Monday, May 4, 2015


My popular Regency romance, THE RELUCTANT LANDLORD, first started as a writing exercise. Back in the last century (!) I belonged to a writers group--published authors and earnest beginners included. One of the writing exercises assigned was a phrase, sort of like a “What if” situation, to jumpstart the imagination. Since it was so long ago, I don’t remember what the exact phrase was except that it had something to do with something being thrown. What it was, the setting, story genre, and circumstances were all up to the writer.

It didn’t take long for me to come up with an idea. Set in Regency times, the short paragraph I wrote was about an impoverished young miss who flung a pouch filled with guineas back at the toplofty lord who had thrown it at her. He’d wanted her to remove herself and her aunt from his newly acquired lodgings. The coins were thrown to reimburse her for her trouble. The affronted young lady, Katrina Jones, stood her ground.


Impoverished Katrina Jones is determined to earn a living by pursuing a career. Her landlord, the Earl of Udall, has other ideas for her. Can she set aside her fears about marriage and learn that trust goes hand in hand with love?


Quentin Thornhill, the Earl of Udall, is used to having his own way. When the delightful Katrina inadvertently thwarts his plans to install his latest mistress at his newly-won lodging, he begins to realize that not all females are as devious as the women he has known. Can he overcome his cynicism and give his heart to this young and innocent silhouettist?

Artist’s concept cover

THE RELUCTANT LANDLORD has had a home from the beginning at Wings ePress where it’s been on the publisher’s best-seller list. This novel has also been on the’s best-seller list and has earned multiple 5 star reviews on Goodreads.

Lord Udall plans to install his mistress at his newly won lodging, but impoverished Katrina wants to live there instead. Who will be the victor?

Another THE RELUCANT LANDLORD fun fact is that the characters of Katrina and Quentin make a brief appearance in another Regency at Wings ePress--A CONTINENTAL MARRIAGE. It was so cool revisiting their personalities, along with a few of the other folks in the book!

One of my favorite bits and pieces from real life is that in THE RELUCTANT LANDLORD, the character of young Freddy likes to insist he's Arthur, the Duke of Wellington, a hero from the Napoleonic Wars. I can thank a child from my daughter's pre-school for this. Out of the blue, a little boy walked over to me and with a serious face, told me he was Batman! Below, we find Constance, Quentin’s mother and Freddy’s grandmother, reminiscing:

Retrieving her hanky from behind her back, Constance blotted at the moisture seeping from her eyes. "Freddy’s current hero is Wellesley, you know. The dear boy corrects me if I call him Freddy. ‘I’m Viscount Wellington, Grandmama,’ he says. ‘I fight that nasty Bonaparte.’ Lord, Freddy reminds me so much of his father Robert."

Also, Katrina has an unusual hair color. At one time I did also: blonde and brown. Here’s a passage soon after Quentin has his first run-in with Katrina.

Miss Jones’ hair was a most strange color combination: sun-ripened maize--almost white in its intensity, yet streaked by coppery brown. Most unusual. Yet he was certain he had seen this mixture before. But where? And why was he waxing poetic over a thing as mundane as a woman’s hair?

THE RELUCTANT LANDLORD starts with a very dark hero who has been deceived by the important women in his life. The impoverished heroine changes his mind about females and about love. His transformation from cynic to lover is an interesting journey, and at the end, the “villainess” comments: “You have become too...domesticated...for my tastes.” There’s also a surprise twist to a secondary character that even I didn’t know would happen when I was writing the story! If you love Regency romance, this book’s for you! I hope you enjoy Katrina and Quentin’s story.

Happy reading,

Susanne Marie Knight
Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist!