posted on April 4, 2014 by Jo Beverley


manuscriptThe Harrow Band. That was my name for my group of Regency guys when I first wrote about them back in 1976. I still have the handwritten original.

Later I changed their name to The Company of Rogues, which I’m sure you’ll agree was an improvement. I completed the book in 1977, but it wasn’t published until 1991, after I’d sold a number of other books and learned how to fix it. That was An Arranged Marriage which is currently free for Nook and Kindle in most places. If you’re not already a Rogues fan, I hope to tempt you!

arranged marriageThis is the original cover.

Now, with the publication of the fifteenth book, A Shocking Delight, my Company of Rogues is the longest running, still going, friends series in Regency.

As there were only 10 surviving Rogues when I started the series, clearly there have been spin-off books, but they are all tightly connected. For example, in A Shocking Delight the hero, David Kerslake is the brother of the heroine of The Dragon’s Bride. Not only that, he provided part of the resolution of that story by agreeing to claim the Earldom of Wyvern. Lord Amleigh, a Rogue and hero of The Dragon’s Bride, had inherited the earldom, but he didn’t want it, and David’s sister Susan, wanted to shed her past and live elsewhere.

a shocking delightFor love of her David takes on the burden of a scandalous and bankrupt title, but his situation is challenging, because he’s also Captain Drake, leader of the smugglers on the Devon coast. In order to serve all his people well, he must marry money, and money attached to a lady too feather-witted to discover his secret smuggling life.

He settles on Lucinda Potter, only child of a very rich London merchant, who seems pretty and  frivolous enough to suit, but Lucy turns out to be a shock.

After an encounter David explains the situation to his friend, Nicholas Delaney, leader of the Rogues.

“She won’t do.”

“Why not?”

“She’s sharp as a thorn and blunt as a cudgel.”

“Brings to mind a spiked mace. How are your hopes dead?”

“Would you marry a spiked mace?”

Nicholas’s lips twitched. “Eleanor wouldn’t like the description, but quite possibly. There’s nothing amiss with a forceful wife.”

“Is there not? You know my requirements. Miss Potter wouldn’t miss an ant on the floor, never mind a husband oddly missing on moonless nights. And once she knew, she’d wield that cudgel.”

“Rather extreme for an ant. I keep telling Eleanor that she should create a Society of Lady Viragos. Miss Potter sounds like a prime candidate.”

“It’s no laughing matter. She’s  also an ardent opponent of smuggling.”

wyvernSo Lucy is a shock, but as I’m sure you can predict, she turns out to be a delightful one.

David is a shock for Lucy, too, because she has no intention of marrying. Now she’s of age she’s has her thirty thousand pounds for her own and is interested in following her father in trade. When she’s unwillingly attracted to the Earl of Wyvern she doesn’t know which is worse — the thought of marrying, or of marrying someone who lives far from the city she lives, in a gothic horror of a house on a cliff. This is what Lucy faces. I adapted a real print of the Devon area I used as inspiration for Crag Wyvern.

But love will have its way, and love will find a way, especially with the help of the Rogues.

What’s your feeling about series built around friends? What makes them work, and what makes them fail you?

One person who comments will receive a copy of A Shocking Delight.





Jo Beverley

Jo Beverley

Passed away May 23, 2016.

Jo Beverley is one the few authors writing English-set historical romance who is English. She was born and raised in England, and has a degree in English history from Keele University in Staffordshire. She and her husband emigrated to Canada, but have now returned to England. They have two sons.

Though Jo started to write as a young child, it was only in the eighties that she began to think that it was something ordinary people could do, and after a talk at a local library, she settled to seriously writing her first historical romance.

Now, she is the author of over thirty romance novels and many novellas — see Jo Beverley’s booklist which have brought her many awards, including five RITA awards from the Romance Writers of America and awards from Romantic Times including two Career Achievement awards. She is a member of the RWA Honor Roll, and the RWA Hall of Fame.

Read Jo Beverley’s full bio here.

14 thoughts on “A ROGUISH DELIGHT”

  1. Avatar Vicki Hammons says:

    There is something to be said for long term friendship. True friends are there when you need them. And if you don’t see or talk to them every day, it is okay. You each have your own lives. But when you do talk, it is just like it was yesterday. And that is why I think it works here.
    I love long running series, especially in books. To me, it’s kind of like a never ending movie. When I first started reading The Company of Rogues, I was disheartened that a few had died. I wanted to read all of their stories but I understood not everyone can have a happy ending. I was excited with the return of one:) With your stories I don’t believe there could be a fail. Looking forward to many more. Thank you for your imagination and sharing it with us readers that like to get away for awhile.

    1. Thank you, Vicki. I agree about old friends. They’re special.

  2. Avatar Tai Smith says:

    Can’t wait to read this! Was hoping you would write a book for David Kerslake! Lucy sounds fun! Thank you for sharing another story with us!

    1. Thanks, Tai. David certainly deserved a happy ending.

  3. Avatar Rhonda Kirby says:

    I really like your books and I would thoroughly enjoy winning a copy of this one.

  4. Avatar Bonnie says:

    Connected books (either by friendship or family, or both) are favorites of mine. When a book is well written, there are always secondary characters who catch your attention. You always wonder about their story. Also, it’s good to revisit old friends who have already had their story, and see how their lives are progressing. I’m a fan of the rogues series, and would love a copy of the latest installment.

    1. Yes, Bonnie, it’s getting some updates on previous characters that appeals to me, too, in my own books and other authors’. It’s also why I write series. I don’t want to leave them forever.

  5. Avatar helenajust says:

    I’m right in the middle of a re-read of An Arranged Marriage at the moment! I’m enjoying it; Nicholas is so lovely. Have to admit to wishing nothing but bad times for Kit; even if the original incident wasn’t really his fault, his subsequent behaviour was poor. Interesting parallels in how brothers treat their siblings, and manipulate others’ opinions of them. And I agree, The Com­pany of Rogues is a much better name.

  6. Avatar Sandra Johnson says:

    I like the new cover better. Lovely.

  7. Avatar CrystalGB says:

    I love books that involve friends because they highlight the value of friendship and how people can share a bond even though they may be different in some ways.

  8. I can’t feel kindly toward Kit either, Helena. That’s why he’s rarely appeared in other books. I don’t want to kill him off, though, because Nicholas woudn’t like being earl.

  9. Avatar Tina says:

    I think book series based on friends have to walk a fine line between focusing on the new characters and keeping the old characters involved to be successful.

    1. I agree, Tina, plus the author has to try to make the book work for new readers!

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