Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Love and Parrots

Today we welcome best-selling author Patricia Rice to the Lair as we celebrate the release of The Devilish Montague, the second in her Rebellious Sons series. The first book, The Wicked Wyckerly, was a 2011 RITA nominee.

Welcome, Patricia! What is the Rebellious Sons series?

I thought it would be fun to write about the younger sons of society, the “spare” heirs expected to marry well if they want to continue a life of ease. What would a hero do if he had no money and society frowned upon his earning a living?

Please tell us a little about Blake and Jocelyn. I understand a parrot has something to do with their meeting?

Blake has an encyclopedic mind and a restless soul. He’s an absolute whiz at solving puzzles and is convinced he can break the new French encryption machine code if only he had more than one example to work on. To obtain more battle field codes, he needs to go to war. Unfortunately, as a younger son, he has little money of his own to buy his officer’s colors. And somehow, cynical Blake has ticked off a few too many people in power to garner much sympathy for his plight. So marriage it is, if he can find a woman who wants a husband on another continent.

Although Blake calls her a “flibbertiwidget,” Jocelyn knows she’s the perfect match for him. First off, Blake will receive her family’s old estate should he marry. Secondly, since she plans on moving in with her highly eccentric family and their pets, a husband a thousand miles away is the only kind who will tolerate her!

Besides, he's compromised her by confronting her in a barn at dawn, after she’s stolen a parrot and ruined his duel. Obviously, they’re made for each other.

Your website refers to an "inconvenient marriage." What's that about?

Blake is not precisely a patient or domesticated man, as he frequently mentions. He wants to go to war, not marry. He risks his life in duels, lives in a bachelor’s quarters with books stacked to the ceiling, and spends his evenings at his club. He doesn’t have time for families, even his own. In his experience, families are far too intrusive, and he resents being molly-coddled just because his mother is superstitious enough to believe he’ll die because of a white streak in his hair! He’s far more likely to shoot Jocelyn’s birds than feed them. Marriage is not a state to which he aspires—except Jocelyn has just inherited a lot of money that can buy his colors.

Jocelyn has had the painful experience of being thrown out of every home she’s ever lived in. She’s not real high on tying herself to another man now that she has the wherewithal to be independent. But her socially incompetent younger brother, her eccentric mother, and their collection of pets have spelled disaster anywhere else she’s lived. Now that Blake's family owns their old family estate, she can’t possibly afford to house pets and family in London, even with her new inheritance. And she adores the ton that Blake scorns. It would break her heart to live in rural environs.

And then Blake ruins everything by confronting her in a barn at dawn. Once she shoots his toe and brings the entire house party running, what else is a girl to do except marry the man for his home?

What are their biggest emotional obstacles?

Blake really has to realize that no man stands alone, no matter how smart and independent. He might not want to be coddled by his wife, but despite Jocelyn’s flighty manner, she’s extremely perceptive and capable of getting him what he wants. Jocelyn, on the other hand, believes she must take care of everyone in her path and has some difficulty believing Blake doesn’t need her help, too. Or that he can actually relieve her burdens. Besides that, she doesn’t want to do anything to create babies so she has even more family to fret over, especially if he's planning on going to war to get killed! Which creates a bit of a sticky wicket since Blake figures there’s only one point in marriage.

How they resolve their differences, learn to respect and enjoy working together while catching spies with parrots requires reading the book because it takes much too long to explain!

Can we see an excerpt?

Sure. Here we go:

“Methinks he thinks too much,” Jocelyn crooned to the parrot, stroking it. The parrot batted its head against her soothing finger, then settled into sleep.

Shivering in her wet cloak, Jo tried not to think too hard about Blake Montague. Tonight, aiming a pistol in her direction, he had looked the part of dangerous rogue.

Montague was a lethal weapon. His cynical wit had a cutting edge she couldn’t hope to match. And for all his education, he didn’t seem to like anyone very much. She’d seen scorn in his eyes each time he looked at her. Men disliked rejection.

She’d learned the value of stealth and a good diversion very early in life, while avoiding Harold’s rages. Spreading her thick cloak, Jocelyn settled in a rear stall where a barn cat fed her newborns.

“I know you’re in here,” a husky baritone called from the entrance. “You have disappointed me. I had hoped to have to hunt you down.”

Jocelyn wanted to ask what he intended to do about it, shoot her? But she saw no reason to disturb the kittens.

