We've less than two weeks before Untamed is released. I am so excited to have a second book to share with you this year. If only my author copies would arrive... I want to hold my new baby!
To pass the time between now and then, I invited some men — some very sexy alpha males, in fact — to stop by for quick interviews. You gave me the questions. They provided the answers. Up first, is Alec Kenleigh, the hero in my very first book, Sweet Release.
I spent seven years writing that book and spent more time with Alec than any one of my heroes. Naturally, it was wonderful to spend time with him again.
I've tried to avoid spoilers that might ruin the story for those of you who haven't read it yet. Still, I might have missed something...
Q: How did you really feel the very first time you saw Cassie?
A: I confess that the first time I saw her, I had just grabbed her ’round the throat and threatened to break her neck. Aye, ’tis the truth, though I lived to regret it! I’d been spirited from England and did not know whom to blame for my misfortune. When I awoke, I thought the young woman who’d come to tend me was part of the plot. ’Twas long ere I learnt the truth of the matter. But, though I at first thought her my foe and intended only to bend her to my will, it did not escape me that she was also quite lovely. I’ve always loved her hair.
Q: Did it bother you that she was your owner, or was there a deep part of you that liked the idea immensely?
A: ’Tis beneath any man’s dignity to be owned by another. It matters not whether the one who holds the chains is a man or a woman. That being so, I must confess that at times I found it almost… pleasurable… to be bound to her service. I say, are you certain this question is quite proper?
Q: You were brought to the Colonies against your will. How did it come to feel like home to you? Didn’t you miss England?
A: I was born the eldest son of a ship-building family and raised, as all eldest sons must, to follow my father. I attended the best schools, studied under the most learned tutors, but there was little time for joy in my life. ’Twas only after fate took me from England and carried me to Virginia that I came to see how stale that life had grown for me.
At first, I thought of nothing but returning home. Then, when at last my name had been restored, I found I no longer wished to do so, for compared to the cold, gray streets of London, Virginia was Eden. I do miss England, of course, but my wife is contented here. Her happiness is my greatest pleasure.
Of course, there are certain luxuries and refinements once cannot expect here, however that is quickly changing. I dare say our humble Colony is becoming more like the English countryside every day.
Q: When you learned who was behind your being kidnapped and sent to the Americas, how did you feel?
A: My grief was great, my guilt greater still. And yet had I not been beaten and spirited to these shores, I should never have met my wife. Out of my greatest trial has come my life’s great happiness — my beloved Cassie, our seven children, and our grandchildren.
Q: How did you make it through the six, or almost seven, years that Nicholas, your eldest on, was missing?
A: When we were told that he had perished… I’ve never known grief greater than believing I’d lost my eldest son. Worse even than my own anguish was watching my beloved wife suffer. Then, Nicholas came back to us, as one raised from the dead. But he was not as he had been, and we lost him again. Nearly seven long years had passed ere he returned to us, and I watched Cassie cling to hope, even when hope itself had become burdensome, her loss so great that a part of me wanted to curse my son, whom I believed dead. When against all hope he returned to us, whole and alive, I could have asked for no greater blessing. I shall never forget what — or shall I say who — brought him back to us. ’Twas Providence — and the love of our sweet Bethie, who is as a daughter to me and who can ask nothing of me that I would not give.
Feel free to jump in with additional questions for Alec. He'll answer them throughout the day as he is able. Running a large plantation and shipping company keeps him rather busy, even with all the modern conveniences that Virginia has to offer in 1764, as I'm sure you can imagine.
Okay, so Lucy requested a bit more. I sat down with Alec over lunch and have this to share with you:
Miss Lucy wants to know what you’ve been up to lately.
What I’ve “been up to?” ’Tis a most curious expression…
She’s from New South Wales. They have lots of curious expressions.
New South Wales? Where, pray tell, is that? She's Welsh, you say?
You’ll know in a few years… Can you fill her in?
Fill her in? I beg your pardon… Is that an idiom for something improper? As you know, I am a happily married man whose bed is kept warm by a wife he loves. I’ve no need to stray.
That’s not what that means. Let me rephrase the question: Can you tell us how you’ve spent your days of late?
As I am loyal to King and Country, so my mind has been troubled. The war has ended and peace returned to this land, and yet frontier families remain in peril, a plight I should know little of were it not for my son and his wife, whose travails were the worst that can be imagined. By the Grace of God they live, and yet Parliament in London has little thought to spare for those they consider rustics, the detritus of their nation from whom, they believe, it was best they were parted.
Our House of Burgesses cannot safeguard the entire frontier, and yet their appeals to Parliament go unheard. Meanwhile, Parliament for its part seeks to govern these colonies as if the House of Burgesses did not exist! If the Colonies are to be government from London, then they must be allowed to have representatives in the House of Commons.
I have written to my dear and true friend, William Pitt, whose sympathies have been to Colonists’ benefit. I believe he understands the desire of Colonists to have representation, and yet, he is but one voice. I fear that if London and the Colonies cannot find accord on this matter that the bonds of affection might grow strained. I should not like to see divisions grow between us.
But I'm afraid I grow wearisome. Ladies find politics dreadfully dull.