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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Today's Special - - Sarah MacLean

My special guest today is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling historical romance author Sarah MacLean.  Sarah's newest book, One Good Earl Deserves a Lover, the second book in her Rules of Scoundrels series, is one of the best books I've read in quite some time and features one of my all-time favorite romance couples.  If you haven't read any of Sarah's books yet, I strongly recommend you begin with this one.  It's brilliant!

Sarah was kind enough to take time from her busy schedule to answer a few questions for me recently.  









Welcome, Sarah!  Congratulations on the release of your newest book!  Please tell our readers about the Rules of Scoundrels series and what they can expect from One Good Earl Deserves a Lover. (fabulous title!)

The Rules of Scoundrels series is centered on a pre-Victorian casino, The Fallen Angel. The Angel is widely believed to be the most scandalous, most exclusive club in London. It’s filled with excess and sin, and a member of the club can get anything he likes there. The four owners of the casino are Bourne, Cross, Temple & Chase—four fallen aristocrats, each exiled from society either by chance or by choice, and now royalty in the London underworld—where scoundrels rule.

One Good Earl Deserves a Lover is the second in the series and tells the story of Cross, the clever, controlled financier of the Angel, who has a carefully crafted reputation for wickedness that makes him the obvious mark for Lady Philippa Marbury, who is about to be married, and on a hunt for answers to questions no lady should ever be asking. When Pippa arrives in his rooms, Cross has to use all of his power to keep her at a distance, for fear of ruining them both.  

I adore Pippa and Cross!  They have become one of my all-time favorite romance couples. What one thing do you want readers to understand about these two?
 
I’m so happy you liked them, PJ! They’re incredibly special to me. I think the thing that struck me to be the most interesting about this book and this couple is this: In all my other books, I could imagine that in a different world . . . at a different time . . . the heroes and heroines might have been able to find happiness with someone else. In this book, however, Cross and Pippa are the only ones who are right for each other. They wouldn’t be able to find love if not now. Here. That was a powerful realization for me as I was writing the book.

It's a feeling that comes through in their story, Sarah.  I cannot imagine either of them with anyone else.  They are simply destined to be together.  
I’m fascinated with these heroes who live in the dark corners of London.  What is it about them that inspired you to tell their stories?

We all love a bad boy. I know I’ve loved my fair share of them! And we’ve all made the mistake of thinking that we can save a bad boy. (Not me, of course.) When I conceived of the Rules of Scoundrels series, I knew I wanted to write about bad boys, and I wanted to explore two things about this fantasy that we all love so much – first, how they become bad boys, and second, what it really would take for a woman to save them. Love couldn’t be the only answer. If I was going to really make the heroes of these books bad, and put them in dark corners with even darker characters, then I had to make their heroines strong. And that’s when the series really started to take shape.

Your heroines are among my favorites and Pippa is at the head of the line.  If you could step into the life of any romance heroine, who would you choose and why? 

See, this is a trick question . . . because the natural response would be to think of the hero I want to end up with and back myself into the heroine I’d like to trade places with. But invariably, that’s a bit of a problem . . . for example, I would sell my living soul for a lifetime with Hardy Cates from Lisa Kleypas’s Blue Eyed Devil, but I don’t really want to be Haven – I mean, that girl has some demons.

So I’m going to go with Jessica from Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels. She’s clever and strong-willed and won’t take any of Dain’s early self-loathing. And she isn’t afraid to shoot a man for what she wants. Oh, and she ends up with Dain, who is, quite possibly, the most loving, doting husband and father ever. A qualifier: There is a time-traveling doctor in this story to take care of flus and, oh, I don’t know, scurvey and what not. Or no deal.

Jessica has been getting a lot of love around here this week!

We all have our favorite comfort reads.  What book (or author) do you turn to when you feel the need for some fictional comfort?



Judith McNaught’s Almost Heaven, Susan Elizabeth Phillips’s Nobody’s Baby But Mine and Eloisa James’s Pleasure for Pleasure.

Great choices!  These three all have places on my keeper shelves.  






We readers enjoy learning more about the authors who create our favorite stories.  What one thing would we be surprised to learn about you?

As I am obsessed with Twitter & Facebook, it feels like there isn’t much that readers would be surprised to know! That said, I think it would be surprising for readers to know that I always give my heroines some physical or character trait that I have in real life. Pippa, for example, has crooked fingertips. So do I. It’s true. Ask me to show you!