She suffered a nervous chill at the thought of being alone with an enraged man, but for all his brooding gloom, Mr. Montague was widely reported to be an honorable gentleman. He might scald her with the acid of his scorn, but a gentleman would never lay a hand on a woman. Behind him, dawn was lightening the sky, silhouetting his square shoulders. She wished she didn’t admire his strength so much.

She’d stationed herself so she could see the length of the barn and knew when he approached.

Good soldier that he was, he spotted her instantly. She could almost swear he growled as he limped forward. She held a finger to her lips to indicate quiet. He quirked a menacing dark eyebrow at her.

“Quit posturing and admit the bird is better off free,” she whispered.


If he’d worn a hat, she thought he might have stomped on it. He really was a quite dashingly dangerous figure of a man—not at all suitable for her purposes, unfortunately. But then, no man she’d met these last six months had a care for her purposes—only her money. Picking up a kitten, she returned his glare. “What else could be done with such a rude creature?”

“You did not let a tropical bird loose in chilly England. You may be nicked in the nob, but no one ever said you were stupid.”

She slanted her eyes thoughtfully. “Actually, Harold said it quite often. And my brothers-in-law had occasion to mention it once or twice. Lord Bernard certainly said it over these past days. I think I prefer nicked in the nob. What, precisely, does that mean?”

He ignored her diversion. “The bird belongs to the duke. You cannot keep it. It’s theft. Just tell me where you’ve hidden it, and I’ll see it’s returned without question.” He crossed his arms over his soaked waistcoat and glowered.

Jocelyn beamed at him in return. “Nature cannot be owned, sir.”

What's next for you?

A contemporary paranormal romance! Not the dark kind, but a perfectly normal couple—well, sort of normal. The heroine was a teenage singing sensation who disappeared off the map and doesn’t want to be found because…well, her voice kills. But she’s the only key our intrepid hero has to finding his kidnapped son, so he’s not about to allow her to hide much longer. THE LURE OF SONG AND MAGIC will be out in January 2012.

Thank you for letting me visit with the bandits. I'll leave Nancy in charge of choosing a winner to a commenter, but I have a shiny new copy of THE DEVILISH MONTAGUE ready to go!

For more about Patricia and her work, visit her website. You can also find her on Facebook.

So tell us, everyone, what's your favorite book about a second son or a non-titled hero? Or tell us about a heroine you loved to see give the hero trouble.

The winner will be posted just before midnight tonight, along with the winner of a copy of Evil Genius from Patricia's last visit.


Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, another Bandita bags the chook!

Patricia and Nancy, what a fun interview. Pat, your book sounds absolutely delicious - I personally LOVE slightly geeky heroes who are too smart for their own good, at least when it comes to book-larnin! And the parrot just sounds like he adds the perfect zing to the soup - not that I want to cook him, mind. If I'm cooking any bird, it's going to be our troublesome rooster!

Lolarific said...

Congrats Anna!

I love the wittiness of the plot here. You had me absolutely hooked at "once she shoots his toe..". How could one not want to read the follow up to that statement?

marybelle said...

Having just re-read WUTHERING HEIGHTS I can tell you that Cathy gave Heathcliff no end of grief. Such troubled, turmoiled passion, to the point of madness.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Mary, did you get the Chronicle on Saturday? I was in it!

OK, we have just paused for an advertising break. Snort!

Helen said...

Well done Anna have fun with him

This books sounds so good I have the first one on the TBR pile need to move it up and get this one.

One of my favourite books about a
2nd son is Sarah Macleans Ten Ways To Be Adorded When Landing A Lord this was so good and the heroine gave him a run for his money great book.

Patricia congrats on the release I look forward to reading this one and Nancy thank you for inviting Patricia along again today

Have Fun

Patricia Rice said...

I knew I could stop by here first thing in the morning and find a lively conversation already under way! Thanks for having me. Anna, as long as your rooster doesn't talk, you probably shouldn't cook him either. "G" I can't say that Blake is geeky since he's always getting into physical confrontations, but definitely too many brains otherwise.

Thank you, Lola. "G" You like conflict between the h/h, don't you? "G"

Laurie G said...

I love Jillian Hunter's Boscastle family.

Heath's story The Wedding Night of an English Rogue is a favorite of mine. he has to follow after his brother Grayson's footsteps.

Best wishes Patricia!

Na said...

