One reason I enjoy writing novellas is because I can create happy endings for favorite secondary characters from earlier stories. In One Wicked Winter Night, both the hero and the heroine were characters I wanted to come back to so I could give them happy endings.
The heroine of my 2018 novel, Once a Scoundrel, was Lady Aurora Lawrence, Rory for short. A traveler, she and her cousin had visited their mutual aunt in India, then were captured by Barbary pirates on the way home. The aunt never appeared on the page, but I knew she was a young aunt and Rory and her cousin were very fond of her.
It turned out the aunt was Lady Diana Lawrence! A doomed love affair had sent her sailing away from England to see the world and she’d settled in India, but after seven years, she was ready to return to home and family and set up as an eccentric spinster. Certainly the man she’d loved and left would have long since married and forgotten her,
Err…. Maybe not! Anthony Raines, now the Duke of Castleton, first appeared in Never Less Than Lady as the younger brother of the heroine, Lady Julia. (He also appeared briefly in Once a Soldier.) Their father, the old duke, was a horrible man who disowned his daughter and made Anthony’s life extraordinarily difficult. A quietly responsible young man, Anthony did his best to protect the servants and tenants from his father’s appalling behavior–and he never forgot the golden young woman who had briefly brought joy into his life.
Anthony tends to avoid social gatherings because being an eligible duke is like having a target on his back, but his sisters persuade him to attend a pre-holiday masquerade ball. He likes the idea of being able to enjoy the evening anonymously. What could possibly go wrong???
Unmasking time brings the past alive with a vengeance! Diana thinks it’s too late for them, Anthony disagrees, and it takes an interested third party to bring them together for the happy ending they both deserve.
Mary Jo Putney
A Christmas Abduction by Madeline Hunter
Caroline Dunham has a bone to pick with notorious rake Baron Thornhill—and a creative plan to insure his undivided attention. Yet once in close quarters, she finds herself beholden to their smoldering connection . . .
A Perfect Match by Sabrina Jeffries
Whisked away from a wintry ball by the officer she knew only through letters, Cassandra Isles struggles with her feelings for the commanding Colonel Lord Heywood. For he, secretly a fortune-hunter, must marry for money to save his estate—and Cass, secretly an heiress, will accept nothing less than love . . .
One Wicked Winter Night by Mary Jo Putney
Dressed as a veiled princess, Lady Diana Lawrence is shocked to discover that the mysterious corsair who tempts her away from the costume ball is the duke she once loved and lost. Now snowed in with Castleton at a remote lodge, will she surrender to the passion still burning hotly between them?
“Hunter’s effortlessly elegant writing exudes a wicked sense of wit.” –Booklist
“Anyone who loves romance must read Sabrina Jeffries!” –Lisa Kleypas, New York Times bestselling author
“Putney’s books are the literary equivalent of catnip to historical romance fans.”—Booklist