Guest Post with Anna Bradley

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Hi Everyone!

I am excited to be here today to bring you a post from Anna Bradley. Please help me give her a warm welcome to the blog.

This is one of those times when I wish being a writer were more glamorous than it actually is. I’d love to tell a captivating story about how I saw my characters in a vivid dream and after that my book wrote itself, but my latest historical romance, More or Less a Marchioness, started with a pretty simple concept.

I wanted to write a story about the girl who has everything.

My heroine, Iris Somerset, is Regency England’s version of the “it” girl. She’s well read, well-spoken, well-dressed, and possessed of a smile that makes gentlemen rush across crowded ballrooms to reach her side. She speaks French, German and Italian with perfect fluency, her fair coloring is fashionable, and her quadrille is without compare. She’s the belle of the ball, and she’s caught the eye of London’s most eligible gentleman. What more could a lady ask for?
Plenty, as it turns out, but Iris doesn’t realize it until it’s nearly too late. Why would she? After all, she’s followed all of society’s rules. She’s worn the gowns and danced the quadrilles and practiced the pianoforte until her fingers bled, and now it’s time to reap the rewards of all that tedious obedience.

And she gets her reward (or so it seems), in the form of Phineas Knight, the Marquess of Huntington, who is, as you might imagine, the quintessential English gentleman. Honorable, handsome, intelligent, fashionable without being a fop, and skilled with the sword and pistol. Lord Huntington is what every other gentleman in London aspires to be, and by the end of her season, Iris is betrothed to him.

It all sounds perfect, doesn’t it? We may as well slap the words “The End” on the first page of the book, and be done with it.

Except there’s a catch. There’s always a catch.

The thing is, Iris’s betrothed doesn’t love her. He doesn’t even know her. You see, Phineas Knight wants a proper, docile, quiet wife. He chose Iris because she fits the sample size. She’s precisely what a marchioness should be, and that’s all Finn requires.
Now, everyone would have Iris believe it makes no difference at all whether Lord Huntington cares for her or not. She’ll become a marchioness, and according to the rules of London society, that’s more than adequate compensation for any lack of affection.

But it isn’t, and so the story of the “It” girl becomes the story of a young lady who gets everything she ever wanted, only to discover she doesn’t want it anymore. Even worse, she discovers that all the things she’s been taught to cherish aren’t even worth wanting.
Regency-era social mores play a significant role in all of my books. Society becomes like another character, and that’s one of the reasons I love writing Regency romance. Women in particular were bound by society’s rules, and so I often find myself writing subversive heroines who are struggling to seize some kind of personal power, just as Iris does in this latest book. Romance sometimes gets a bad rap for being anti-feminist, but for me a great part of the satisfaction in writing Regency romance comes from finding ways to create historically plausible heroines who challenge a repressive society.
Regency-era men, of course, were generally permitted to behave as badly as they chose, a circumstance that leads to some pretty wicked heroes. I do love to write the occasional unconscionable rake into my books, but unfettered freedom is nearly as damaging as no freedom at all, and so my heroes tend to have some interesting character flaws they need to overcome before they get their happily-ever-after.

And Iris and Finn do get their happily-ever-after, because this is a romance novel, and some things are sacrosanct. But that doesn’t mean I can’t take my characters on a bumpy ride before I deliver them into each other’s arms. After all, the ride is the heart of the story, and the bumpier it is, the better.


Bio: Anna Bradley is an award-winning author of Regency Historical Romances A WICKED WAY TO WIN AN EARL. A SEASON OF RUIN, LADY ELEANOR'S SEVENTH SUITOR, LADY CHARLOTTE'S FIRST LOVE, and TWELFTH NIGHT WITH THE EARL, and MORE OR LESS A MARCHIONESS. Anna lives with her husband and two children in Portland, OR, where people are delightfully weird and love to read. Readers can get in touch with Anna via her webpage at, or, for all things romance (and an occasional "hot hero" pic!) please visit Anna on Facebook at

Happy Reading!


  1. Hi Anna! Thanks for the post! Looking forward to reading this!