Great post! I do love these rebellious sons and spare heirs who all seem so abundant in historical fiction. Usually as the sidekick to the hero, I take notice of them and root for them to have their own stories, and sometimes they do. In Brenda Joyce's Francesca Cahill Deadly series, Rick Bragg was introduced as the main hero. It wasn't until several books later when his half-brother, the brooding, mysterious Calder Hart stole the scene and the heroine. I accepted the new hero whole-heartedly, although it is rare to see this switch especially since Rick is no villain.

I do have a heroine I love who gave the hero much grief and managed to snag his heart in the process. Alaina MacGaren in Ashes in the Wind by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. Her feisty, smart-alecky ways sure gave Cole Latimer's heart palpitations many times and that is why she is so beloved to me. They have perfect chemistry and irresistible charm.

Cynthia Owens said...

Pat, wonderful interview, and I can't wait to read this book! It's on my wish list already.

One of my favorite "second son" books is Mary Jo Putney's "Shattered Rainbows." I love Michael Kenyon!

Deb said...

Thank you for the interview, Nancy and Patricia! I look forward to reading TDM because I enjoyed TWW, Patricia.

I agree with Helen about Sarah Maclean's hero/heroine. I also agree with Na's comment about the 2nd sons being a sidekick, so to speak. I enjoy having them introduced in one book and then reading about their romances in a story of their own.

My fave story and 2nd son hero is Colin Bridgerton of JQ's Romancing Mr. Bridgerton. Penelope doesn't really give him trouble until he realizes he is attracted to her. It's his own thoughts about her that give him trouble!

Janga said...

I can't wait to read The Devilish Montague, Pat. I loved The Wicked Wyckerly!

Elizabeth Hoyt's Notorious Pleasures, Mary Balogh's Simply Love, and Loretta Chase's Mr. Impossible (a
4th son) are all-time favorites. And I just posted a five-star review of Miranda Neville's soon-to-be-released The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton, which features a dandy hero (literally) who is untitled.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Nancy! Hey Patricia!

Patricia, welcome back to the Lair. :>

Anna, you snagged the boide! He's widely proven to be a rake, so this was a good day to get him - a rakish day, in fact. Grins.

Pat, as Lolarific said, the wittiness of the plot was delish and pulled me in. I'll look forward to reading the rest of the book!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Anna said: Hey, Mary, did you get the Chronicle on Saturday? I was in it!

OK, we have just paused for an advertising break. Snort!

And just why were you in the Chronicle, Missy-Anna-girl? Have you been scandalizing the ton again? Or just garnering more awards?

Nancy said...

Anna, congrats on the chook!

You know, I love geeky heroes, too.

Nancy said...

Just realized I forgot to title the blog. Still have conference brain--ack! I'm going to pull it down for a second so I can do that.

Nancy said...

Lolarific, the humor is one of the things I've always loved about Pat's books. One of my favorites among her backlist opens with the heroine shooting the hero. I think it's Denim and Lace.

Nancy said...

Marybelle, Cathy was a handful, wasn't she? Wuthering Heights is such a tragic story. I read it in high school because I had to but didn't really appreciate it until I re-read it, years later, on a whim.

Nancy said...

Anna Campbell wrote: Hey, Mary, did you get the Chronicle on Saturday? I was in it!

You were in the newspaper? Did you post a link in the Lair, hmm? Hmm? Maybe post a link here? Or is it not online?

Nancy said...

Helen, thanks! I do think you should move Wyckerly up. It's a fabulous book!

I heard Sarah MacLean read while I was in New York. A bunch of us turned up at Lady Jane's Salon. Sarah read a great excerpt. Several others also read, including Dianna Love and Karen Rose. I'm drawing an unfortunate blank on the others. My brain still isn't back in gear form the conference.

Nancy said...

Laurie, I'm not familiar with the Boscastles. I'll have to check them out.

Speaking of Graysons, one of my favorite comic book characters is Dick "Robin" Grayson. I used the surname for one of my own characters, and Bandita Joan has a cat named Grayson. It's obviously a wonderful name, to draw so many of us to it. *g*

Nancy said...

Na, the Deadly series is also new to me. I'll have to check it out. I love series with continuing characters.

Kathleen Woodiwiss was a fabulous writer, wasn't she? Her books are on my keeper shelf and have been, obviously, for a long time. Ashes in the Wind is great. I have a fondness for A Rose in Winter because it's a secret identity story. I tipped to the secret pretty quickly, thanks to years of reading Superman and Batman and other super-heroes with secrets, but I still loved the story.

