We caught up with Mills & Boon Modern author Louise Fuller to chat about her new book, The Man She Should Have Married. Read on to find out how Louise was inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion to write this book.
When it comes to romantic novelists there is Jane Austen and then there is everyone else.
The Godmother of romance wrote six fabulous, witty novels, and in my opinion none is more romantic than Persuasion.
Imagine Lizzy and Darcy don’t get together, that her prejudice and his pride keep them apart only for fate to toss them back into one another’s orbit seven years later.
That is where Persuasion begins with the regrets and recriminations of the past not yet resolved.
It has a self-made hero with charisma and charm: Captain Wentworth. An imperfect heroine: Anne Elliot. And the most swooningly romantic love letter in literature.
‘You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope.’
It was these words, Wentworth’s desperate confession of his enduring love for Anne that inspired me to write The Man She Should Have Married. Set against the beautiful backdrop of the Scottish Highlands, it is my take on Jane Austen’s classic novel of second chance romance.
Having been forced to move out of her Georgian manor house, my heroine, Lady Antonia Elgin is devastated to discover that her first love and former fiancé, Farlan Wilder, is going to be a guest of her new tenants, Tom and Diane Drummond.
Nia has never forgotten Farlan. When they first met at the Edinburgh Festival, he was a beautiful and talented aspiring filmmaker and after a thrilling summer of love spent exploring the city and each other, Nia knew she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him. But her parents were horrified. As far as they were concerned, some penniless art-school dropout was a completely unsuitable match for their daughter. And having reminded Nia about the disastrous consequences of her aunt’s hasty and ill-matched marriage, she was persuaded to break off her engagement.
Seven long years of regret later, how things have changed.
Thanks to her irresponsible parents, Nia’s family finances are a mess.
Farlan, however, is now a successful movie director. His first film won multiple awards and his second is the blockbuster of the summer.
But while Nia might not have forgotten Farlan, he has never forgiven her.
She broke his heart. And the hurt and humiliation of her rejection was made worse by the memories it raised of his unhappy childhood. Needing to get as far away as possible from the pain and shame, he fled to the United States.
Now though, after seven years away, he is back in Scotland, and Nia is back in his life. But despite wanting to see the worst in her, he can’t ignore the attraction between them or pretend that he has ever really gotten over her.
And he is not alone.
Seeing Farlan again makes Nia realise she never moved on from loving and losing him and an impulsive kiss in the library not only rekindles their mutual passion but her hope that maybe they might have a second chance at love.
But can they rewrite the past? Or is it too late?
To find out, sit back and take a trip to the Scottish Highlands with Nia and Farlan. I hope you enjoy reading their story as much as I loved writing it.