When Meredith Duran sat down to write THE SINS OF LORD LOCKWOOD, she knew she’d have to put herself into a dramatic frame of mind. After all, the story of a groom abducted on his wedding night to an overseas prison (to say nothing of a bride left believing that her beloved abandoned her) calls for strong emotion. Read on for a list of Meredith’s favorite romance movies, and don’t forget to grab your copy of THE SINS OF LORD LOCKWOOD, out today!

Anna and Liam’s story taught me that contrary to the old saying, revenge is a dish best served hot.

To get into the mood to write star-crossed love and epic revenge, I revisited some of my favorite romantic films—especially films that feature bold, sharp-tongued women, like Anna, and men like Liam, with unusual gifts or dark agendas. If you’ve seen any of the following, you’ll know exactly what I mean. And if you haven’t, what are you waiting for?!



Based on the real-life romance between a not-yet-famous composer and an infamous novelist, IMPROMPTU stars a young Hugh Grant as Chopin and Judy Davis as George Sand, the infamous lady novelist who decides to seduce him. By the time this romance began, George had scandalized all of France by abandoning her husband, claiming a seat in the café society of 1830s Paris, and publishing brilliant novels that insisted on women’s right to autonomy. Her defiantly independent life would have greatly impressed my heroine, Anna.



If we’re talking about dangerous, dashing, and vengeance-bent heroes, then THE PRINCESS BRIDE should surely top the list. Wesley’s evolution from the idealistic farm-boy to the dangerously skilled (and even more dangerously charming) Dread Pirate Roberts put me in mind of Liam’s own arc in THE SINS OF LORD LOCKWOOD. I’ll wager that you’ve seen this classic film—but have you watched it recently? It only gets better with age!



Boy meets girl. Boy annoys girl. Boy then wins girl over–but it turns out that she’s engaged to someone else. When she flies off to get married, he follows–and chooses a very unusual strategy to secure their happy-ever-after. This is one of the most beloved romances in Hindi film history, and halfway through the film, when you watch Rahul (Shahrukh Khan) tell Simran (Kajol), “No, I won’t come to your wedding,” you’ll understand exactly why it has so many fans. The angst of Rahul and Simran’s separation, so well rendered, evoked for me the similar angst of Anna and Liam’s estrangement.



If it’s an antihero you want, this film offers two for one: Kat (Julia Stiles) is thorny and standoffish (the archetypal shrew) while Heath Ledger’s Patrick (the archetypal bad boy) sets the halls of his high school a-tizzy with scandalized rumors of his wickedness. When various shenanigans set the two on a collision course, this film turns into a delightful romance that is also effortlessly funny. Kat and Patrick’s sparring also reminds me of the flavor of Anna and Liam’s early conversations after they finally reunite.



Audrey Hepburn plays a carefree Frenchwoman whose luxe life is funded by her father’s forgeries of famous artwork—and whose most recent production may land him in prison, unless she can steal it back before it’s deemed a fraud. Aiding her is Peter O’Toole, playing a society cat burglar who may or may not have a secret agenda. The repartee is glorious, the antics uproarious, and the romance utterly persuasive. O’Toole’s devastatingly suave criminal turn came to mind as I imagined Liam—his wit, his good looks, and the cleverness with which he manipulates those around him were major inspirations.