I’m not the kind of author who crafts really great villains. In fact, I sort of prefer for my hero or heroine to be their own worst enemy. It’s more interesting to me in some ways. I do love reading a great villain. I think Nora Roberts writes great villains. Julie Garwood has some good ones too. There are lots of romantic suspense authors who write great villains. They really get into the head of the serial killer, which pretty much just creeps me out.
So you might be surprised to learn that in Sapphires Are an Earl’s Best Friend, which is out today (woohoo!), I have not one but two villains! I’m not really sure how that happened. I’m tempted to blame it on Princess Galen. She is oddly attracted and repelled by villains. On the one hand, she is terrified of the movie Sleeping Beauty because of the “evil Maleficent.” She has imposed a moratorium on movie trailers because we saw the Maleficent trailer before Frozen back in November. To this day, she won’t enter a movie theater until all the trailers have ended.
On the other hand, her favorite game is playing Laverna with a frog puppet (long story). If you don’t know, Laverna is a villain in the Barbie Fairytopia movies. I have to play Laverna, and Princess Galen’s job is to defeat Laverna. But Laverna is also her friend. She shows her Laverna puppet her artwork, her new outfits, and any special news.
Maybe we’re all both drawn to and repelled by villains. I know they are some of the more interesting characters I write. In Sapphires Are an Earl’s Best Friend, one villain is Lucifer. He is the owner of a gambling hell in London. He’s after the man he believes stole a valuable list of spies’ secret identities. The man Lucifer suspects is our other villain, the Duke of Ravenscroft. The heroine, Lily, is investigating him because the Crown sispects he might be a vile double agent known as Artemis. Is he Artemis or simply falsely accused? That’s Lily’s job to discover, and she has her work cut out for her, considering the duke’s son is suspicious of her and won’t let her out of his sight. Added to that problem, Lily’s always been in love with Andrew, the Earl of Darlington.
It was a fun book to write, even if it meant balancing two villains. Who are some of your favorite villains? One person who responds will win a copy of When You Give a Duke a Diamond and If You Give a Rake a Ruby (U.S. and Canada only).
Sapphires Are an Earl’s Best Friend
Lily Dawson, dubbed the Countess of Charm, has the gentlemen of the ton eating out of her hand—all but one. As one of The Three Diamonds, Lily has borne her share of scandal, but none so great as the scandal that forced her into a the role of a courtesan. But there’s more to Lily than a pretty face. What better disguise for a secret agent than that of a courtesan?
Andrew Booth-Payne, Earl of Darlington, is in love with Lily’s best friend. He wants to hate Lily for taking up with his father. When he discovers there’s more to her flirtation with his father than greed, he knows he must help her uncover a traitor, even if that traitor is his own father.