Back to Top

Tag Archives: Courtesan Court Trilogy

I had the great privilege of meeting an online friend in real life this summer–the funny and talented Maggie Robinson, who is just as funny and smart in person. She pressed upon me an ARC of Mistress by Marriage, which I giggled over on the journey home and found was the next best thing to having a conversation with her. So I pressed her into an appearance at the Riskies to talk about her funny, touching, sexy book.

Maggie, welcome. Tell us how Mistress by Marriage came about.

Mistress by Marriage (Kensington Brava, September 2011) was a title first before I ever had a glimmer of an idea. All the Mistress books are Mistress by Something Starting With An M. I’d done Midnight. I’d done Mistake. What else starts with M? Mistress by Menopause just didn’t have the right cachet. When I came up with Marriage, I had a real “aha” moment. What would get a married couple to rekindle their dead romance? How could two totally opposite individuals reconcile and have their HEA? Caroline and Edward had huge obstacles to overcome, both internally and externally. (And of the three Mistress books, this is definitely my favorite.)

This is your third and final book in the Courtesan Court Trilogy. Was it sad for you to say goodbye to the series and your characters?

I feel like I live on Jane Street with all its naughty ladies, LOL. Both my novellas have been set there, too. Actually, my next book, Master of Sin (April 2012) is technically the last book in what Brava is calling the Courtesan Court series. The very unlikely hero Andrew Rossiter is introduced in Marriage, so I expect references to the neighborhood will pop up in the future.

I found both Caroline and Edward such adorable and annoying people. Do you find yourself basing characters, or at least some of their characteristics, on people you know?

You caught me out. Edward and Caroline share some traits with my husband and myself (although John is not quite as proper and uptight as Edward, he always tries to do the right and honorable thing). Caroline tries to make everyone happy around her and doesn’t feel she deserves her own happiness. As a mom of four, I can relate. However, I’m not a gorgeous redhead addicted to jewels, although diamonds are nice if they’re conflict-free.

Ha! I suspected as much. (Has your hubby read it?) Your heroine Caroline is a writer. Did you ever feel that you wanted to be sidetracked into writing her books?

While Caroline and I share an unfortunate addiction to alliteration, I think she’s way more gothic and lurid than I am. And I hope I’m a better writer. Anyone who writes “He advanced toward her, his green eyes glittering like evil glass” needs to go to writing rehab. I had such fun with her titles and blurbs at the beginning of each chapter, though, and was pleased when Publisher’s Weekly said “the most fun derives from the way Caroline skewers society in her novels, with quotes from the books presented at the top of each chapter like bonbons.”

Caroline also uses her books to very conveniently kill off her Edward-like characters. There may be no evil glass, but there is no end to the creativity of her evil mind as she buries the man in mining mishaps and tosses him off mountain tops.

What’s your favorite scene in the book?

I’m very partial to when Edward kidnaps Caroline and introduces her to his “list.” Poor guy.

Tell us about your research on divorce law.

Let me tell you, it was nigh on to impossible to end a marriage, and only a husband could sue his wife for divorce, no matter how awful he might be. Women had NO recourse to throw the bums out, and they had no rights to any children of the marriage. There were three stages—one had to prove infidelity and sue the wife’s paramour (the criminal conversation portion, or crim con), go through the ecclesiastical court and then get a Bill of Divorcement from Parliament. It was a rare, lengthy and expensive procedure. I can see why people remained married even if they hated each other.

You have a novella out this month too. Tell us about the anthology and your contribution.

To Match a Thief is part of Brava’s Improper Gentlemen with Diane Whiteside and Mia Marlowe. All the gentlemen are…improper. 😉 My characters Lucy and Simon are childhood lovers who have changed considerably from their very humble beginnings. They may have been separated for thirteen years, but the spark’s still there, even if Lucy is London’s most fabled courtesan. Or is she? The fun of the novella is that no one is quite who they seem, right down to the singer in Simon’s favorite opera.

What do you like to read for fun?

