Welcome to the Best of the Regency! My guest today is Eileen Richards, writer of historical Regencies and romance novel lover. Eileen’s love for the Regency period started with Jane Austen, but it was the turbulence of the time that she says drew her interest because it mirrored what she was seeing happen in our own time: politics, gossip and a craving for celebrities.
So now to Eileen and British Society in the 1820’s:
British Society was in transition during the 1820’s when this final story takes place. The Industrial Revolution is in full swing and the families involved in my series are affected by this in different ways. Ian McDonald, the hero of A Most Inconvenient Wish, has made his fortune thanks to the Industrial Revolution. He has purchased an estate, something his father was never able to do. The other gentleman in Sophia’s life, the Earl of Bateman has not fared so well. He’s broke. He expected things to stay the same, but they didn’t.
This is a story about the juxtaposition of new verses old; upper middle class verses aristocrat; self-made verses entitlement.
The Industrial Revolution gave the middle class a great deal of money and power. The wealth of the upper middle class drove the changes that shaped the Victorian Age. Technology was changing the face of England. Steam engines drove factories. Trains were just becoming popular and getting ready to explode across England. All of these things were making smart men wealthy, regardless of their class. They wanted a say in politics and society.
It also reflects the turbulence of the time period that echoes even in the present. This is what really fascinates me about writing historicals. While so much has changed, human nature remains the same. We see a great deal of the same type of turbulence in our present day society. We see the struggle between the haves and the have-nots. We see self-made men stepping up and wanting to change the world. History does repeat itself.
In this final book, I had the difficult task of redeeming the most irritating character in the whole series: spoiled, vain, spiteful Sophia Townsend. She was the most fun to write but the hardest to redeem. She didn’t want to change. I knew it would take a patient, stubborn man to change her ways and Mr. Ian McDonald was born. Yes, my dears, he is Scottish.
She is the One for him. Ian knows it early on, but convincing her is the challenge. Ian is a businessman and a farmer. He’s a self-made man, but he’s also a homebody. He’s spent his time in Town making enough money to not have to go back. Ever. He wants his estate, his wife, and whatever kids they have. His only problem is that he fell for a woman whose primary goal in life is to marry above her station.
Sophia is determined to marry a member of the peerage. Marriage was the only way a girl could improve her status in life. Sophia is ambitious. She knows what she wants, but in many ways, she is like the Earl of Bateman, not seeing the societal changes around her.
Getting Sophia to fall in love with a Scottish farmer was the fun part of writing this story. Ian and Sophia are friends, of a sort, when the story opens. They’ve spent four years baiting each other. Sophia knows that her status won’t improve if she marries him. Ian must make his move to capture her attention or let her go.
The characters bring out both the good and the bad in each other, but I think that’s what’s great about falling in love. You see the irritants, but love blurs the irritation like a brush would smooth paint on a canvas. For me, it’s this part of love that pulls me into the story and makes the world go away. It’s what makes my heart skip a beat as I read.
The series has been about being careful what you wish for. Isn’t life like that? We wish for something. We make it happen, only it’s not exactly what we wanted. Sometimes it’s better, sometimes not. Sometimes it takes us years to see that the way things happened was for the best and couldn’t have turned out better.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this series as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. I hope you like Sophia’s story. Let me know. Yes, I read reviews. I know I shouldn’t but I do. Some are tough to take, but honestly they do help me write better stories. Thank you for taking the time to read my books. It means more than you know.
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A Most Inconvenient Wish releases July 19. Preorder now!
Sophia Townsend has watched both of her sisters find love and settle into idyllic married lives. But raised to believe that her greatest purpose is to advance the family’s fortunes, Sophia has greater ambitions when it comes to choosing a husband. She’s never lacked for suitors, but now she finds herself running out of time. Her last and best hope is Lord Bateman—and she has only a few days to secure his proposal.
Ian McDonald has long been a friend of the Townsend family and has watched Sophia with amusement over the years. A Scot and sheep farmer, Ian has done well for himself, but holds little social standing. Yet just as he’s realized his love for Sophia, she has set her sights on another man. Nevertheless, Ian is determined to win her. He a bold plan in mind, but when he and Sophia encounter one another at the legendary Fairy Steps, a most inconvenient wish is accidentally made—and neither could possibly guess the happy outcome…