We caught up with Historical romance author Marguerite Kaye to discuss the inspiration behind her new book, A Forbidden Liaison with Miss Grant. Read on to discover why Marguerite chose to focus this delightful romance on an older hero and heroine couple…
When I asked on Facebook what readers would like to see feature more in romances, the response was overwhelmingly, older heroes and heroines. And so I set out to satisfy that latent demand in my new release, A Forbidden Liaison with Miss Grant, a stand-alone historical set in Edinburgh during King George IV’s landmark visit.
Of course a heroine on the brink of her fortieth birthday isn’t considered remotely old by today’s standards, but in Regency times forty was firmly in the middle aged/pretty firmly on the shelf category. If Constance, my heroine, hasn’t quite got one foot in the grave she has, as she puts it, at least one toe in there. As for Grayson, at forty-three, as far as his teenage children are concerned, he’s practically pushing up the daisies. The very idea of their father falling in love, never mind making love – well, their reaction to that is pretty much the same at today’s young adults, hands over ears, and metaphorical retching!
On my very active WhatsApp group with my three sisters and my mum, the trials and tribulations of age are a recurring topic. The impact of gravity. That strange noise we’ve started making when we sit down or stand up. How tweezers have become indispensable. And thongs versus big tummy-tucking pants – no contest! Some things don’t change. My heroine angsts over her vintage underwear, her saggy bits and her wobbly bits, aware that she’s being shallow and self-obsessed, but unable to stop herself.
A Forbidden Liaison with Miss Grant opens in the fishing village of Newhaven near Edinburgh, with Constance having one of those, what am I doing with my life days. A chance encounter with Grayson, in a similar reflective mood, leads to an impulsive, what the hell afternoon of lust between them. Of course any savvy reader knows that their instant connection runs much deeper than mere physical attraction, but there would be no story if Constance and Grayson understood that right at the start. They are happy to have a no-strings fling, secretly thrilled to discover they’re not too old to enjoy it, and for a short while, they are lost in their own little bubble.
Then reality intervenes. You don’t get to forty without acquiring emotional baggage. In widower Grayson’s case, it’s two teenage children and a set of in-laws who will be extremely resistant to having their dead and revered daughter replaced. In Constance’s case, it’s a tragic past which continues to haunt her. This is a Regency romance, set in a tartan-clad Edinburgh celebrating the visit of King George IV, but my hero and heroine are dealing with issues that will resonate with lots of readers today. They have to fight for their happy ending. They have to make sacrifices and compromises. They have to take account of the other people in their lives, and acknowledge that they might have to upset them. The can’t simply say we’re in love, so we’re off into the sunset to claim our happy ever after. They are going to have to break the shackles of their own, and other people’s expectations.
I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of writing a more mature romance. The characters are by definition more complex, the issues more nuanced. Does second chance love triumph? Of course it does, it’s never too late for love! Have I succeeded in tempting you into discovering how by reading their story? I hope so.