The Riskies’ books, of course! I’m devoted to nineteenth century-set historical romances, as well as the historical mysteries of Ashley Gardner, C.S. Harris and Deanna Raybourn.

What’s next for you?

As my edgier self Margaret Rowe, I have a story, Wicked Wedding Night, in the Berkley Heat anthology Agony/Ecstasy (December 2011). Three more Maggie Robinson books are contracted through 2013. The new London List series revolves around a Craigslist-like Regency newspaper operated by a very unusual editor. I can’t wait for readers to meet E. Ramsey.

Thanks so much to the Riskies for having me back today! I’m giving away both Improper Gentlemen AND Mistress by Marriage to one commenter who tells me how to kill off an estranged husband in a romance novel! Be as gory as you like. Caroline would approve.

Mistress by Mistake sizzles off the page. A marvelously sexy romp.
Anna Campbell

… sexy chemistry and wry humor … I really enjoy those books where the characters take real joy in their pleasure and this is one of them. It’s a steamy historical that I enjoyed re-reading for the sake of the review.
Dear Author

A great big Risky welcome to Maggie Robinson who’s here today to give us the inside scoop on her book Mistress by Mistake, Book I of the Courtesan Court Trilogy, and give away a signed copy. So please ask a question or make a comment to be entered into the drawing.

How did the idea for this book/series evolve?

Although it will be published first, Mistress by Mistake is actually the second book I wrote that takes place on Jane Street, AKA “Courtesan Court,” my fictional address for London’s most exclusive mistresses. In Mistress by Midnight (which comes out next January), I had my heroine reflect that there really should be some sort of Mistresses Union for bored courtesans waiting for their gentleman, and I realized I had a series. It was all entirely accidental and providential.

Tell us about your hero/heroine. Who would you cast if the book was a movie?

Charlotte Fallon is a straight-laced, lace-making spinster whose heart was broken once. Sir Michael Bayard is a straight-up rake whose heart was not only broken but stomped on, skewered and seared. They’re both wary with good reason, but of course they are absolutely right for each other and ripe to fall in love. Catherine Zeta Jones might make a good Charlie with blue contact lenses (and she’d have to gain some weight, too). Bay was inspired by the yummy nameless model for Lord and Taylor’s Black Brown ad.

(Did I get the right guy, Maggie?) What bit of this book do you love?

Oh, there are so many parts. People seem to love the raspberry fool scene. And there are not too many heroines who use such an unusual weapon to save the hero like Charlie does. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but Charlie is quite creative.

Which part gave you the most trouble?

I wasn’t certain if a man could be forced to engage in sex. Upon serious research, I was assured that they could.

Ahem. Moving on … What do you like about the Regency period?

The corsets, of course. Seriously, there’s war, royal hijinx, scientific and social advancements—there’s just so much for an author to mine.

What do you dislike about the Regency period?

The obvious disparity between the rich and the poor—but we still have that today. And I don’t think I could deal with the hygiene difficulties.

It seems there are lots of mistress-themed books on the shelves at the moment. What makes yours risky/pushes the envelope?

Well, to be honest I guess my women are more-or-less faux mistresses. Charlie is mistaken for her sister, Laurette is installed on Jane Street by the man who wants to marry her (Mistress by Midnight), and Caroline is unhappily married to the man who bought her her house after the requisite misunderstanding (Mistress by Marriage). I use the setting for two upcoming novellas too. I think my biggest risk is choosing to write about older heroes and heroines (yeah, like thirty to forty is old to me, but in the Regency you’re more than half-dead at that point. *g*)

What’s next for you?

I also write erotic historical romance as Margaret Rowe, and she has a debut of her own with Tempting Eden, which comes out in June. It’s kind of fun to be a double-debutante at my age. Thrilling, actually.


Anything else you’d like to be asked about?

Huge announcement! Mistress by Mistake has been selected by Kensington to be a free e-book download from May 3 through May 6. For the details, visit tomorrow. One commenter below will get a signed dead-tree book, too!

Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By