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Showing posts by: Rose Lerner click to see Rose Lerner's profile
Tue
Jan 13 2015 9:30am

Honor (and Love) Among Thieves? The Lure of the Con Artist

True Pretenses by Rose Lerner

Today we're joined by author Rose Lerner, whose True Pretenses, the second in her Lively St. Lemeston series, is out next week. True Pretenses' hero is a con man, trying to help his brother get out of the game. Rose has joined us to talk about the truths and fictions of con artists. Thanks, Rose!

I absolutely love fictional con artists. There are many reasons for this:

A.) I find competence very sexy, especially at things I can't do so well myself. Con artists are good at risk-taking, rule-breaking, thinking on their feet, being cool as a cucumber, and social interaction. A con man hero is a bad boy who uses his brain to be bad. Nerd catnip!

B.) I love unreliable narrators, and plot twists that make everything that came before SO MUCH COOLER. Con stories are great at both.

C.) I love watching someone who isn't in touch with her own feelings and doesn't know how to have a meaningful, close relationship fall in love.

I could go on.

[Please do!]

Wed
Mar 19 2014 1:00pm

Dead First Husbands in Historical Romance

Sweet Disorder by Rose LernerToday we're joined by Rose Lerner, whose Sweet Disorder (out now!) is the story of a widow who has no intention of ever marrying again, because her first marriage was not what she had hoped. But certain things in her life force her to reconsider that decision. Rose is here to talk about the 'specter of the Dead First Husband' in historicals. Thanks, Rose!

Trigger warning: mentions of rape and abuse

Phoebe, the heroine of Sweet Disorder, is a widow. As I wrote the story, I was conscious of a long line of widow heroines who had gone before her, and particularly of the specter of the Dead First Husband. When I started reading historicals back in the ‘90s, pretty much every dead first husband was awful, if not outright evil. Sometimes he was impotent, sometimes a rapist, often old, and sometimes even, for added villainy, gay or bisexual. Blargh.

I love me a good evil ex story (God knows there are plenty of them out there), but variety is the spice of life, so it's nice to see a fuller spectrum of previous relationships being presented these days. I interviewed the authors of some of my favorite historical romances featuring dead first husbands, and got back some delicious food for thought.

[Gone but not forgotten...]