Nancy said...

Cynthia, thanks for stopping by! Mary Jo Putney is another favorite of mine. Shattered Rainbows is ringing a bell, but I can't remember the details.

Nancy said...

Deb, one of the things I enjoy about series is meeting characters in one book and maybe even seeing them play supporting roles in a second, then having them move to the fore.

Nancy said...

Duchesse, isn't it annoying how certain banditas just drop little fragments of info and then don't fill us in? Maybe the golden rooster's influence is rubbing off on some people. *g*

Jenn3128 said...

I just finished Julie James A Lot Like Love last night, so I have Kyle stuck in my brain. I loved the scenes he was in and am looking forward to reading his book. (I know not a "Son", but I couldn't think of anything that I've read that applied).

Nancy said...

Jenn, I haven't read A Lot Like Love, but it's always good to discover new authors. Well, good except it makes the TBR pile grow. *sigh*

And it's perfectly fine to not track the comment question exactly. The questions are there to help people have something to say, but anything relevant to romance and/or reading is always welcome.

Donna MacMeans said...

Pat - Loved the sound of this book. Sounds like another RITA nomination for you!

Nancy - I've got the winner of an earlier blog going up before midnight tonight - can you add on? It'll be a rocking prize announcement! (grin)

Nancy said...

Donna, adding on sounds great. It will, indeed, be a rocking announcement.

Patricia Rice said...

By the time I leave here, I'll have a reading list to remember! How do you remember all these plots and characters? I'm totally awed. And I don't even have conference brain as an excuse.

Thank everyone for all the kind words!

Maria said...

Congratulations on the new release Patricia! The Devilish Montague sounds like a fun and interesting book to read. ?The newest book I've read about second sons that I enjoyed was Isobel Carr's "Ripe for Pleasure".

gamistress66 said...

Congrats Patricia on the upcoming release. I've been looking forward to Blake's story since last summer when I read book one in the series (which I quite enjoyed). I know I read a number of books about younger sons but other than those mentioned, a couple of the "naked" series by Sally Mackenzie (including her latest) & some of Stephanie Laurens books, I can't think of any specific titles.

heartoftexasbooks said...

I'm currently reading THE SOLDIER by Grace Burrowes. He is the Duke of Moreland's illegitimate son AND the heroine is truly giving him trouble so he meets both criteria.

I love many of these new authors but have some long-time favorites as well--and Patricia Rice is certainly on that list.

In fact, I have THE DEVILISH MONTAGUE on my Wish List but would much rather receive it directly from the author, especially if it is signed. Books that are signed by my favorite authors go straight to my keeper list after being read.


Anna Campbell said...

Jeanne, I was in the Toowoomba Chronicle - it's a reprint of an article that was in my local Sunshine Coast paper a few weeks ago. Must have been a slow news day in Toowoomba - or it's been too cold up there for the reporters to go out and get something new. LOL!

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, and no link, sadly, girls. It was a nice article - headed "Our Queen of Romance" which I must say I rather liked! ;-)

Nancy said...

Maria, that Isobel Carr series has been on my list to check out. You're the first person I've encountered who has read any of them.

Nancy said...

gamistress, the best way to make my mind go blank is to ask for specifics! If you think of somethign later, pop back in and share. :-)

Nancy said...

heartoftexasbooks, I haven't seen The Soldier, but I love military heroes. I'll have to check that out.

Nancy said...

Anna Campbell wrote: It was a nice article - headed "Our Queen of Romance" which I must say I rather liked! ;-)

Well, of COURSE you did! Who wouldn't?

Sorry there's no link, but it's great that you got such a nice buzz in print.

Patricia Rice said...

Queen of Romance, sounds like a great title if we can't see the link! And you have a crown, right?

I just remembered I finished Alissa Johnson's NEARLY A LADY last night and the hero is the second son, although he seems to have pots of money. Great characterization in that book!

I think all our tweets are being upstaged by the Casey Anthony case. They're comparing it to OJ. Ouch.

Karyn Gerrard said...

I love stories on second sons! Just read 'An Unlikely Countess' by Jo Beverley and I adored the hero, second son Catesby!

All the best for your release!

Nancy said...

Pat, I have to admit I'm not following the Casey Anthony case, so it's doubly annoying to have it push our info aside.

