We’re up to Pink IV, The Seduction of the Crimson Rose!
Who: Mary Alsworthy and Lord Vaughn
When: Autumn, 1803
What: Lord Vaughn recruits socialite Mary Alsworthy for an unlikely task: infiltrating the League of the Black Tulip.
Historical Cameos: None. Lord Vaughn isn’t letting anyone steal his thunder.
Fun facts about Crimson Rose:
— This is the book that wasn’t supposed to be. Originally, Pink IV was meant to be about Charlotte Lansdowne. I was about three-quarters of the way through writing The Deception of the Emerald Ring and had already begun researching Charlotte’s book when Mary Alsworthy began clamoring for a book of her own. That seemed like a terrible idea, so I tried to ignore her. But Mary Alsworthy is not to be ignored… so I called up my editor and said, “I know this sounds crazy, but what do you think about this for the next book?”
— I hadn’t intended Lord Vaughn for Mary Alsworthy. I’d played around with– and discarded– the idea of Lord Vaughn and Charlotte (he’d eat her alive), Lord Vaughn and Penelope (she’d bore him), and even Lord Vaughn and Jane (complete mutual incomprehension) before the light bulb clicked on about Mary and Vaughn.
— Crimson Rose was written while I was working full time as a litigator at a large New York law firm. I was a little low on sleep that year– but the crankiness seemed to work for Vaughn and Mary.
My favorite scene? This one is hard for me. It’s a toss up between the scene where Vaughn first approaches Mary with his strange proposition (no, not THAT kind of proposition) and, much later, Mary’s internal monologue in Vaughn’s wife’s room.
What’s your favorite scene from The Seduction of the Crimson Rose?