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The Splendid Trilogy
The Splendid Trilogy is a bit of a misnomer. The "splendid" part is accurate (in honor of my debut novel), but it's not exactly a trilogy. Or at least it hasn't been since 2003, when my novella "A Tale of Two Sisters" was published in the Where's My Hero? anthology. Here's the lowdown:
Splendid (set in 1816) is about American Emma Dunster, who is visiting her British cousins and falls in love with the Duke of Ashbourne. Dancing at Midnight is about Emma's cousin Belle, and Minx is about the duke's best friend, both of whom played a big role in Splendid. Belle had a brother, Ned, but I moved on to a new set of books before I got around to writing anything for him.
Fast-forward seven years, and I was invited to take part in an anthology with Lisa Kleypas and Kinley MacGregor. Each author was supposed to write about the hero about whom her readers had been clamoring for a story. I immediately thought of Ned, and the Splendid Trilogy became more of a 3.333 sort of thing.
Even though How To Marry A Marquis was written and published after Minx, it’s actually set earlier. Minx takes place 1816/7, and How To Marry A Marquis takes place in 1815. As I was writing How To Marry A Marquis, I needed a dashing, handsome bachelor for one of the scenes. When it occurred to me that Dunford was still single, I thought to myself, “Why not?” It was a lot of fun to revisit him.
Yes! His story was unveiled in a novella titled “A Tale of Two Sisters,” which you can find in the Where’s My Hero? anthology. For those of you unfamiliar with Ned, he appeared in my first three books: Splendid, Dancing At Midnight, and Minx.