of it, you’ll have to check back on Saturday to see that…ahem, “interview.”


In the meantime, before he catches on to what I’m up to, I wanted to tell you a little about the book. It’s the second in my Jewels of the Ton series about three glamorous Regency courtesans. This one is about the Marchioness of Mystery, Fallon, and how she gets mixed up with (that’s a nice way of saying blackmailed by) Warrick Fitzhugh, a spy for the Crown, who is targeted for assassination.

One of my favorite things about writing romance novels is writing the hero’s point of view. Here’s a scene featuring Warrick and the Duke of Pelham, the hero of my last book, When You Give a Duke a Diamond.

 Impatient now, Warrick pulled out his pocket watch. Pelham was never late, but he was also a newly married man. He had been less than enthusiastic about leaving his bride to meet Warrick. But Warrick had insisted, most persuasively.

And he could be very persuasive when necessary…as evidenced by the sight of Pelham striding into the dining room. His clothing was perfectly in order, his blue eyes clear and hard, his mouth set in a firm slash. But something was different about the man. Warrick narrowed his eyes. Pelham’s hair, perhaps? It appeared a bit…tousled.

He rose when his friend spotted him and didn’t hide his grin.

“What are you looking so cheerful about?” the duke asked, taking a seat without being invited.

“Do I look cheerful?” Warrick sat, signaling to the waiter to bring the port he had already requested. It was a vintage Warrick knew Pelham liked. “Have you done something different?”

Pelham glanced at him sharply and shifted. Oh, now Warrick was going to enjoy this. Making Pelham uncomfortable was one of the few joys he had in life. “Your coat cut differently?” He pretended to study Pelham’s conservative coat. “Your cravat tied in a new sort of knot?” He reached out and touched the perfectly tied neck cloth—perfectly tied in the same fashion Pelham had always worn it. “No, that isn’t it.”

“Stubble it, Fitzhugh. There’s nothing different.”

“Oh, I think there is.” He looked pointedly at Pelham’s hair and could all but see the duke leaning back in his chair, away from Warrick’s scrutiny. “It’s your hair. Why, Pelham. It’s positively fashionable.”

“My hair is exactly the same. Now why the devil did you call me here?”

“I don’t believe so.”

The waiter set the port in front of Pelham and Fitzhugh waved the man away.

“It looks a bit tousled. That’s how the dandies are wearing it these days.”

Pelham slapped the table with his palm. “I’m no bloody dandy. Stop looking at my hair.”

“Can I assume this is the new Duchess of Pelham’s doing?” Fitzhugh asked with a satisfied smile.

“I don’t wish to discuss my hair. If that’s the only topic you want to converse about—” He stood, and Warrick yanked him back down.

“What the devil are you about?” Pelham adjusted his sleeve. “Have you gone quite mad?”

“No. I have a serious matter to discuss with you.”

Pelham narrowed his eyes. “It had better not be the state of my cravat.”

“No. I fear we must suspend our fashion discussions for the moment. I need to ask you about one of your wife’s friends, one of The Three Diamonds.”

Pelham drank his previously untouched port, swallowed, then said, “Why?”

“I’m not at liberty to discuss that. I can say it’s a matter of state.”

“I thought you’d retired from the Foreign Office.”

“On occasion I am still called upon to exercise my skills.”

“I see.”

“What do you know about the Marchioness of Mystery? She calls herself Fallon, I believe.”

Pelham shrugged. “Not much. She’s not as friendly as Lily.”

“She’s secretive,” Warrick remarked.

Pelham sipped his port. “I don’t know that I’d say that, but I don’t believe all that rot about her being foreign royalty or a gypsy queen.”

“No, that’s rubbish,” Warrick murmured.

“How do you know? I don’t think Juliette even knows where Fallon came from. And what does a courtesan have to do with a matter of state?”

“I’d love to discuss that with you, old chap…”

“But you can’t. Well I will tell you this. I don’t know who you’re looking for, but if it’s a spy or a traitor, looking at Fallon is looking in the wrong direction.”

Warrick leaned forward. “Go on.”

