One good blackmail deserves another.
After a lifetime of rakish behavior, Lord Maxfeld must pretend he’s reformed and find a fake wife. And, with the perfect blend of family scandal and tenuous acceptance in Society, there is nobody more suitable than Lady Phoebe. Trouble is, Phoebe will not agree to a false engagement, forcing Max to blackmail her into his scheme.
She rocked against him—just once. Almost experimentally. Except with a certain awareness of exactly what it was her bottom was up against. “I stretched, and how wonderful it felt.”
“You’re teasing me, wench.”
“I’m not a wench, I’m your wife. Do you want me to go on, or not?”
His lips in a grim line, he gave a single nod.
“Very well.” She cleared her throat. “I wanted to explore myself, and I wanted to explore you. But you weren’t there.”
“So you had only one option.”
She pulled back and gave him a look that could have put the strictest governess to shame. Oh, what it did to him. “I’m telling this story, husband.”
“Then tell it. Please, tell it.”
Q: Name one thing you won’t leave home without.
Definitely my head. Thankfully, I’m not a screw top, so I can always remember it. Everything else is fair game.
Q: If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?
I can’t decide between two choices. Either Cleopatra right after she met Mark Antony, but I won’t tell you why. Or some chick inside a perfume commercial. You get to be gorgeous, perfectly made up, and there is usually a not-too-hard-on-the-eyes guy around. (That goes for perfume lady—Cleopatra wasn’t the gorgeous siren she’s depicted as being in popular myth.) The perfume lady has the bonus of either getting to wear a big fancy dress or lazing around a private beach.
Q: What types of scenes are your most favorite to write?
The naughty ones.
Q: Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
I put a tiny, tiny bit of myself into each heroine in a superfluous way. My first heroine, Grace, loved chocolate and has less-than-perfect hair (far less, I’m afraid). My second, Phoebe, is a big reader and loves tea. My third, Eliza—her book is coming in June—hates cherries. However, unlike Eliza, I came by my dislike honestly. I just plain don’t like them. I won’t spoil it for you, but Eliza came by her dislike by way of an abhorrent association.
Q: Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Let go of your ego, never stop learning, work hard to nail good conflict, learn to encapsulate your entire story in one pithy statement that makes strangers’ eyes bulge and beg you to write the book immediately (I’m still working on this one!). Don’t self-publish too early. Give yourself permission to turn into a seething green jealousy monster even for writer friends you love dearly when they achieve something you covet, but cap your time in The Great and Terrible Land of Envy to about ten or twenty minutes, then go back to being happy for them and focusing your energy on your own work.
Ingrid Hahn is a failed administrative assistant with a B.A. in Art History. Her love of reading has turned her mortgage payment into a book storage fee, which makes her the friend who you never want to ask you for help moving. Though originally from Seattle, she now lives in the metropolitan DC area with her ship-nerd husband, small son, and four opinionated cats. When she’s not reading or writing, she loves knitting, theater, nature walks, travel, history, and is a hopelessly devoted fan of Jane Austen. She loves to connect with her readers.