I saw Nearly a Lady in the store today (when I picked up The Devilish Montague) and considered it. I did bring home lots of books from RWA, though. In fact, my Media Rate box, shipped Friday from the PO by Port Authority, arrived this morning. Not bad at all.

Nancy said...

Karyn, Jo Beverley is great, isn't she?

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Patricia, I have a special crown for each day of the week and two for Sundays! ;-)

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Nancy and Patricia! Wonderful interview and this book sounds like so much fun.

I have this new toy, a Kindle, and it makes ordering books wayyyyyyyyyy too easy. Just popped over and bought my copy!

Second sons and non-titled heroes. I think they have way more lattitude. They have to be more charming, more daring, more inspired, more honorable, more...well you see. They don't have things handed to them because of their title.

Yep...don't y'all think Harry is way more interesting the William?

Beth Andrews said...

Welcome back to the lair, Patricia! Love the excerpt - The Devilish Montague sounds wonderful *g*

Was James Mallory (Johanna Lindsey's Gentle Rogue) a second son? He certainly was the black sheep of the family ;-)

Nancy said...

Anna Campbell wrote: Oh, Patricia, I have a special crown for each day of the week and two for Sundays! ;-)

And you haven't sent your friends a photo? tsk, tsk!

Nancy said...

Suz, your feeling about the Kindle matches mine about the iPad. At least the acquisitions do not take up space in my house.

I don't know about Harry vs. William, but I do think Andrew is more interesting than Charles, FWIW.

I think the "spare" has more leeway in his life than the heir, as you note. Fewer expectations.

Nancy said...

Beth, I think you're the first person to mention Johanna Lindsey today. She often comes up in answers. I hear the Mallorys are very popular.

Barbara E. said...

My favorite book about a heroine who gave the hero lots of trouble is Jo Beverley's A Lady's Secret. And of course, I loved The Wicked Wyckerly, it was a fantastic story. I was so worried that things wouldn't turn out for Fitz and Abby, and I loved the way it all turned out.

I do enjoy stories about non-titled heroes, it's always nice to see a resourceful gentleman make his way without a title.

Patricia Rice said...

Jo Bev's books are delicious no matter whether the hero is heir or not. I think we can make a case for the heirs having their own struggles. I just find the spare's troubles more entertaining!

I have a Nook and I may just call it Beezlebub because it offers way too much temptation. I have too many friends who run specials and I can't resist popping over... My Nook may explode.

Thank you everyone for all your kind remarks!

Nancy said...

Pat wrote: I have a Nook and I may just call it Beezlebub because it offers way too much temptation.

LOL! That's how the iPad is. There's not even a resulting stack to make me feel guilty. Just all those "new" covers on the bookshelf page.

Nancy said...

Barbara, I also enjoy having a change from the titled heroes once in a while.

Christine Wells said...

Just popping in quickly to say hello to Patricia! Thank you, Nancy, for hosting Patricia today. Love the sound of The Devilish Montague!

I think An Infamous Army is one of my favourite younger son books. Charles Audley. Sigh! And I did enjoy seeing The Grand Sophy give Charles Rivenhall trouble. Now I've chosen two Heyers and I'm sure there are more. Thank you for being with us today, Patricia!

June M. said...

One of my favorite series was the Knight Misc. by Gaelen Foley. There was 5 brothers and they each got their own book. I don't know how many times I have read this series and still love it.

Nancy said...

Hi, Christine--I loved Charles Audley! He and Sophie were just a perfect couple.

Nancy said...

June, the Gaelen Foley series sounds fabulous. I love books about brothers.

Louisa Cornell said...

Oooh! La Campbell bags the GR! Good on you! Make him suffer!

Great interview Nancy and Patricia! I can't wait to read this one. I love the sound of the hero and a cheeky parrot is definitely a big selling point for me as I have owned some cheeky parrots in my time.

Favorite non-titled hero? Mr. Darcy, of course! And Charles Audley is definitely high on my list.

Nancy said...

Louisa, how could we forget Mr. Darcy?

Somehow, it does not surprise me that you have owned parrots. I hope they behaved better than the GR!

Congrats, BTW, on your Daphne win! Sorry I wasn't there to see it.

Louisa Cornell said...

They weren't well behaved at all, Nancy! I often wonder if the GR got his manners from some of my parrots!

Thanks for the congratulations! Wish you had been there!