Four Scottish sisters triumph in English Society.
About the Essex Sisters
After writing about the bond between women friends in The Duchess Quartet, I wanted to turn to a relationship that can be even deeper: that of sisters. My sister is very dear to me. But I didn’t want to depict a relationship that was all sweetness and light. After all, I still have my 5th grade diary, with my sister’s mocking annotations covering up my heartfelt pages!
This series begins with the story of four Scottish sisters, orphaned and sent to England to be wards of a duke (Much Ado About You). Each novel stands on its own, following the story of one sister. Yet the thread of Imogen’s story winds through the first three novels. One new challenge for me was to show Imogen maturing and changing through several books, while staying a minor character. It’s been interesting to see how readers who dislike her in Kiss Me, Annabel grow to love her in The Taming of the Duke.
Each of these books stands out in my mind as having particular virtues: the hero of Much Ado About You (Lucius) is wonderful in his wounded, quiet, king-of-the-universe fashion, and Kiss Me, Annabel‘s road trip to Scotland, involving a kissing game, is, quite simply, delicious. The Taming of the Duke brings my darling, drunken Rafe into sobriety and marriage in an undercover, hilarious fashion, and Pleasure for Pleasure allows sharp-tongued, plump Josie to triumph over everyone in the ton who labeled her the “Scottish Sausage.” She’s Cinderella – without losing an inch of her lush figure!
Two final notes on connections in this series…the Earl of Mayne, who first appeared in Your Wicked Ways (the Duchess Quartet), appears in every one of these four novels and finally marries in Pleasure for Pleasure. Also, Lucius Felton (hero of Much Ado About You) first appears in the novella “A Fool Again”.