I’m excited. Our guest today is Harlequin Historical author and pal Deb Marlowe, talking about her March release, Tall, Dark and Disreputable. Deb, Amanda, and I have known each other for years, even before Deb and I had books out, but we became especially good friends after the 2003 Regency Tour to England. When Harlequin gave the three of us an anthology, The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor was born, complete with its spin-off books and short stories. (the last of the Welbourne Manor books, A Not So Respectable Gentleman? is mine, coming out in August, by the way)

Deb will be giving away one signed copy of Tall, Dark and Disreputable to one lucky commenter, chosen at random.

In Tall, Dark and Disreputable, Deb again brings her unique characters, a mystery to be solved, and rich historical detail to a great story, but don’t just take my word for it. Look at what the reviews say:

Marlowe pens another winner full of memorable characters, authentic historical details and lots of action, mystery and passion. Regency historical fans are in for a treat–RTBook Reviews.

A beautifully written tale of two people’s struggle for independence and freedom of choice, Tall, Dark and Disreputable turns into so much more–Cataromance

I didn’t want to put this book down. The pace is fast and the chemistry between Portia and Mateo sizzles off the page–Rakehell

Welcome back to Risky Regencies, Deb. Tell us about Tall, Dark and Disreputable.
Tall, Dark and Disreputable started because I fell in love with a character in my first book.  Mateo Cardea is a charmer!  He’s an American of Sicilian descent, a former privateer, and the  smooth talking Captain of a merchant ship.  I couldn’t wait to set him loose on Regency England!  At the start of TDD he’s returned to England because he’s found that his family legacy–the shipping company he’s prepared his whole life to take over–has been willed to someone else.  And not just anyone else, but to the woman he refused to marry long ago!  He arrives in England furious, but he finds Portia Tofton is in trouble too.  She needs his help to save the estate that her late husband gambled away  They find that they have to work together to unravel a family legend–and their feelings for each other.
How did you come up with the idea for Tall, Dark, and Disreputable?
I wanted to explore the idea of a family curse or legend and how it might affect the lives of the people who came after.  It’s hardly fair, is it, that they would have to deal with a situation brought on by others?  But isn’t that what we do?  We thrust our characters into difficult and unfair situations that they must make the best of, then sit back and watch!
What is risky about the book?
I suppose it is risky because Mateo is not a Duke, a Lord, or even an Englishman.  And Portia is the daughter of an Earl, but she’s turned her back on her early life.  It’s a story of two people who want to live according to their own dictates in a time that it was difficult to do so.
Did you come across any interesting research when you were writing the book?
Portia is a gardener and a lover of landscape design.  I had a grand time researching all of the rich history associated with gardening in the period.  So many estates had such lovely grounds and gardens and I immersed myself in the world of Capability Brown and Humpry Repton.  In fact, I have an article about Regency Gardens on my website.  You can check it out at http://www.debmarlowe.com/articles/regencygardens.shtml
Tall, Dark, and Disreputable was released in the UK in 2010. What is it like to promote a book that you probably moved on from two years ago? Did you have to reread the book to remember it? (I would have)
Well, I did get it out to revisit, but it didn’t take long to bring it all back!  I absolutely adore the cover for the NA release–it really lives up to the title!  I’m so thrilled that it has come to North America at last–I really loved writing Portia and Mateo’s story and I’m having a blast reliving it again!
What’s next for you?

In June I have a new release:  Unbuttoning Miss Hardwick.  It’s the tale of a reclusive nobleman and the woman he hires to help him organize and display his incredible weapons collection. It’s a rollicking story with such disparate elements as a mysterious Hindu spear, party planning, an obsession with men in boots and the very difficult feat of dropping the masks we hide behind in order to embrace love.

Question for Readers:  Portia and Mateo both have pressing needs that seem to preclude any chance at them having a real relationship.  They are not sure they can trust each other, let alone give up their most important dreams for a chance at love.  What about you?  Have you ever made a sacrifice in the name of love?  Or known anyone who did?  Did it work out?Comment for a chance to win a signed copy of Tall, Dark and Disreputable. Winner will be announced Monday night.