Changing the Earl’s Mind by Kristen McLean
My final full-length novel in the Lords of Whitehall Series is live! I loved writing this story. Saint Brides is one of my favorite heroes. Perhaps because he’s not a very heroic character. He mostly stays behind a desk and thus far has been neither funny nor charismatic. I suppose I wouldn’t be either if I ate, drank, and slept in my office. But I also believe we don’t truly know what a person is capable of until they’re put in extraordinary circumstances, and he did handle himself fairly well against highwaymen and an insane French murderess in To Win a Scoundrel’s Heart. So I decided he deserved a happily ever after, especially considering his assistance, reluctant though it may have been, with Grey and Nick finding theirs.
In Behind the Marquess’s Mask and To Win a Scoundrel’s Heart, we get to know Saint Brides as being rigid and distant. He gives orders he hopes will be followed and then becomes rather piqued when they’re discarded for a more idiotic plan. Which he will then have to explain.
Now he’s the one struggling to follow protocol. Our American heroine tempts him beyond reason to give in to not only his attraction for her, but also the nagging desire to protect her, even from the law he works so hard for. What’s worse, he’s tempted to allow himself to feel, which is something he has steadfastly refused to do since his father had passed. His work made it easy to avoid attachments and the relentless matrimonial pressures of society. But he cannot avoid her, not without breaking protocol.
As for the heroine, Sarah Tindall, I knew I had to make her something special, someone who could expose the longing he hid deep down just by being herself. She’s fierce and independent, identifying what she needs to do and doing it without hesitation. She’s blunt and capable and by far the most beautiful thing Saint Brides had ever seen.
And she has absolutely no intention of cooperating with her handsome captor. She had made some mistakes, the one putting her likeness on a wanted poster being a gargantuan humdinger, and she was not keen on making any more. Such as allowing a noose to tighten around her neck, or falling in love with the man leading her to the gallows. All she wanted to do is travel the world. She had spent her life reading about it, now she wants to see it, but when an unwelcome kiss turns into several very welcome ones, she realizes there may be something even more worthwhile than seeing the world.