I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend! All the leftovers here have been consumed, and I spent far too much money online for Christmas presents–both for my family and for myself. Most of these were books of course, because books make stupendous holiday gifts!

My own new book, Duchess of Sin, is out now (shipping today from Amazon!), and I’m setting out on a blog tour (see the dates here on my blog!). I’m so proud to see Anna and Conlan’s story on the shelves now, as they had to work so hard to find their HEA.

I had lots of inspirations for this “Daughters of Erin” series, and one was my love of non-fiction about historical marriages. I can’t seem to get enough of reading about how couples of the past, whether middle-class sorts like Jane Austen’s family or the nobility, made their relationships work–or not work, as the case may be! There are certainly some spectacular failures in marital history (hello, Prinny and Caroline!). I like to imagine how my own characters will build a life together.

I recently read two books about just such couples. Couples who really had almost nothing in common with each other, except that both wives were unusually strong women and both couples were very much in love. Also they lived through times of immense conflict.

The first was Joseph J. Ellis’s First Family: Abigail and John Adams. Ellis calls them the “premier husband and wife team in all American history” and for 54 years they were lovers and friends, real partners, through very turbulent times. I love the Adamses–theirs was an enviable marriage, and I like to imagine my Anna and Conlan end up something like them, working together in everything and always passionate about each other!

The other was Katie Whitaker’s A Royal Passion about Charles I and Henrietta Maria. Unlike the Adamses, this was an arranged marriage that didn’t start all that well. But it grew into a passionate and devoted marriage. A partnership that ended in disaster, but was fiercely united. Whitaker says that this marriage was both Charles’s greatest strength and greatest weakness. I highly recommend both books!

So, what are your favorite historical couples? Do you find inspiration (or warning!) in their stories??