One of the things I loved about writing ONCE A COURTESAN was that
it allowed me
to take a character (Jacqueline/Raquel) who’d survived terrible violence and
give her the happy ending I felt she deserved. For me, seeing her defeat her
abuser(s) wasn’t enough (although I have to say it was immensely
satisfying). I needed to see her overcome the emotional damage of that
experience and live fully. For me, that meant her finding love. Since ONCE A
COURTESAN is first and foremost a romance novel, romantic love is a given—but
love comes in many other wonderful flavors, too. I wanted Jacqueline to
experience some of those, as well.
Having been an only child, my friends were (are) more like family. In fact, I’ve
said many times that friends are the family members we get to choose. Some of my
friendships span more than three decades, and I’d trust those people with my
life. Because their love and acceptance have been so vital to my happiness, I
surrounded Jacqueline with a strong support network of steadfast friends.
Being a mom, myself, I also wanted Jacqueline to experience the deep joy and
fierce devotion of maternal love. Because she’s unable to have children of her
own, I made her a surrogate mother to the girls in her school. Her love for her
students is reciprocated, making her “job” fulfilling and meaningful on a very
And now for the romance! For an abuse survivor, romantic love is never
simple. It involves learning to trust again, which can be a long, arduous
process for both survivor and partner. To trust is to be vulnerable, and anyone
who has survived abuse knows how scary it can be to let anyone new get close. It
requires an enormous leap of faith.
Those who have loved a survivor know how challenging it can be from that end, as
well. It’s not easy to watch a loved one struggle with painful memories and deal
with the residual emotions they can sometimes evoke. Loving an emotionally
injured person requires a great deal of compassion, acceptance, and patience.
The good news is that “happily ever after” is possible for couples in this
situation—in romance novels and in real life.
The love between Jacqueline and Will is forged in fire and tempered with
patience and tenderness. Both are strong, independent types who must come to the
understanding that while being tough can protect them from getting hurt, being
vulnerable has great rewards as well as risks. Without vulnerability, change
can’t happen, relationships can’t deepen, and love can’t exist. Just as it is
for us in real life, Will and Jacqueline have to risk getting hurt in order to
attain the kind of love they each want and need.
Let me know what you think! Comment below and you'll
be entered to win a signed copy of ONCE A COURTESAN and an audio copy of TO WED IN SCANDAL.
Once Wicked #2
Constable Will Danbury has infiltrated a school to
investigate an alleged crime. What he finds is a deeper,
darker mystery—and a potent attraction to the alluring
headmistress, Jacqueline Trouvère. But a constable can't get
romantically involved with a suspect; even one he thinks is
innocent, without committing career suicide.
As headmistress of a school
devoted to saving the innocent
daughters of London's soiled doves, Jacqueline’s life is
complicated. Will tempts her in ways she never thought to
experience, but she believes no respectable gentleman could
love a former courtesan.
Despite their best efforts to fight it, a romance
When danger jeopardizes the school, however, his deceptions
and her omissions come to light, threatening to destroy
their love. They must look beyond the past to save both
their future together and the lives of those they’ve sworn
Each book in the Once Wicked series is a standalone story
that can be enjoyed out of order.
[Entangled Select, On Sale: March 27, 2017, e-Book,
/ eISBN: 9781633758711]
Liana LeFey delights in crafting incendiary tales that capture the heart and
the imagination, taking the reader out of the now and into another world. Liana
lives in Central Texas with her dashing husband/hero and their beautiful
daughter. She’s also privileged to serve one spoiled rotten feline
Fed on bedtime stories from such authors as Tolkien and Baum,
Liana became a language-loving, book-gobbling monster at the age of four and has
yet to be sated. All books are delicious, but her favorite flavor by far is
romance! She began reading romance novels at fourteen with The Kadin by Bertrice
Small and is now thrilled to be writing them for fellow enthusiasts.
16 comments posted.
I think the book sounds interesting and I do think it takes a lot of time and effort to overcome a violent past.
(Pam Howell 8:29am March 29)
My best friend was there and went on to find her happily ever after in time. She's been married over 30 years to a very good man.
(Sharon Mitchell 10:37pm March 29)
I enjoy reading historic fiction because parts of the stories are based on fact.
(Jane Komppa 11:17pm March 30)
You've incorporated all the elements I love in a story. It's also a period piece and is set in a time I want to know more about. Looks good! Thanks.
(Mary Songer 10:53pm April 2)
This sounds like a very interesting book. I enjoy reading about someone who has to overcome huge obstacles.
(Anna Speed 12:35pm April 3)