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The Smythe-Smith Quartet

  • The Smythe-Smiths (and their notorious musicale) made their first appearance in my third novel, Minx. My hero and heroine were attending an amateur musical performance, and I thought, "Bad music is so much funnier than good music," so (perhaps in honor of the Veterans Park Elementary School band concerts my parents were forced to sit through) I created the annual Smythe-Smith musicale. Every year there seemed to be enough cousins to put together a string quartet, and every year they sent Mozart spinning in his grave.

    A number of years later, I wanted to put my hero and heroine at a social gathering that didn't have dancing, and it occurred to me—there was no reason these characters shouldn't have to suffer through a Smythe-Smith performance, as well. After a while, it began to be an inside joke between my readers and me. And I think we all started to wonder about those poor girls who were forced to pick up their instruments year after year.

    So with Just Like Heaven, A Night Like This, The Sum of All Kisses, and The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy, I finally placed the Smythe-Smiths on center stage.

  • Why is Colin Bridgerton married to Penelope at the beginning of Just Like Heaven but unmarried at the end?

    Total FAIL on my part. I messed up, pure and simple. I didn’t catch it, my editor didn’t catch it, my copyeditor didn’t catch it, and my sister didn’t catch it! You know who caught it? My readers. Just Like Heaven had been on sale only eight hours before I heard from the first one. You guys are amazing.

  • Have you ever thought of writing all of Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron?

    I’m afraid not, although lots of fans have been asking. It was tons of fun to write the excerpts that have appeared in It’s in His Kiss, What Happens in London, Ten Things I Love About You, and Just Like Heaven, but in all honesty, I don’t think I could keep it up for an entire novel. Not to mention that I couldn’t possibly do justice to the pigeon scene.