XOXO is thrilled to have not one, but two literary ladies in the house today! When we heard about Megan Frampton‘s new historical romance in her “Duke’s Daughters” series, Lady Be Bad, we loved everything about it. First of all, it’s described as Moonstruck meets Pride and Prejudice. Second, the heroine is holding spectacles on the cover, which is adorable. And third, that title is an instant winner…but why did it sound so familiar? A rummage through our collective Regency memory brought us to Meredith Duran, who penned the equally delightful Lady Be Good as part of her “Rules for the Reckless” series–and the perfect cross-interview was born!
Read on as we ask these two amazing romance writers to make the case for ladies good, bad, and in-between–and don’t miss your chance to snap them both up!
Lady Be Bad author Megan Frampton is up first. Here are her responses to Meredith Duran’s line of questioning!
1. As Jessica Rabbit once said, “I’m not bad. I’m just drawn that way.” What makes your heroine a bad girl, and what drew you to write her story?
Eleanor is actually pretty good at the beginning of the book; it’s when she realizes that that is all she is that she decides to be bad, trying to tick things off a bucket list (maybe a reticule list, in this time period?) when she starts to misbehave.
2. What’s the one piece of advice your heroine could have used in Chapter One, but would have refused to follow?
Try not to wander into the back rooms of bookshops, where you might have the opportunity to see some scandalous reading material.
3. A masked ball, a champagne-fueled musicale, a literary salon, or a gambling den: where would your heroine have the most fun, and how would she be most likely to put an illicit spin on the celebrations?
She actually does visit a gambling den in Lady Be Bad! She’s delighted to have the chance to go about unrecognized, and she definitely likes watching the hero gamble.
4. Other than your heroine, who’s your favorite bad girl in the world of fiction?
Becky Sharpe from Vanity Fair, I think. She knows what she wants, and she does whatever it takes to get it.
Now it’s Lady Be Good author Meredith Duran’s turn to sit in the hot seat!
- Why is your heroine so determined to be good? What’s the hardest thing she discovers while attempting it?
Lilah was raised by a crime lord, and trained into a very skilled thief. But her late sister had a different plan for them: virtue, fresh country air, a little cottage, and peaceful living. She’s trying very hard to live that dream in honor of her sister, but it turns out that the past has a way of catching up with you. No doubt her greatest challenge comes from within: Lilah likes a little danger, and she misses the thrill of the hunt. Happily, there’s a rather dangerous viscount on her trail, and he’s more than willing to supply all the thrills she might want…
2. Who’s your favorite good girl in the world of fiction? And what bad thing could you imagine her doing?
The original Good Girl, in my view, is Beth from Little Women. Can she ever be topped? She endures her headaches with patient grace, coddles and humors all her sisters’ flaws, keeps herself busy with various tedious but practical hobbies, loses her temper once, for a split second (for which she instantly apologizes), and then serenely dies. I’d like to imagine that Beth privately cursed to amuse herself, or maybe rolled her eyes when Amy’s back was turned, but it really does stretch the imagination. Nevertheless, regardless of how irritating her character should be, I cry every time I reread that scene in which she dies.
3. What would your heroine be best at: being a madame, an entertainer at a gentlemen’s club, a writer of horrid novels, or a spy? Why?
Lilah’s upbringing left her pretty well prepared for all of these jobs, save novelist. But that’s the one she would probably choose, since writing would never require her to flatter gentlemen who actually deserved a punch in the nose.
4. What does your hero find so enticing about your heroine?
Viscount Palmer is a war hero who feels like a fraud. Lilah is a fraud who feels like—and wants to be—a lady. He recognizes her as a fellow poseur, and he admires the charm, cunning, and chutzpah is takes for her to pull off her rise through society. He’s drawn to her courage, and how she sees right through him, too. She’s trying to be good—but if she truly were as angelic as Beth from Little Women, she’d never catch his eye.