“She’s fiercely loyal—to her friends and to the Countess of Sinclair. The last time I saw her, she told Juliette she was relieved this business with Lucifer was over and done. She said he was…” Pelham rubbed his fingers together, obviously searching his memory for the exact words. Warrick appreciated his friend’s effort to be precise, but then again, he expected nothing less from the orderly Duke of Pelham. “Ah! She said Lucifer was a thorn in the side of the city and had been for years. Struck me as rather patriotic.”

A tingle ran up Warrick’s spine all the way to the base of his skull and then down his arms. So this Fallon knew of Lucifer. That was interesting because the very existence of the man was not common knowledge among anyone who did not frequent London’s gambling hells. And those were certainly not the usual haunts of glittering courtesans like The Three Diamonds.

Pelham didn’t know it, but by trying to defend his wife’s friend, he’d just confirmed everything Warrick had learned, thereby dooming her.

Want to win a copy of When You Give a Duke a Diamond? Just leave a comment about what you love about romance novel heroes. The winner will be randomly chosen, and I’ll notify her by email. As per usual, all blog winners are posted on Sundays.

When You Give a Duke a Diamond

If You Give a Rake a Ruby by Shana Galen—in stores today!


Fallon, the Marchioness of Mystery, is a celebrated courtesan with her finger on the pulse of high society. She’s adored by men, hated by their wives. No one knows anything about her past, and she plans to keep it that way.


Warrick Fitzhugh will do anything to protect his compatriots in the Foreign Office, including seduce Fallon, who he thinks can lead him to the deadliest crime lord in London. He knows he’s putting his life on the line . . .

To Warrick’s shock, Fallon is not who he thinks she is, and the secrets she’s keeping are exactly what make her his heart’s desire . . .


Barnes & Noble

44 thoughts on “If You Give a Porcupine a Ruby

  1. Kathryn in Montreal says:

    I love all kinds of things about romance novel heroes… their sense of humour (Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton boys), their bravery and determination to win their woman (Ruark Beauchamp), their perseverance and brains (Jack Jackson in Pillars of the Earth — and I know it wasn’t a romance novel, but there WAS a sweeping romance story entwined in the book) and the fact that they are so darned attractive (Jane Porter’s Luke, Dane and Jude). What’s not to love about romance novel heroes?

    1. Shana Shana says:

      Kathryn, you’ve mentioned some of my favorite heroes! And I thought Pillars of the Earth had a great romance. I don’t know if I could have read the whole thing if it didn’t.

      1. Kathryn in Montreal says:

        And there are SO many more romance novel heroes out there… quite a selection, tough choice!

        1. Shana Shana says:

          Who says you have to choose 😉

  2. CateS says:

    Romance heros are so much fun to watch develop…the hard-shell with the softy interior.. the rake who is changed by the right woman.. I love them all!

    1. Shana Shana says:

      Oh, Cate! Love those alpha males who are tamed by the heroine.

  3. Yes! Looking forward to this one, Shana!

    1. Shana Shana says:

      Thanks, Margo!

  4. Stefanie D says:

    I love it when hero´s are all grumpy and stern on the outside, but so sweet and loving on the inside (a bit like my husband).
    I also love it when they have a difficult past they have to try to overcome and when the love of their heroine helps them with that.

    1. Shana Shana says:

      Stefanie, Warrick in RAKE has a difficult past, and I really enjoyed writing the parts where Fallon helps him deal with his demons.

  5. Kathleen OD says:

    Oh Warrick has me all a twittery… I just love these uptight kind of guys, but who also have a wicked sense of humour.
    I have When you Give a Duke A Diamond, to don’t put me in the contest… I just wanted to add my two cents..

    1. Shana Shana says:

      Thanks, Kathleen! After writing the very staid and serious Will in DUKE, it was fun to let loose a little with Warrick.

  6. Rebe says:

    I love heroes with a sense of humor, especially a dry wit!

    1. Shana Shana says:

      So do I, Rebe! The English are known for that dry wit.

