It’s no accident that the acknowledgments in my book so often include medical professionals. I regularly consult with my friend Laurie Kingery, who is an ER nurse as well as a romance author. I needed Laurie for Major Alexander Randall, the hero of Never Less Than
a Lady, because he was wounded while serving in Spain and is suffering from buried shrapnel.
For this particular book, I also needed to call on the expertise of Fiona McArthur, an Australian author and midwife. My heroine, the widowed Julia Bancroft, has been quietly living as a village midwife in the far northwest of England, and naturally I have to give her a chance to show off her skills.
NLTAL is the second of my Lost Lords books, whose heroes attended the Westerfield Academy, a school for boys of “good birth and bad behavior.” A number of people who read the first book, Loving a Lost Lord, asked if there was something going on between Randall and Julia. I didn’t admit it then, but yes, the prickly discomfort between the two of them was indeed a sign of an attraction that neither of them wanted.
As heir to his bullying uncle, the Earl of Daventry, Randall needs to sell his commission, return to England, and find a wife to produce an heir. But he has no interest in the sort of boring well born virgin that his uncle wants him to marry.
The only woman who interests him is Julia Bancroft, even though she made it clear the year before that she has no interest in marriage in general, or Randall in particular. But when Randall seeks Julia out to confirm that she’s the wrong woman, he finds her in deadly danger.
Randall is fiercely protective of his friends, and Julia is in desperate need of protection. First he rescues her. Then, because the danger isn’t past, he suggests a marriage of convenience with the private hope that he can persuade her to make it a real marriage.
It won’t be easy. Both Randall and Julia are wounded people, and they know they have a lot of baggage. But Julia is perhaps not entirely indifferent to Randall, and maybe, just maybe, they can make this work….
Never Less Than a Lady is a story of healing love. Despite what they’ve suffered, together Randall and Julia can become whole. Here’s an excerpt to sample.
Kathe Robin of Romantic Times BookClub made the book a Top Pick and gave Randall a KISS mention, while Library Journal gave it a starred review. And just this evening (Wednesday), I learned NLTAL will be on the New York Times list for May 16th. (Yesssss!!!)
I’m working on the third Lost Lords book now, and the hero is a fellow who first appears in Never Less Than A Lady. It’s about time I did a lovable rogue again. Now, what kind of woman does he need….
I’ll be giving away on copy each of Never Less Than a Lady, and also a copy of my April reissue, One Perfect Rose. If you haven’t tried one of my books, here’s your chance!
Happy reading always—
Mary Jo Putney