That's fascinating!  Now I'm going to be re-reading all of your books to see if I can find the traits.  ::grin:: 

Will you be attending any conferences this year where readers will have the opportunity to meet you?

As always, I’ll be at RWA (in Atlanta) and RT (in Kansas City), and this year I’ll also be at the Public Library Association conference in Indianapolis. This spring, I’ll be at events in LA, Las Vegas & New York, too – you can always check up on me on the tour page of my website.

What’s next?

Temple’s book! No Good Duke Goes Unpunished is the third book in the Rules of Scoundrels series. Temple, who is the opposite of quiet, perfect, cerebral Cross. Temple is all physical–a broken-nosed, bare-knuckle boxer who, aside from being massive, brutally intense and wickedly sexual, is widely believed to be a killer.

I can't wait to discover what you have in store for him!  

Thank you for answering all of my questions, Sarah.  It's always a pleasure to visit with you.  

You can find more information about Sarah and her books at her website (and enter her awesome release week giveaway).  You can also connect with Sarah at Twitter and Facebook.  

Readers, tell me:  If you could step into the life of any romance heroine, who would you choose and why?  

I'm giving away a copy of One Good Earl Deserves a Lover to a randomly selected person who leaves a comment on today's blog.  (open internationally to any country on bookdepository.com's mailing list)





115 comments:

  1. Congrats on the new release, Sarah. I would probably choose to be one of the heroines in Jenna Petersen's Lady Spies series and get to experience intrigue and action.

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    1. Good choice, Jane! I like her lady spies though I'm probably too much of a wimp to actually live one of their lives. ;-)

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    2. Thanks, Jane! I love those heroines! Great choice!

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  2. I've been sharing my love for One Good Earl Deserves a Lover at every opportunity. It's one of those rare books that I was ready to read again as soon as I finished it. Cross is wonderful, but Pippa is one of my favorite romance heroines ever.

    As for the heroine, I'll choose Elizabeth Bennet. I mean Darcy and Pemberley too. Of course, Darcy will look like Colin Firth.

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    1. Janga, like you, I can't stop talking about this book. I absolutely adore Pippa and Cross, so much so that I started reading the book again last night. For the third time!

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    2. Me TOO! I love Pippa....she is like Eloisa Jame's Josie and Susan E Phillips Molly to me....both are the books I go to for comfort...NOW I have another. I re read the book immediately to pick out all the little nuances of these two "odd" characters. I loved them.
      Question for you guys....do you think there will be a HEA for Lavinia? I hope somehow someway , there is a better future than her past.

      Just threw that in there....

      LOVED the book and the story and the characters...major SIGH worthy book !

      Hope

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    3. Hope, I don't know if we'll see Lavinia again but I also hope for a happier future for her.

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    4. You're so sweet, Janga! Thank you for saying such nice things about the book!

      Thank you, Hope -- Lavinia is still married to a rather terrible husband, so something will have to happen to him to give her a happily ever after. That said, this may not be the last you'll see of her...it's a 4 book series, after all!

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  3. Ooooh! Tough question :) Since you've already chosen Jess, I'll choose Ainsley Douglas from Jennifer Ashley's The Many Sins of Lord Cameron.

    Starting with Pippa and Cross today, but I have to wait until after work, cannot wait :)

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    1. Be prepared for a late night, Beebs. This book won't let you put it down!

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    2. I hope you enjoy, Beebs! Thanks for reading!

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  4. I would choose Anne Elliot from Jane Austen's PERSUASION. I would NOT be turning Captain Frederick Wentworth down the first time he asked. It's a wonder he wanted her back really after all those years.

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  5. Congratulations to Sarah on her new book! I sounds like a great story with some wonderful characters. I would pick Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice.

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    1. Maureen, it's the best book I've read in a long time and the characters are wonderful. Sarah really has outdone herself with this one!

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    2. Thanks, Maureen! Lizzie is a great choice! xo

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  6. YUP - Nobody's Baby But Mine - lots of laughs and Robyn Carr's A Summer in Sonoma. Love Walt.

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    1. Wonderful books and two of my favorite authors!

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    2. Oh, Pat, I love Walt too! He's a much under-appreciated hero IMO.