  7. catslady says:

    Oh, I enjoyed When you Give a Duke a Diamond and am very much looking forward to If You Give a Rake a Ruby – such a lovely cover too! Romance heroes that are tough on the outside but soft on the inside. They should have a sense of humor but be willing to die for you. I don’t ask too much lol.

    1. Shana Shana says:

      He wouldn’t be a hero if he didn’t have all of those qualities, catslady. You have it exactly right.

  8. bn100 says:

    when they find the right person for them

    1. Shana Shana says:

      Absolutely, bn100!

  9. RobynDeHart RobynDeHart says:

    I’m so looking forward to this book! To answer your question though, for me it’s all about having the hero be so entranced by the heroine, just captivated by her. I love that. It makes him infinitely more attractive.

    1. Shana Shana says:

      Exactly, Robyn. I love it when he doesn’t know what hit him.

  10. Oh Robin has it just right, but I love a hero who has to struggle to realize his love. That moment in the novel when he finally realizes he loves her, makes me all squishy. That’s why I love these books

    1. Shana Shana says:

      Nancy, I have to agree. In RAKE, he realizes he loves her before she realizes she loves him, and that was a change for me. It was harder to write it that way than I thought it would be.

  11. Molly says:

    I love how incredibly masculine they seem, while still showing thoughtfulness to the women they love.

    1. Shana Shana says:

      Molly, Julie Garwood does this so well. Her heroes are sweet without being sweet, you know?

  12. Barbara Elness says:

    I love that romance novel heroes are courageous, loving and kind, at least once they meet the right woman who gets them straightened out. 😀

    1. Shana Shana says:

      Exactly, Barbara! Those bad boy heroes usually need a bit of a push.

  13. Marcy Shuler says:

    I love the emotionally wounded heroes who try to guard their hearts but just can’t help losing it to the perfect woman for them. Sort of like M&M’s. Their hard candy coating hides their soft and sweet chocolate insides.

    Don’t enter me in the contest since I’ve already read WHEN YOU GIVE A DUKE A DIAMOND (loved it!) and I got IF YOU GIVE A RAKE A RUBY (yea!) today. 😉

    1. Shana Shana says:

      Yay, Marcy! You’re my new BFF 😆 I love your M&M analogy.

  14. Quilt Lady says:

    I love a sweet hero with humor! There are sometimes I just want to read about a rake.

    1. Shana Shana says:

      Quilt Lady, the best are the rakes with the sense of humor!

  15. Ann s. says:

    I love to watch a bad boy discover his love for a particular lady. It sneaks up on him and he realizes that he can’t live without her and how protective he is of her. It is so sweet to see true love.

    1. Shana Shana says:

      Ann, I’m sighing just thinking about it. You have it exactly right.

  16. Chelsea B. says:

    I love that they are not afraid to show their soft sides. Come on, guys in real life! Boys in books don’t HAVE to do it better! 😉

    1. Shana Shana says:

      Chelsea, there are definitely some real life heroes. I wrote about a few in my blog at USA Today.

  17. LilMissMolly says:

    I love historical romance heroes because they tend to fall in love with women who are not always the most beautiful in the room.

    1. Shana Shana says:

      I like that too, LilMissMolly. To the hero, the heroine is the most beautiful woman in the world.

  18. Terri Brisbin says:

    Shana —

    I just love dark, tormented heroes….sigh….so much room to grow!

    1. Shana Shana says:

      And you do them so well, Terri!

  19. Kirsten says:

    I love heroes who do not deny their emotions. Who are willing to take themselves a little less serious. I love heroes who are not affraid of love and are willing to go the extra mile for the woman of their dreams.

    1. Shana Shana says:

      Kirsten, I think you just described the perfect hero.

  20. Laurie G says:

    Romance heroes- You either love them or hate them!

    When these men allow love to enter into their lives and find a partner to share their lives and kisses with… Ahh!! They bring joy to my life!

    1. Shana Shana says:

      Laurie, I think it’s fun to start off hating them and then grow to love them 😀

  21. LilMissMolly says:

    I really love how heroes sweep their women off their feet.

    1. Shana Shana says:

      It’s really fun if they literally sweep the heroine off her feet!

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