As modern-thinking Americans it may be difficult for us to wrap our mind around class and what it meant in 19th Century England. Class was everything. It was how you lived, how you made your money, who you married, who you spoke with, who your friends were, how you spoke to someone, where you lived. And around the Victorian age, things began to change, and it was a painful and surprising transition for many who had become entrenched in their ideas and way of life. The idea that you could become more than what you were born to—or less—was a fairly new concept.
I take the romance part of historical romance seriously, but I also try to take the “history” part just as seriously. In How to Please a Lady, my heroine is the daughter of an earl; my hero, the head groom. I love the idea of a romance between a working man and a lady, but I also wanted it to be as honest as possible. The romantic hearts in all of us sigh when we think about a lady throwing away everything to be with the man she loves. But I like to keep a bit of reality in my novels, and the thought of a pampered young woman throwing all away to be with a groom? Nope. Not happening. Call me cold and heartless (actually, please don’t) but it was highly unlikely that a properly raised young woman would consider for even a millisecond the idea of marrying a servant. I supposed it would be like a neurosurgeon falling for the high school drop-out janitor. The right couple can overcome that kind of mismatch, and in the case of Rose and Charlie, they were definitely the right kind of couple.
But it wasn’t easy.
I don’t like making things easy for my characters, because the truth of the matter is that it wouldn’t have been easy—for either one of them. So being a lover of romance, I found a way to give them their well-deserved happily ever after, but boy oh boy did they both have to earn it. Rose had to overcome her prejudice against the working class and Charlie had to overcome his, yes I’m going to say it, his pride.
Rose and Charlie may be one of my favorite couples because they are complex and wonderful together and every time I think of them, I smile.
Run though they might, love will find them…
Lady Rose Dunford is shocked–and titillated–by the number of female visitors coming and going from her mysterious new neighbor’s Manhattan brownstone. Recently widowed by the death of her very sweet, but not very exciting husband, Rose finds it difficult to imagine just what the attraction could be.
And then she meets the bachelor in question. Not only is Charlie Avery dashing and outrageously good looking–she knows him! He is none other than the man who once helped her escape the dreary matchmaking plans of her father, the man she once dreamed she could love. Can Charlie’s presence next door be an accident? Or has he come to show her everything he has learned about…
Jane Goodger lives in Rhode Island with her husband, three children, Chihuahua, one-eyed cat, and a ferret. She works full-time, and operates an editing service in between writing Victorian-set historical romances. In her free time (hahahaha), Jane watches HGTV and dreams of fixing up her 1940s colonial. A former journalist, Jane has lived in Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Pozzuoli, Italy.