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    3. Jane was almost my choice for which Romance Heroine I'd like to be...I mean, aside from being somewhat awkward and a cereal killer...

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  7. Duh, I would step into Mel from Virgin River - she is a strong smart woman and has the love of Sexy Jack and doesnt let him get away with anything. She respects and loves him very much and he her.

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  8. Well... I like Call Me Irresistible... Also a big fan of A Duke of One's Own (Eloisa James...) And who doesn't want to be Elizabeth Bennett? :)

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    1. I have Call Me Irresistible but haven't had time to read it yet. I do love SEP!

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    2. Oh...Villiers...what a glorious hero!

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  9. A sign of a good book (and good writing) to me is where I "wish" I could be the herione & not just so I can have the hero of the book either ;) Sarah's books often leave me feeling that way. Since her first book came out, I've been waiting for her next book to come out as soon as I finish the current one :)

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    1. A sign of a good book (and good writing) to me is where I "wish" I could be the herione & not just so I can have the hero of the book

      Oh, I feel the same way! Pippa is so endearing. I'm on my third reading of this book and enjoy it more each time.

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    2. Thank you, gamistress! I'm so happy that they keep delivering!

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  10. First time I read Sarah's book, it was 'The Nine Rules to Break....' since then I got 'the 10...' and 'the 11...' as well. Love then! And waiting to read the rest of this 'Rules of Scoundrels' series. Love this one too.

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    1. I started with her debut book too. She's such a good writer!

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  11. I identified with Millie, the heiress in Sherry Thomas' Ravishing the Heiress. She's quiet, shy, and reserved (a lot like me) but wants to be loved and treasured by the man she loves. Her loving relationship with her mother & how her mother understood what she was feeling (marrying a man who was only marrying her for her money & who loved another) was touching and wonderfully written! Her mother tried to buoy Millie up by telling her that SHE was the prize Fitz was getting, not the other way around.BTW, MacLean's series is fabulous & I can't wait to read them all.

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    1. I need to catch up with the Sherry Thomas books. Must find more time to read! :)

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    2. I love those Sherry Thomas books, Maria. So much!

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  12. All these new releases are draining my Amazon gift card balance! lol

    If I could step into a heroine's shoes it would be Lillian Bowman from It Happened One Autumn, because, well, Marcus of course!

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    1. All these new releases are draining my Amazon gift card balance

      Mine too! :)

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    2. It's rare to meet a Lillian/Marcus fan, Suzy...what with all the St. Vincent fans out there! Happy to have found you!

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  13. Great to see you here at The Dish Sarah! And congrats on the release of One Good Earl. :) Can't wait to read it! (Still waiting for my local indie bookstore to get it in stock. ::Sigh::)

    If I could be any heroine, it'd definitely have to be a Julie James heroine. They're smart, strong, sassy, witty,know the value of great girlfriends, and have fabulous shoes! :)

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    1. LOL @ the fabulous shoes! I agree with you on Julie's heroines. I'd love to be friends with them.

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    2. Thank you, Lisa, I hope you enjoy! I will say...those Julie James heroines are fabulous picks...I love every one of them!

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  14. I adored this book! (I reviewed it yesterday on my site.) Pippa is probably the best heroine I've ever read; I adored her so...and usually I adore the heroes more, so I thought this was a feat that I loved them both so much. AND SEXY! Wow!

    But if I could be the heroine of any romance? Josie, from Pleasure for Pleasure. I absolutely adore Mayne--he's my top hero. And she's got similar issues to me. :) Though if I got a second pick, I'd pick the heroine who ends up with Gideon in THE PERFECT RAKE (Anne Gracie) But she had issues I wouldn't want to deal with--like Haven. *LOL* So I'd probably stick with Josie. :)

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    1. Loved your review of ONE GOOD EARL DESERVES A LOVER! Readers, you can read MsHellion's review at Romance Writers Revenge. Here's the link:

      http://tinyurl.com/a6wd5w9

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    2. Josie is one of my very favorite heroines, Ms. Hellion...excellent choice! And thank you for the lovely review!

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  15. Hi Sarah! Congratulations on the new release. When I first met Cross and Pippa at the end of ARBAON I immediately found them endearing and likable, great couple! I have a weak spot for Evangeline Jenner from Devil In Winter by Lisa Kleypas. I love everything about her (besides the gorgeous man who falls for her, Sebastian): the unassuming beauty, the apparent vulnerability,her hidden corageous and passionate nature, the way she stammers when she feels insecure. Devil in Winter is my comfort read.
    minadecaro at hotmail dot com

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    1. Wonderful choice! Evie is one of my favorite heroines.

