Mia writes sensual historical romance with a sparkle of magic for Kensington and Sourcebooks. Her work was featured in PEOPLE magazine’s Best of 2010 edition. One of her books is on display at the Museum of London Docklands alongside Johnny Depp memorabilia. Mia’s most recent release, TOUCH OF A ROGUE, was named a Top Ten Best Romance for Spring 2012 by Publishers Weekly. But the accolades that mean the most to her come from her readers! She loves to connect with people who adore books.
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Triangles Make the World Go Round
If someone asks you if you’re Team Edward or Team Jacob, you know exactly what they’re talking about. Which guy should Bella pick? Twilight isn’t the first series to capitalize on this age-old conflict. There have been love triangles throughout time. What would Camelot be without the Arthur/Guinevere/Lancelot debacle? Charles Dickens used it in A TALE OF TWO CITIES with Sydney Carton/LucieManette/Charles Darnay. What about Rick/Ilsa/Victor in CASABLANCA? Seeing a pattern?
There’s a wealth of angst and drama to be rung from a good love triangle, but the one in TOUCH OF A SCOUNDREL with Griffin/Emma/Teddy is the first time I’ve used this plot device. It’s not that I don’t love plenty of tension in my stories. Just the opposite. But the really tricky part about writing a love triangle is that the one in the middle comes off looking selfish and unlikeable. Since I want to invite my readers to slip into Emma’s shoes, I had to make her sympathetic. She needs to make her current scheme work for the sake of Monty, her foster father. Emmaline is a con artist who never minds tricking someone who’s greedy enough to be fooled. but she’s very conflicted about breaking someone’s heart.
Here’s a little snippet from TOUCH OF A SCOUNDREL:
Theodore knelt beside her chair and took her hand. “Do you want me to summon a physician?”
She shook her head. “We both know what this is. All a doctor will do is bleed him and purge him. It’ll only make him weaker.”
It was hard to imagine her life without Monty and his outlandish schemes twirling at its center. The small scared child who still lived inside her shivered. With Monty gone, she’d go back to being plain Emma Potts, alone, cast adrift in the world.
“Don’t be afraid, Emmaline,” Theodore said softly.
His words startled her. She hadn’t thought him able to divine her emotions so accurately.
“You have me now.” He pressed a kiss to her knuckles.
Her breath caught at the shining goodness of his heart. Not for the first time, she wished there was something real, something true about her courtship with Theodore.
Maybe she could will it to be so.
She leaned down and cupped his chin to tip his face up to hers, inviting him to kiss her. She needed him to kiss her. Needed it to be more searingly real than his brother’s kiss in the orangery.
Theodore’s mouth closed over hers for a few heartbeats.
It was pleasant. A gesture full of comfort. Sweet enough to melt the heart.
But Teddy’s kiss didn’t make her toes curl in the slightest.
Why couldn’t she love this kind man? Theodore’s soul might glint with shining whiteness, but hers was black as a Stygian stream. She drew back. “You’d better go.”
“I wish I didn’t have to. I wish we were already married so I could stay with you.”
“Theodore, please, that’s inappropriate.” She bit her lower lip. “I haven’t even said yes yet.”
“Why don’t you?” He plopped down on the floor beside her chair and rested his head against her knee. “You know how I love you, Em. What’s stopping you?”
Yesterday she’d have told herself it was because she was a confidence huckster and he was her mark. She needed to maintain professional distance. But what if she convinced Monty to abandon the game? Maybe then she could accept Theodore’s proposal.
Emmaline had picked up the pigeon drop in no time. Would love be so difficult a game to learn?
She stroked his thick blond hair, feeling very tender. Teddy was sincere and attentive. He made her feel like a princess every time he looked at her.
So what if his kisses were as exciting as a second cousin’s?
Of course, Emmaline didn’t have any second cousins so far as she knew, but she imagined kissing one would feel exactly like kissing Theodore. Plenty of women made do with the merely pleasant and were grateful to have found it in a husband.
Emmaline might have been one of them if she hadn’t kissed Lord Devonwood. Twice.
Monty’s renewed cough in the next room made her lift her head. Just like that, she knew she was deluding herself when she imagined that anything deeper might grow between her and Theodore. Even if she weren’t confused by her body’s response to Lord Devonwood, there was still the fact that for the sake of his health, Monty needed this confidence game to succeed. That sanatorium in the Alps was his only hope.
Which meant she was better off without permanent entanglements with either of the brothers. It made no sense to become attached to someone she had to swindle.
“I must go.” She rose and headed for Monty’s chamber. “Father needs me.”
Hope you enjoyed this sneak peek at TOUCH OF A SCOUNDREL. Share your favorite love triangle of all time and you’ll be entered in a random drawing for a signed copy of TOUCH OF A SCOUNDREL!
Griffin Nash, Earl of Devonwood, wants to believe that he’s seducing Miss Emmaline Farnsworth out of protectiveness for his young brother. After all, if his brother is convinced that the tantalizing professor’s daughter is unworthy of his trust, perhaps Teddy will lose all interest in such an inappropriate choice for his station. But in truth, something else motivates Griffin: a scintillating vision of a future tryst with the lovely Emmaline. A vision too realistic to be doubted—and too scaldingly passionate to be denied.
Yet Emmaline is not as easily tempted as Griffin might have hoped—nor is she actually in pursuit of a wealthy husband. No, the real reason for her visit to the manor is something much more shocking… though being enticed by a dashing earl may prove to be a most welcome by-product of her schemes.
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