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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Oh, The Rakes! Anna Campbell - Guest Blogger

Oh, Those Rakes! By Anna Campbell

Hello, Romance Readers! I’m delighted to be here! Thank you for inviting me.

As a long term romance reader, and someone who spends a lot of time talking to romance readers, I know there are a couple of terms that really get people excited about a story. Bride. Scandal. Scoundrel. Sin. Just check out the titles in the historical romance section of any bookstore and you’ll get a nice list – all very delicious.

But to me, the most delicious of all is ‘rake’.

Think of the images those two words ‘Regency rake’ conjure up. The bad boy who’s irresistibly tempting. Someone wild and reckless and passionate. A man who breaks the rules of his society and just clicks his elegant fingers at any disapproval. Tall. Usually dark (although not always – I’m currently writing a blond!). Definitely handsome. Turned out in those gorgeous Regency clothes – coat, neckcloth, breeches, boots. A man who can seduce any woman with a single look. Witty. Arrogant. Intelligent. Sardonic. Skilled in the sensual arts.

Oh, yeah, we LOVE a rake.

Especially when he meets that one woman who turns his world upside down. That’s one of the reasons I love to read about a rake falling in love. These gorgeous alphas are always completely at sea when that happens. All their charm and sophistication won’t save them from tumbling head over heels – usually into drama! Or comedy. There’s plenty of scope for comedy when a rake falls in love. Mr. I’m Always In Control finds there’s some things he can’t control – and he doesn’t like it!

My June release from Avon, MY RECKLESS SURRENDER, features a notorious rake and I had such fun writing him. Tarquin Vale, Earl of Ashcroft, has his world pretty much as he wants it. He definitely qualifies as my first non-tortured hero!

Then a mysterious woman called Diana proposes a short affair to while away the summer months while most of the ton is away on their estates. At first he says no – he’s suspicious of this woman who is so obviously following a secret agenda. But it doesn’t take him long to succumb. Things get very messy indeed when both he and Diana start navigating deeper waters emotionally than either ever expected.

Before Diana propositions Tarquin, she has a stereotypical image of a rake in her mind. Perhaps she’s been reading too many historical romances, LOL! She has a chance to make all her dreams come true, but first she must seduce the Earl of Ashcroft. She’s sure a careless, selfish libertine won’t endanger her heart.

Instead of the jaded roué she expects, she discovers a man like no other. A man with his own code of honor. A man she falls in love with, even though her secrets threaten nothing but disaster.

You can read an excerpt of MY RECKLESS SURRENDER on my website at: http://www.annacampbell.info/recklesssurrender.html

So do you have a favorite rake in romance? Why do you think the rake is such a mainstay of the historical romance genre? Let’s talk rakes in all their decadent glory!