Woohoo! Here come Andrew and Gemma at last! I keep very disorganized files, but I was curious to discover when I first began working on this book. It was 2009. That's right, three years ago. I have written four novels, two novellas and one short story since, but Andrew and Gemma have stuck with me through them all even though my mind is pretty much shot. I once wrote a book (now under my bed) where the heroine was a writer who couldn't remember her characters' names. That would be me. You have no idea how often my fingers are poised over the keyboard and I experience a brain freeze, LOL.
However, Andrew was hard to forget. I created him first as a dark Margaret Rowe hero, but he somehow wormed his way into Maggie's Courtesan Court series. He popped up in Mistress by Marriage as the heroine Caroline's necessary evil past. But then he wouldn't go away. Every time he appeared on the page I wanted to write more about him, but it wasn't his book. And I couldn't give him his own book, because I'd made him so very bad. So very tortured. So very damaged. I sent him to Italy after letting him do one good deed. Sigh of relief. Back to Caroline and Edward.But in the last chapter, Andrew sent a letter to Edward, and I knew I had not seen the last of him.
Since Andrew is atypical hero material, his heroine Gemma had to be atypical too. Here she is, right after she first mets her new employer:
What she needed was a bath. A hot, hot bath, some scented soap. A hairbrush. A complete change of underthings. She sniffed her armpit. Certainly a new dress. This one would have to be burned. Her trunk had gone missing before boarding the boat that took her island-hopping through the archipelago in a storm-tossed ocean. She’d been promised when it was found it would be sent along, but it had not come today in Mr. Ross’s belongings. It might never come, which meant she’d have to ask the witch to help her again, which had worked out very badly before.
Of all the bloody luck. She was stuck here, as good as naked, even if Andrew Ross had other ideas. He’d not get rid of her so easily. She had her contract and would abide by every letter. That baron who hired her had not been entirely forthcoming about the hardships of the job, however. The little boy was adorable, but Gemma had pictured a country house set on a rolling green meadow with sheep, perhaps a bit of salt-scented spray in the air, not this violent, volcanic lump. To prove her point, the windows rattled like gunfire in the endless storm.
And then there was Andrew Ross. Handsome as the devil and knew it, too. Not just handsome—dazzling, golden, kissed by the gods.
Well, perhaps not. His wife was dead, his son hated him, his arm flopped about when it wasn’t in its sling, and he’d chosen to bury himself in the outermost reaches of the British Isles. No doubt he had a dark secret, but then didn’t everyone?
Andrew's secrets are darker than most. I hope I've redeemed him from the hole I originally dug for him, and that readers will fall in love! There are lots of chances to win a signed copy of Master of Sin--just go to my news page for the blog tour schedule!