At first, it really was a challenge to make the legendary bad guy into hero material. As the book opens, Trent (our hero) takes the heroine into custody and threatens her with all kinds of terrible things. But, whew, he is hot. And determined. Over the course of the book, I really fell in love with him. Trent has always taken pride in his heritage and played by the rules. Alas, the poor man learns some painful secrets about his past and has to rethink his entire outlook on the world. By the end of the story, I was surprised to find myself really rooting for him. I mean, of course writers want to love and care for their characters. But I’m a wild and independent soul, I wasn’t expecting to slip over to the side of the law. I think a lot of readers will be cheering for Trent’s Happily Ever After at the end.
The heroine, on the other hand, has our sympathy from the start. Mazie is an accomplice to the outlaw and has the good of the people at heart. She is fierce and courageous, even in the face of her fear. As I wrote further into the book, I discovered I wanted something else from her.
Something deeper than breaking the law, no matter how valiant her motives. Personally, I have always been a social activist and haven’t had the greatest record with following all the rules.
Mazie was a girl written after my own heart. What more did I want from her? Certainly, I wanted to honor the unique strength of her spirit. As I celebrated her Happily Ever After, I discovered that sometimes it takes more courage to follow the rules than to break them.
What about you, Dear Reader? Do you love the Robin Hood myth? Are there other legends you particularly enjoy? Perhaps Peter Pan or Lady Godiva? How would you retell their story?
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Thanks for stopping by Leigh!
Once the darling of high society, Mazie Chetwyn knows firsthand how quickly the rich and powerful turn their backs on the less fortunate. Orphaned, penniless and determined to defy their ruthless whims, she joins forces with a local highwayman who steals from the rich to give to the poor.
Then the pawn broker snitches, and Mazie is captured by the Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire. A man who is far too handsome, far too observant…and surely as corrupt as his father once was.
Sensible, rule-driven Trent Carthwick, twelfth Earl of Radford, is certain the threat of the gallows will prompt the villagers’ beloved Angel of Kindness to reveal the highwayman’s identity. But his bewitching captive volunteers nothing—except a sultry, bewildering kiss.
And so the games begin. Trent feints, Mazie parries. He threatens, she pretends nonchalance. He cajoles, she rebuffs. Thwarted at every turn, Trent probes deep into her one vulnerability—her past. There he finds the leverage he needs and a searing truth that challenges all he believes about right and wrong.
ABOUT: Leigh LaValle was born in a time when ladies shopped at the modiste and rogues sent heated looks across a crowded ballroom. Time slipped forward a few hundred years, and she currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family. When she is not writing about said ladies and rogues, mommying, or reading, she is rarely seen cleaning. More often, she is found hiking or, when she is really lucky, in the white powder of the ski slopes. She is also a devoted yoga practitioner and instructor.