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    2. Hi Mina! Thanks for the Cross & Pippa love! Evie's a wonderful heroine!

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  16. Easy one, I would be Evie from The Devil In Winter by Lisa Kleypas. I admit it, the reformed Sebastien is my dream! I can't wait to read One Good Earl Deserves A Lover and No Good Duke Goes Unpunished!

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    1. Another vote for Evie! She's such an inspiring heroine.

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    2. Thanks Cerian! I hope you enjoy! It's hard not to have Evie & Sebastian on your best of lists!

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  17. Thank you for the interview today, PJ and Sarah!! I am so looking forward to this book. I love your style of writing, Sarah!!! I've loved all of your books and you are one of the authors that are on my auto-buy list.

    I think I would step into Penelope's shoes (JQ's heroine from RMB). I identify with her as being unsure when younger, yet feeling comfortable with herself as she gets older. She had the courage to do something "wicked" by being....well, if someone has not read this book, I don't want to give spoiler.

    Congrats, Sarah, and hurray for your readers on another book to devour!! :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Deb! I hope you enjoy!

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  18. I'm thinking it would be great fun to be Jo March (Little Women). She's always been one of my fav heroines. Don't know for sure I'd turn Plumfield into a school but... yes Jo March is my choice.

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  19. Forgot to say that your new book sounds awesome Sarah! Would love to read it sometime :D

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    1. Hope you get the chance to read it. It really is a wonderful story!

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  20. I would most definitely choose Scarlett O'Hara. While she had to learn about life the hard way, it certainly made her a very strong person. I admire a woman who can look adversity in the face and overcome it by sheer determination.

    Congratulations on the release of your new novel, Sarah. I am hearing and reading so many wonderful things about it and am excited to get it to read soon. All the best!

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    1. Hope you enjoy the book, Connie! I've never been a fan of Scarlett though I did admire her grit, especially near the end of the book.

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    2. Scarlett! What a great choice, Connie!

      Thanks for the kind words...I hope you enjoy the book!

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  21. Congrats on your new release Sarah!

    I´d like to be Anne from L.M.Montgomery´s classic "Anne of Green Gables". The late 1890´s and early 1900´s interest me a lot. I´d love to travel to Canada and see all those places for real some day.

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    1. That was a fascinating period of time. I hope you realize your dream of traveling to Canada one of these days!

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    2. I went to Prince Edward Island last summer, Serenissima...and I made my husband traipse all over the places from Anne of Green Gables...he totally didn't understand! But it's GORGEOUS...you must find time to get there someday.

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  22. I am going to have to agree with the choice of Jessica Trent. She is smart, level-headed, caring, and intuitive. There aren't many heroines who have the "balls" to shoot the hero to make a point! :-)

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    1. There aren't many heroines who have the "balls" to shoot the hero to make a point! :-)

      LOL! Too true, Cheryl!

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  23. I want to be as smart as Jane Bonner. back to the topic, I have two categories of books, one are my kindles and the other is ones I need to read in the hard/soft cover book. Sarah's books are in that category.

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    1. Sarah's books are keepers for sure!

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    2. Thank you so much, Thea...living in a small apartment with only so much shelf space...I know what a compliment that is!

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  24. I've got to agree with others who have said Jessica Trent. She's my favorite romance book heroine because there is so much to admire about her. I can't wait to read Sarah's newest. I love her books.

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    1. Jessica is a popular choice today!

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    2. Thank you, LSUReader! I hope you enjoy!

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  25. I would choose Anais de Rohan from Liz Carlyle's The Bride Wore Scarlet because she is a strong and good woman with a purpose in her life.

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    1. I like Carlyle's books but I haven't read that one yet.

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  26. I'm afraid I haven't read you as yet but your books sound like something I would really enjoy. I would enjoy being any of the heroines in Kathryne Kennedy's stories - romantic historicals with fantasy. Dragons and magic included lol.

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    1. Oh, catslady! You have some wonderful reading ahead of you!

