One of my favourite films growing up was Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. I loved the premise- seven slightly uncivilised brothers all living in the back of beyond, struggling with the harsh realities of life and desperately lonely. Watching those seven men get their women the wrong way, then slowly falling hopelessly in love with them was magical.
When it came to writing my first series I wanted to do a little homage to that wonderful old musical, so I came up with my Warriner brothers. Four down-on-their-luck gentlemen, all a little rough around the edges, practically penniless and tainted by the infamous reputations of their foul ancestors to the extent that nobody trusts a Warriner.
In Seven Brides the brothers are in alphabetical order- Adam, Benjamin, Ethan, Daniel, and so on. The Warriners all have the same initials. Jack is the eldest and fiercely proud. He’s a man used to being in charge and doing things his own way. Jamie is a former soldier and has been left both physically and emotionally damaged by war. Joe is a quiet, level-headed scholar who desperately wants to study to become a doctor, except there is no money. And Jacob is the youngest brother, already a ladies’ man he yearns for a life of excitement in London rather than ‘deepest, darkest, dankest Nottinghamshire’. Four men all with distinctly different characters but all equally as lovable in their own way. From the moment I created each of them, their individual stories started bubbling away in my odd mind to the extent that as I’ve finished one book, I’ve had to immediately write the next. As I type this, I am already a few thousand words into book four.
The first book, A Warriner to Protect Her, is Jack’s story, a man who would rather die of starvation and exhaustion rather than accept help from anyone. Saddled with his father’s debts and the responsibility of raising all three of his brothers since the tender age of eighteen, Jack is working the land himself to eke out a living for his family. One night, in the midst of a terrible thunderstorm, he encounters a terrified woman bound and gagged in the woods. He takes her home and finds himself having to protect the cossetted Letty Dunston for a month.
However, Letty is no normal woman. She is the Tea Heiress and feted society beauty. Not the sort of woman who could cope with the harsh life of a farmer’s wife. But Letty is made of sterner stuff than Jack gives her credit for and challenges his over-bearing tendency to tell people what to do. Obviously, confined in house, the pair of them clash over everything- except their mutual and growing attraction to one another…