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  27. hmmm ... I am horrible with remembering names so I can't specify one particular heroine, but these are the attributes I would like her (and therefore me ) to have: confidence, kindness, intelligence, be able to speak well and express her thoughts and give others what-for when appropriate, excellent rider (because I've always wanted to), connects well with people (especially children) and animals, shoots like Annie Oakley (cause that would surprise many).

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    1. Sounds like the makings of a fantastic heroine!

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    2. Tall order, Di...but I bet she's out there in Romancelandia!

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  28. Oh dear.. Which one should i choose? Cause each time i read a good book, she's automatically become my favorite.
    Congrats on the book, sarah!

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    1. I have many favorites out there among the books I've read too, sienny but Pippa really stands out. She's special. :)

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  29. Susan Elizabeth Phillips... anyone of her heroines!

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    1. I love Susan's heroines...they're so wonderfully, perfectly, ordinarily flawed!

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  30. Maybe one of the heroines in Jill Shalvis Lucky Harbor series.

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  31. Sarah is one of my go-to romance authors, so I'm looking forward to reading the new book! As for choosing a heroine's life to jump into... I loved Jordan Rhodes from Julie James' A Lot Like Love. She was smart, sexy, and funny. A lethal combination!

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  32. Hi, Sarah! Congrats on your new release!!! You know how much I loved Bourne's book, so I cannot wait to dive into Cross's book!

    I know this comes as a shock (haha), but I would choose to jump into either Kate Sheffield's or Evelyn Ruddick's lives. Who wouldn't want to be with either Anthony Bridgerton or Saint?!?! *g*

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    1. Gee, Andrea, I'm sooooo surprised! lol

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    2. Thanks, Andrea! Hope you enjoy! And both those are pretty fabulous choices! :)

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  33. My current favorite heroine is Lady Minerva Sharpe, the Gothic novelist in Sabrina Jeffries' book 'How to Woo a Reluctant Lady'. She was so much fun, using her family and friends to model her characters after.

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    1. Oh, I loved Minerva. She's a wonderful heroine!

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  34. This is a hard question, because it means you would have to go through the turmoil before getting the hero & the happy ending. How about Lila in Jill Shalvis' Animal Magnetism? She is sweet & everyone loves her, she is kind to animals, and let's face it, Brady is hot! Can't wait to read your book!

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    1. Maybe we could skip all the angst and jump into their lives after the hea? :)

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    2. I feel just the same, Sharlene! I don't want the trouble! :)

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  35. Congrat's on your new release!!! I can't wait to read Cross's book. But if I could jump into any of the heroine's lives, I would choose Callie's cause I just love Ralston (Gabriel).

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    1. Awww...thanks, June! Ralston's a catch, for sure!

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  36. Oh, that's a hard one to answer, I think I'd choose Eloisa James' Kate Daltry from A Kiss At Midnight because she got her own version of the Cinderella story with her handsome prince and happily ever after.

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  37. Nice interview! I'm reading this book right now. I like how both Cross and Pippa are good with numbers.

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  38. I would have to say Elizabeth Bennet, because Mr. Darcy is my ultimate literary crush :-)

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  39. So sorry I'm late to the party today, ladies! I've been holed up writing, and then signing books! But I'm here now (just 35 minutes under the wire!)...

    Thank you to PJ and all the Romance Dish ladies for hosting me!

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    1. That's okay, Sarah. You holed up writing means another book for us and we're just fine with that! :)

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    2. That's okay, Sarah. You holed up writing means another book for us and we're just fine with that! :)

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  40. I am not sure if I could chose just one. Often I'll like a heroine, but as soon as I get involved with another book, that heroine is my new favorite.

    Best wishes for a great release of ONE GOOD EARL DESERVES A LOVER. It sounds enjoyable.

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  41. Stephanie Plum because she gets into so much mischief!

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  42. Thanks for the fun post and congrats to Sarah on her new release! It sounds fantastic :)

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  43. Can't wait to read this! Been waiting for a while now...

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  44. Loved Pippa, all her quirks and oddities, staying to herself despite wanting to be accepted, favorite heroine for the year. I agree Cross and Pippa were meant for each other, and like Janga, liked them as a couple but Pippa was the standout.

    Karen, thought of Jeffries' Minerva Sharpe thinking about Pippa, somewhat alike but also very different personalities. I'd pick Jessica Trent for the same reasons Sarah mentioned,love how she knew just how to manage Dain.

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